The visa pinpricks continue.
Chinese authorities have advised Delhi to keep people from Jammu & Kashmir and the Northeast out of a proposed delegation to Beijing under a cultural exchange programme, prompting the government to put the plan on hold.
Beijing does not usually stamp visas on passports of inhabitants of Arunachal Prad-esh and J&K. Instead, visas are stapled to the passport that Indian immigration authorities refuse to recognise as valid.
Sources said the “suggestion” was received early in August. The team was to leave for Beij-ing this month. This time,
China did not make an issue of just one state — Arunachal Pradesh — but the entire Northeast.
“The Chinese suggestion has been referred to the I&B Ministry for appropriate action,” a government official said.
A written request from HT to the Ministry of External Affairs has remained unanswered for more than a week.
The Chinese Embassy spokesperson in Delhi did not comment on the suggestion. The spokesperson, however, insisted Beijing was keen on media interaction between the two countries.
“We hold media interaction, like the business interaction, will go a long way in promoting with ties between our two countries” the spokesperson said, emphasising efforts were on to have active interaction between journalists in the two countries.