World T20: Pakistan disappointed over denial of match permits

Islamabad/New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Pakistan on Thursday said that it conveyed its disappointment to the Indian envoy in Islamabad over New Delhi’s decision to bar Pakistani diplomats from travelling to Kolkata for the World T20 match between India and Pakistan.

“We were disappointed, but the matter will now be sorted out,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said during the weekly press meet here.

Earlier on Thursday, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi refuted an Indian claim that the mission had been approved 19 permits for witnessing World T20 matches in which Pakistan is taking part.

The high commission officials here maintained that the mission applied for permits for 34 officials to watch four matches — two in Kolkata and two in Mohali, a high commission official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

He said so far, only 10 applications were approved which include one for High Commissioner Abdul Basit.

“Permits for the defence, naval and air force advisors; press and political counsellors; and protocol assistants have not been approved so far,” the PHC official said.

“The figure of 19 given by India is misleading as it also includes family members of those who have not received approval yet,” the official added.

“Pakistan has never hosted a T20 World Cup … India is hosting it but not allowing Commission officials to be present at venues where our team is playing,” the official said.

Indian External Affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had on Wednesday said that considering the occasion, 19 approvals were issued as a gesture to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

“This has been conveyed to Pakistan ministry of foreign affairs at senior levels,” Swarup said.

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