Powell’s exit offers a welcome opportunity to reboot vital India-US relationship
- The departure of US ambassador Nancy Powell, the highlight of her tenure in New Delhi was that she presided over the Devyani Khobragade affair, offers a welcome opportunity to rescue India’s crucial US relationship which is currently in the doldrums. It’s been reported that Powell advised Washington that New Delhi wouldn’t really react to the arrest and strip-search of Khobragade because the country was in election mode – when in fact the opposite was far more likely.
- USA is slated to be considering the Indian-origin Rajiv Shah to succeed Powell, it’s time to quell emotions and press for a deal that satisfies both sides, placing the unfortunate Khobragade affair behind us.
- US ambassador Nancy Powell’s exit from India and the possibility of Indian-origin Rajiv Shah succeeding her offers a rescuing hand to India’s declining bilateral ties with the US.
- Despite a US court having dismissed visa fraud charges in face of diplomatic immunity, fresh indictment have been filed against Kobragade. India reacted by uncovering visa fraud by female spouses of teachers of American Embassy School (AES) declaring themselves as housewives despite having plans of working with the AES.
- AES faces a possible closedown after teachers have started leaving. This is not in good interest.
- Improving US ties is crucial for the fresh start of the new govt. This can be achieved by:
- Dropping of charges on alleged visa fraud issues and other minor legal violations by both sides.
- India should facilitate the functioning of expatriate- friendly agencies such as AES and ACSA.
- US should prevent recurrence of such incidents by facilitating a common interpretation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and shield Indian diplomats from harassment.
- India USA Bilateral Relations
- Devyani Kobrigade issue
- VISA Fraud Issue