PM apologises to Pak activist | india | Hindustan Times
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PM apologises to Pak activist

He expresses regret to Asma Jahangir for search of her guesthouse room in Delhi by police during her visit to India. Search was part of I-Day security drill.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2006 07:16 IST

Shortly before she left Delhi on Thursday, Pakistan's leading human-rights activist Asma Jahangir received a call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who apologised for the "inconvenience" caused to her during a police search.

"She thanked the PM who invited her to visit India again," said Sanjaya Baru, the PM's media adviser. Singh's gesture should appease sentiments that were ruffled after policemen searched Jahangir's room in La Sagrita, a guesthouse at Sunder Nagar, on Monday. The check, part of pre-Independence Day security drill, was followed by a flurry of calls from the Pak media.

Jahangir was here to attend a meeting of the South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), headed by former prime minister IK Gujral.

Says Shiranthi Jayatilaka, SAHR's executive director: "Around 8.30 p.m., I got a call from the reception that the police wanted to search Asma's room. She asked me to let them in. The officer checked her baggage and that of some delegates."

The police have ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. But a top police officer said they were not targeting any individual: "It was a routine exercise as certain guesthouses had come in for adverse notice in the past."

Former parliamentarian Kuldip Nayyar said Gujral later wrote to the PM that "Asma is deeply touched by your gesture. We in SAHR have been rid of the humiliation that an ill-conceived police action had caused".