Pakistan dismisses Indian allegations of preventing envoy's meeting with Sikh pilgrims

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This comes a day after the MEA alleged that Pakistani authorities had prevented the Sikh pilgrims visiting Punja Sahib gurudwara from meeting the Indian envoy, who was prevented from going there. A jatha (batch) of 1,800 Indian Sikh pilgrims is now visiting Pakistan.

16 de abril de 2018, 16:45New Delhi, Apr 16 (Prensa Latina) India condemned today Pakistan " s attempts to encourage Sikh pilgrims visiting that country to raise the issue of Jalistan upon their return, said the Indian Foreign Ministry. Also, the MEA added, "The team could not meet the pilgrims on their arrival at Wagah Railway Station on April 12".

You all should know that every year Indian Sikh pilgrims travel Pakistan at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Rawalpindi district. 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".

"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", it said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday said Indian allegations regarding prevention of meeting of Indian envoy with Sikh pilgrims were 'reprehensible attempts to mutate truth'.

India has rightly reminded Pakistan that it was violating the Vienna Convention of 1961, the bilateral Protocol to visit Religious Shrines, 1974, and the diplomatic code of conduct, which was recently reaffirmed by both countries.

Over 20,000 Sikh pilgrims from across the globe attended the Baisakhi festival with the main celebrations held in Gurdawara Panja Sahib in Hassanabdal. In a statement, the MEA also said the Indian High Commissioner, who was to greet Indian pilgrims on the occasion of Baisakhi, was compelled to return when he was en route to Gurdwara Panja Sahib yesterday.

Dr Faisal said it was deeply regrettable that facts in the matter had been completely distorted and misrepresented.

According to Pakistan Foreign Ministry, there was huge "resentment" regarding the release of a film on Guru Nanak and people had "gathered there from different parts of the world, protesting the release in India of some film on Baba Guru Nanak Devji". And these religious tours have more or less been impacted only on logistics issue in the past when ties sour between India and Pakistan, but this move of raising the issue of "Khalistan" in the presence of Indian pilgrims is a new tactic being employed by Pakistan.