The Pakistan Squash Federation secretary Tahir Sultan has argued that the Indian High Commission refused visas to the Pakistani squash team comprising of: Farhan Mehboob, Farhan Zaman, Waqar Mehboob, and Tayyab Aslam.
Pakistan is lodging a complaint with the Asian and World squash bodies, alleging that the Indian hosts deliberately delayed visas to the Pakistan team, who was attempting to play in the Asian Senior Individual Championship.
An official in the PSF (Pakistan Squash Federation) has stated that the matter has indeed been brought to the notice of World and Asian squash bodies since Pakistan were the defending champions of the event in Chennai.
The PSF has claimed that they submitted their applications for visas for their players and officials well before the time needed, on March 17 — but the hosts deliberately delayed the visas to their team in order to make the Pakistani team miss the event.
The Pakistan Squash Federation secretary Tahir Sultan told PTI that: “After returning the passports to us, they (Indian High Commission) contacted us and asked us to submit the passports again for the issuance of visas but we have now decided not to apply again.”
Mr. Sultan claims that the authorities in India used delay tactics while processing the visa applications of the Pakistani players for the tournament, scheduled to commence in Chennai. While Pakistan will not be playing in the event, Sultan has promised that they would be pursuing the matter with the squash bodies as well as the PSA (Professional Squash Association)
Sultan says that “We have always said that there should be no politics in sports but apparently India has its own policy. But the refusal of visas is unacceptable since the Asian Senior Individual Championship is not an Indian event but a regional one.”
The foreign ministry has confirmed that this matter has been taken up at the diplomatic level and that Pakistan is concerned after the constant refusal of visas to Pakistani sportsmen that have been occurring for major international events in India.
Not the First Time
A source inside of the foreign office has spoken out and stated that: “Yes, the foreign office has spoken to Indian diplomats on this issue. Because it is now becoming a frequent matter for visas to be refused to Pakistani sportsmen for international events in India.” Examples include the Pakistan junior hockey team, where the team was also held up in the same way during the World Cup, which was held in India.
In fact, Pakistan’s legendary Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan have also criticized India for their lack of sportsmanship and have called on the Pakistan Olympic Council and the PSF to take this problem to the international level.