Fully facilitating Sikhs from across the world for visiting religious sites in Pak: Foreign Ministry

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Islamabad, Feb 19 (PTI) Pakistan has said it is fully facilitating Sikh pilgrims from across the world, including India, for visiting their religious sites in the country.

The remarks of the foreign ministry on Thursday came a day after India denied permission to around 600 Sikh pilgrims to visit Pakistan, citing the security and COVID-19 situation in the country.

'Pakistan provides maximum facilitation to the Sikh yatris from all over the world, including India, for visiting their religious sites in Pakistan,' Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said at the weekly media briefing.

India, Chaudhri said, should also facilitate Sikh pilgrims for visiting their religious sites in Pakistan.

In a communication to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), an apex Sikh religious body, India's Home Ministry on Wednesday said the security situation in Pakistan continues to be adverse and there is a threat to Indian citizens in that country.

Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected five lakh people in Pakistan and 10,000 people lost their lives due to the disease. The health infrastructure in Pakistan is also not adequate, it said.

Citing these reasons, the Home Ministry conveyed to the SGPC that it has decided not to accord permission to the group that was expected to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan from February 18 to 21. PTI SH SCY AKJ SCY