India Insight

Why is China issuing separate visas to residents of Indian Kashmir?

New Delhi is barring residents of Indian Kashmir from travelling to China on separate visas issued by the Chinese embassy.

Saifuddin Soz, senior Kashmiri leader and member of India’s ruling Congress party, has said the decision by China to issue hand-written visas on loose sheets of paper to Kashmiris was “not acceptable”.

Why is China issuing separate visas to people from Indian Kashmir?

Separatist leaders say that China’s decision to issue visas to Kashmiris on loose sheets reflects Beijing’s recognition of Kashmir as disputed territory.

Kashmir, where tens of thousands of people have been killed since an anti-India insurgency broke out in 1989, is divided between India, Pakistan and China.

India controls around 45 percent of the former princely state, Pakistan around a third and China the rest, a largely uninhabited slice of high-altitude desert.

Is Gaddafi’s U.N. speech winning him a fan base in Kashmir?

A street vendor in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital, sold hundreds of framed portraits of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the last one week.

Kashmiri separatists and many residents are all praise for Gaddafi after his maiden address to the U.N. General Assembly last week in which he said Kashmir should be an “independent state.”

It was a diplomatic embarrassment for India but has Gaddafi’s U.N. speech actually won him an enthusiastic fan base in strife-weary Kashmir where Muslim militants are fighting New Delhi’s rule since 1989.

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