Pakistan rejects Indian claim of preventing envoy from Sikh site visit
Islamabad: Pakistan has dismissed a claim by India that its High Commissioner in Islamabad was denied access to a Sikh religious site, The News reported.
“Sikh pilgrims were protesting against maltreatment in India and release of controversial movies,” according to Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal. “Indian HC was informed about the heightened pilgrim sentiments and he agreed to cancel his visit due to this concern,” Faisal said.
He said that Sikhs yatrees were always welcome to visit Pakistan for their religious and cultural ceremonies.
“More than 300 Indian Sikhs are visiting Pakistan for the death anniversary of Raja Ranjit Singh – a special train was arranged by Pakistan railways from Attari to Wagah for the Sikh yatris who are always welcome to Pakistan for their religious and cultural ceremonies,” he tweeted.
His response came hours after India summoned the deputy high commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah and accused Islamabad of denying access to the Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib and meet the pilgrims.
A strong protest was also registered by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad over the incident.
“It has been conveyed to Pakistan side that preventing the Indian High Commission officials from discharging its consular responsibilities is in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, and the 1974 bilateral Protocol on visit to religious shrines,” a statement by the Indian foreign ministry said.