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Monday July 22, 2024

Indian forces detain 70 Pakistani pilgrims

The Foreign Office confirmed that a group of Pakistanis had reached India to participate in the Urs

By Mariana Baabar & Shakeel Anjum
April 28, 2024
Officers stand at the front gate of the Foreign Office in Islamabad. — AFP/File
Officers stand at the front gate of the Foreign Office in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Indian forces have restrained 70 Pakistanis in a hotel when the group of pilgrims reached New Delhi to attend Urs of Hazrat Imeer Khusro, a detainee told The News.

Rizwan Ahad, one of the confined visitors, told this correspondent that when the group of Pakistanis reached New Delhi with all legal travelling documents, including Indian visas, and stayed in Today International Hotel in the Indian capital, heavy contingents of police cordoned off the hotel and restrained them without telling any reason, and barred them from leaving the venue. The armed police arrested an elderly Pakistani identified as Javed Iqbal to create fear among the visiting Pakistanis and shifted him to police station where he was tortured during grilling, Rizwan Ahad maintained, adding that the administration didn’t offer them food, neither allowed them to get anything to eat from the market. Rizwan said that the police straightaway refused to allow them to go to Jamia Masjid New Delhi for offering Jumma prayer which was in the schedule. A representative of Pakistan High Commission in India, visited the hotel but could not settle the issue, the victim concluded.

The Foreign Office, meanwhile, confirmed that a group of Pakistanis had reached India for participating in the Urs and that they were aware of the reports that the Pakistanis had been asked to strictly adhere to the rules of the visit and confine their visit to the Urs. Government sources told The News, “The matter has been resolved amicably. Pakistan’s mission in New Delhi has been in touch with the group of Pakistanis to address their problems and visited them”. Observers in New Delhi said the unfriendly attitude of Indian authorities towards Pakistanis is nothing new. Unlike when Indian pilgrims visit Pakistan and are full of praise for the hospitality here.