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Visa for Chinese Exile Cancelled
Apr 28, 2016

Days after China raised objections to India issuing a visa to Germany-based Uighur leader Dolkun Isa to visit Dharamsala for a conference later this month, India withdrew the visa on April 25.

  • India’s move to grant the visa was seen as a retaliatory measure after China blocked the listing of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist at the UN.

  • Dolkun Isa had applied for an e-tourist visa online, and since his name did not come up in the blacklist on a computerised system, his application was granted. Later, when Indian officials come to know that he was travelling to India to attend a conference, and his visit was not for tourism purposes cancelled the visa.

  • India officials said that India does not want to be seen as a country harbouring and giving safe passage to individuals who are considered terrorists.

  • Dolkun Isa, a leader of the World Uighur Congress had been invited to a conference being organised by the US-based Initiatives for China.

  • Uighurs and other Chinese dissidents in exile are expected to attend and discuss democratic transformation in China.

  • China is particularly sensitive to Uighur leaders like Dolkun Isa and Rebiya Kadeer, being hosted by foreign countries, and has expressed its desire to arrest them.

India has been displeased with China for blocking Masood Azhar’s listing as a terrorist at the UN, and has said that China must shed double standards and stop being selective when it comes to terrorism.

  • The Uighurs live in Xinjiang, the largest and most western of China’s administrative regions, which is surrounded by Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

  • They are Muslim, speak a language close to Turkish, and are culturally and ethnically closer to Central Asia than the rest of China.

  • Till recently, they were the majority in Xinjiang, but massive registered and unregistered settlements of Han Chinese and heavy troop deployments have likely changed that situation.

  • Uighurs allege the Chinese state has been repressive, clamping down on mosques and religious schools.


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