Khurshid plays down Azam Khan`s detention at US airport
Almaty: Downplaying the detention of UP Minister Azam Khan at a US airport, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said the strict immigration procedures were one of the requirements of travelling to that country.
At the same time, Khurshid said that India has always urged for greater sensitivity and courtesy in such matters and if there has been any departure from normal course, the government would take it up for every citizen and not only for someone who has any "special stature".
"I am not sure about the details of what has happened. There are processes and procedures at immigration counters in the US that we have all been through. It is based largely, not on subjective choice, but it is based on what the computers throw up by way of names, background and random checks," he said when reached for comment on the Azam Khan episode.
Khan, who was part of a delegation accompanying UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to Harvard University, was detained for a brief while at the Boston Airport.
Khan took exception for the treatment.
Asked about reports that a section of Samajwadi Party was blaming Khurshid for the lapse, the External Affairs Minister quipped: "That is interesting. I could not have been at the airport because I was not in the US."
He said such matters would be taken up for any Indian citizen who goes through a process that we consider unacceptable or undesirable.
"He was part of an important delegation visiting Harvard and led by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and therefore it would have been of concern to all of us," Khurshid said.
"I think all of us who travel to the US have gone through this. Sometimes it seems irksome, but frankly if you travel to the US, which has reasons to be concerned about procedures in order to address their concerns of security, we take that as one of the requirements of travelling to the US," he said.
"We have always urged greater sensitivity and courtesy and in normal course that is extended. But if there has been any departure from that or any failure on that obviously we would take it up for every Indian citizen not for somebody who has any special stature or status and we would do the same here," the minister said.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said India has asked its embassy in Washington to take up appropriately with the US authorities the matter of Khan`s detention.
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