Intro: India has been protesting and maintaining it does not recogonise stapled visa, but China still continues to issue the visa to the residents of Arunachal Pradesh.
Every time a person from India’s Jammu and Kashmir or Arunachal Pradesh applies for visa with the Chinese embassy to travel to China, there is a possibility that he or she might be given stapled visa. China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of it, wants to keep the border dispute alive. China, having encroached Tibet, has now set its sight on Arunachal Pradesh to which it refers as South Tibet. Over the years, it has increased its incursions in the Indian side and is building pressure on the Government of India to expedite the talks on the boundary agreement.
Recently at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval said India has to be prepared for a two-front war and build deterrence that ensures conflicts is not an option for its adversaries. Doval here was referring to hostile neighbours Pakistan and China, both have nuclear arsenal and have border disputes with India.
“Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on a two-day visit to India, said “China has resorted to a special arrangement of issuance of stapled visa to address the need for travel of local people. This gesture is out of goodwill and flexibility and if we do not do that we will not be able to address the concern of outbound and overseas travel of these people”. This goodwill gesture is nothing but a covert attempt on the part of China to lay its claim on Arunachal Pradesh in the near future. In one such instance, China had issued a stapled visa to a person born in Jammu and Kashmir and this person was offloaded by the immigration authorities at the Delhi airport. This clearly shows the nexus between China and Pakistan against India.
China has to understand if at all it’s goodwill gesture is required it is definitely in Tibet region, where average Tibetans feel their voice is being stifled and they are being reduced to minority with the influx of Han Chinese. How can India accept China’s offer of goodwill gesture when it talks of six wars to be fought with its immediate neighbours and in the region? China in its third war plans to disintegrate India into smaller countries. How come stapled visa on the passports of people from Arunachal Pradesh or J&K can be a sign of goodwill? If China is sincere in its approach it must let Dalai Lama to visit Tibet and interact with its people. If not, it can let Dalai Lama interact with the Tibetans using audio-visual technology. These goodwill gestures will be appreciated by the world.
What if the future President of India is from Arunachal Pradesh and will be on state visit to China? Will China insist on giving him a stapled visa? What if the President who would be from Arunachal Pradesh refuses to travel on a stapled visa and insist on a sticker visa? Would China call off the state visit by the Indian President? Would the Chinese President not interact with the president of the world’s largest democracy on his state visit to India or at any other forum in the world affairs? It is high time that China stops fooling itself by unnecessary raking up stapled visa controversy.
Manoj Sharma (The writer is a senior columinst)