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February 21, 2019

Pakistan not to feature in shooting world cup in India


February 21, 2019

KARACHI: International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) offered Pakistan its help to get Indian visas for a shooting world cup in India but Pakistan has refused.

The ISSF issued a press release on Wednesday stating that the federation is making efforts to ensure Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup in New Delhi. “ISSF World Cup in New Delhi faces an urgent situation as Pakistani athletes cannot get entry visas to participate in the competition.

“The ISSF and the Organizing Committee of the competition are taking all efforts to solve the situation. “Besides that, the ISSF and the Organizing Committee are discussing the possible consequences for India as a host country for future international competitions, in all sports,” stated the international governing body of shooting sports.

But National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NRAP) emailed to President ISSF Vladimir Lisin and Secretary General ISSF Alexander Ratner on Wednesday morning that they would be unable to go to India even if the visas were issued.

Executive Vice President NRAP Javaid Lodhi stated in the email: “Please note that even if the visas are issued now, our team cannot travel to India with firearms and ammunition on another flight because it takes at least 5–6 days by the airline to get permission for carrying firearms and ammunition.”

The NRAP demanded that the Olympic Qualifying status of Rapid Fire Pistol event in ISSF World Cup New Delhi India 2019 (in which two Pakistani shooters were to participate) should be cancelled.

And the allocated Quota Places of ISSF World Cup New Delhi 2019 should be carried forward to the next ISSF World Cup scheduled to be held in China in April, NRAP said.

“No ISSF event be held in India till such time the Indian government gives written undertaking of non-discrimination for athletes from Pakistan with a uniform visa policy for all countries, including athletes and officials from Pakistan,” said NRAP.

NRAP put forward these demands keeping in view the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) policy and decisions taken in the past on the recommendation of ISSF in respect of cancellation of Olympic Qualifying status of last Asian Shooting Championship.

Two shooters and one coach from Pakistan were scheduled to travel to India on a flight from Karachi on February 20 to participate in ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in New Delhi, which is also an Olympic Qualifying Quota Event for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We had completed all the formalities and applied for Indian visas well in time (more than 60 days prior to the due departure of the team). But we regret to inform you that we have neither been issued the visa nor informed about its status despite many assurances by National Rifle Association of India that Pakistan shooting team will get the visa in time, as a result of which our team has not been able to travel to India today morning on the booked flight due to non-issuance of visa.

“You can very well imagine the frustration and disappointment of our athletes, who after performing reasonably well in the World Championship in South Korea had been training very hard hoping to achieve good results and win Quota Places in the World Cup,” stated Lodhi.

Ghulam Mustafa Bashir and Khalil Akhtar are on IOC Olympic Scholarship Programme. Bashir has recently left his lucrative job in Qatar to come to Pakistan and trained hard with the hope of winning a Quota Place in this World Cup.

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