India on Friday lodged strong protest with Pakistan over denial of permission to Indian High Commission officials to meet Sikh pilgrims during their visit to Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Gurudwara Sacha Sauda.India said that despite prior permission, Indian officials were 'harassed' and not allowed to perform their duties.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in its statement that Indian officials were compelled to return to Islamabad without performing their diplomatic and consular duties vis-a-vis Indian pilgrims.
The MEA pointed out that the Indian officials had prior permission by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, however, they were denied access to pilgrims visiting Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Gurudwara Sacha Sauda on November 21-22.
India said Pakistan has prevented Indian High Commission officials from meeting the visiting Indian nationals on the pretext of security in order to deflect attention from Pakistan’s violation of the international legal instruments and conventions like the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963.
"We have also expressed grave concern at the reports of attempts being made during the ongoing visit of the Indian pilgrims to Pakistan, to incite communal disharmony and intolerance and promote secessionist tendencies with the objective of undermining India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement said.
India said Pakistan has been reminded not to allow its territory to be used for hostile agenda against India.
"Pakistan has been called upon to take all measures to not allow its territory to be used for any hostile propaganda and support for secessionist tendencies against India in keeping with the commitments made under the Simla Agreement, 1972 and endorsed in the Lahore Declaration, 1999," the MEA's statement said.