Friday, October 16, 2009

Hands off Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, India tells China

A day after China protested Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, and in a departure from its usual stand that simply restates the Indian position, New Delhi yesterday (October 15) criticised China for deciding to help Islamabad set up projects in those areas of Jammu and Kashmir 'illegally' occupied by Pakistan.

Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee also categorically rejected Chinese denunciation of Singh's Arunachal trip, asserting that the state is an integral part of the country, and the Prime Minister has every right to visit it.

The Indian response came even as a Chinese official newspaper yesterday said that an “overwhelming majority” of its web users were against the “frequent” visits to the “disputed area” by Indian leaders.

"We hope that the Chinese side will take a long term view of the India-China relations, and cease such activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan," external affairs ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said.

During a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on October 14, Chinese President Hu Jintao had talked about upgrading the Karakoram highway that connects China and Pakistan and help with a hydroelectric project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"We have seen the Xinhua report quoting the president of China as stating that China will continue to engage in projects with Pakistan inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir," Prakash said.

In India's eyes, Pakistan was in "illegal occupation" of parts of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947, he said. "The Chinese side is fully aware of India's position and our concerns about Chinese activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir," he said.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, speaking in Kolkata, made it clear that "Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India" and that the just-concluded Assembly elections were held under the Indian constitution.
"It was therefore appropriate that the Prime Minister of the country should visit Arunachal Pradesh as leader of the Congress for election campaign," Mukherjee said.

Beijing on October 14 had come out with an unusually strong criticism of Singh's visit to the border state on October 3 to campaign for the just concluded Assembly elections there, a statement that India rejected immediately.

On October 14, it appeared to up the ante, with the government-run Global Times reporting that 96 per cent of respondents of an Online poll conducted by, the website of its Chinese edition were against the “frequent” visits to the “disputed area” by Indian leaders.

Meanwhile, Indian Air Force vice-chief Air Marshal PK Barbora said the IAF does not “fear” the Chinese military and that the neighbour should not have any problem with India’s upgrading of airstrips in the North-East. Air Marshal Barbora said Chinese reactions to the PM's visit to the border state should be “read between the lines,” as democratic elections were taking place in the state.

He noted that China had made no comment when Indian President Pratibha Patil went to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh earlier this year.

Home minister P Chidambaram, in Srinagar, Kashmir told reporters that India has made it clear to China it will only issue employment visas to its highly skilled workers and that it has decided against giving business visas.

The Opposition BJP termed the government's response to China's remarks on Dr Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh as “timid” and demanded an all-party meeting on the Chinese issue which will discuss the entire gamut of India's relationship with the country.

US Ambassador to India, Mr Timothy Roemer, who is visiting Kolkata, declined to comment on the ongoing diplomatic spat between India and China on the question of Arunachal Pradesh, but said the USA “respects the participation and the verdict of so many people of Arunachal Pradesh in the elections there.”

In Shimla, the Tibetan government-in-exile said China's objection to Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh was “absurd”. Mr Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the government-in-exile, also said the visit of the Dalai Lama to the state next month would be as per schedule.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Track with co.mments

Seesmic Updates

(Loading ...)
Add to Mixx!

Stumble Upon Toolbar I'm on pownce
    follow me on Twitter
    Locations of visitors to this page
    eXTReMe Tracker

    Find the best blogs at

    Visit to discover Indian blogs BlogFlux Tools Blog directory Progressive Bloggers Blog Search blog directory
    My LIVE Mobile Update(when powered by Matrix SIM) Free Meta Tag Generator

    Plaxo Badge

    Don't copy

    Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape Note: Copyright © 2000-2008 S.Chatterjee. All Rights Reserved. | Copyright © 2000-2008 Whatanews4u. All Rights Reserved.
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.