Pakistani High Commission ‘Misplaces’ 23 Indians’ Passports, India Declares Them Lost To Prevent MisuseRepresentative Image (Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The government of India declared 23 Indians’ passports as “lost” on Wednesday (3 January), after receiving information that Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi had misplaced them, reports Times of India.

“The Ministry of External Affairs has received information that a total of 23 passports have been misplaced by the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Lok Sabha.

Replying to a question on the issue, Swaraj said, "To prevent misuse of these passports, all the passports have been declared as 'lost' in the passport database.”

She said that all the concerned authorities had been instructed to be extra cautious while processing affected persons’ application for re-issuance of their passports.

The Indians whose passports went missing were from Sikh community and had applied for visa in Pakistani High Commission to visit Gurudwaras, including Kartapur Sahib, in Pakistan.

Pakistan issued visas to over 3,800 Sikh pilgrims to participate in the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev from 21 to 30 November.

According to the report, the 23 Indians whose passports were missing had applied for visa to travel to Pakistan along with a group of 3,800 Sikh pilgrims.

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