01 October 2009

Delhi upset over separate Chinese visas for Kashmiris

The message as seen by the Indian side: China does not believe Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and is, in a sense, reiterating its intent to make territorial claims there...

30 September 2009
The Hindu

Delhi upset over separate Chinese visas for Kashmiris

Siddharth Varadarajan

New Delhi: In a move that has puzzled and annoyed South Block, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi has begun issuing visas to Indian passport holders from Jammu and Kashmir on a separate sheet of paper rather than stamping them in their passports as is the norm with other Indian citizens. Though it is not clear when the new Chinese policy started or what prompted Beijing to adopt it, immigration authorities at Delhi airport first started noticing the standalone visas a few weeks ago. The Bureau of Immigration, which is run by the Ministry of Home Affairs, initially assumed these visas to be fake and turned the unfortunate travellers – all of them Kashmiri students or businessmen – away. But when some of them returned with letters from the Chinese embassy declaring the visas to be genuine, the matter was referred to the Ministry of External Affairs.

With the Chinese issuing “stapled visas” to the handful of Indian passport holders from Arunachal Pradesh who have travelled to China since 2007, the MEA saw in Beijing’s latest move an attempt to question the status of Jammu and Kashmir. The immigration authorities were told to treat any visa that is not stamped on a passport as invalid for the purposes of travel. Simultaneously, the issue was taken up with the Chinese authorities, MEA officials told The Hindu.

Although the People’s Republic of China embassy in Delhi said it would not officially comment on the matter, Chinese diplomats told The Hindu that the practice of issuing visas on a separate piece of paper is not new. “This kind of visa is one category of Chinese visa. It is valid. This has been practised for many years. Upon the implementation of this, a note was sent to your immigration authorities. All the visa holders of this kind have not met any problem in the past in your custom/border control,” an embassy official said on condition of anonymity.

The MEA denies the contention that India has only now started objecting to some pre-existing Chinese practice of issuing Kashmiri domicile passport holders visas on a separate sheet of paper. “What the Chinese are doing is definitely new and we have taken a serious view of it,” an MEA official said.


Anonymous said...

China is a hostile power that will do anything to poke, prod, thwart and throttle India's ascent. The sooner our policy makers develop a spine and take on the PRC's hegemons, the better it will be for India's future.

I'm sure however that the resident Chinese puppets in India, including a certain newspaper editor, will try to minimize this and other Chinese provocations.

Unknown said...

China's relation with India is a cynical one ! at one hand it wants to improve relations with india and on the other it uses tactics like that of this latest Visa style !!!

not surprsingly chinese dynamics is often supplemented by unassertive indian foreign policy !!

Sudhir said...

Our statement does not even contain the word "outraged", when that is precisely what we have to feel. Atleast previously, our statements used to be strongly worded. Have we even stopped being assertive in our statements too?

- Sudhir

Anonymous said...

Rather than pointing fingers at China, I would say, our politicians and bureaucrats or spineless cowards. The Nehru era pols are a sin to our society. Congress is a bunch of cowards, who will not stand against even Bangladeshis, our own creation leave alone China.
When our politicians, start to put our own national interest above everything else, when it comes to foreign policies, no amount development efforts by millions of other enthusiastic individuals is in peril, and we will be looked down by every other country in the world.
I wish there is a magic wand we have to some how make the pols disappear once and for all. To let the country to be administered by patriotic nationals.

Anonymous said...

China needs to handover Mansarovar and Kailash - Disputed territory. India needs to claim them for cultural reasons. Besides keep nukes prepared.

Anonymous said...

India should give visa to tibetian people as from nation of tibet. As tibet is DISPUTED territory.