Pakistan bars Indian envoy from meeting pilgrims at Gurudwara in Islamabad; MEA lodges protest

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New Delhi: Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria and consular officials were banned on Saturday by Pakistan to visit Gurudwara Panja Sahib in the Pakistani province of Punjab and meet Indian pilgrims. The convocation of the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan, Syed Haider Shah, in New Delhi, India, presented a strong protest. It was transmitted to the Pakistani side that preventing senior officials of the Indian Commission from discharging their consular responsibilities violated the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1974 bilateral Protocol on visiting religious shrines.

The MEA said: “The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned today and there was a strong protest for the denial of access to the High Commissioner of India and consular officials of the Indian High Commission to visit Gurudwara Panja Sahib and meet the Indian pilgrims despite a travel permit granted by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the High Commissioner of India also recorded a strong protest in Islamabad in the incident, this is the second consecutive time that Pakistan denies access to the High Commissioner The Indian organizers, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), when contacted, expressed great concern and dismay at the incident despite the fact that the visiting pilgrims from India asked the organizers of Pakistan to meet with the visitors. to facilitate a meeting with the High Commissioner and the High Commissioner of India officials. gone to the side of Pakistan which prevents the High Commission from fulfilling its consular responsibilities is a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the 1974 bilateral Protocol on a visit to religious shrines. “

More than 300 Sikh pilgrims from India obtained visas and visited Pakistan to observe the anniversary of the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore. “A special train organized by the Pakistan Railways took the pilgrims from Attari to Pakistan on June 21,” the Pakistan High Commission said in a statement on Friday. The visas issued by the High Commission are in addition to those issued to Sikh pilgrims participating in the event from other countries, he added.

“In the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, a large number of Sikh Yakis from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals and occasions every year, and therefore the High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi has issued visas to more than 300 Sikh pilgrims from India to observe the anniversary of the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Gurudwara Dera Sahib, Lahore, from June 21 to 30, “the High Commission had said. Another group of Sikh pilgrims from India returned from Pakistan after observing the martyred day of Guru Arjun Dev Ji from June 8 to 17, he had further said.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a Sikh leader of a kingdom, who ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the first half of the 19th century. He died in Lahore on June 27, 1839. His memorial, designed combining Hindu, Islamic and Sikh motifs, is located next to the Lahore fortress and the Badshahi mosque, as well as the Gurudwara Dera Sahib. Each year, pilgrims come to their monument to pay respect.