Hope such things are not repeated: Bisaria on Panja Sahib episode
Amritsar (Punjab) , June 24 : India's High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria, who was recently denied entry into Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan's Hasan Abdal, has said the matter is being taken up at all levels and expressed hope that there would not be a repeat of it in the future.
Bisaria was stopped from visiting Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan's Hasan Abdal to meet with Indian pilgrims on Saturday, despite having required permissions from Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
India, on Saturday, summoned Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over the Panja Sahib episode.
"A strong protest was also registered by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad at the incident," a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.
This is the second consecutive time that Pakistan has denied the Indian High Commissioner access to meet the visiting Indian pilgrims.
The incident comes barely two months after Pakistani authorities prevented Indian High Commission officials from performing basic consular and protocol duties for Sikh pilgrims who had arrived in Pakistan from India to celebrate Baisakhi.
"The team could not meet the pilgrims on their arrival at Wagah Railway Station on April 12. Similarly, it was denied entry into Gurdwara Panja Sahib on April 14, for a scheduled meeting with pilgrims there. The High Commission was thus prevented from performing basic consular and protocol duties for Indian citizens," a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said then.
On April 14, High Commissioner Bisaria, who was to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib at the invitation of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman, was suddenly asked to return while en route to the shrine, for unspecified "security" reasons.
High Commissioner Bisaria was compelled to return without meeting the visiting group.