Pat-down search of Meera Shankar not good public diplomacy: Nirupama Rao

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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New Delhi, Dec 10 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao today said that the 'pat-down' search of US Ambassador Meera Shankar at a United States airport was not good public diplomacy and that it was awaiting a report from its embassy in Washington.

"We have also asked our embassy in Washington to give us a detailed report on the incident. We haven't as yet received that, but we will be certainly looking at that before we take further action," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters.

Rao said the Ministry of External Affairs has already been in touch with the American Embassy on some previous instances though not exactly of the same nature.

"We have an ongoing discussion with them on this and we will take it up," she added.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna had said that such behaviour from the United States was not acceptable to India.

Krishna said: "I am rather surprised by the way the Indian Ambassador to the US has been treated. This has happened for the second time in three months."

"This is unacceptable to India and we are going to take it up with the government of the United States. I hope things can be resolved so that such unpleasant incidents do not occur again," he added.

The incident took place on December 4 at the Jackson-Evers International Airport where Shankar was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending a Mississippi State University programme.

Those who witnessed the Ambassador's screening said officers told her that she was singled out because of the way she was dressed. Shankar was wearing a sari.

She was taken to a VIP waiting room despite being told she was an Ambassador. She was later pulled from a security line and patted down by a female Transportation Security Administration agent.

Shankar presented her diplomatic papers to officers and was escorted by a Mississippi Development Authority representative. (ANI)

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