Pakistan inciting Sikh pilgrims, says India

17 April, 2018, 12:18 | Author: Sherman Richardson
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The summoning of Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner came a day after India lodged a strong protest with Islamabad for preventing the group of visiting Sikh pilgrims from meeting Indian diplomats in Pakistan and "compelling" the Indian envoy in Islamabad to return while on way to a prominent gurudwara there. In its protest to the Pakistan foreign ministry, India alleged Pakistan for not following the code of conduct of 1992, which was recently reaffirmed by both the nations.

In a statement, the second in as many days, the MEA said, "Pakistan was called upon to immediately stop all such activities that were aimed at undermining India's sovereignty, territorial integrity and incitement of disharmony in India".

Pakistani High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood has stressed upon the Indian government to fully implement the bilateral 1974 Protocol between India and Pakistan on Visits to Religious Shrines. In fact, in an expansive gesture, India last Diwali day made a decision to immediately grant medical visas for all the deserving cases that were pending on that day.

The high commissioner emphasizing upon the faithful implementation of the bilateral protocol, said the people from different faiths usually wait and prepare for their religious journeys throughout the year.

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"The matter relating to the Protocol team's access on the arrival of the Jatha at Wagha was expeditiously resolved through the intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Pakistan had rejected the charge as baseless, and accused India of trying to "generate controversy around the visits of Sikh pilgrims and to vitiate the environment of bilateral relations".

For decades, Pakistan has made excellent arrangements to facilitate the visits of Sikh Yatrees from across the world, including India, and extended protocol, reception, security, medical and other facilities which was consistent with its religious ethos and traditions of hospitality. India claimed that its consular team was "denied access" to them when they arrived at the Wagah Railway Station, calling it "inexplicable diplomatic discourtesy" in violation of the Vienna Convention.

Nankana Sahib is a holy city of the Sikhs. The city was named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak. who was born in the city.

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