Krishna downplays Mirwaiz's China visit

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New Delhi, Nov 20(ANI): External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Friday said that Chairman of the separatist Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was free to travel wherever he wanted, including China.

Mirwaiz is expected to visit China and Pakistan later this month.

His proposed visit to China comes at a time of diplomatic skirmishes between New Delhi and Beijing, especially over China's insistence on issuing separate visas to citizens belonging to Jammu and Kashmir.

Krishna said there was nothing unusual in Mirwaiz's proposed visit to China.

"They are free to travel wherever they want. So, there is nothing unusual in somebody going to China and somebody coming from China to India or somebody going to Pakistan or coming from Pakistan to India. So, it does not make much difference," Krishna said.

Meanwhile, Union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said that Mirwaiz's visit to China would provide him an opportunity to see for himself how much progress China has made and what militancy has done to Jammu and Kashmir.

"I am happy that Mirwaiz is visiting China. He will come to see China's development and will also come to know how much destruction we have done (in Jammu and Kashmir) in the last 20 years," Abdullah said.

According to reports, Mirwaiz is visiting China as a guest of an NGO and is expected to deliver a lecture there. (ANI)

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