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India refused visa to Pakistani pilgrims

31 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: India has refused to issue visa to Pakistani pilgrims intending to participate in the Urs celebrations of revered Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya in the Indian capital.

Hundreds of Pakistanis travel to Delhi every year to visit the last abode of the sufi saint on the occasion of his annual Urs to pay respects. A large number of Pakistanis had submitted visa applications to the Indian High Commission this year, which were rejected. “Pakistan regrets the last minute postponement and non-issuance of visas by India, for the visit of the 192 Pakistani Zaireen (devotees) to participate in the Urs (annual gathering) of Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia (RA) in Delhi from 1-8 January 2018,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Spokesperson for the Foreign Office Dr Muhammad Faisal deplored the denial of visa to Pakistani citizens and termed it a violation of an agreement with regard to visits to religious sites.

He said the Indian decision to reject visa applications was inconsistent with the principles of Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, 1974, between the two countries.

Faisal said: “India is obstructing the process of bring ties between the two countries to normalcy by denying contacts on public level.”

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