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In strong pushback, Jaishankar says India too has concerns about human rights in US

Unfazed and unbowed in the face of American pressure, India is pushing back at Washington on several contentious issues -- including the threat of sanctions and its crusade for human rights -- while maintaining that ties between the two sides are strong enough to accommodate differences.

In a blunt rebuttal to the US menacing New Delhi with sanctions threat over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar on Wednesday said CAATSA, the US domestic law that enjoins sanctions for such transactions with American adversaries, was for Washington to sort out.

"It is their legislation and whatever has to be done has to be done by them," Jaishankar said, implicitly declaring that India will do what it takes to safeguard its security without worrying about sanctions.

In an otherwise congenial diplomatic engagement between top US and Indian officials, the Biden administration on Monday struck a mildly disapproving and discordant note by unilaterally raising what it said is a rise in human rights abuses in India. Several US lawmakers have been railing about India's defense purchase from Russia long before the Ukraine imbroglio, warning of sanctions on New Delhi, even as the delivery of the missile systems began late last year.

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