ISLAMABAD- Pakistan today summoned a senior Indian diplomat to lodge a protest over the denial of visas to its nationals, intending to travel to the neighboring country for the annual Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer Sharif.
According to the Foreign Ministry statement, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gopal Bag was summoned to the foreign office and a strong protest was lodged over denial of visas to 500 pilgrims. “The visits to religious shrines in Pakistan and India are governed under the Bilateral Protocol on Visits to the Religious Shrines 1974,” said the statement.
The foreign office spokesperson said Pakistan conveyed its deep disappointment and concern over the denial of visas by the Indian government. “This is the fourth time that visas have been denied to Pakistani pilgrims in the last one year. This is not only against the bilateral agreement, but also runs contrary to the efforts towards normalizing ties between the two countries and the spirit of people-to-people contacts,” spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.