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Pakistan claims India has again denied visas for its pilgrims

India has violated a bilateral understanding by not issuing visas for Pakistani pilgrims who wanted to attend the annual festivities at the world famous sufi shrine of Ajmer, Islamabad said on Monday.

The allegation came in the backdrop of acrimony between the diplomats on both sides who have accused each other of not allowing normal consular services.

“Pakistan notes with deep disappointment the non-issuance of visas by India for the visit of the 503 Pakistani Zaireen (pilgrims) to participate in the Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti (RA) at Ajmer Sharif, India from 19-29 March 2018. The visit was to take place under the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines and is a regular annual feature,” a statement from the Pakistani Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson said.

The Ministry of External Affairs is yet to comment on Pakistan’s allegations.

Pakistan’s statement recalled that their pilgrims could not participate in the festivities of the shrine of saint Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia (RA) in New Delhi from 1-8 January 2018, after India denied visas to them.

“Besides being violative of the bilateral Protocol of 1974 and the basic human right to religious freedom, such measures also undermine the efforts aimed at improving the environment, increasing people to people contacts and normalising relations between the two countries,” the Spokesperson of Pakistan FO said.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 4:02:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-claims-india-has-again-denied-visas-for-its-pilgrims/article23292054.ece

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