India imprints own map of Arunachal, Aksai Chin on visas issued to Chinese nationals

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 24, 2012 05:08 hrs

New Delhi: India has strongly protested against China's attempt to show Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin in Jammu and Kashmir as its territory in its newly launched e-passports. It has also imprinted its own map on visas being issued to Chinese nationals.

"We are not prepared to accept it," said External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday evening.

"We, therefore, ensure that our flags of disagreement are put out immediately when something happens. We can do it in an agreeable way or you can do it in a disagreeable way," he added.

Government sources said that they noticed these e-passports a few weeks ago after which they took up the matter with the Chinese foreign ministry describing the development as unacceptable.

"It was when nothing happened that we informed them that if this practice continues, we will respond to it by putting our map on visas which we give to Chinese nationals," said an official source.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said the issued needed to be dealt with in a "level-headed and rational manner".

China has in the past repeatedly issued stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, terming it as a "disputed territory" and denied visas to those hailing from Arunachal Pradesh.

On Thursday, the government had said in Parliament that China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 square kilometers in Jammu and Kashmir. 

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