Washington- The nine-year US visa ban on Narendra Modi will automatically be lifted and he would enjoy diplomatic immunity if he becomes the prime minister, an Indian quoting US Congressional report said today.
"Modi is widely considered to be one of the front-runners as prime ministerial candidate of his Bharatiya Janata Party. If Narendra Modi were to become Prime Minister of India, he would automatically be eligible for an A-1 (diplomatic) visa as head of state, regardless of the purpose of his visit," the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its communication to US lawmakers.
In 2005, the US had denied visa to Modi in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots in which thousands Muslims were killed in supervision of Modi government and has since not revoked its decision. The seven-page report 'Visa Policy: the case of Narendra Modi' was prepared by the CRS — an independent and bipartisan wing of the US Congress — at the request of several lawmakers who have been opposed to a US visa to Modi.
The views and reports of the CRS are meant to keep the lawmakers informed and is non-binding either on the Congress or the US Government. "On the other hand, the Gujarat high court continues to criticize chief minister Modi for his 'inaction and negligence' during the violence," the report said.
The report said Modi as the Prime Minister would enjoy diplomatic immunity. However, it is only US President Barack Obama who can exercise his authority to deny a visa to Modi as the Prime Minister of India if he deems that would be detrimental to the American interest. In August 2011, Obama had issued a proclamation in this regard pertaining to foreign nationals involved in war crime or systematic violence systematic against civilian populations.