Khurshid plays down Azam Khan’s detention

Salman Khurshid
Salman Khurshid

ALMATY: Downplaying the detention of UP Minister Azam Khan at a US airport, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the strict immigration procedures were one of the requirements of traveling 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. -PTI