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Modi visa issue has hit Indo-US ties: Advani

Last updated on: March 20, 2005 21:39 IST

Continuing his tirade against the United States for its decision to deny Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a visa, Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani on Sunday said the world's only super power was big in size, but probably small in wisdom.

"The US is a large country, but I doubt if it has an intelligence to match," Advani quipped while inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the Shri Nagpur Gujarati Mandal in Nagpur.

It appeared that the US had not applied sufficient intelligence while denying a visa to Modi, he said.

Advani reiterated that the decision was an assault on India's sovereignty and an insult to the entire country. Even the BJP's traditional political opponents had condemned the decision, he noted.

Later, speaking to newspersons, Advani said the US must honour Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's request to reconsider the decision because this was the wish of the Indian people.

Advani said the US probably did not realise the damage that the decision had caused to the relations between the two countries. "One wrong decision can ruin the cordial relations that have been developed over the years," he said.

Describing the decision as unprecedented, Advani said the US government had not denied a visa to any foreign national 'in the last 20 years'. The last such instance was in 1987, when Kurt Waldiem of Austria was denied entry because of his alleged involvement in the genocide in Germany during the dark days of Nazi rule, Advani said.

India had the best record in the world in religious tolerance, Advani said, adding some countries had officially adopted a certain religion and were so fanatical about it that individuals from other beliefs were not even allowed to perform their rites and read their holy books.

"No individual from any such (religiously fanatical) country had ever been denied a visa by the US," he said.

"I do not wish to say anything else on the matter," was Advani's cryptic reply when asked to comment on reports that the US decision was based on a report of the National Human Rights Commission. "I will make my observations at the public meeting in Ahmedabad (slated to be held later in the day)," he said.

Earlier reports:

Modi may face protests during UK visit

Modi to address US associations via satellite

Hoteliers cancel Modi invite


Anand Bhisey in Nagpur