India lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over its refusal to grant a visa to an official group of 87 pilgrims for the 'Shahidi Jor Mela' or Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji's Martyrdom Day, sources said on Friday.
"MEA has registered its strong protest at Pakistan government's refusal to grant visa for official jatha comprising 87 pilgrims on the occasion of Shahidi Jor Mela - Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji's Martyrdom Day on June 7 under the Bilateral Protocol on Visit to Religious Shrines, 1974. MEA had earlier requested visas for the pilgrims," sources told ANI on Friday.
The fifth guru in Sikhism breathed his last in Lahore, Pakistan in 1606. Indian pilgrims observe his martyrdom day by visiting Gurudwara Dera Sahib in Lahore, amongst other things. The gurudwara commemorates the place where Guru Arjan Dev Ji passed away.
"The Ministry expressed its concern at the disregard shown by the High Commission of Pakistan on the religious sentiments and devotion of the Indian pilgrims especially by Pakistan unilaterally granting restrictive visa (by rail only) to a private group of Indian pilgrims. MEA called upon Pakistan to immediately grant visa without any restriction," the MEA said, according to sources.
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