Pakistan rejects Indian allegations of inciting Sikh pilgrims

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – April 18, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan categorically ‘rejected’ the baseless Indian allegations of “attempts to incite Indian Sikh pilgrims” on the issue of ‘Khalistan’, on Tuesday.

According to an official statement, by spreading such falsehoods, India has chosen to deliberately stoke further controversy around the visit of Sikh pilgrims, currently attending the Baisakhi and Khalsa Janamdin ceremonies in Pakistan.

Pakistan welcomes Hindu and Sikh pilgrims from all over the world, including India. As always, Pakistani authorities have made arrangements to extend maximum facilitation to the visiting Sikh pilgrims.

The members of the Sikh community appreciate the assistance and cooperation extended to them during their visits to sacred places in Pakistan.

The Sikh community has been protesting against the government of India for screening a controversial movie in India, which hurts their religious sentiments. These protests had begun in India and other parts of the world before the Sikh pilgrims arrived in Pakistan.

In view of the charged situation and the explicit refusal of the Sikh pilgrims to meet Indian officials, the Indian high commissioner cancelled his visit on April 14, 2018. Indian attempts to distort the truth and obfuscate facts are unethical and regrettable.

It is ironic that the country whose highest officials are on record for statements against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan choose to indulge in blatant hypocrisy by twisting facts.

We remain committed to continuing such cooperation, which is in line with our religious ethos, traditions of hospitality, and provisions of the 1974 protocol on visits to religious shrines. No amount of Indian propaganda could succeed in turning this right into a wrong.

The government of India should respect international and inter-state norms, respect all religions, especially minorities, and refrain from indulging in pointless provocation which only vitiates an already charged environment to the detriment of all.