Vajpayee govt's decision to recognise TAR an error: Fernandes

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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) Former Defence Minister George Fernandes has said the Vajpayee government, of which he was a part, should not have given an explicit recognition of Tibet as an autonomous region of China in 2003.

''It was an error and should not have been done,'' he said.

During an interview on CNN-INB's programme Devil's Advocate, Mr Fernandes was questioned about the Vajpayee government's decision in 2003 to reiterate and repeat in the most explicit manner India's recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.

''It should not have been done,'' he replied.

Asked if it was a mistake, the former Defence Minister said: ''Not a mistake but an error''.

During the visit of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to China in June 2003, India recognised the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) as part of the territory of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

From 1954 to 2003, the expressions used in bilateral agreements and other documents on Tibet included expressions such as ''Tibet region of China'' (1954), ''Tibetan region is part of the People's Republic of China'' (1958), ''Tibet is an autonomous region of China'' (1988 and 1991).

The TAR was formed in 1965. Tibet to which references had been made in 1954 and 1958 was a larger territory.

UNI AG SK AS1451

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