India’s disinterest in good relations

IN sharp contrast to a number of initiatives and goodwill gestures by Pakistan towards India as part of its policy of good neighbourly relations, New Delhi is persisting with dictatorial and coercive mindset. The latest example of this posture is Indian refusal to issue visa to 503 Pakistani Zaireen to attend the annual Urs of Hazrat Moinuddin Ajmeri (RA) at Ajmer Sharif which has already begun.
Issuance of visa would not have been any extra or out of the way favour by India as the visit was to take place under the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines and is a regular annual feature. This is not the first incident as pointed out by Pakistan Foreign Office which expressed disappointment over non-issuance of visa to the applicants. Earlier 192 Pakistani Zaireen could not participate in the Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia (RA) in Delhi from January 01-08, 2018 due to non-issuance of visas by India. Last year, despite offers by Pakistan to send a special train for the purpose, India did not allow Sikhs to visit Pakistan to attend their religious festivals and declined clearance to those who wanted to visit Katas Raj. It is all the more regrettable that the latest refusal by India comes amid reports of back channel diplomacy and track-II diplomacy between the two countries to ease tension and try to resume the stalled dialogue process. This is not feeling just in Pakistan that India was not interested in peace as former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also counselled Modi government to treat Pakistan as neighbour and sort out problems peacefully and not in an atmosphere of hostility. Strangely enough, there is election year in Pakistan but no political party was in favour of fanning anti-India sentiments and instead all of them are in favour of peace and dialogue. This was also amply demonstrated when our authorities took a liberal view of the request from India for a meeting of convicted spy Kulbhushan Yadav with his wife and mother. India’s persistent refusal to respond positively to goodwill gesture by Pakistan is a clear message to the international community as to who is to be blamed for uncertainty, chaos and war euphoria in the region.

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