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Pakistan rejects allegation of preventing Indian envoy from visiting Gurduwara

Pakistan says Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria had agreed to cancel his visit to the Gurduwara following the protests by the Sikh pilgrims against the release of controversial movies in India.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2018 17:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Islamabad
Pakistan,Indian envoy,Gurduwara
A view of Gurdwara Panja Sahib at Hasan Abdala near Rawalpindi in Pakistan. (Reuters File Photo)

Pakistan on Sunday rejected the allegations that Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria was denied access to a famous Sikh Gurduwara near Islamabad, saying the diplomat had agreed to cancel his visit following the protests by the Sikh pilgrims against the release of controversial movies in India.

India, on Saturday, summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest over the denial of access to its envoy in Islamabad and consular officials to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib and meet visiting Indian pilgrims.

It was conveyed to the Pakistan side that preventing the Indian High Commission officials from discharging their consular responsibilities was in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, and the 1974 bilateral Protocol on visit to religious shrines.

Foreign office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal on Sunday tweeted that Sikh pilgrims “were protesting against maltreatment in India & release of controversial movies.”

He said the Indian high commissioner was informed about the heightened pilgrim sentiments and he agreed to cancel his visit due to this concern.

Faisal said more than 300 Indian Sikhs are visiting Pakistan for the death anniversary of Raja Ranjit Singh and a special train was arranged from Attari to Wagah for the Sikh yatris “who are always welcome to Pakistan for their religious and cultural ceremonies”.

Earlier, media reports had said that Bisaria and his wife were denied entry by Sikhs who were protesting over controversial movie Nanak Shah Fakir. The Supreme Court in April cleared the decks for an all-India release of the movie on April 13.

First Published: Jun 24, 2018 17:23 IST