Chandigarh, Jun 23 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today strongly condemned Pakistan’s denial of access to Indian envoy and consular officials to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib despite having requisite permission.
Terming it a “shocking reflection of Islamabad’s blind and senseless animosity against New Delhi”, he said the neighbouring nation had “stooped to a new low” in its relations with India by bringing religion into its political game-plan.
The development has also exposed Islamabad’s “utter disdain” for international and diplomatic conventions, Singh said in a statement.
Taking to Twitter earlier, the senior Congress leader said Pakistan had no right to prevent an Indian official from entering the Gurdwara, which was a religious place open to everyone and not a military institution with restricted access.
The chief minister also urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up the issue at the highest level with Islamabad and give them a “befitting response”.
Refusal by Islamabad to allow Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria @IndiainPakistan to enter Gurdwara Panja Sahib shows the lows to which Pak can stoop in its anti-India campaign. It was a religious place not a military institution. Urge @SushmaSwaraj to give befitting reply?,” Singh tweeted.
He added that the fact that Indian officials had taken the necessary permission from Pakistan’s foreign ministry made the denial of access to them even more “appalling and atrocious”.
India, meanwhile, today summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner in Delhi and lodged a strong protest over the matter.
It was conveyed to the Pakistan side that preventing the Indian High Commission officials from discharging their consular responsibilities was in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, and the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on Visit to Religious Shrines.
This is the second consecutive time Pakistan has denied access to the Indian High Commissioner to meet the visiting pilgrims who are Indian nationals.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.