Yet another Kashmiri granted separate visa by China

via IANS published on November 2, 2009

Jammu: An associate professor of the University of Kashmir was stopped from flying to China by immigration authorities in New Delhi after the Chinese visa was granted to him on a separate document and not on his passport.

Shakil A. Romshoo of Srinagar’s University of Kashmir said in a statement that he had been bestowed the Kasumigaura International Award for his research on Himalayan lakes.

Romshoo was stopped by immigration officials at the Delhi airport Sunday as the visa granted by the Chinese embassy did not give his nationality as an Indian, continuing the trend of China disputing the Indian citizenship of Kashmiris.

“I was offloaded from China Southern Airlines. I could not make it to China to receive the award as China is disputing the citizenship of Kashmiris holding Indian passports and issues visas on a separate document that Indian immigration does not accept,” Romshoo said in a statement from New Delhi.

“The issue needs to be taken (up) strongly by India with Chinese authorities as it is a very serious matter. I was to receive a prestigious award, while it could be much worse to come for others,” he added.

He was to be honoured with a cash prize, medal and citation during a special award ceremony Monday during the 13th World Lake Conference at Wuhan, China.

He had got invitations by the World Lake Organisation and the Japanese and the Chinese governments to be part of the conference at Wuhan where he was to be felicitated.

Despite India’s protests, Chinese embassy officials say that the visas issued to Jammu and Kashmir citizens are correct and valid.

The tussle between China and India over the separate visas being issued to Kashmiris has been affecting business and career prospects of Jammu and Kashmir citizens who cannot travel to China for studies or business.

On Saturday, a Kashmiri urologist headed to China for a conference, was also detained at the Delhi airport by immigration authorities but for allegedly tampering with his passport.

Saleem Wani told mediapersons that he had only removed the many stickers pasted on his passport after he had gone for Haj last year.

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