India has registered a strong protest with Pakistan over the harassment of the Indian diplomats and denial of access to Sikh shrines to meet Indian Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan.
Just a day after India decided to build and develop Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, the authorities in Pakistan blocked Indian diplomats from interacting with the Indian pilgrims at Gurudwara Sacha Sauda and Gurudwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. Both the Gurudwaras are located in Pakistan’s Punjab region.
On the day of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Indian diplomats Arananjit Singh and Sunil Kumar were stopped from entering the Gurudwaras. As per reports, this is the third consecutive incident where Indian diplomats were barred from entering the Sikh shrines. MEA has stated that Pakistan authorities are doing it in order to deflect attention from Pakistan’s violation of the international legal instruments and conventions like the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963.
According to reports, the consular officials of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan were denied entry and were forced to leave from the Gurudwaras despite having obtained prior level permission from the Pakistan Foreign Ministry.
The Ministry of External Affairs released a statement raising grave concerns on the treatment meted out to the Indian diplomats and pilgrims visiting Pakistan. Slamming Pakistan’s provocation, MEA stated that such hostile treatment of Indian High Commission officials and pilgrims is unacceptable and unwarranted.
Expressing concern over the reports of pro-Khalistani banners being displayed to Sikh pilgrims, MEA also said that such attempts to incite communal discord and intolerance and encourage secessionist tendencies with the objective of subverting India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are not in accordance with the bilateral protocol.
While India granted permission to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India and other consular officials to travel to ‘Kalyar Sharif’ to meet the pilgrims from Pakistan, the same treatment is not being extended to Indian diplomats by Pakistan. This is not the first time that Pakistan has exhibited its hostility towards Indian diplomats either. In the past too, Pakistan had snubbed Indian diplomats by restricting them from meeting Sikh pilgrims.