That Pakistan is underdeveloped even in matters of extending elementary diplomatic courtesies, got confirmed very recently, on the eve of the Baisakhi festival. How to honour its own commitment in matters of bilateral relations between countries perhaps is inelastic in illuminating in substance to Pakistan but since we know that the black takes no other hue, it is deriving pleasure out of it. Otherwise, how is it that it did not allow access of visiting Sikh pilgrims to Indian diplomats in Pakistan? As if it was any less in its vivid bizarre communal and hateful attitude explicit in this act, it did the other despicable thing too, that of compelling the Indian envoy to return while on way to a Gurdwara to pay obeisance.
There are bi-lateral agreements in force between the two countries on facilitating visits to religious shrines but if such agreements are not violated unilaterally and unexpectedly, then it could not, perhaps call itself Pakistan. We have pro-Pakistan elements in Kashmir as also some secessionist leaders there, who openly advocate Kashmir to be ceded from India but the entire world knows and watches it as to how Indian Government – liberal, democratic, secular and tolerant to political dissent, never prevents such Kashmiri separatist leadership from meeting Pakistan envoy in Delhi when even accepted prudence demands that they should never be allowed to have such meetings. That is the open mindedness and zenith of democratic traditions, this country as avowed and irrevocable principles of civilization, has been practicing for thousands of years.
Turbidity of Pakistan is unexplained in behaving differently since it was born out of this country just seven decades back. Government of India immediately lodged strong protest with Pakistan in the subject matter calling it an “inexplicable diplomatic discourtesy ” by Pakistan holding that these incidents constitute a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations “. This convention is of 1961, the bilateral Protocol to visit Religious Shrines, 1974 and the Code of Conduct for the treatment of diplomatic / consular personal in India and Pakistan of 1992, recently reaffirmed by both countries should be honoured by Pakistan.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said a group of around 1800 Sikh pilgrims are on a visit to Pakistan from April 12 under a bilateral agreement on facilitating visits to religious shrines. It further said that India has lodged strong protest with Pakistan over a block of access for visiting pilgrims to Indian diplomats and consular teams.
It may be recalled that only a few days back, Pakistan played new taunt that its diplomats were “harassed” and ill treated which though without any basis, was deflated by India in a meeting wherein both the countries agreed to resolve matters related to treatment of diplomats after envoys of both the countries made claims and counter claims about harassment of each other’s diplomats.
On not allowing the pilgrims to meet Indian diplomats, it said a standard practice has been that the Indian High Commission’s consular / protocol team is attached with visiting pilgrims, to perform consular and protocol duties, like helping out in medical or family emergencies. Pakistan had violated that practice.
It needs to be reiterated that India has traditionally been welcoming devotees from Pakistan to visit Shrines at Ajmer and Nizamudin Auliya without any hindrance and restrictions and any move to have it only one way is neither tenable nor diplomatically acceptable. It is hoped that Pakistan desists from such detestable activities in future.