Envoy's frisking poor diplomacy: Nirupama Rao
Posted on: 01:35 PM IST Dec 10, 2010
New Delhi: India on Friday said the 'pat-down' search of Ambassador Meera Shankar at a US airport was not good public diplomacy and that it was awaiting a report from its embassy in Washington over the incident before it can take up the matter with American authorities.
"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 here.
Disapproving of the treatment meted out to Shankar, she said, "It wasn't good public diplomacy and we will certainly be speaking with the American embassy here".
Nirupama 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," the Foreign Secretary said.
Shankar was pulled from an airport security line on December 4 and patted down by an American security agent in Mississippi despite being told of her diplomatic status.
The incident took place at the Jackson-Evers International Airport where sari-clad Shankar was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending the Mississippi State University's programme.
Shankar presented her diplomatic papers to officers and was escorted by a Mississippi Development Authority representative and an airport security officer, but witnesses said she was subjected to the hands-on search.
In the past, many prominent Indians, including ministers, have faced some uncomfortable moments at US airports.