India slams Pakistan for preventing Sikh pilgrims to meet Indian diplomat
Source :NewsBharati   Date :16-Apr-2018

New Delhi, April 16: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that the Centre has flagged the incidents of blocking access for visiting pilgrims to Indian diplomats and consular teams.

“India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over a block of access for visiting pilgrims to Indian diplomats and consular teams,” MEA said.

The Ministry also said that the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan was not allowed to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib at the invitation of its board as he was asked to return midway due to unspecified security reasons.

Earlier, the consular team has been denied access to Indian Sikh pilgrims. The team could not meet the pilgrims on their arrival at Wagah Railway Station on April 12.

In a statement, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs promptly processed the matter on 13 April and granted the travel permission.

"However, in the run-up to the main function, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) authorities noticed strong resentment among segments of Sikh Yatrees, gathered there from different parts of the world, allegedly protesting the release of some film on Baba Guru Nanak Devji in India.”

“Considering an emotionally charged environment and the possibility of any untoward situation, the ETPB authorities contacted the Indian High Commission officials and suggested cancellation of the visit," the statement added.

The statement further stated that the ETPB acted with sincerity and in good faith, and the cancellation took place with mutual understanding.

Meanwhile, a Jatha of around 1800 Sikh yatris from India had travelled to Pakistan to celebrate Baisakhi at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Rawalpindi.