74 Pak pilgrims denied visa for a visit to Indian shrine

India has denied visa to 74 Pakistani pilgrims to visit a shrine near Agra, on the ground of “procedural issues”.

“74 Pakistan pilgrims have been denied visa by the Indian authorities. These pilgrims belonging to various parts of Pakistan have expressed resentment on rejection of their visas,” Press Attache in Pakistan High Commission Manzoor Ali Memon said.

He said the pilgrims wanted to attend annual gathering of Hafiz Abdullah Shah shrine near Agra from 11-18 January. “This is inconsistent with 1974 pilgrim protocol between the two countries. Pakistan has been issuing visas to Indian pilgrims in accordance with the protocol,” Memon said.

When asked for comments, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said the visa applications of the group have been rejected on the ground of procedural issues. He said under the protocol on visits to religious shrines, an organising committee or local authorities were required to extend logistical support to the visa applicants.