Indian media has pulled up the Biden administration in selecting countries for the forthcoming Democracy Summit, pointing to "obvious double standards" involved in leaving out Bangladesh and inviting Pakistan.
India's leading daily Times of India said "American interests in various countries, regions and other stakes played a large role".
"As the US, and much of the world, gears up for Joe Biden's virtual democracy summit scheduled for December 9-10, it's clear that American interests in various countries, regions and other stakes played a large role in making of the guest list," said the TOI report.
On exclusion of Bangladesh, Singapore and many other countries, the report termed the move as "curious" and said : "Bangladesh is out, Pakistan is in. Singapore is out, Democratic Republic of Congo is in. Turkey is out, Iraq is in."
Referring to the invitation to South Asian countries, it said Pakistan made it to the list, despite a general agreement that the democratic set-up there is uniquely defined.
Nepal, which went through paroxysm of political instability in 2020 is also on the list, the report reads.
The TOI report, written by its diplomatic editor, pointed US political preferences in Bangladesh as influencing the decision. " It is also a fact that the US has had close ties with BNP over the years which may have influenced the decision.