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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

India criticises China over stapled visas for archers

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  On Board, October 12, 2013
First Published: 23:42 IST(12/10/2013) | Last Updated: 01:30 IST(13/10/2013)

India on Saturday termed as “unsavoury and unacceptable” the Chinese decision to issue stapled visa to two archers from Arunachal Pradesh. “We regret that these two young archers could not go to China because of this issue,” external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said.

Mihu Maselo and Yumi Sorang — both 14 — were disallowed by Chinese authorities from boarding a Guangzhou-bound flight at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to participate in the upcoming youth world archery championship as they had not affixed stapled visas on their passports.

But this is not new. China has been issuing stapled visas to Arunachal Pradesh residents as its claims parts of the state as its own, and also those belonging to Jammu and Kashmir which it considers a “disputed” territory.

Khurshid said the Indian government has its own standard procedures to deal with such periodic events. “In the past, we have resolved these issues with these procedures, sometimes through diplomatic means and sometimes through just the passage of time,” he said.

India follows a two-track approach with China. They collaborate, cooperate and move forward in areas with no differences. Simultaneously, they handle differences in perception on the boundary issue through established mechanisms.

About Pakistan, Khurshid termed “unwelcome and extremely upsetting”, saying “the army is dealing with it but I can’t say it is conducive to a faster movement towards normalisation.”

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