New Delhi: China appears to be finally
responding to India`s concerns over the issuance of stapled
visas to people of Jammu and Kashmir, a matter taken up
recently by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Chinese
counterpart Wen Jiabao.
In a move indicative of shift in Chinese policy on Jammu
and Kashmir, Tanya Gupta, a singer from the state has been
issued a stamped visa, instead of a stapled one, to travel to
perform at the closing ceremony of the ongoing Asian Games in
Guangzhou on November 27.
The Chinese have been issuing visa on a separate sheet,
stapled to the passports of residents of Jammu and Kashmir for
more than an year, thereby questioning state`s status as the
integral part of India.
When contacted, Chinese embassy officials here said, "it
might be an indication of a shift in visa policy of China for
the Jammu and Kashmir residents."
The officials were also quick to mention that the issue
was once again expected to be raised by India during Wen`s
visit here next month.
"Though it is for two sides to come to terms with the
matter. But the development might be an indication of a shift
in policy," they said.
However, they said Gupta was invited by the Organising
Committee of the Asian Games and was issued a photo pass to
travel to China.
Singh stressed the need for India and China to show
sensitivity to each other`s core issues while meeting Wen in
Hanoi last month on the margins of ASEAN summit.
Though National Security Adviser Shivshanker Menon did
not spell these core issues while briefing the press in Hanoi,
it is clear that the border dispute and policy shift of China
on Kashmir are crucial for India and Tibet is a core concern
Beijing also appears not to be much bothered about a
prestigious Indian University Jamia Millia Islamia conferring
an honorary doctorate on Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama,
with officials maintaining that "it is an academic decision
and not a government decision."
With the Chinese premier scheduled to visit India on
December 16, the move to honour the Dalai Lama is seen as a
signal by New Delhi that it will be less sensitive to
Beijing`s concerns if its own concerns are not addressed.