No threat to Pakistani citizens visiting India, says Indian HC

Published October 22, 2015
The Indian embassy insists that Shiv Sena's activities have been hyped up by the media. -Reuters/File
The Indian embassy insists that Shiv Sena's activities have been hyped up by the media. -Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The Indian High Commission's spokesperson in Islamabad, Balbir Singh, on Thursday stated that the Indian embassy in Islamabad is issuing visas to Pakistani citizens as per routine.

“There is no delay in issuing visas to Pakistanis citizens and our activities are continuing as per routine,” said the spokesperson.

Responding to a question regarding the recent intolerant attitude displayed by the right –wing Shiv Sena against Pakistani citizens, the spokesperson stated that there is no threat to Pakistani citizens visiting India.

Read: Shiv Sena activists storm BCCI HQ over Shaharyar-Manohar meeting

“It is media hype and the situation on the ground is very different in India,” added the Indian High Commission spokesperson.

He elaborated further that there is no threat to visiting Pakistanis in India.

However, a senior official of Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) told Dawn.com that the ministry of foreign affairs is in constant contact with the Pakistani embassy in India, and it is important for Pakistani citizens in India to remain in touch with the embassy due to the recent activities of Shiv Sena.

It is pertinent to mention that the Pakistani foreign office has not yet issued a travel advisory to Pakistani citizens travelling to India.

“We are observing the situation and if it remains the same due to the activities of Shiv Sena, the FO may issue a travel advisory for our citizens,” stated the government official.

Also read: Shiv Sena says will welcome Malala to India

Earlier this week, Shiv Sena activists attacked the Mumbai headquarters of the office Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) just before Pakistan Cri­cket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan was to meet BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to discuss a bilateral series in December.

The activists shouted anti-Pakistan slogans and held posters that read 'Shahryar Khan go back', determined to stop Manohar from meeting his Pakistani counterpart. The protesters entered Manohar's office and crowded around his desk, shouting slogans.

The meeting was cancelled after the incident.

Earlier this month, Shiv Sena activists attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, who organised a book launch in Mumbai for former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.

The Shiv Sena, a junior partner in a ruling coalition with the BJP in the Maharashtra state government, was also accused of using threats to force the cancellation of an appearance in Mumbai by Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali.

Shiv Sena, founded by the late Bal Thackeray, has in the past threatened Pakistani athletes to deter them from engaging in competitive sports in India.

Thackeray often referred to Indian Muslims as “anti-nationals” and called for Hindu suicide squads to counter what he saw as a rise in ‘Islamic terrorism’.

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