Tuesday, September 17, 2019
National News
India lodges strong protest with Islamabad against denial of access to Indian High Commission officials in meeting Indian Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan
Nwq Delhi 23 Novwember
India has lodged strong protest today with Pakistan against harassment and denial of access to Indian High Commission officials despite having been granted prior travel permission.

The Consular officials of the Indian High Commission were harassed and denied access yesterday and day before to the Indian pilgrims visiting Pakistan at Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Gurudwara Sacha Sauda.

The External Affairs Ministry said the denial compelled the officials to return to Islamabad without performing their diplomatic and consular duties.

New Delhi said that it is the third consecutive visit of the Indian Sikh pilgrims when Pakistan has prevented the High Commission officials from meeting the visiting Indian nationals on the pretext of security in order to deflect attention from Pakistan’s violation of the international legal instruments and conventions like the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

It said, this is also in breach of the letter and spirit of the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on visit to religious shrines and the Code of Conduct for the treatment of diplomatic or consular personnel in India and Pakistan.

The External Affairs Ministry said, Pakistan has been reminded that this is in contrast to the treatment met out to their High Commissioner and the Consular officials in New Delhi who have been provided full access to meet the Pakistani pilgrims who are currently in India on pilgrimage to Kalyar Sharif.

New Delhi also expressed grave concern over reports of attempts being made during the ongoing visit of the Indian pilgrims to Pakistan, to incite communal disharmony and intolerance and promote secessionist tendencies with the objective of undermining India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The MEA said, Islamabad has been called upon to take all measures not to allow its territory to be used for any hostile propaganda and support for secessionist tendencies against India in keeping with the commitments made under the Simla Agreement and endorsed in the Lahore Declaration.

Pakistan has also been reminded that such actions are not in consonance with the stated intentions of Pakistan to facilitate the visits of Indian Sikh pilgrims, especially as India commemorates the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji
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