The United States government has apologized to former President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and its Indian counterparts, over an incident involving the frisking of Kalam at New York City's JFK International Airport.
In a written apology to the Indian government, the U.S. admitted that "appropriate procedure for expedited screening of dignitaries had not been followed", according to a report in The Indian Express. Expressing regret over the incident, the statement added that the U.S. deeply regretted the inconvenience that resulted all around.
The former Indian President had been frisked twice, while on a Sept. 29 flight to New York.
The incident had provoked a sharp response from the Indian authorities, with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna directing Nirupama Rao, the country's envoy to the U.S. to take up the matter at the "highest level".
The U.S. statement, apparently, also sought to reassure the Indian government that such incidents would not be repeated in the future and also expressed a desire for future strategic partnerships with India, including the preparation of a list of VIPs who would be exempt from such unwarranted intrusions.
This is not the first time that Kalam has had to submit to such procedures. In 2009, he was frisked by staff from Continental Airlines, while at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, despite his name being in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security's list of people exempt from security checks.