India summons Pak Deputy High Commissioner over 'attempts to raise Khalistan issue'

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India summons Pak Deputy High Commissioner over 'attempts to raise Khalistan issue'

Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal also said that it was "deeply regrettable that facts in this matter had been completely distorted and misrepresented".

India and Pakistan are back to sniping at each other with the MEA on Monday summoning the deputy high commissioner of Pakistan to lodge a protest against attempts by Islamabad to raise the "Khalistan" issue while Sikh pilgrims are visiting the country.

"The Indian High Commissioner, who was 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 the shrine for unspecified "security" reasons", the Ministry said.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement described it, as an "inexplicable diplomatic discourtesy" in violation of the Vienna Convention.

India on Sunday had said Pakistan had not allowed its high commission officials in Islamabad to visit the pilgrims for basic consular and protocol duties.

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You all should keep that in mind around 1,800 Sikh pilgrims + from India had traveled to Pakistan last Thursday to celebrate Baisakhi festival at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Rawalpindi district.

According to Pakistan Foreign Ministry, there was huge "resentment" regarding the release of a film on Guru Nanak and people had "gathered there from different parts of the world, protesting the release in India of some film on Baba Guru Nanak Devji".

Pakistani High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood has stressed upon the Indian government to fully implement the bilateral 1974 Protocol between India and Pakistan on Visits to Religious Shrines.

"The team could not meet the pilgrims on their arrival at the 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". Pakistan had rejected the charge as baseless, and accused India of trying to "generate controversy around the visits of Sikh pilgrims and to vitiate the environment of bilateral relations". "Moreover, such incidents during the visit of the Indian pilgrims went against the spirit of the bilateral protocol of 1974 governing the exchange of visits of pilgrims between the two countries", it added.

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