Tuesday Mar 13, 201204:27 PM GMT
India cancels China defense exchanges
Lt. General BS Jaswa had hoped to travel to Beijing in August as part of an exchange but was denied a visa.
Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:54AM
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India has cancelled defense exchanges with communist China after Beijing denied a visa to an Indian army general from the Jammu and Kashmir state.

China refused to issue a visa to the General Officer Commanding in Chief in Jammu and Kashmir, Lt. Gen. BS Jaswal.

The commander is responsible for Indian army operations in the Muslim-majority disputed region.

New Delhi said Beijing had to be sensitive to the Indian government's concerns, one of which is the Kashmir region.

"While we value our exchanges with China, there must be sensitivity to each others' concerns. Our dialogue with China on these issues is ongoing," India's External Affairs Ministry said in a statement, Hindustan Times reported on Friday.

Kashmir has witnessed protests against Indian rule triggered by recent killings blamed on government forces. Sixty-four people have lost their lives in two months of violence. The New Delhi government's refusal to send a word of apology over the slayings and the reluctance shown by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order an end to shootings have added to the anger of protestors.

Indian-administered Kashmir has been the scene of pro-independence demonstrations almost on a daily basis despite strict curfews.

Anti-India sentiment runs high in the region. Residents reject Indian dominion over the region -- claimed by both India and Pakistan -- and want a separate homeland or unity with Pakistan.

More than 68,000 people have lost their lives in Kashmir since 1989.

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