Terming the Khobragade episode “extremely irksome”, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday said it was time there should be a “closure” to the issue for which the US should find a “political solution”.
Asserting that there were “practical considerations” and India cannot look unconcerned when something like this happens, he said the court by rejecting the first indictment has given an opportunity to US administration to put it behind and questioned why they were not doing so.
“Even at the worst time, I made repeated statements that although it is extremely irksome what has happened and we are convinced that what has happened is wrong and it should not be taken any further, nevertheless this should not impact our larger relationship. But there are practical considerations.
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Audience Reaction: Ranbir, Aishwarya, Anushka Starrer Gets A Thumbs Up
- Bigg Boss 10, October 27 Review: Navin, Lokesh Fights During The Immunity Task
- Shivaay Audience Reaction: Ajay Devgn Impresses Viewers
- Pakistan High Commission Staffer Caught With Defence Documents: What It Means For India & Pakistan
- The Royal Opera House Reopens After Decades Of Neglect: Here’s A Quick Tour
- Tata Sons Rubbishes Cyrus Mistry’s Allegations: Here’s What Happened
- Pakistan High Commissioner denies allegations leveled on his staffer for espionage activities
- Odisha: Villagers Refuse To Cremate Dalit Woman’s Body
- Here’s What Farhan Akhtar Said On Karan Johar-MNS ‘Deal’ Over Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s Release
- Government’s Diwali Gift to Central Government Employees, Pensioners
- Bigg Boss 10 26th October Review: This Episode Is All About Fights
- New Zealand Beat India By 19 Runs In Ranchi; Series Levelled At 2-2
- DND Toll-Free: Noida Toll Company Moves Supreme Court Against Allahabad High Court
- British PM Theresa May Says Kashmir Is A Matter For India, Pakistan To Sort Out
- J&K: Students Suffer As Schools Along LOC Forced To Shut Amid Firing
“We cannot look unconcerned when something like this happens. We have to balance practical implications with our commitment to keep our relationship intact and in fact, enhance it,” the minister told PTI in an interview.
Khurshid was asked for his reaction to US prosecutors re-indicting senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on visa fraud charges and accused her of “illegally” underpaying and “exploiting” her domestic maid.
The second indictment, yesterday, came a day after a US court dismissed an earlier indictment.
Observing that “overall it has an effect and there was very deep sense of hurt here”, Khurshid said “the court by rejecting the indictment has given you an opportunity to put it behind us so why are we not putting it behind us… They should find a political solution.”
Referring to his meeting with his US counterpart John Kerry on the issue, he said, “We have already agreed that officials from both sides will meet to look into issue of immunity and privileges so that in future there is no trouble. When you are looking at no trouble in future, it is an ideal thing would be to put a closure to what has happened.” Khurshid also said India was convinced that there were no justified grounds for what they have done.
Yesterday, the MEA had expressed disappointment over an “unnecessary” step of second indictment and asserted that any measure consequent to the decision will “unfortunately” impact upon efforts on both sides to build India-US strategic partnership.
A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade was arrested in New York on December 12 and was strip-searched, triggering a row between the two countries with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats among other steps.
She was released on a USD 250,000 bond, was later granted full diplomatic immunity and she flew back to India on January 10. She has since been transferred to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.