Maken waiting for MEA instructions over Chinese visa denial

Maken waiting for MEA instructions over Chinese visa denial

Chinese visa denial to an Arunachal Pradesh youth delegate has created a friction between the Ministry of External Affairs and Sports Ministry, which is now waiting for instructions on the issue.

Maintaining that MEA was not kept in the loop, official sources said, "Sports Ministry should have consulted the MEA before going ahead with such a tour to avoid any such incident." Sports Minister Ajay Maken told reporters here today that he has now informed the MEA and was awaiting instructions on the future course of action.

"I have already informed MEA about the matter and I am waiting what they want me to do," Maken said. Maken had earlier said that the visa denial to the delegate came at such a late stage that nothing could have been done.

"We were informed about this visa denial at a very late stage. We were told just moments before the flight was to take off. It was not possible to do anything at that stage," a Sports Ministry source said. Chinese authorities denied the visa to the Arunachal Pradesh delegate earlier this week but the 100-strong Indian delegation still went ahead with the tour.

The delegation is in Beijing on the invitation of the All China Youth Federation as part of the program under the scheme of "the Year of China-India Friendship and Cooperation", jointly announced by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This is not the first instance of China refusing visa to residents of Arunachal, which Beijing calls its own territory.

In 2007, China refused a visa to an IAS officer of the Arunachal cadre. In 2010, pistol shooter Pemba Tamang was issued a stapled visa by the Chinese which prevented him from participating in the World Championship.

In 2011, China issued stapled visas to two women weightlifters and members of a karate team from the state.

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