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Arunachal integral part of India: Krishna
Published on 17 Dec. 2009 11:33 PM IST
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India has reiterated its clear and consistent stand on Arunachal Pradesh that the state was its integral and inalienable part and His Holiness Dalai Lama was free to visit any part of the country, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna informed the Rajya Sabha today. The Minister in written replies said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and himself had told their Chinese counterparts that in their meetings in October 2009 and had ‘frank and constructive’ exchange of views on all issues of interest. Both sides agreed to strengthen political trust and understanding and to use existing mechanisms for bilateral cooperation and resolve all issues in the spirit of strategic and cooperative partnership. Regarding the role of China in South Asia as mentioned in the statement of US President Barack Obama, the Minister said India had stated on November 18 that the it was committed to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan through peaceful, bilateral dialogue in accorance with the Shimla Agrement. A third country role can’t be envisaged nor is it necessary. ‘’We also believe that the meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can take place only in an environment free from terror or threat of terror,’’ he said. To a question on US Special Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, dealing with his country’s Af-Pak policy, the Minister said the proposed visit of the Ambassador was cancelled by the US side itself and denied that India had turned down his request to visit New Delhi recently. Earlier Union minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor had stated that despite China’s academic claims on Arunachal Pradesh the fact was that the state was an integral part of India. Tharoor was speaking after attending the convocation ceremony of Symbiosis International University in pune. He said China had been making such claims since 1962. “Arunachal Pradesh, however, is part of India. Recently, elections were held there. We control the borders and have maintained Arunachal’s integrity.” On the Dalai Lama’s recent visit, Tharoor said, he had visited Arunachal as a spiritual leader, and not for any political gains. “Dalai Lama has a mass following there.” Despite the border issue, Tharoor said trade between the two countries had increased. “About 50,000 business visas were issued to Chinese businessmen coming to India,” he said. On the other hand, over 70,000 Indian students have visited China. “We are pushing for negotiation on border issues and so far 13 rounds of talks have taken place. The Chinese government is making an academic claim on Arunachal Pradesh but India has agreed to disagree on the issue,” he said.

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