India accuses Pak of diplomatic discourtesy'

India says group of 1,800 Sikh pilgrims are in Pak as per standard practice.

New Delhi/Islamabad: India and Pakistan on Sunday engaged once again in a fierce war of words, with New Delhi lodging a strong protest with Pakistan over “blocking of access” for visiting Indian Sikh pilgrims to Indian diplomats and consular teams.

It was the ETPB that had invited the Indian High Commissioner to the gurdwara, said Islamabad.

Islamabad also said Indian high commission officials visited Gurdwara Panja Sahib on Sunday.

New Delhi, meanwhile, said a “jatha” (batch) of 1,800 Indian Sikh pilgrims are currently visiting Pakistan and that as per “standard practice, the Indian High Commission’s consular/protocol team is attached with visiting pilgrims, to perform consular and protocol duties given to them, like helping out in medical or family emergencies”.

India accused Pakistan of “diplomatic discourtesy” and said these incidents “constitute a clear violation of the Vienna Convention of 1961, the bilateral Protocol to visit Religious Shrines 1974 and the Code of Conduct (for the treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel in India and Pakistan) of 1992, recently reaffirmed by both countries”.

It may be recalled that India and Pakistan had resolved a diplomat harassment row just last month after both countries claimed that their diplomats were being harassed in the other country.

It may be recalled that Pakistani security agencies including the notorious ISI have long been under the scanner for their suspected role in trying to get pro-Khalistan elements in Europe and North America to instigate Indian Sikh pilgrims who visit Pakistan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story