RELIGION

Pakistan: India keeping Sikh pilgrims from visiting

Pakistan says India has refused to allow some 300 Sikh pilgrims to cross the border to observe a major religious holiday.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it had issued visas to the pilgrims but that India will not let them enter Pakistan, despite a bilateral agreement to facilitate religious tourism. India's Foreign Ministry said it was not aware they had been stopped.

Pakistan says Indian authorities earlier this year refused to allow Sikh pilgrims to travel to Pakistan for 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. New Delhi also suspects that Islamabad supports the Khalistan movement, a Sikh separatist group.