Washington, Dec 4: Even as it made clear that there was no change in its visa policy, the US Tuesday said that it looked forward to working with any new Indian government that emerges from the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.
“The United States looks forward to working in close partnership with India with whatever the outcome of that election process will be in terms of the next government that comes into place,” Washington’s new point person for South Asia told foreign reporters.
But as of now there is now there is no change in US visa policy, US assistant secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said when asked about Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi
“All individuals apply and have to undergo a review process,” she said. “So, if there is an application, there will be a review process.” But Biswal said, “I can’t speak to what the outcome of that process will be” if the Gujarat chief minister applies for one.
The US had denied Modi a diplomatic visa in March 2005 and revoked his tourist/business visa issued to him earlier over his alleged role or inaction during the Gujarat riots of 2002.
However, Biswal did hint that in case Modi becomes prime minister, it may be a different story. The members of the national governments are entitled to a different category of diplomatic visas, called A-1.
“Depending on the official and the capacity in which they are visiting a determination is made what kind of visa they are going to get,” Biswal said.
She didn’t explain if rules that applied to the usual tourist/business visas remained the same for A-1 visas.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
–Indo-Asian News Service