India advises Pakistan to cancel pilgrims' visit

Islamabad, May 10 (IANS) India has recommended to Pakistan to cancel the visit of Pakistani pilgrims to the shrine of a famous saint in India over security concerns, the Pakistani foreign ministry said Friday.

Tensions between Pakistan and India heightened over the attacks on prisoners in the past two weeks.

Sarabjit Singh, an Indian on death row in Pakistan, died after a group of Pakistani prisoners attacked him April 26.

Later, Pakistani national Sanaullah Ranjay was attacked in a jail in Jammu. He died in a hospital in Chandigarh.

India has now told Pakistan to cancel this month's visit of its pilgrims, Xinhua reported.

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

Pakistani pilgrims were scheduled to travel to Ajmer Sharif for the annual gathering of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti 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 Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement.

The foreign ministry statement said necessary advice in this regard has been conveyed to the ministry of religious affairs.

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