India denies visa to Pakistani squash, wrestling teams; Vijay Goel says terrorism, sports can't go along

03 May 2017, 03:44 PM
A file photo of sports minister Vijay Goel.
A file photo of sports minister Vijay Goel.

Union Sports minister Vijay Goel said on Wednesday the relations between India and Pakistan can be cordial only after the neighbouring country stops sponsoring cross border terrorism.

Goel's statement came days after the government refused to issue visa to Pakistani squash and wrestling teams which were scheduled to participate in Asian Championship.

"Terrorism and sports can't go along and Pakistan should understand that. The relation between India and Pakistan can be cordial only after Pakistan stops sponsoring cross border terrorism," PTI quoted Goel as saying on the sidelines of the announcement of National Youth Awards in Delhi.

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"India take these things very seriously. We are not at loss, our decision to stop bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan will force Pakistani people to put pressure on their government to act against terrorism. "The entire world knows Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism," he added.

Pakistan blamed India for their pull-out from the Asian Squash Championships, apart from lodging a complaint with the World and Asian squash bodies that the hosts deliberately delayed visas to their team.

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An official source in the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) said the matter had been brought to the notice of the World and Asian bodies since Pakistan were the defending champions in the event starting on Wednesday in Chennai.    

The PSF claimed that it had submitted applications for visas of players and officials well before time, on March 17. PSF secretary Tahir Sultan alleged that after refusingthe visas to the Pakistan team comprising Farhan Mehboob,Farhan Zaman, Tayyab Aslam and Waqar Mehboob on Monday morning, the Indian High Commission.

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First Published: Wednesday, May 03, 2017 03:32 PM
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