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

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Ajay Bisaria was instead, compelled to return when he was en route to Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

A day after India lodged protest with Islamabad over blocking of access of visiting Sikh pilgrims to Indian diplomats in the country, Pakistan has reacted angrily terming the move as "ironic". New Delhi lodged a strong protest and summoned the Pakistani Deputy High Commissioner over the developments.

"Pakistan was called upon to immediately stop all such activities that were aimed at undermining India's sovereignty, territorial integrity and incitement of disharmony in India", the MEA said.

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Pakistan's deputy high commissioner was summoned and informed about the strong condemnation by India on such efforts by Pakistan, said the statement. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Islamabad was told that such repeated attempts by authorities and entities in Pakistan to extend support to "secessionist movements" in India amounted to "interference" in its internal affairs. "However, the concerned officials of the Indian High Commission chose not to return, even though they were duly notified that the requisite clearance has been granted", he said. Pakistan-based Dawn News quoted country's Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal as saying that India had on two occasions in 2018 denied visas to Pakistani pilgrims. ".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 said.

India has earlier protested against Pakistan for denying its diplomats' access to the visiting Indian Sikh pilgrims for consular assistance and preventing Indian High Commissioner from visiting Gurdwara Punja Sahib.

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.

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