India issues visa to 249 Pakistani pilgrims to visit Ajmer Sharif

Islamabad, Jan 22 (PTI) India has issued visas to 249 Pakistani pilgrims to visit the tomb of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan, an official said on Sunday.

Citing a spokesperson of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the state-run Radio Pakistan reported that 488 applicants had applied for visas, but only 249 pilgrims were granted visas.

The spokesperson said that all the pilgrims have been informed to reach Lahore from where they will embark on a journey to India on Tuesday.

He said six officials were deputed to take care of the pilgrims during their stay in India. However, only one of them was granted permission to go with the pilgrims, he added.

The two counties allow pilgrims to travel under the Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, signed by India and Pakistan in September of 1974.

However, it has been witnessed that the two sides routinely reject visas of pilgrims on various grounds.

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