The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office today, and a protest was lodged over denial of visas to 500 zaireen for the Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti, at Ajmer. The visits to religious shrines in Pakistan and India are governed under the Bilateral Protocol on Visits to the Religious Shrines, 1974.

The Foreign Office conveyed its deep disappointment and concern over the denial of visas by the Indian government. This is the fourth time that visas have been denied to Pakistani pilgrims in the last one year. This is not only against the bilateral agreement, but also runs contrary to the efforts towards normalizing ties between the two countries and the spirit of people-to-people contacts.

Islamabad.
May 2, 2014

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