Islamabad: Pakistan has claimed that India has denied visas to nearly 200 pilgrims who wanted to visit the country to participate in the observance of the death anniversary of Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office in a statement has said, “Pakistan regrets the last minute postponement and non-issuance of visas by India for visit of 192 devotees to participate in the Urs ceremony (death anniversary) in New Delhi from January 1- 8
“As a result of this Indian decision, Pakistani Zaireen (devotees) would be deprived of opportunity to participate in the Urs, which is of special significance,” the statement said.
The visit was to take place under the provisions of the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines and is an annual feature.
“This is unfortunate and runs counter to the letter and spirit of the 1974 Protocol and objective of people-to-people contacts,” it said
The statement added that besides being violation of the bilateral Protocol, and basic human right to religious freedom, such measures also undermined efforts aimed at improving the environment, increasing people-to-people contacts and normalizing relations between the two countries.