China to relent on stapled visas for Kashmiris

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2010 00:44 IST

Even as New Delhi gets ready to welcome US president Barack Obama on Sunday, ties with China may also be in for a welcome boost.

A month ahead of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s India visit, the buzz in diplomatic circles indicate Beijing is willing to review its policy of issuing stapled visas to Jammu & Kasmhir residents.

India has protested the practice, asserting uniform visas must be issued to all Indians irrespective of domicile and ethnicity.

The announcement calling off the policy is likely to coincide with Jiabao’s New Delhi visit, say government officials.

A government source credited the signs of thaw to the recent meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Jiabao, followed by the visit of Zhou Yongkang, a key member of the Chinese Communist Party politburo, this week.

Yongkang, who’s been preparing ground for Jiabao’s visit in the second week of December, stressed on removing all "irritants in ties", egging external affairs minister SM Krishna to “jump the wall”. Krishna replied saying he’d already climbed the "great wall" (during his visit to China two years ago).


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