Pakistan seeks WSF’s help to procure Indian visas

PSF secretary Tahir Sultan said the Indian authorities were being unjust with the Pakistani sports persons.

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The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has sought World Squash Federation’s (WSF) intervention, after it failed to secure visas for its team which is set to take part in the World Junior Squash Championship, to be held in India next month.

The PSF has asked the World Squash Federation to help it in procuring Indian visas. PSF secretary Tahir Sultan said the Indian authorities were being unjust with the Pakistani sports persons.

"The World Junior Championship is an international event of the World Sqaush Federation and India will be hosting it next month. Unfortunately, so far we have been denied visas by the Indian authorities to send our contingent", Sultan told media.

"We are in the final stages of our preparations for the event, having selected a team of six players and three officials. We have requested the world body to ensure participation of our players in Chennai or cancel the event," Sultan added.

The PSF official said Pakistan was a pioneer in squash and had produced several world champions and top players.

"I would think that in India where the sport is becoming popular, they would benefit from watching our team play there", he said.

Sultan said the PSF had followed all the required procedures of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad while applying for visas.

"We had applied for visas in April. We also informed all the relevant squash bodies about this. On 20thJune, the Indian High Commission returned all our passports and refused the visas for the contingent," he said.

"We have always believed that sports can help in strengthening relations among nations."

The World Junior event is scheduled to be held from July 18-23 in Chennai. Pakistan is the defending champion, having won the title in 2016 in Poland.

Sultan noted that last year too, the Indian authorities did not grant visas to the Pakistan senior team for the Asian Individual Championship.

Pakistan has remained a major force in world squash over the years, producing champions like Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan, but in recent years there has been a decline in the performance of the players and standards of the sport in the country.