Saturday February 24, 2024

World Cup 2023: Pakistan regrets registration of case against Zainab Abbas

Pakistan denounces New Delhi's “unnecessary” controversy against Zainab Abbas that forced her to leave India

By Web Desk
October 12, 2023
Famed Pakistani journalist Zainab Abbas can be seen in this photo. — Zainab Abbas/X/File
Famed Pakistani journalist Zainab Abbas can be seen in this photo. — Zainab Abbas/X/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday regretted the registration of a case against ICC World Cup presenter, Zainab Abbas, in India and denounced the Narendra Modi government for creating an “unnecessary” controversy against her.

“The case against Zainab Abbas on unnecessary tweets is not appropriate. Zainab is being dragged into an unjustified case,” Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said when asked about the issue during the weekly press briefing.

Baloch said that as the host of the mega event, it is India's "responsibility” to provide security to the participants. She added that it is also India’s responsibility to provide a favourable environment for the Pakistani cricket team.

World Cup 2023 presenter Zainab had left India, earlier this week, after an Indian lawyer filed a complaint against her over alleged “anti-Hindu” statements.

As the news of her leaving India emerged it was being claimed that she was deported by India.

However, a spokesperson for the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed to Geo News that the presenter had left the country due to "personal reasons" and dismissed deportation reports.

An Indian lawyer had reportedly approached the police for the registration of a complaint against Abbas for allegedly issuing statements against India and Hinduism.

Abbas was announced as one of the presenters for this year’s World Cup earlier this month. The presenter was really excited about the opportunity to travel to India when the announcement was made.

Pakistan demands visas to be issued to journalists, fans

In the press briefing, the FO spokesperson also shared that Islamabad was in touch with Indian authorities on the issue of visas for Pakistani journalists and fans who want to attend the World Cup.

“We are in touch with the Indian authorities in this regard. We demand the issuance of visas soon,” said Baloch.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Indian embassy has finally started processing visas for Pakistani journalists to travel to the neighbouring country for the ICC event.

The embassy started contacting the journalists willing to cover the showpiece event underway in India and directed them to submit their passports at the earliest.

However, they are yet to receive the visas.

The much-awaited development came after the PCB expressed dismay over the delay in the issuance of Indian visas for Pakistani fans and journalists despite nearly a week into the World Cup 2023.

The mega cricket event began on October 5, but the Indian authorities have not yet issued visas to Pakistanis for attending the World Cup, leaving them in uncertainty.

In line with ICC law, the host country has to issue visas to fans and journalists for covering the events, but India has turned a deaf ear to Pakistan's hue and cry.