The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned today by India and a strong protest was lodged at attempts being made during the ongoing visit of the Sikh pilgrims from India to Pakistan to raise the issue of Khalistan or a separate Sikh country by making inflammatory statements and displaying posters at various places of pilgrims visit in Pakistan.
In a press note, the Ministry of External Affairs said:
“Pakistan was called upon to immediately stop all such activities that were aimed at undermining India’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and incitement of disharmony in India.
It was conveyed that such repeated attempts by authorities and entities in Pakistan to extend support to secessionist movements in India amount to interference in the internal affairs of India. Moreover, such incidents during the visit of the Indian pilgrims went against the spirit of the bilateral Protocol of 1974 governing the exchange of visits of pilgrims between the two countries.”
Earlier, during the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was snubbed by India for his support to elements who have Khalistan on their mind.
Trudeau had tried to defend himself over invite to Jaspal Atwal, a known Khalistani, in India through a vague assertion made by his national security advisor in which the latter had claimed that some rogue Indian officers were behind the Atwal invite and that it was undertaken by India to embarrass Trudeau. Khalistan issue had soured India-Canada relationship to a huge extent. Now, with Pakistan taking interest in the Khalistan, it is likely that the government would take a tough stance on it.
India had yesterday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over a block of access for visiting Sikh pilgrims to Indian diplomats and consular teams. A Jatha of around 1800 Sikh yatris has been travelling in Pakistan from April 12, under a bilateral agreement on facilitating visits to religious shrines.