LAHORE: India has reportedly refused to allow dozens of Sikh pilgrims to visit Pakistan to observe the death anniversary of Ranjeet Singh starting from today (Thursday). Thousands of Sikh pilgrims visit Pakistan each year on the end of June to mark the death anniversary of Ranjeet Sindh. However, this year Indian authorities have barred dozens of Sikh pilgrims from entering Pakistan on the pretext of security clearance.According to sources, a number of Sikh pilgrims also staged a protest against Indian government at Attari Railway Station. Pakistan’s Foreign Office Wednesday said that India had refused to allow some 300 Sikh pilgrims to cross the border to observe a major religious holiday.FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that the Foreign Ministry had issued visas to the pilgrims but that India would not let them enter Pakistan, despite a bilateral agreement to facilitate religious tourism. Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Khalil Tahit Sandhu said that the act of Indian authorities was a clear violation of human rights. He said that Sikh pilgrims should be granted permission to enter Pakistan to observe the death anniversary of Ranjeet Singh.He said that Pakistan had issued visas to several Sikh pilgrims to participate in the religious activity but India was using delay tactics with the Sikh pilgrims. Earlier this year, Indian authorities had refused to allow Sikh pilgrims to travel to Pakistan on another religious occasion, citing technical reasons.The nuclear-armed rivals have gone to war three times since they became independent in 1947, and are bitterly divided over the disputed Kashmir region. Published in Daily Times, June 29th, 2017.