India for early resolution of stapled visa issue

India wants an early resolution of the contentious stapled visa issue with China as allowing it to "fester" for long could lead to a negative impact on Indo-China relations.

New Delhi: India wants an early resolution
of the contentious stapled visa issue with China as allowing
it to "fester" for long could lead to a negative impact on the
overall relations between the two countries.

Underlining the seriousness India attaches to the
issue, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said, China also knows
the importance of the matter and New Delhi cannot accept the
status quo on it.

"They understand the seriousness and the importance that
we attach to this issue because we wanted results. We cannot
accept the status quo on this. Therefore, what he (Premier Wen
Jiabao) told Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) was that we need
to sort this out," Rao told Karan Thapar on CNBCTV 18`s India
Tonight programme.

Noting that the issue should be settled quickly, she
said unless it may have a negative impact on the relationship
between the two countries.

"I am sure the Chinese see the impact of this on the
relationship. It has not had a good impact on the
relationship," she said, adding that Wen`s visit here last
week had a "further stabilising effect" on the relationship.

Rao said India has been putting across its message on
Jammu and Kashmir, particularly on the stapled visa issue
"which directly seems to question our sovereignty over Jammu
and Kashmir," very clearly that it would like to see more
positive statements of support on it from China.

Asked about China being non-committal on supporting
India`s candidature for a UNSC seat, Rao said China has been
looking at the issue "with a lot of interest and they are
absorbed in the debate that is developing on this issue."

"I think they understand that this particular issue
about permanent membership is very important for many of the
aspiring members including India," she said, observing that
when it comes to the ultimate decision, China is unlikely to
"stand in the way".

"They would not want to stand against the groundswell,"
she said.

Asked why the joint statement issued after talks between
Wen and Singh did not mention 26/11 and bringing the culprits
of the carnage to book, she said one has to be realistic about
the Sino-India ties and the kind of relationship Beijing has
with Pakistan.

"China and Pakistan have a very close strategic
consensus on many issues, and the depth of that relationship
is known to all of us. So, we have a very realistic
appreciation of where we stand with China on a number of these
issues," she said.

On why for the first time in 15-20 years, India`s
commitment to a One-China policy did not figure in the joint
statement, Rao said the Chinese side understands New Delhi`s
long-stated position on the issues and no need was felt to
reiterate it.

"Because it is assumed that the One-China policy has
not changed," she said.

PTI

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