Lahore/Islamabad: A group of abour 250 Pakistani Hindus were on Friday allowed to cross over to India for a pilgrimage after being detained at the Wagah land border crossing due to a controversy over reports that they planned to migrate to the neighbouring country.

The Hindus protested at the Wagah border crossing after they were detained for almost seven hours. Immigration authorities finally allowed the Hindus to cross the frontier at about 2.30pm.

"We were given the go-ahead from the interior minister to allow about 250 Hindus to travel to India. They all have valid travel documents," a senior official of the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore said.

"The Hindus have 33-day visas for different Indian cities. We stopped them temporarily after media reports said they would not return because of some problems they were facing here," the official said.

The FIA sent a special team to Wagah to interview the Hindus.

"The Hindus dismissed media reports about them and assured the team that they would not speak against Pakistan in India," the official said. The official said the team had not asked the Hindus to provide any sort of undertaking. "They promised not to defame Pakistan," he said.

Though the Hindus gathered at the border crossing at 8am, only two doctors and their families were initially allowed to cross to India.

Both doctors had "no-objection certificates" and authorities had earlier said they would only allow people with NOCs to cross the border.


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