India Abroad

Indian High Commission Grants Visas To 170 Pakistani Pilgrims

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| July 3 , 2018 , 18:38 IST

The Indian High Commission in Pakistan issued visas to around 170 Pakistani pilgrims for attending the death anniversary of Hazrat Amir Khusrau at Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi. The pilgrims who were granted the visas have left for the Urs via the Samjhauta Express on Monday.

The Indian government earlier had refused to issue visas to Pakistani pilgrims due to the prevailing tensions between the two countries.

A media report quoted a Pakistani official saying that it is a positive sign and hope that in future India will continue obeying 1974 bilateral agreement signed between both the neighboring countries for promoting people-to-people contact and religious tourism.

Indian government earlier in March had refused to grant visas to around 500 Pakistani pilgrims who wanted to visit the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer.  According to media reports, the Indian government had then said that such visits could not take place in view of the prevailing circumstances. India has not issued visas to Pakistani pilgrims since December 2017.

According to local reports of the Pakistani media, India began refusing visas soon after the wife and mother of Kulbushan Jadav, who met him in Islamabad on December 25. When they returned to India, they accused Pakistan of harassing them.

The prevailing tension between the two countries took another turn earlier in June when the Pakistani official refused the Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria to visit the Panja Sahib Gurudwara.

Ajay along with his wife had gone to visit the holy shrine to offer prayers on the occasion of his birthday.