On Friday, India expressed grave concerns and lodged strong protest with Pakistan as Indian High Commission officials were harassed and were prevented from meeting the visiting Indian Sikh pilgrims on November 21 and 22 at Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Gurudwara Sacha Sauda.
Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement, “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, 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963”.
The statement said, “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. 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”.
It said, “We have also expressed grave concern at the reports of attempts being made during the ongoing visit of the Indian pilgrims to Pakistan, to incite communal disharmony and intolerance and promote secessionist tendencies with the objective of undermining India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistan has been called upon to take all measures to not allow its territory to be used for any hostile propaganda and support for secessionist tendencies against India in keeping with the commitments made under the Simla Agreement, 1972 and endorsed in the Lahore Declaration, 1999”.
The statement added, “Pakistan has been reminded that such actions are not in consonance with the stated intentions of Pakistan to facilitate the visits of Indian Sikh pilgrims, especially as we commemorate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji”.