Valley academic stopped from flying to China
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Nov 2: A Kashmiri professor became the fresh victim of the row between China and India over issuance of separate visa to Kashmiris, as the Indian immigration authorities stopped him at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday while he was boarding a plane to China to receive a prestigious award.
Dr Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, associate professor, Department of Geology and Geophysics Kashmir University, was proceeding to China to receive the Kasumigaura International Award for his research work on ‘Pollution Modelling of Himalayan Lakes’ on November 2 during the 13th World Lake Conference at Wuhan.
“After I cleared the immigration check, I was stopped from boarding a plane of China Southern Airlines by the Indian immigration authorities. When I protested, they said as the visa granted by the Chinese Embassy did not mention my nationality as an Indian, I can’t board the plane,” Romshoo told Greater Kashmir from New Delhi.
Romshoo said he had travelled to 30 countries including US and even China. “But I never faced such problem. I showed the immigration authorities my standing visa of US and Japan but my requests to board the plane met with deaf ears. I left the Airport dejected,” he said.
From this year, Chinese Embassy in New Delhi has been issuing stapled visas to Kashmiris on a separate sheet of paper and not on their passports. China has adopted the same procedure for travellers from Arunachal Pradesh saying it was a disputed territory.
India has been lodging strong protests against China’s travel procedure for Kashmiris terming it an attempt to question the status of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India. It has been asking Beijing to “stop discriminating against Indian nationals on the basis of their ethnicity and domicile.”
Romshoo said he took up the matter with the Chinese authorities. “But they said it is their policy to issue separate visa to Kashmiri. “It is our policy to grant separate visa to Kashmiris. We have nothing against Kashmiris. The problem lies with India,” he quoted the Chinese authorities.
During past some months, Indian immigration authorities have stopped several Kashmiri students and businessmen from boarding flights to China.
Pertinently the relations between India and China turned sour after the latter’s troops reportedly entered into Ladakh territory. India had even threatened Beijing to either stop the new visa practice ‘right away or face a similar discriminatory regime in processing of Chinese applications for Indian visa.’
Notwithstanding India’s resentment, China has been maintaining its stand, terming it as correct and valid.
“In the tussle between China and India, why should Kashmiris suffer?” Romshoo asked.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 3 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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