Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

India summons Pakistan envoy, protests against Khalistan posters in gurudwaras

India summons Pakistan envoy, protests against Khalistan posters in gurudwaras

It may be recalled that Pakistani security agencies including the notorious ISI have always been under the scanner for their role in trying to get pro-Khalistan elements in Europe and North America to instigate Indian Sikh pilgrims who visit Pakistan.

There have been reports of display of posters of "Sikh referendum: 2020 Khalistan" in gurdwaras in Pakistan, which are being visited by Indian pilgrims.

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Monday has said that according to data shared by government departments Pakistan economy is growing.

India has earlier protested against Pakistan for denying its diplomats' access to the visiting Indian Sikh pilgrims for consular assistance and preventing Indian High Commissioner from visiting Gurdwara Punja Sahib.

"It was conveyed that such repeated attempts by authorities and entities in Pakistan to extend support to secessionist movements in India amount to interference in the internal affairs of India". The statement notes that the actions that occurred during the visit by the Indian pilgrims are contrary to the 1974 bilateral Protocol, which serves as a guideline for the exchange of these kinds of visits between the two countries.

The MEA called it an "inexplicable diplomatic discourtesy" by Pakistan, holding that these incidents constitute a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

"A standard practice has been that the Indian High Commission's consular/protocol team is attached with visiting pilgrims, to perform consular and protocol duties, like helping out in medical or family emergencies". Pakistan, however, had rejected the allegations as baseless, with Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal saying that it was "deeply regrettable that facts in this matter had been completely distorted and misrepresented".

Islamabad yesterday called India's protest over consular access "ironic" and claimed that New Delhi, too, "twice within this year denied visas to Pakistani pilgrims on occasions of Urs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri and scuttled at least three visits of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims to religious shrines in Pakistan since June 2017", reported Dawn newspaper.

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