23 Sikh pilgrims' passports missing from Pakistan High Commission in Delhi; Islamabad denies involvement, blames Indian travel agent

The passports belonged to Sikh pilgrims who were looking to visit gurudwaras in Pakistan, including the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, which holds special significance in the Sikh religion.

FP Staff December 15, 2018 12:56:00 IST
23 Sikh pilgrims' passports missing from Pakistan High Commission in Delhi; Islamabad denies involvement, blames Indian travel agent

Amid tumultuous relations between India and Pakistan, 23 Indian passports have been reported missing from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, reports have said.

The passports belonged to Sikh pilgrims who were looking to visit gurudwaras in Pakistan, including the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, which holds special significance in the Sikh religion.

23 Sikh pilgrims passports missing from Pakistan High Commission in Delhi Islamabad denies involvement blames Indian travel agent

Representational image. AFP

As per a report from The Times of India, the matter led to a security scare and was brought to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs after several of these passport holders filed an FIR with the police. The ministry subsequently revoked all missing passports.

In addition, the ministry has also taken up the issue with the Pakistan High Commission, the report said.

Pakistan has denied any involvement in the incident, and instead blamed a Delhi-based travel agent for the missing passports. The agent claimed that he submitted the documents to the Pakistan High Commission. However, on returning to the high commission, he was told that they did not have the documents.

Pakistan had issued visas to over 3,800 Sikh pilgrims in order to participate in Guru Nanak Dev's birth anniversary celebrations, which were held in the country from 21 to 30 November. These visas were given in addition to those issued to Sikh pilgrims participating in the event from other countries, CNN News18 reported.

India's relations with neighbouring Pakistan have had a turbulent trajectory this year, with New Delhi calling off a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Relations improved after both nations individually decided to cede to a long-standing demand by the Sikh community to open the Kartarpur corridor.

India's Union Cabinet on 22 November had approved the construction and development of the corridor from the Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district to the India-Pakistan border.

Qureshi while briefing the Pakistan National Assembly on 24 November had said that Pakistan had also decided to open the corridor for the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019. "The Pakistani proposal to initiate the corridor has also been concurred by India,” he had said.

Updated Date:

also read

World Children's Day 2021: From history, celebrations to theme, all you need to know
World

World Children's Day 2021: From history, celebrations to theme, all you need to know

The theme for World Children’s Day 2021 is ‘A Better Future for Every Child’

Armed man outside United Nations headquarters in New York arrested after standoff, lockdown
World

Armed man outside United Nations headquarters in New York arrested after standoff, lockdown

The man, who appeared to be in his 60s, was taken into custody without incident at around 1:40 p.m., about three hours after police said he was first spotted outside a security checkpoint on Manhattan’s First Avenue.

Navjot Singh Sidhu bats for trade, 'new friendship chapter' between India & Pak as he visits Kartarpur
India

Navjot Singh Sidhu bats for trade, 'new friendship chapter' between India & Pak as he visits Kartarpur

Pilgrimage to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara was suspended in March last year because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Kartarpur corridor was reopened on Tuesday for pilgrims