When in a hole, stop digging
The American embassy however, has denied that India’s Defence Minister George Fernandes was strip searched twice at US airports. It acknowledged and apologised for certain ‘diplomatic procedures’ that were not followed.
Linking a denial to the apology has taken the spirit out of the apology. To his credit, George Fernandes and the Vajpayee government did not play up the issue at a time when India and the United States had to close ranks against jihadi terrorism. The US embassy is taking one too many liberties with Indian public opinion. Squandering PR capital over this incident is unlikely to benefit either the United States or India. With this controversy surfacing the same week as the appointment of Pakistani diplomat Javed Ashraf Qazi as the UN chief in Iraq it will require a small miracle for India to send troops to Iraq.