PM urged to discuss Arunachal visa issue with Wen

Arunachal Pradesh Congress leader Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao the issue of denial of visa by that country to officials from the state.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 22:19 PM IST

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Congress
leader Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
to raise with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao the issue of
denial of visa by that country to officials from the state.

At a time when the issue of stapled visa to Kashmiris
is being taken up with Wen, it is pertinent to raise the
Arunachalee visa issue also, Rijiju said in a letter to Singh.
India can `politely but firmly` tell China that while
the talks on the boundary issue can go on and is likely to
take a long time, officials from Arunachal Pradesh may be
issued normal visas for a better bond between the two Asian
giants, the letter which was released to the media here said.

"It is a great opportunity to strike a deal with China
through our persuasion and convince them about the rationality
of the issue.

"Arunachal Pradesh has become a prisoner of its
frontiers. Eighty-five per cent of our international boundary
is with China and unless we get access to China through trade
and people-to-people contact, Arunachal will remain a land
beyond horizon," Rijiju said in the letter.

He said China was increasingly becoming the hub of
global economy and major international events and activities
were taking place in that country.
"Due to rejection of visas to the officials from the
state we are denied attending and taking parts in such vital
events. As China has become India`s largest trade partner our
engagement is bound to grow deeper."

He appreciated that the two countries are engaged in
dialogues to build confidence, including talks on boundary
disputes.

"Although the people of Arunachal Pradesh do not think
that the state is a disputed territory but to Chinese position
India is talking on boundary issues, including McMohan Line in
the state," the letter said.

PTI