Ahead of Singh-Jintao meet, Beijing issue normal visas to Kashmiri journalists

April 11th, 2011 - 10:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh By Naveen Kapoor

New Delhi, Apr 11(ANI): Ahead of the BRICS summit in China’s resort town of Sanya, where Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will be meeting Chinese President Hu Jintao on the margins of summit, China has sent positive feelers, showing signs of reversal of its rigid stapled visa policy vis-a-vis Indian citizens of Jammu and Kashmir domicile.

As many as four New Delhi-based journalists, born in Jammu and Kashmir, will be part of the media delegation accompanying Dr. Singh.

They have all been given proper visas pasted on their passports by the Chinese Embassy here.

While three of the journalists are from news agencies, one is from the All India Radio.

Since 2008, China has been issuing stapled visas to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, which India views as an attempt to question its territorial integrity. Last year, India had temporarily suspended defense ties with China over the issue.

India considers stapled visas as invalid and has raised the issue with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India last year.

Jiabao during his visit assured that China takes India’s concerns seriously and asked officials to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, there is no official confirmation from Chinese embassy that whether there is any change in Beijing visa policy. The Chinese embassy refused to comment on the issue and according government sources there is no official word from China on the issue.

Earlier, briefing reporters, MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said: “Let me take you back on the visit of Wen Jiabao, the issue on visas came up during the visit and it had been agreed that both sides would be meeting and would be putting our heads together to work towards early resolution of the issue that is where the matter is”.

Dr. Singh and Jintao will be meeting on Wednesday and the issue of staple visa could come up during the talks, ball is in China’s court because India has consistently said that
China has tied the knot it has to untie it.

Other than staple visas, reports of Chinese presence in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, deepening Sino-Pak defence ties and cooperation in the field of nuclear energy with Pakistan have also remained major irritants in the relationship between two Asian giants. (ANI)

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