In­dia sum­mons Pak deputy HC; protests rais­ing of Khal­is­tan with Sikh pil­grims

Financial Chronicle - - FUNDAMENTALS, POLITICS -

IN­DIA on Mon­day sum­moned Pak­istan’s Deputy High Com­mis­sioner here and lodged a strong protest over at­tempts be­ing made to raise the Khal­is­tan is­sue dur­ing the visit of Sikh pil­grims to that coun­try.

In a state­ment, the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs said 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. “A strong protest was lodged at at­tempts be­ing made dur­ing the on­go­ing visit of the Sikh pil­grims from In­dia to Pak­istan to raise the is­sue of Khal­is­tan by mak­ing in­flam­ma­tory state­ments and dis­play­ing posters at var­i­ous places of pil­grims visit in Pak­istan,” the min­istry said.

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 its in­ter­nal af­fairs, the MEA said. It also said such in­ci­dents dur­ing the visit of In­dian pil­grims went against the spirit of the bi­lat­eral pro­to­col of 1974 gov­ern­ing the ex­change of vis­its of pil­grims be­tween the two coun­tries. The sum­mon­ing of Pak­istan’s Deputy High Com­mis­sioner came a day af­ter In­dia protested over block­ing of ac­cess of vis­it­ing Sikh pil­grims to In­dian diplo­mats in that coun­try. The MEA had on Sun­day said around 1,800 Sikh pil­grims are on a visit to Pak­istan from April 12 under a bi­lat­eral agree­ment on fa­cil­i­tat­ing vis­its to re­li­gious shrines. It had 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.

In­dian en­voy who was to greet the In­dian pil­grims at Gur­d­wara Panja Sahib was com­pelled to re­turn mid­way

Pil­grims march dur­ing Basakhi cel­e­bra­tions at Gur­d­wara Punja Sahib in Hasan Ab­dal on Sun­day

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