India lodges protest with Pakistan on ‘harassment and access denial’ to Indian officials

New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI)India on Friday lodged a “strong protest” with the Government of Pakistan that despite having been granted prior travel permission by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, the Consular officials of the High Commission of India in Islamabad were “harrased and denied access” at Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Gurudwara Sacha Sauda to the Indian pilgrims visiting Pakistan under the Bilateral Protocol.

Gurdwara Nankana Sahib

Such denials of permission as on November 21 and 22 “compelled” the India officials to return to Islamabad without performing their diplomatic and consular duties vis-a-vis Indian pilgrims.”We have shared our grave concern that this is the third consecutive visit of the Indian Sikh pilgrims when Pakistan has prevented the Indian High Commission officials from meeting the visiting Indian nationals on the pretext of security in order to deflect attention from Pakistan’s violation of the international legal instruments and conventions like the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” an MEA statement said here.

“This is also in breach of the letter and spirit of the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on visit to religious shrines and the Code of Conduct for the treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel in India and Pakistan, 1992,” the statement said. It further said: “Pakistan has been reminded that this is in contrast to the treatment met out to their High Commissioner and the Consular officials in New Delhi who have been provided full access to meet the Pakistani pilgrims who are currently in India on pilgrimage to Kalyar Sharif”.