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Transcript of Weekly Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (February 20, 2020)

February 21, 2020

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Friends, good afternoon, Namaskar and welcome to this weekly media briefing. I have an update on n-Coronavirus from MEA’s perspective and you are aware that there have been some developments as far as Indian nationals are concerned in China and Japan. And after that perhaps I’ll just give you sense of the program. Foreign Secretary did go on record yesterday but today with a little bit of timing and some detail on President Trump’s visit and then we will open the floor to questions.

On the efforts being made by our mission in Japan and China about the virus, let me take Japan first. You are aware that there are 132 crew members and six passengers who were Indian nationals and who were onboard the cruise ship ‘Diamond Princess.’ This was quarantined of the coast of Japan and as per the latest information available with us there are eight Indian nationals who are infected with the virus. They are being treated at the local hospital. We understand their situation is improving. Our Embassy has been putting out regular updates. They are closely monitoring the situation. The quarantine ended yesterday on 19th February. The disembarkation process has started and will continue for a few days. The disembarkation starts with the passengers first and the crew will be the last to disembark.

At this point of time we are now in touch with the Japanese authorities to work out the next steps after the quarantine is over. There are several possibilities which are being looked into and as and when there is an update I will be happy to share them with you. Please remember there will be a health protocol in place both at the time of embarkation which is after the release of the passengers and also on arrival of Indian nationals in India.

On the situation in China, you must have seen the regular updates which are being put out by our mission in Beijing. We are monitoring the welfare of Indian nationals on a regular basis and we have advised the people in Wuhan and Hubei province to continue to take precautions and follow instructions of local authorities. You are aware that the Government of India has decided to send an aircraft, a consignment of medical supplies on a relief flight to Wuhan and this is just a small way, a token to express our support to China as it continues its fight against Covid-19 epidemic.

On its return flight, as we have indicated earlier, the aircraft will bring in Indian nationals who could not board the first two flights. Those interested to come back, they have been asked to contact the Embassy and we do understand that we have now collected the names of those people and subject to capacity limitations and other logistics, we will accommodate nationals of other countries as well. The advisory is regarding to and from travel to China remains in place. It is purely to maintain public health so that infection does not spread to different parts of India. As I clarified last time there is no ban on travel to China or from China.

On the update Foreign Secretary has gone on record, he has explained the visit but since the visit was announced simultaneously by India and the United States, a couple of things which I thought I will highlight. This will be President Trump’s first visit to India. We do understand that it would be a standalone visit which is a very significant thing. This will be President Trump’s fifth meeting with Prime Minister Modi in eight months. It reflects the renewed and growing intensity of high level engagements between the two countries. The visit will be brief, very intense, over a span of 36 hours. There are three legs to the visit starting with Ahmedabad, followed by Agra and Delhi.

I thought I will just give you a sense of timing involved for each leg of the visit. I will start with the Ahmedabad leg. President Trump will land around noon and from there he goes to Motera Stadium to address the Namaste Trump event jointly with Prime Minister Modi. This will be very similar to the Howdy event which took place in Houston hosted by Indian American Community in honor of Prime Minister Modi. This will be the first event in the newly build Motera stadium which is the largest cricked stadium in the world. The highlight of the program in Ahmedabad will showcase India’s rich and diverse culture and heritage to President Trump in a public manner that has few parallels in India or elsewhere.

The route from the airport to the stadium, we expect that a large number of people will line up along the route. There will be artisans who will be showcasing their skills, they are performing arts from different states and union territories of India. There are 28 stages that have been set up and they represent various parts of the country and this will also be part of the roadshow. The route will also feature decorations depicting different events in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The city has been very close to him. And as they approach the stadium, outside the stadium again we expect a large number of people to greet the leaders and then they go inside where they address a full capacity crowd and again the audience will be from different parts of the country, different walks of life and again reflecting the diversity of India.

So this goes on till 15:30 and let me just, a word of caution, the timings are still tentative but broadly you can plan based on what I am going to share with you. So, on 15:30 they emplane for Agra. They arrive in Agra an hour later at 16:30 where they spend around a couple of hours and just before sunset they will be there and after that they will emplane for Delhi at 18:30 hrs.

The Delhi leg is the main engagement day. It starts at 10:00 AM with the ceremonial reception which will be followed by paying respect at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat. There will be a restricted and delegation level talk between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi at Hyderabad House and then we come to the exchange of MoUs, agreements, press statement and a banquet lunch which will be hosted by the Prime Minister.

The evening program, there is a meeting with Rashtrapati Ji and Rashtrapati Ji is again hosting a banquet dinner in honor of the visiting dignitaries. We do expect that during the discussions both in the restricted format and delegation level format, we expect that all issues will come up like defense & security, trade & investment, counter-terrorism, energy security, people to people exchanges and we do expect that a certain amount of time will also be devoted to exchange of views on regional and multilateral issues. Both sides are working to showcase the progress in our relationship in a befitting and meaningful manner during the visit. We, of course, are eagerly looking forward to the visit which will provide an opportunity for both leaders to review the bilateral ties and further strengthen the global strategic partnership.

On the outcome itself, we will of course brief you in due course, most probably on 25th immediately after the talks are over. So this is what I had to share on the visit. I now open the floor to questions.

What I will do that I will take all the questions on President Trump’s visit and then move on to other topics.

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - You have outlined topics on which there will be discussions during this visit. I would like to know whether on Kashmir issue, especially on Pakistan sponsored terrorism and which are mutually beneficial for both India and U.S., you have told that there will be discussion on global strategic partnership. So what will be the important points in these discussions, what kind of discussions is going on between India and U.S. to counter Pakistan as there has been an understanding against terrorism, how much focus will be given to that?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - You just told that this will be the fifth meeting between both the heads of states. Can you please tell total number of meetings between the two leaders in last four years?Question: Has India organized any such program for any foreign leader in the past like this Namaste Trump and as in the case of Howdy Modi, our Prime Minister was addressing Indian diaspora. Now whom Trump will be addressing, is this not a political platform we are providing a foreign leader in India?

Question: Just a bit of clarity on the Gandhi Ashram. We don’t know exactly, is he going to visit that place or not?

Question: What is our response to what President Trump said yesterday, India not treating U.S. well?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - There is glitch in President Trump’s program to visit Taj Mahal and that is that their vehicle will not be able to go up to Taj Mahal. So what is the solution proposed or the vehicle would be able to reach up to Taj Mahal?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - Can you please give some information on some major defence deals that are expected to be signed during the visit of the President of U.S.?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:
I will take up this many questions and then we will have another round so that I can recollect.

(Answered in Hindi, approximate translation) - As far as the first question is concerned, there is a very strong cooperation between India and U.S. on the issue of counter terrorism and you must remember that we got unprecedented support from U.S. after the Pulwama attack and U.S. also provided great support to designate terrorists in Pakistan. We hope that this cooperation will further strengthen and as I said there will be discussions on regional issues, and these are all very important issues for both the countries, so there could be talks on counter-terrorism.

Further, I would like to say that there are many questions whether there will be discussion on this or that topic, please note that I have already outlined the broad topics of discussions. It would be very difficult to exactly predict the topics of discussions; however I have broadly indicated the possible topics of discussions.

Someone asked a question about counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the U.S. and I basically said that India and U.S. had very strong counter-terrorism cooperation all these years and this was very much evident in the post-Pulwama phase where U.S. expressed its very strong support. U.S. has also supported us in designating terrorists operating out of Pakistan and we do hope that such cooperation will continue. I also did mention that there will be some discussion on regional situation as well, it is very natural and all these issues will figure in the meeting between the two leaders.

How many total meetings between PM Modi and President Trump, you know in the last eight months this will be the fifth meeting, overall this will be the eighth meeting between the two leaders in the last four years.

There was a question about whether this is a public political platform, you see you have to understand the context of the relationship. I don’t think we view this joint address by the two leaders as directly which is intended to influence the internal politics of the U.S. Even in the past several leaders U.S. presidents, dignitaries, they have also held public events in India although at a much smaller scale so we don’t see this in terms of that perspective.

Gandhi Ashram, as I said that there are certain elements of program which are still being finalized and as and when it happens we will share it with you. Typically the first day’s program, which is the 24th Feb will have a detailed program with the timings as a media advisory which should come to you perhaps on 22nd or 23rd, so please have patience.

On India not treating U.S. well, I think it is important to understand the context under which these remarks were made. Please understand that U.S. is India’s largest trading partner in goods and services if we take them combined.

Please also do keep in mind that there has been a consistent growth in trade between the two countries over the last few years. I think the context was in terms of the balance of trade and in that context the remarks were made. You are also aware that in the last few years efforts have been taken by India to address this particular concern and now U.S. is our sixth largest source of crude oil imports and we are also purchasing a large number of civil aircrafts and we do feel that some of these steps will, kind of bridge the trade deficit which exists at this point of time.

On Taj Mahal, I think you are familiar with the Supreme Court ruling, I think there is a ruling which says that no vehicles allowed within a certain perimeter and that has to be respected. But of course he is a valued guest and alternative arrangements are being made for a very smooth visit to the Taj Mahal.

On the defence deal, Foreign Secretary did mention about some details on what could happen. I think let’s wait for the visit. I can just share with you that there could be some announcements which could be made during the visit but now at this point of time I would not like to share those details on record.

Question: We all know President Trump is extremely, let’s say, savvy when it comes to giving sound bites impromptu off the cuff, has any apprehension been conveyed to the other side, especially on Kashmir or so called mediation or Pakistan or outlook towards Pakistan and handling counter-terrorism, any apprehension that has been conveyed to the American side about any pending or potential diplomatic snafus?

Question: Will there be any discussion on the H1B visa issue now that we know that there may not be a trade deal but aside of that will there be talks on reviewing the H1B visa issue?

Question: Any plans of the first lady, is she going to go to any school because we have heard some reports so if you can shed some light on that?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - During the Howdy Modi event we saw that leaders from both the Republican and Democrats were invited, so have we invited all the opposition leaders for this Namaste Trump event?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - This program is being organized in the world’s largest cricket time and some reports are coming that there might be some play of cricket between the leaders as pitch is being readied for this, so can you give more information on this?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: (Answered in Hindi, approximate translation) - I don’t think there are any such reports anywhere in the media. You are trying to make this news, no one has heard about such reports.

Question: Data localization has been quite a stingy point with the U.S., have there been any talks on this topic or we expect something to come up regarding this?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - What are going to be the major deliverables of this visit?

Question: India has global reputation of being very hospitable but the money that is being spent in hosting President Trump has raised quite a few eyebrows. Can we afford this kind of extravagance?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I will stop here and then maybe take another round. You see, on H1B visa you are aware that we have remained engaged with the administration and the Congress on this issue of movement of Indian professionals. In our engagement we have highlighted the role which is being played by Indian professionals in the partnership. We feel that Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth and development of the U.S. economy and they have also helped the U.S. in retaining the competitive edge and innovation. It is a matter which is very important to us and we do expect that the movement of Indian professionals is part of the agenda which could come up for discussion. Again as I said that there are different formats of talks and what exactly happens we will brief you on the day of the visit but we do expect to come up because it is important topic to us.

On the first lady’s visit, you see I think this is being organized by the U.S. Embassy. I am not very sure if there is any kind of confirmation to the visit but in any case the program is still evolving including of the first lady and if there is an update, if there is a confirmation it will be shared with you but at this point of time I do not have any confirmation about any visit to a school.

On all these issues, our position is very well known to the U.S. side and time and again we have communicated with them, not only with the Congress but also with the State Department, with the White House, so our sensitivities and concerns are well known and we do hope that during the visit things will go on smoothly and we don’t see any such problem coming during the visit.On Howdy Modi program, whether who all are being invited, let me make it very clear that this is an event which is being organized by Donald Trump Naagrik Abhinandan Samiti. They are the ones who are taking a decision on who to be invited so I think this question should be addressed to them.

On the key deliverables, I think we have to understand this visit and see this visit in the context of a certain maturity which we have reached in the relationship and this is something which is missed time and again. You know when you reach a certain maturity in a relationship and we are at that stage at this point of time. There is a growing comfort level between the two countries. There is a good chemistry between the two leaders and also the visit is taking place in the context of regular meetings at high levels between the two countries.

We are aware that both leaders have personally invested in this relationship. Over the years we have seen how the canvas of the relationship has expanded to include newer areas of cooperation and if you can break it down you actually see that there has been huge support to the relationship. A bipartisan support in the Congress as well as from the executive branch and that is reflected in the kind of growth and expansion which we have seen in this relationship in the last few years.

Now let me just give you few examples. If you look at the intensity of ministry level exchanges, I think that is unprecedented. India – U.S., the 2+2 Dialogue which took place in December last year, very successful outcome rich meeting. Our defence relations have expanded significantly and you are familiar with the two agreements which and big agreements like LEMOA and COMCASA. We have initiated a joint Tri-Services HADR Exercise named Tiger Triumph as an annual exercise. US now is the largest trading partner in goods and services and this is growing at a very healthy pace. There is a growing cooperation in counter-terrorism; there is good exchange of views on Indo-Pacific where we have established a very promising partnership.What do we expect, of course when you meet, when visits take place, we do expect all these aspects of the relationship to further strengthen, so when you say key deliverables, you know there is a huge canvas and we do expect that during the visit all these areas will be further strengthened. Of course when a visit takes place the two leaders will meet, there will be an exchange of views on regional and global issues as well but overall we are looking at this visit to strengthen the strategic global partnership between India and the United States. I hope that answers your question.

On data localization, you see I can’t really say in what context it will really come up. There is quite a big agenda which the leaders will have in front of them. This will not be the first time that the discussion will take place. Our views are known and let’s hope that we will be able to share some details on some of the discussions which we have with the U.S. side on the 25th. Look, we have to see any such visit in the context of protocol and security arrangements which have to be made you know and this is very reciprocal. When our Prime Minister visits abroad we do expect such arrangements and facilitation to be done by the other countries as well. So I really don’t understand the big deal here. A certain amount of preparation from the protocol, security and the logistics angle have to be made when you have a head of state which is visiting your country and the preparations which are being made that has to be seen in that context. We got excellent support from the U.S. side during the Howdy Modi event. So I think this is something which is reciprocal, which is part of the diplomatic norm which is extended to a visiting leader and that is how we look at it.

Question: You mentioned about energy security, is there any specific thing likely to happen on the nuclear front because the nuclear deal is kind of stalemated somewhere and also any likelihood on space as both countries are frontline runners?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: I actually have a couple of paras for you which I will satisfy your query. You see on the nuclear cooperation front Westinghouse and NPCIL they are in discussion to build six, 1100 MW reactors at Kovvada, AP. Following resolution of Westinghouse’s bankruptcy issues the two sides are in discussion regarding the division of responsibility of the work. NPCIL has visited the U.S. reference plant to understand the Westinghouse’s modular construction methodology.

On the space side, you see we do have a very long history of cooperation in civil space arena including earth observation, satellite navigation and space exploration. You are aware that there is a joint working group which exists between the two countries which regularly reviews the existing cooperation and identifies new areas. Currently our sides are cooperating in Mars exploration, helio physics and human space flight. On commercial front ISRO has launched 209 satellites from U.S. onboard PSLV as co-passengers. ISRO and NASA, they are together building a microwave remote sensing satellite with dual frequency, L and S band, synthetic aperture radar. NASA will contribute L band radar while ISRO will contribute S band radar and the satellite. So these are matters of detail, I am sure ISRO will be able to share more on this but also to share with you that ISRO is also working with U.S. government agencies for cooperation in safety of space flights through exchange of situational awareness information.

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - As has been seen during visits of PM Modi that he has a meeting with CEOs and business leaders during his visits abroad, so is there any such meeting scheduled for Trump visit?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: (Answered in Hindi, approximate translation) - See, please note that the things which I have not mentioned those are not included in the program as yet. If they are scheduled then they will be added to the program, so till now nothing of this sort has been mentioned. If there is any such meeting, as far as my information goes it is being organized by the U.S. embassy.

I think some meeting is being organized with Indian businessmen but the details will be available with the U.S. Embassy only in this matter.

Question: If there no trade deal on the end of this visit, when do you hope there will be one?

Question: A quick question on science & technology, any MoUs expected and USTR, have you got any confirmation, are we still waiting, what is the latest on USTR being part of the delegation?

Question: Global Terror Financing watchdog FATF announced Pakistan in grey list. Donald Trump is visiting India, Pakistan is in the neighborhood, so is there going to be a discussion on these matters?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: On trade deal, you are aware that we have been engaging with the U.S. for quite some time now. We do hope to reach an understanding with an outcome that strikes the right balance for both sides and these are complex negotiations. We would not like to rush into a deal as the issues involved are complicated and there are many decisions which actually could affect or impact lives of millions of people on the ground and some also with long term economic consequences. So we don’t want to create any artificial deadline.

Discussions are happening and if you look at the history of such trade negotiations and deals, they have taken their own time and in such discussions just creating an artificial deadline that we have to finish this off by a certain time, I don’t think it is a wise decision. I think it is counter-productive. So for us the interest of the people is paramount and when we approach a discussion and enter into such negotiations I think that is right at the top of our mind. At the same time the relationship which we see in terms of trade and services, in terms of investments, they have grown year on year.

The trade itself has grown 10 percent per annum over the last two years. We are also looking at a much more balanced trade with India importing civil aircrafts and securing energy supplies from the U.S. but yes, I think to briefly answer your question, we are engaged and we do hope that we come to a mutually satisfactory deal between the two countries.

On MoUs, you see there are quite a few MoUs and agreements which are under discussion. We are looking at around, I mean I always hesitate to give a number, but around five MoUs are under discussion. We are also looking at a joint statement which will basically capture the essence of the partnership between the two countries. I will not go into the details of the MoUs, I will see if I can, maybe, give you some topics on which MoUs are expected, we are looking at MoUs in the areas of intellectual property for example, in the area of trade facilitation, in the area of homeland security. These are works in progress and we will have much more clearer picture closer to the date.

USTR delegation, you see this will be communicated to us, I am actually not in position to confirm the delegation list of the U.S. side. This is something which is normally shared by them. Once we have a confirmation about the number of minister, we do expect that there will be high level delegation accompanying the President. Those details will be made available to you very soon.

On FATF, as I said, we have had very close cooperation with U.S. on counter-terrorism front. We do hope that proceeding on objective and technical criteria FATF will hold Pakistan accountable for non-compliance of its action plan.

Question: Two small questions, first you talked about India sending a relief plane carrying a lot of relief medical supplies to China. When is it leaving and is the entire list ready? Secondly, recently India detained a cargo vessel carrying missile equipment which was bound to Karachi and it was coming from China, any update on that?

Question: Do we have a number of how many people want to come back from China on this flight and any foreign nationals who have signed up from the neighborhood?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: On the relief flight, you are aware that India has always been the first responder for its friends and neighbors in times of crisis and it was in that spirit that Prime Minister offered all assistance to China in a letter which he wrote to President. We are ready to dispatch the relief package as a token of our support to China as they fight this outbreak. We are actually awaiting the clearance to come from Government of China. So the moment clearance comes, the relief flight will take off.

On the missile, what I do understand at this point of time is that the matter is under investigation by the agencies, you this is a sensitive matter. If they have something to share in the public domain, I am sure they will do that but I don’t have anything beyond that at this stage.

Number of people wanting to come, yes, I think I would rather hesitate to give a figure but we are looking at around, say, 100 people but exercise of compiling the name together is still going on but we are looking at around 100 Indian people who would come back. Look at this stage I really can’t say whether how many we will be able to accommodate, it all depends on the capacity which we have once we have taken into account all the Indians but yes, subject to capacity, if we can, we will be happy to extend this facility to them.

Question: I want your reaction to China objecting to the Home Minister’s visit to the Arunachal Pradesh?

Question: Any request from any other country neighboring country to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan since we have the third evacuation aircraft standby. Second, there have been a lot of reports about the FATF decision on grey list, we do have a representation there at the Joint Secretary level in the FATF ongoing plenary session, any update before the final decision of FATF is announced tomorrow?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - With regards to FATF, I would like to know what has been the position of China, have they backed up Pakistan or they changed their stance? And the stand of Turkey on FATF, you have issued a release few days back and said that Indian Government can take some serious steps, what will be those steps?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: On China’s demarche, on China’s response I’ll have to read out. Our position on Arunachal Pradesh is clear and consistent. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do any other states of India. Objecting to the visit of Indian leaders to a state of India does not stand to reason and understanding of Indian people.

On evacuation request from neighboring countries, I really can’t disclose the number which we have. As I mentioned that we will be able to accommodate subject to capacity, which is available. We have received certain requests but I think those will be out once we have a clearer picture as to how many among the Indian nationals have signed up to come back.

On FATF, we are all aware that the plenary is going on and tomorrow is the last day of the plenary and the progress made by Pakistan is being evaluated on set criteria but at the same time I would like to point out that discussions FATF are all confidential, so who supported whom and at what level, please understand it’s a technical body and that is why I would not like to comment on the goings on within the FATF, they have a job to do but at the same time as I mentioned earlier, that we hope that the proceeding on objective and technical criteria FATF will hold Pakistan accountable for non-compliance.

Question: The Secretary General of United Nations has described CAA as a law which will lead to possible statelessness of Indian Muslims, what do you have to say about that?

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - I would like an update on particular case regarding a stranded woman named Sonali Thakkar on the Japanese ship. She has made an appeal to the Indian government, her family has also appealed to the PM to rescue her. She has said that her test has been negative and other people there are affected, so she fears that she might get the infection, so she has requested rescue from the Indian government.

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:
(Answered in Hindi, approximate translation) - See, we have 138 Indian nationals there, 132 are crew members and 6 are passengers and the number of infected people is 8, rest all of them are not infected. Here you need to keep in mind that it is not about any one individual. There is a health protocol which is in place both in Japan and here in India. So whenever we will start the process of evacuation it will be for everybody. It wouldn’t be like we will evacuate one individual and then we evacuate somebody else, this is not the process. Rest assured that our embassy in Japan is constantly in touch with everybody on this, they are in touch with Japanese government and authority and whatever is required will definitely be done.

On envoys, we have already issued a statement on his remarks. I think he made few comments, he made comments on Jammu & Kashmir he also made comments on some other aspects of India including NRC as well. What we have emphasized and what we would like to emphasize that our position has not changed, our position on Jammu & Kashmir has been clear and consistent. It continues to be an integral part of India and at the same time we did say, we hope that UN Secretary General would emphasize on the imperative for Pakistan to take credible, sustained and irreversible action to put an end to cross-border terrorism against India which threatens the most fundamental human right, the right to life, of the people of India including J&K.

(Answered in Hindi, approximate translation) - There was a question on Turkey, you must be aware that we have issued a statement and in that we have said in very strict terms that we will not tolerate the continuous interference of Turkey in our internal matters. Along with that this interference will impact our bilateral relationship. Now, I would not like to tell form this forum what will be the impact of this. As I said they need to understand there will be repercussions and we hope they will understand our old relations and take necessary steps of controlling themselves on such issues.

Question: (Asked in Hindi, approximate translation) - UK Parliamentarian Debbie Abrahams, who had a visa problem in India recently, as her visa was rejected. She is now in Pakistan, there is an ABKP all parliamentary group of UK and she has made statement that India’s record of human rights is very poor while it is very good in Pakistan, so how do you look at this connection?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:
(Answered in Hindi, approximate translation) - Connection is evident because as we have also said earlier that when she was coming to India at that time she did not have a valid Indian visa. She came here without a valid Indian visa and hence she was respectfully sent back from the Delhi Airport. And we believe their statements are anti-India and there has been a sustained anti-India campaign from her side.

Question Contd.: ……………. Inaudible………..

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: (Answered in Hindi, approximate translation) - That is what I am saying that we need to understand that there is an e-visa, and after that there is something which is called cancellation of e-visa. So there was an e-visa and that e-visa was cancelled.

Question: On this Debbie Abrahams case, is there some clarity as to what event or program she had, was there some invite to her and POTUS and FLOTUS, do we have the names of the ministers in waiting?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:
No, the names of ministers normally we don’t announce. I have that but I will not announce. On Debbie Abrahams, she claimed that she was here to meet family and friends that is what she has said in her statement or statement by her aide. I think it is important to understand that she was in position, even if we presume that she had a visa or ETA that was issued for a business purpose. It was a business ETA and business ETA can’t be used for a primary purpose of meeting family and friends. You can do that, I mean I don’t say that if you have a business e-visa you can’t meet friends but the main purpose has to be recorded in the request which you have made. So in this case what she projected was to meet family and friends, we don’t know because she never could enter into India.

I thank you all for joining that was a very interesting session. Thank you very much.


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