New Delhi, Jul 23: India today expressed unhappiness over the issuance of stapled visas by China to five sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh although the issue appeared to have been resolved some months ago.
“We are still searching for a de-stapler. We are obviously not amused by the fact that they continue to issue stapled visas for our nationals,” government sources said here adding that they were constantly in touch with Chinese authorities on the issue.
Recently, the Chinese Embassy here issued stapled visas to five karate players from Arunachal Pradesh, a step that ensured that they could not take part in an international championship in China as these documents were not valid for travel.
The action by China came close on the heels of the claims made by officials here that the issue has been resolved and was also reflected in the resumption of the Indo-China defence exchanges.
The five-member Arunachal team including gold medalist Tavesaa were a part of 50 member Indian sports delegation which was to take part in the 11th Asian Karate-do Championship at Quanghou City from July 20 to 25.
In the case Arunachal Pradesh, visas were never issued till early this year as China claims the whole of the north-eastern state as its own and now has issued stapled visas to the residents of the state.
Issuance of stapled visas by China to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh has been a sticky issue between the two countries with India terming the action as “unacceptable”.
Needling India, China started issuing stapled visas to people from Jammu and Kashmir from later part of 2008 in an apparent attempt to project it as a disputed area.
The sources sought to ignore the recent comments of Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo that India should dump Japan in its quest for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council if it expected Chinese backing.
There is no official communication to India, the sources said about the comments made by Dai to CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury during his recent visit to China. PTI