Thursday, October 1, 2009

Indian media raises visa war

Indian media today played up “issuing of a loose visa” to Kashmiris by China, describing it as a part of the Chinese “aggressive posturing.” Scores of Kashmiris have traveled to China on visas that were stamped in their passports rather than stapled to it. Last month, major newspapers of Kashmir carried news stories on the issue accusing the Indian government of refusing to entertain the loose visas to Kashmiri students. Interestingly, in Kashmir concern was not why the loose visas are being issued to Kashmiri students instead it was why the Indian authorities were not accepting the loose visas.

However, India media perceived it as major shock and some media channels today run the story as “China’s visa shocker.”  

The experts invited by the different news channels asked New Delhi to pay Beijing in the same coin. Bharat Verma, the editor of the Indian Defence Journal said that the India should respond by giving same visa to residents of Tibet and Xinjiang province of China. He said those who visit China on these visas shouldn’t be allowed to come. Braham Challeny, noted defence experts however said the China by issuing loose visas to Kashmiris is openly describing “Indian Jammu and Kashmir” as disputed. He said India should raise issue of occupation of “1/5th of Jammu and Kashmir presently under Chinese occupation.” He however said Indian government wouldn’t react to the development. “It (India) has not responded to Chinese incursions, which is more serious a threat and I don’t expect they would react to the passport issue,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory to all the airports that Indian established norms be followed and paper visa should not be accepted at all.

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