Defence minister AK Antony on Thursday said that issuing of stapled visa by China to two residents of Arunachal Pradesh was unacceptable to India, even as the Chinese move had foxed New Delhi.
"We have conveyed it (to China). This is not acceptable to India." But the issuing of the stapled visa in many ways is seen as a noteworthy development.
For, Chinese have been refusing visa to the residents of Arunanchal Pradesh as Beijing considers it a part of China. But the issuance of stapled visas can be interpreted as China considering it a disputed territory. Issuing stapled visa to the residents of Jammu & Kashmir since 2008, meant that China sees it as a disputed territory.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials made it clear that it will not issue visas to any official from Arunachal Pradesh, will continue to issue stapled visas to non-officials from that state. A Chinese official here said, "There is no change in our visa policy for residents of Arunachal Pradesh. China does not issue visas to officials from that state and will still not do it. For non-officials, we only issue stapled visas," the official said.
The incident of issuance of stapled visas to residents of Arunachal Pradesh came to light when two sportsmen from that state were prevented by immigration officials from boarding a flight yesterday from New Delhi to Beijing since they had stapled visas given by Chinese Embassy on their passports.
Maintaining both the athletes are reportedly domiciles of Arunachal Pradesh, the ministry recalled that a travel advisory had been issued in November, 2009 cautioning Indian citizens that Chinese visas stapled to passports were not valid for travel outside the country.