Asserting that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Friday expressed deep concern over the Chinese Embassy issuing stapled visas to two young archers from his state, and said New Delhi and Beijing should resolve this issue amicably. “Actually, what is happening, is really unfortunate? It should not have happened. This is the matter in connection with the Government of India and the Government of China; I would like to request them that this (issue) should be settled amicably,” said Tuki.
“The Minister for External Affairs is not in station, I tried to contact him this morning. When he comes back from abroad, I will take up this matter before the honourable minister for an appropriate decision,” he added.
To a poser on what steps he was going to take up in the future so that the people of Arunachal Pradesh do not have to suffer in this manner, Tuki said the people of his state cannot be denied the right to travel and requested the Chinese Embassy to give at least regular visas. “Since last several years, our people, who are willing to go there even for the tourist purposes or, for games and sports,or for any other official tours, are always denied to go there and are suffering very badly. So, therefore, I think this is too much, the behaviour which is shown by the Chinese Government. I request the Chinese Embassy to give at least regular visas,” said Tuki. “We are an integral part of India. We are Indians. We cannot be denied like this the right of citizens to travel throughout the world,” he added
When asked about China still treating Arunachal Pradesh as a ‘disputed territory’, Tuki said he does not agree with Beijing's viewpoint because the state ruled by him is an integral part of India. “And,our secular government is governing the state since long. We are a peace loving people. We have been dragged into controversy by making our area as disputed. It cannot be disputed. Therefore, we have to take up this issue at the international forum to settle it at the earliest possible time,” he added
The Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister also requested the Central Government to make the earliest solutions to end this disturbing issue. Two young women archers from Arunachal Pradesh, who were prevented from boarding a China Southern Airlines flight at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport last night while they were heading to Wuxi for the Youth World Archery Championship, today expressed shock and sadness over the entire incident. “We had no clue that something of this sort would happen. We were prepared and all set for the championship. It was when we reached the airport that we got to know that our visas would not be accepted. We were very shocked,” said Mihu Maselo, one of the two archers who were issued a stapled visa by the Chinese Embassy. “When we reached the airport yesterday, we were given our visas and passports. We did not know that we had been issued stapled visas. When we went to get our boarding passes, we were told about the visas. They did not allow us to board the flight. So, we had to leave,” added another archer Yumi Sorang.
The two girls met Archery Association of India President VK Malhotra over the issue in New Delhi today. Malhotra on his part said India should take stern steps against such acts by China. The young women archers were prevented at the IGI Airport from leaving for China last night to take part in the upcoming Youth World Archery Championship. Mihu Maselo and Yumi Sorang, the only two from Arunachal Pradesh in the 24-member archery squad, were stopped from boarding last night’s China Southern Airlines flight to Guangzhou for the Youth World Archery Championship at Wuxi.
According to reports, the airlines told the archers from Arunachal Pradesh they would not be allowed to enter China without a proper visa on their passports, and refused to accept the stapled visas issued by the Chinese Embassy. The stabled visa issue comes at a time when Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has said that India and China have steadily built a mature and mutually productive relationship. “India and China are two civilizational neighbours. Economic cooperation constitutes a very important part of our relationship and the growth potential of our two economies can provide the engine for greater cooperation and can also contribute to prosperity in Asia and beyond,” Dr. Singh said in an interview to an Indonesian newspaper, Kompas. “We have had differences, but we have steadily built a mature and mutually beneficial relationship. We have maintained peace and tranquility on our borders. We also collaborate on a range of regional and global issues,” he added.
Dr. Singh also said that he was convinced that there was enough space in the world today for cooperative efforts by all sides to meet their needs and aspirations.