Sikhs deny entry to Indian envoy in Gurdwara in Pak

Sikhs deny entry to Indian envoy in Gurdwara in Pak

Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria.

The Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan was on Sunday not allowed to enter a Gurdwara by the Sikhs protesting over a controversial movie, a media report claimed, after India summoned Pakistan's envoy in New Delhi and protested over authorities preventing the Indian mission officials from discharging their consular responsibilities.

The Express Tribune reported that Ajay Bisaria and his wife wanted to prostrate at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasabdal and meet the visiting Sikh pilgrims but were denied entry by Sikhs who were protesting over controversial movie Nanak Shah Fakir.

The Supreme Court in April had cleared the decks for an all-India release of the movie on April 13.

The top court had also criticised the apex Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee for putting restrictions on the release of the movie, based on the life and teachings of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev.

In New Delhi, India today summoned Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner here and lodged a strong protest over the denial of access to its envoy in Islamabad and consular officials to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib and meet visiting Indian pilgrims.

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 a visit to religious shrines.

The media report claimed that upon Bisaria's arrival, the Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan started a protest.

The Evacuee Trust Property Board, which manages the historic Katas Raj temple and other shrines of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan who had migrated to India following the partition, feared verbal altercation from the Sikhs and requested the commissioner not to attend the ceremony, the report said.

Earlier, the high commissioner wanted to visit the Gurdawara in April on the occasion of Baisakhi but cancelled the programme over reports that the Sikhs may stage a protest.

The incident had resulted in a war of words between Pakistan and India.

So far the High Commission of India and Pakistan's Foreign Office have not commented over the incident.