All parliaments should respect sovereign mandate of other parliaments: Om Birla

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) All parliaments should respect the sovereign mandate of other parliaments, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Wednesday.

Birla's remarks came a day after a debate at the UK Parliament on 'India: Persecution of Minority Groups'. The UK government praised India's religious diversity and its 'rich tapestry of religious minorities alongside its sizable Hindu majority' during the debate in the House of Commons complex.

The UK Parliament is also scheduled to discuss the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

Birla made these remarks during a virtual discussion with the president of European Parliament on challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

The speaker condoled the loss of lives in the European Union due to the COVID-19 pandemic and underscored the need for global action to overcome the challenges of the pandemic.

During the virtual meeting, Birla said, 'All Parliaments should respect the sovereign mandate of other Parliaments.' Responding to Tuesday's debate at the UK Parliament, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Minister Nigel Adams assured MPs that any “difficult issues” around human rights are raised in a free and open manner with Indian counterparts at the ministerial and consular level as he reiterated that India's secular Constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens.

The Indian High Commission in London issued a statement in relation to the backbench debate to stress India's “centuries-old tradition of religious tolerance and harmonious co-existence of people of all faiths”. PTI JTR SMN SMN