Pak shooters granted visas for World Cup in India

NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia had assured his counterpart that the visas would be granted as the Indian home ministry had cleared it; but that was before the cruel attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

The International Shooting Sport Federation event, which will offer 16 quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, starts at the Dr Karni Singh Range on Thursday.   -  FILE PHOTO/ SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

 

Pakistan’s shooters were granted visas to participate in the New Delhi World Cup, a top Indian shooting official revealed, ending speculation about their presence in the event in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack.

The International Shooting Sport Federation event, which will offer 16 quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, starts at the Dr Karni Singh Range on Thursday.

“Their visa has been cleared and we have received communication from the Indian High Commission and the Pakistan shooting federation. The two shooters and the manager’s tickets are also being booked,” National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) secretary Rajiv Bhatia said on Monday.

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Earlier, the terrorist attack had cast a doubt over Pakistan shooters’ participation in the World Cup, with the country’s federation in Karachi saying that it would not send its marksmen if the visas weren’t cleared at the earliest.

At least 40 CRPF paramilitary troopers were killed while several others injured in what is being termed as the deadliest terrorist strike in three decades in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian government had given clearance for the applications, but that was before last Thursday’s cruel attack.

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Pakistan applied for visas for two shooters in the rapid fire category — GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed — for the World Cup.

Pakistan’s National Rifle Shooting Federation boss Razi Ahmed had earlier said that the secretary of NRAI had assured him that visas would be granted since the Indian home ministry had given its clearance.

He added that air tickets had been booked and No Objection Certificates obtained for taking the ammunition to New Delhi for use in the championship.