“I wouldn’t necessarily look at this as some sort of pattern, but rather two separate incidents,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said yesterday, as the treatment meted out to the star sparked widespread condemnation in India.
Khan was detained at a New York airport for over two hours by immigration officials after arriving from India in a private plane with Nita Ambani, to address students at Yale University here.
This is second such incident happening with the popular Bollywood Super Star in the US. Khan was also detained in 2009 at the Newark Airport in New Jersey.
The State Department spokesman suggested that people wanting to avoid such situation should inform the US Embassy in New Delhi about their stature and their travel plans.
“There is a programme whereby travelers can alert, identify their status before they depart via the embassy. And that’s one approach or avenue to take,” he said.
Toner ruled out it being a case of racial profiling.
“I think we all know that that’s clearly not the case. You know, the fact of the matter is tens of thousands of Muslims travel to and from the US every day and are not detained or delayed,” Toner said.