NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday summoned a top US diplomat to express indignation over reports of the government and BJP being spied upon by the US National Security Agency (NSA) — even as US officials are expected to land in Delhi in July to ramp up engagement before the Modi-Obama summit. South Block had neatly bookended its schedule with two US-related events. At 10 am, two senior US diplomats trooped into the building and were told that India found the NSA authorisations, if true, “highly objectionable” and “unacceptable”. They promised to revert after getting feedback from the US. The US Embassy here is currently headed by charge d’affaires Kathleen Stephens.
A little after 4 pm, US senator John McCain walked into South Block to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. But, a previously scheduled press meet was cancelled, with media handlers worried that he would be posed unnecessary questions on the NSA spying.
MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said India has “communicated” to the US that “we have seen reports in the US media regarding authorisation given to entities of the US government to intrude upon the privacy of communication of the Indian government, its citizens and its entities”. “We have asked the US if such intrusions had indeed been authorised and taken place. Our view is that, should this have happened, these are highly objectionable,” Akbaruddin asserted.