Not merely Congress leader P. Chidambaram but the entire nation was taken aback when Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered e-visas to Chinese visitors unsolicited.
Congress leader P Chidambaram called it a puzzling decision made by the BJP government despite the fact China still gives “stapled visas” to people from Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, caliming that these territories are disputed.
“It is a puzzling decision. You have offered e-visa to China?” asked Chidambaram in an interaction with the media. “How do you reconcile to these two things? China not willing to give visa to Indian citizens from Arunachal and Jammu and Kashmir. What is the justification of giving e-visa to China?” he asked.
The unilateral move was learnt to have been made by the Prime Minister ignoring concerns of the intelligence agencies and the ex-tempore promise came when he was addressing students at Tsinghua University in Beijing on May 15. The facility has been extended to 77 countries so far in the last one year.
Perhaps as a latter thought, Modi invited former Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh to his resident in a friendly invite perhaps to ponder the issue. It is not sure what the former PM told the present PM but there are many who have raised their eye-brows over the matter.
While 174,000 Chinese visited India last year, 676,000 Indians visited China during the same period and both nations will be observing “Visit India Year – 2015” and “Visit China Year 2016” to promote mutual tourism visits.