What thoughts do you have in mind when you think of relations between the two eyed nations- India and Pakistan? The ties between the two countries have always remained bitter since the time of partition. All thanks to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Though India has tried to maintain better relations with the Islamic country, Pakistan never kept up the dignity of Indian Government.
In a recent incident that would mark low in bilateral ties Pakistan has prevented Sikh pilgrims from meeting Indian High Commissioner and staff following which Delhi has lodged a strong protest.
India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over a block of access for visiting pilgrims to Indian diplomats and consular teams, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. A Jatha of around 1800 Sikh Yatris has been travelling in Pakistan from 12th of April, under a bilateral agreement on facilitating visits to religious shrines.
The two countries sparred over the alleged snub to the Indian high commissioner in Islamabad, Ajay Bisaria. According to the external affairs ministry, Bisaria was to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib at Hasan Abdal in the Pakistani Punjab province to the meet the pilgrims on 14th of April following an invitation from the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB)- the gurdwara authority there.
But he was compelled to return en route to the shrine on Saturday for unspecified security reasons, the ministry said, terming the action “inexplicable diplomatic discourtesy”. It said the high commissioner was to greet the Indian Sikh pilgrims on the occasion of Baisakhi but he couldn’t.
“India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over a block of access for visiting pilgrims to Indian diplomats and consular teams,” the ministry said in a statement. Around 1,800 Indian Sikhs are in Pakistan since April 12th -their visit facilitated by a 1974 bilateral agreement that allows citizens of the two nations to make pilgrimages in each other’s territories.
New Delhi called the Pakistani action a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. It alleged that Pakistan breached the “the code of conduct (for the treatment of diplomatic and consular personnel in India and Pakistan) of 1992, recently reaffirmed by both countries”.
Giving permission to pilgrims to meet Indian diplomats is a standard practice that helps consular teams to reach out to its visiting citizens in case of medical or family emergencies. “This year the consular team has been denied access to Indian Sikh pilgrims,” the ministry said.
The Pakistan foreign ministry clarified the security reasons. “In the run-up to the main function, the ETPB authorities noticed strong resentment among segments of Sikh yatris, gathered there from different parts of the world, protesting the release in India of some film on Baba Guru Nanak Devji,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said.
According to an Indian intelligence official in New Delhi, who doesn’t want to be identified, the high commissioner was stopped at the last minute because some radicals probably wanted to discuss pro-Khalistan issues at the function and they didn’t want an Indian envoy to be privy to it.
The job at which Pakistan is well-versed at, it tried to turn the tables on India, accusing it of violating the 1974 agreement twice this year by denying “visas to Pakistani pilgrims on occasions of Urs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri and scuttled at least three visits of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims … since June 2017”.
Pakistan has violated the Vienna Treaty of 1961:
The Butcher nation has time and again violated the protocol of the countries to be followed. This is not the first when Pakistan has shown this behaviour. It had previously showcased this attitude by torturing the Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan.
India is now protesting against Pakistan for violating the 1961 Vienna Treaty which was agreed by the nation’s in order to respect and protect the interests of pilgrims visiting the foreign countries and meeting the envoy.
What is the Vienna Treaty all about?
The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations outlines the rules of diplomatic law, ratified by Canada in 1966 and implemented by the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act. The Convention codifies the rules for the exchange and treatment of envoys between states, which have been firmly established in customary law for hundreds of years. It has become an almost universally adopted Convention with 179 states party to it.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is fundamental to the conduct of foreign relations and ensures that diplomats can conduct their duties without threat of influence by the host government.
As is stated in the preamble of the Convention, the rules are intended to facilitate the development of friendly relations among nations, irrespective of their differing constitutional and social systems. The purpose of such privileges and immunities is not to benefit individuals but to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions.
The Convention requires diplomats to obey local laws; however, the only sanction permissible under the Convention, in the absence of a waiver of immunity, is expulsion. This prevents the potential abuse by local authorities of the power of a state’s law enforcement system. Reciprocity also forms an effective sanction for the observance of the rules of the Convention.