ISLAMABAD- Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office today and a strong protest was lodged over denial of visas to 500 ‘zaireen’ (pilgrims) for the Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson said the visits to religious shrines in Pakistan and India are governed under the Bilateral Protocol of 1974 on visits to the Religious Shrines.

The Foreign Office conveyed its deep disappointment and concern over the denial of visas by the Indian government to zaireen. This is the fourth time that visas were denied to Pakistani pilgrims in the last one year. The spokesperson said this is not only against the bilateral agreement, but also runs contrary to the efforts towards normalizing relations between the two countries and the spirit of people-to-people contact.