India warns US on Devyani issue, says ‘times, world have changed’
Powell’s olive branch comes after top state department officials called their Indian counterparts for the third time in two days to try to draw a line under the controversy over accusations that Khobragade underpaid her maid in New York. Subsequent revelations that Khobragade was stripped by US marshals and subjected to an invasive body search have caused outrage across the country and the government has conveyed to Washington to drop the case and offer an apology.
US secretary of state John Kerry has expressed ‘regret’ and stressed the issue should not be allowed to derail a ‘vital relationship’ - a message amplified in a phone call on Thursday by state department number three Wendy Sherman to Indian foreign secretary Sujata Singh.
‘What we’re focused on now ... is working to move the relationship forward,’ state department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.
But there was no sign on Friday that the calls had placated the government in India.‘They should tender a clear apology. We will not accept this conduct against India under any circumstances,’ Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath told reporters. ‘The US has to understand that the world has changed, times have changed and India has changed.’ The conduct and attitude that the US has shown regarding the Devyani issue is a matter of concern not only for India but also for all countries and everyone should raise their voice,’ Nath said.