SGPC blames India as Pakistan denies visa to devotees

The visit of a Sikh jatha to Pakistan was scheduled from May 21-30.

Written by KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR | Amritsar | Published:May 20, 2017 12:48 pm

THE SGPC has blamed the Indian government after Pakistan denied visas to 521 Sikh devotees for observing the martyrdom day of the fifth Sikh master, Guru Arjun Dev, on May 29. The visit of a Sikh jatha to Pakistan was scheduled from May 21-30. In a press note Friday, the SGPC said, “Due to lack of required permissions from the Ministry of External Affairs for visa to Sikh devotees, the Pakistan High Commission did not clear the files. It is disappointing. We will register our protest with the Indian government.”

The visit of Sikh jathas from India to gurdwaras in Pakistan and jathas of Pakistani Sikhs to India to visit the historical gurdwaras are a routine affair throughout the year. SGPC chief secretary Harcharan Singh said, “Required recommendations were not made by MEA this year. We do not know the reasons behind this, but it could be because of current state of Indo-Pak relations. This has happened for the first time.”

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