News / Asia

    Indian FM Downplays US Diplomatic Spat

    Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in an undated picture from her Twitter account.
    Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in an undated picture from her Twitter account.
    VOA News
    Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid says current tensions over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in the United States will not harm the relationship between the two countries.
     
    Khurshid told reporters in New Delhi Saturday that India has a valuable relationship with the United States that should not be affected by one incident. He called for further talks to resolve the case of Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested in New York on charges of visa fraud and exploitation of a maid, whom she brought from India.
     
    Khobragade was arrested December 12 in New York and released on $250,000 bail after giving up her passport and pleading not guilty to charges of visa fraud and making false statements about how much she paid her household help.
     
    Her subsequent complaint of being strip-searched and handcuffed while in custody has caused outrage in India.
     
    The Indian government has transferred Khobragade to its United Nations delegation in an apparent move to protect her from U.S. prosecution. It is not clear, however, if U.S. authorities will approve the move before a legal resolution of her case.
     
    Protesters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, on Saturday burned effigies of U.S. President Barack Obama and the Statue of Liberty. And, a regional party leader said India should respond by arresting homosexuals working in U.S. embassies.
     
    In a suburb of Mumbai, angry activists vandalized a Domino's Pizza outlet on Friday.
     
    India has complained about the treatment of its diplomat and wants all charges against her dropped.
     
    U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued a statement Wednesday saying Khobragade was extended courtesies far beyond what other defendants, mostly American citizens, are accorded.
     
    Khobragade seems to have garnered more sympathy in India than her employee, who allegedly was paid only a third of the amount Khobragade had reported to U.S. authorities.
     
    Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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    Comments
         
    by: Dennis Doddridge from: WA USA
    December 24, 2013 3:43 AM
    So let me get this straight.The Obama regime employees purport that some Indian diplomat might have underpaid her nanny for a period of six months – but still a high pay rate if the nanny were in India? And for that we are to sentence her to 15 long years in prison? And the US gov't is willing to risk life and limb of American embassy workers in India for this? And Obama’s gov't is also willing to harden relationships with India over this? I think Obama’s gov't employees need to get a reality check. If she is so bad, simply deport her and be done with it.

    by: AC from: USA
    December 23, 2013 8:04 AM
    As the champion of human rights, US must protect the exploited and underpaid nanny and demand that India apologize publicly and immediately for the unbecoming behaviour of their diplomat!!

    by: Bhaiya from: U.S.
    December 23, 2013 7:45 AM
    What is the true compensation to the nanny? How many hours does she bill a day? Be truthful with the math. Getting $3/hr for say, 16 hours a day, plus room and board is quite a bit different than $3/hr for 8 hours and no room and board. Was the diplomat arrested simply on the nanny's charges? I don't see any press indicating that the nanny's charges were proven before the diplomat was given the perp walk. Anyone care to clarify those questions before we over-correct?

    by: indian from: indian
    December 22, 2013 3:42 PM
    Can any American explain why Davis, the murder accused American in Pakistan and later declared diplomat, should not be hanged for his almost proved crime. Just bcz he was American???? Please tell me what treatment an American should expect of crimes they commit everyday on any part of the world?

    by: Mark Causey from: California
    December 22, 2013 12:13 PM
    A few months ago we had a Saudi Princess in California arrested for abusing her maid (who apparently was paid off to drop the charges) and now the Indian Princess doing much the same. When will people learn that when they come here we enforce our laws just as any other nation. If they don't like it they should stay home.
    In Response

    by: indian from: india
    December 22, 2013 3:37 PM
    You should also tell what was done to that Saudi 'diplomat'. Just google and u will know your hypocrisy and double standards as well as arrogance of power. You simply licked the Saudi diplimat.

    by: Ali Shahnawaz Khan from: Norway
    December 22, 2013 6:07 AM
    Hats off to the #US for standing behind a poor domestic worker so strongly.Why Indian civil society is blind to this aspect of the issue?

    by: AC from: US
    December 21, 2013 9:48 PM
    US must get India to apologize for what happened to the pizza outlet in Mumbai. Uncivilized behaviour cannot be tolerated by even a backward country like India.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    December 31, 2013 8:31 PM
    Yes, even a supposedly "backward" country like India cannot tolerate uncivilized behavior. So whats your point?

    In Response

    by: Ackman from: Weslaco,TX
    December 22, 2013 4:15 PM
    @AC- Its true what the diplomat did was wrong. But kindly refrain from calling India a backward country. Its a land with centuries worth of diverse cultures and wealthy kingdoms.

    by: TheMarianaHope from: Austin, Texas
    December 21, 2013 9:44 PM
    We have had confusing times, for which many apologize while others do not know how. Some of the confusion is being cleared when unraveled, unfortunately, we have prayed that the NYC Mayor's office please understand how it was mistakenly often advised here by the undocumented, a little studies of nutrition primarily in Canada, where of course the renowned late as of some time ago, honored doctor was not.from, nor did his bio have him cross paths with the on3 presumed. We pray that the new mayor reconsider the advise given by mistake, in light of errors, with understanding of all accidently assuming, without asking questions about the subject of the late doctor's renowned areas of expertise. We are sorry for any misunderstandings and hope Canadians come forward, thank you kindly.

    by: AC from: US
    December 21, 2013 8:20 PM
    The US government must not allow cheats and criminals using diplomatic shields to get away. They must come down very hard on such scums!
    In Response

    by: Guyfranck Kisangani from: Wichita, kansas
    December 22, 2013 12:35 AM
    American citizens are stripped search before and she's not an exception. She committed a crime by not telling the truth on a visa request and she underpaid her nunny. According to Geneva treaty she has diplomatic immunity only when she is working as a diplomat in this circumstance she is underpaying her nunny as a mother, and she lied as criminal. Therefore she is supposed to be prosecuted like DSK and other crooks.
    In Response

    by: buildcastles from: USA
    December 21, 2013 9:23 PM
    That sounds noble but are you really ready for our ambassadors to be beheaded for not wearing a scarf or drinking alcohol?

    by: buildcastles from: USA
    December 21, 2013 6:33 PM
    Most of the people that watch kids are paid $3 an hour here too. If the federal government starts strip searching all the babysitters I think it will be the end of the USA government.
    In Response

    by: AC from: US
    December 21, 2013 8:16 PM
    It is the the rate of payment that infringe US laws but false declaration of higher payment and visa fraud. Diplomats are expected to have minimum standards of integrity. Pls get it right.

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