New Delhi: At least twenty-three passports belong to Indian pilgrims have gone missing from Pakistan High Commission here in India, reported The Times of India on Saturday. The pilgrims were supposed to visit gurudwaras in Pakistan including Kartarpur gurudwara.
Ministry of the external affair has taken the issue into account. The incident came to fore when many of the holders of missing passports lodged complaints near police. The ministry seeks the involvement of Pakistan officials to recover these passports.
Recently Pakistan High Commission has issued visas to 3800 Sikhs to visit Pakistan on religious purpose. The 23 Sikhs were supposed to travel with that group and had applied for visas. Pakistan has hosted 549th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev in the country from 21-30 November. The visas were issued prior to the celebration.
Pakistan High Commission has denied the involvement of its officials in the missing case. Instead, it has alleged the case might be the irresponsibility of a Delhi based travel agency.
According to the reports, the Delhi based travel agency collected the passports and submitted them in Pakistan High Commission to issue visas; when he went back to recollect them, the officials said they don’t have the documents.
Recently, Pakistan has opened entry for Indians to the Kartarpur corridor as the religious festival of Sikhs is coming nearer. However, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has questioned the Pakistan Army regarding the intention behind this opening. He is concerned if Pakistan aims at spreading terror in the border state.
The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara was lastly made open for pilgrims in 1999. Pakistan will host 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in next year. Pakistan claims the opening is solely to protect the Sikh sentiment. The opening of the corridor is considered to be a moment of hope in Indo-Pak relations.