New Delhi : There are first signs of a thaw in the diplomatic standoff between India and the US: Devyani Khobragade has got exemption from personal appearance in a New York Court, which is hearing a visa fraud case against her.
She has also been accredited to the UN headquarters. The government had transferred Khobragade to its mission in the UN following her arrest with a view to giving her full diplomatic immunity.
Accreditation will entitle Khobragade to a US State Department Identity card, which means she will not have to be present in court and will also have immunity but not in the ongoing case. The ID card is likely to be issued after Christmas, said sources.
Sources said India is pushing for the charges to be dropped, but if not, Khobragade can at least get her passport back, and can be sent back to India.
The American embassy staff in India, meanwhile, has asked for more time to comply with the retaliatory orders issued by New Delhi after khobragade’s arrest. US diplomats and consulate staff are likely to surrender their ID cards on Monday night, but have reportedly asked for more time to furnish staff salary details as demanded by India.
Asked whether the deadline has been extended or not, official sources said that a “decision would be taken on Tuesday after correlating whatever the government has received so far.”
Incidentally, S Jaishankar, the new Indian Ambassador to the US, is arriving in that country shortly and taking charge. Jaishankar, who till recently was India’s Ambassador to China, is arriving in Washington at a time when bilateral ties have a hit a low.