India protests against harassment of high commission officials in Pakistan

India protests against harassment of high commission officials in Pakistan

Two officials of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan were stopped from entering two gurdwaras.

This is the third consecutive instance of Sikh pilgrims being stopped on the pretext of security concerns, added the Ministry.

Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, 1974, both nations have to allow these religious pilgrimages to be carried out every year.

On the Indian side, pilgrims from the other side of the border have been accompanied by diplomats from the Pakistani mission in New Delhi, including Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood. He said the Indian officials ignored their advice. Besides this, some people in Pakistan reportedly use the opportunity to "indoctrinate" Indian pilgrims in favour of the Khalistan movement.

Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry welcomed the Indian announcement to commence the construction of the Kartarpur corridor, calling it a "victory of peace".

After his return, Sidhu said that Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa had told him that Pakistan may open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib. The length of the corridor is about 4 km, 2 km on either side of the global border. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.

Pakistan, on its part, too has made a decision to begin building the Kartarpur corridor later this month, with Prime Minister Imran Khan likely to lay the foundation stone of the project.

The officials visited the gurdwara to take part in festivities related to the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

India on Friday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan that despite having been granted prior travel permission by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, the Consular officials of the High Commission of India in Islamabad were harrased and denied access on November 21 and 22 to Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Gurudwara Sacha Sauda to meet Indian pilgrims visiting Pakistan under the Bilateral Protocol.

In another appalling case of cross-border hostility, Pakistan has once again barred Indian High Commission officials from confabulating with the Indian pilgrims who were on a pilgrimage to the Gurudwara Sach Sauda in Lahore's Farooqabad.

More than 3,000 Sikh Yatrees arrived in Lahore via special trains on Wednesday to celebrate the 549th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji from November 21-30.

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