Another ruckus between India and Pakistan relationship arises on Sunday when India lodged a complaint with a strong protest against the neighbouring nation over Sikh pilgrims’ access to Indian diplomats and consular teams, said Ministry of External Affairs.
The press release of MEA reads, “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. However, this year, the consular team has been denied access to Indian Sikh pilgrims.”
Thousands of Indian pilgrims every year travel to the Panja Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan and this year also around 1800 Sikh pilgrims visited the sacred places to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi. However, Pakistani authorities have repeatedly blocked the Indian High Commission from performing basic consular and protocol duties for Indian citizens.
The External Affairs Ministry official said, “The team could not meet the pilgrims on their arrival at Wagah Railway Station on April 12. Similarly, it was denied entry into Gurdwara Panja Sahib on April 14, for a scheduled meeting with pilgrims there.”
The press release further added that on April 14, the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, who was about to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib at the invitation of the Chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), was suddenly asked to return while en route to the shrine, for unspecified security reasons. Taking cognizance to the incident India today showed a strong protest against the wrong act and logged a complaint with Indian diplomats and consular teams.