India on Saturday summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest against the denial of access to its envoy in Islamabad to visit the Gurdwara Panja Sahib and meet pilgrims. The Centre said that authorities did not allow Ajay Bisaria to visit the gurudwara despite permission from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that refusing Bisaria and consular officials access to the site was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and a 1974 bilateral protocol. “This is the second consecutive time Pakistan has denied access to the Indian envoy to meet the visiting pilgrims who are Indian nationals,” the ministry said.
The government said that the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee had expressed “grave concern and dismay” at the incident, despite the pilgrims’ request to officials to facilitate a meeting with the Indian high commissioner.
In a possible reference to Khalistani separatism, the ministry added, “Concerns have also been conveyed at repeated attempts by entities in Pakistan to extend support to secessionist movements in India and incite the Indian pilgrims, and Pakistan authorities asked to ensure that no such activity is carried out from their soil.”