Hazare issue shows India a vibrant democracy: US diplomat

August 23rd, 2011 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Anna Hazare’s anti-graft movement and indefinite hunger strike show that “India is a vibrant democracy”, a top US official said here Tuesday.

“This (Hazare’s agitation) shows that India is a vibrant democracy,” US Consul General in Mumbai Peter Haas said.

He added that Hazare’s agitation has received worldwide attention and admiration and even the US is keeping a close watch on the emerging situation.

However, when repeatedly asked for his comments on the Hazare issue, Haas maintained that “it is an internal matter of India” and it would not be appropriate for him to comment on it.

When the media repeatedly sought to know his views on the Hazare issue vis-à-vis the recent mass agitations in Egypt, Syria and Libya, Haas said: “India is a democratic country and that answers the question.”

His comments came during his first media interaction in the city organised by the Mumbai Press Club and American Center here.

Haas, an economist, took over as the new consul-general at the US consulate in Mumbai Aug 1. He holds charge of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Prior to Mumbai, Haas was the economic affairs counsellor at the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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