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India suggests calling off Pakistani pilgrims visit over security concerns


20:04, May 10, 2013

ISLAMABAD, May 10 (Xinhua) -- India has recommended to Pakistan to cancel the visit of its pilgrims to the shrine of a famous saint over security concerns, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Tensions between Pakistan and India heightened over the tit-for- tat attacks on prisoners over the past two weeks.

Sarabjit Singh, Indian national who had been in death row in Pakistan over espionage and bomb attacks charges, died days after a group of Pakistani prisoners attacked him on April 26.

In an apparent retaliation, a retired Indian soldier attacked in a jail in Indian-controlled Kashmir a Pakistani national, Sanaullah,who died in India on Thursday.

The incidents raised tensions between the two uneasy neighbors and now India has told Pakistan to cancel this month's visit of its pilgrims.

The Indian Deputy High Commissioner met Pakistan's Director General of South Asia on Friday in Islamabad and said that the Government of India would not be in a position to ensure the safety and security of the pilgrims amid the prevailing security environment in India following recent bilateral incidents.

Pakistani pilgrims were scheduled to travel to Ajmer Sharif for the annual gathering of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer Sharif from May 13-23.

"The Government of India has recommended to the Government of Pakistan that the visit of the pilgrims may therefore be called off," the Foreign Ministry said.

A Foreign Ministry statement said that necessary advice in this regard has been conveyed to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

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