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Pakistan protests India's refusal to issue visa to pilgrims
Publication Date : 03-05-2014
Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with India on Friday over the latter's refusal to issue visas to 500 Pakistan pilgrims who wanted to go to the Sufi saint's shrine in Ajmer for the Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti.
“The Indian deputy high commissioner was summoned to the foreign office today, and a protest was lodged,” Spokesperson of Pakistan's Foreign office, Tasneem Aslam, said in a statement.
“The visits to religious shrines in Pakistan and India are governed under the bilateral protocol on visits to the religious shrines, 1974,” the spokesperson said.
She said the foreign office conveyed its deep disappointment and concern over the denial of visas by the Indian government.
“This is the fourth time that visas have been denied to Pakistani pilgrims in the last one year. This is not only against the bilateral agreement, but it also runs contrary to the efforts towards normalising ties between the two countries and the spirit of people-to-people contacts,” the spokesperson remarked.
Besides Hindu pilgrims, hundreds of Sikh pilgrims visit Pakistan every year to celebrate the festival at the shrines of Panja Sahib and Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.