Incomprehensible refusal

IN spite of Islamabad’s repeated goodwill gestures including that of recently arranging a meeting of Kulbushan Yadav with his family members and releasing about one hundred and fifty Indian fishermen, New Delhi continues to demonstrate intransigence in its conduct towards Pakistan. It is rather closing all the doors and links that otherwise could prove to be vital for normalisation of relations between the two neighbours.
India’s latest decision of declining visas to 192 Pakistani devotees who wished to attend the annual Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia (RA) beginning on January 01is also not understandable as there is no reason or justification to refuse the visas. The purpose of the devotees’ visit was not more than just to visit Delhi to pay homage at the shrine of great mystic saint who in fact through the eternal message of Islam gave the message of peace, unity and harmony amongst different communities. Earlier this year also, we saw the Indian government creating hurdles in the way of Sikh Yatrees who wanted to visit Pakistan to attend the death anniversaries of Guru Arjan Dev and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Though Pakistan sent a special train to bring those Yatrees, yet the Indian side did not allow them to board it. As a result many Sikh Yatrees could not visit Pakistan to perform their religious rituals. Similarly, over a period of time, the Indian side has been politicising the matter of issuance of medical visas as it has imposed the condition on Pakistani patients to affix with the visa application a recommendation letter from the foreign minister. Such tactics clearly indicate and expose extremist face of India who otherwise claims to be the largest democracy in the world. In this backdrop, the Foreign Office through diplomatic missions abroad and at the UN needs to gear up efforts to expose real face of India before the world, which poses grave threat to regional peace and security. Saner elements within India also need to wake up and take notice of the hard line adopted by its government towards Pakistan. They should compel the Indian government to review its policy. We understand religious visits and exchanges at other levels could pave the ground for some kind of normalisation in otherwise tense relations between the two countries.

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