Saturday, December 28, 2013

John Kerry and Salman Khurshid

When emotions were running high in India immediately after the arrest of Devyani Khobragade, the American secretary of state John Kerry spoke to India's national security adviser Shivshankar Menon and not the foreign minister Salman Khurshid. This was interpreted variously by the media. Was Uncle Sam trying to give short shrift to democratically elected leaders? Khurshid misled the nation claiming he was trying to establish contact with Kerry and that the latter was busy visiting some country and time zones interfered with early contact.

The New York Times has now reported what really happened:
"American officials quietly say they bent over backward to heal bruised feelings. On Dec. 19, Secretary of State John Kerry tried to get in touch with the Indian foreign secretary, Salman Khurshid, but Mr. Khurshid did not take his call for reasons he has not explained. So Mr. Kerry called Shivshankar Menon, the Indian national security adviser, to express his “regret” over the matter."

Salman Khurshid was merely being churlish. It is possible that the prime minister ticked him off for his unprofessional act. The minister was promoted to foreign affairs ministry after his family oversaw embezzlement of funds meant for physically challenged persons. Will he get another promotion now?

No comments: