China occupying 38,000 sq kms in J&K
14 December 2006
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: China continued to be in 'illegal' occupation of approximately 38,000 square kms in Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee informed the Rajya Sabha today. In a written reply, he said in addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 square kms of Indian territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China. Besides, the External Affairs Minister said China illegally claims approximately 90,000 square kms of territory in the Eastern sector. In the Middle sector, China claims about 2,000 square kms. To another question, Mukherjee said Pakistan has not agreed to India's proposal on opening Munabao- Khokhrapar rail sector for trade. On an average about 10-12 freight trains run between the two countries in a month through existing Attari-Wagah rail link. Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said India is contemplating on issuing multi-entry visa for five years for foreign tourists and traders. Accordingly, he said, the Government has already decided to grant such a visa to nationals of 18 countries, namely France, Germany, Luxumbourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Vietnam. Ahamed said tourists on this visa can stay in India for 90 days on each visit and added that necessary instructions to this effect were being issued to all Indian Missions-Posts abroad. He said multiple- entry visas up to five years are already being issued to traders and businessmen who can furnish documentary evidence of conducting business or to explore possibilities of setting up business venture in India. This visa is issued with the stipulation that the stay in India during each visit shall not exceed 180 days, he said.