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'China illegally occupying land'

Press Trust of India

Posted: Dec 14, 2006 at 1441 hrs IST

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 on Thursday.

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.

Ministrer 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.

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