Indian diplomats humiliated, barred from meeting Indian Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan| India Today accessed photos of anti-India secessionist movement supporting the cause of Khalistan within the premises of the gurudwaras, particularly the Nankana Sahib Gurudwara.
- Indian diplomats barred from entering gurdwaras in Pakistan’s Punjab province
- They were spoken to in a “very bad and harsh language”
- India and Pakistan today said they will construct the Kartapur Sahib corridor
At a time when India and Pakistan have shown positive signs in constructing the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, Indian diplomats in Pakistan were reportedly humiliated and barred from entering Gurdwara Nankana Sahib on Wednesday night. The same was repeated today at Gurdwara Sachcha Sauda. Both the gurdwaras are in Punjab province of Pakistan.
Sources said officials were not allowed to meet Indian Sikh pilgrims at these gurdwaras. They said Indian officials were not only barred, but also “humiliated” by Pakistani security officials. “They were also spoken to in a very bad and harsh language,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, security concerns for India continue with pro-Khalistan posters being spotted at Sikh pilgrimage sites across Pakistan.
India Today TV has accessed photographs of anti-India secessionist movement supporting the cause of Khalistan within the premises of the Gurudwaras, particularly Nankana Sahib, which has been decked up for the occasion.
Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, 1974, both nations have to allow these religious pilgrimages to be carried out every year. Therefore, this year, 144 Pakistani Zaireen (Muslim pilgrims) are visiting Sirhind in India for the annual Urs celebrations and to pay obeisance at the Shrine of Sheikh Faruqi Sirhindi (Mujaddid Alf Sani).
On the Indian side, pilgrims from the other side of the border have been accompanied by diplomats from the Pakistani mission in New Delhi, including Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood. But Indian diplomats in Pakistan have been barred from entering gurudwaras in Pakistan citing security concerns, a couple of times in the past as well.
Sources said the most important reason why Indian diplomats have not been allowed inside these gurudwaras is because they have been donned with anti-India posters. Besides this, some people in Pakistan reportedly use the opportunity to “indoctrinate” Indian pilgrims in favour of the Khalistan movement.
Intelligence sources have also said that this issue has seen support and backing of the establishment in Pakistan.
On Thursday, India announced that it will start construction of the Kartarpur corridor up to the international border. The corridor will begin from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and will end at the international border, on the Indian side. The government said it will ask Pakistan to build a similar corridor stretch on its land up to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.
The corridor is being built to facilitate the visit by Indian pilgrims to the holy Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak spent his last 18 years.
The Kartarpur corridor will be built as an integrated development project with funding from the Indian government.
Pakistan, on its part, too has decided to begin building the Kartarpur corridor later this month, with Prime Minister Imran Khan likely to lay the foundation stone of the project.
According to officials, while a date for beginning the construction has not been set, the Pakistan government wants the announcement to coincide with the arrival of Sikh pilgrims, who are currently in the country to observe the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith.
Around 3,800 Indian Sikh pilgrims have been issued visas by Pakistan to visit Gurudwara Nankana Sahib to participate in the 549th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan from November 21 to 30.
In a statement issued by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, “This is by far the largest number of visas issued in recent years to Sikh pilgrims for Baba Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary celebrations, well beyond the maximum number of 3,000, mutually agreed between the two countries for this event.”
Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood said this was a “special gesture” by the government, in view of the 550th anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak commencing this year.
News Credit: IndiaToday