MHA denies permission to 600 Sikh pilgrims planning to visit Pak; cites security, COVID situation there

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) The Union Home Ministry Thursday denied permission to 600 Sikh pilgrims intending to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan citing the security and COVID-19 situation in that country, officials said.

In a communication to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the home ministry said that 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, the ministry said.

It also said that both passenger as well as trade traffic between India and Pakistan has stopped since March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Citing these reasons, the home ministry conveyed to the SGPC that it has decided not to accord permission to the Jatha comprising 600 pilgrims which intended to cross over to Pakistan on Friday. PTI ACB ZMN