In­dia sum­mons Pak en­voy over ‘at­tempts’ to stir up Khal­is­tan is­sue

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - PUNJAB - Jayanth Ja­cob

NEWDELHI: In­dia’s ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry sum­moned Deputy High Com­mis­sioner of Pak­istan Syed Haidar Shah on Mon­day and lodged a strong protest at at­tempts be­ing made dur­ing the on­go­ing visit of the Sikh pil­grims from In­dia to Pak­istan to raise the is­sue of “Khal­is­tan”, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial state­ment.

Pak­istan’s ac­tion, and the min­istry’s com­plaint, are likely to strain the al­ready poor re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries.

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”, the state­ment said. In­dia raised the is­sue of Sikh pil­grims be­ing ex­posed to in­flam­ma­tory state­ments and posters at pilgrimage cen­tres.

“It was con­veyed that such re­peated at­tempts by au­thor­i­ties ... in Pak­istan to ex­tend sup­port to se­ces­sion­ist move­ments in In­dia amount to in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of In­dia.”

In­dia also raised the is­sue of its diplo­mats not be­ing al­lowed to meet Sikh pil­grims at Nankana Sab­hib gu­rud­wara. In­dia pointed out that this is against the code of con­duct (for the treat­ment of diplo­matic and con­sular per­son­nel in In­dia and Pak­istan) of 1992, re­cently reaf­firmed by both coun­tries. Islamabad coun­tered the charge, ac­cus­ing New Delhi of try­ing to “vi­ti­ate en­vi­ron­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions”, even as the two na­tions sparred over the al­leged snub to the In­dian high com­mis­sioner in Islamabad, Ajay Bis­aria who was pre­vented from meet­ing the pil­grims.

DIF­FER­ENCES WITH JAKHAR A ME­DIA CRE­ATION

While flag­ging off nine am­bu­lances in Mohali, given by Congress Ra­jya Sabha MP Am­bika Soni, the CM dis­missed re­ports of dif­fer­ences with state Congress chief Su­nil Jakhar as me­dia cre­ation. He also said that lo­cal bodies min­is­ter Navjot Singh

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