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Olympic body slams India over visa denial to Pakistani shooters

February 23, 2019

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it would suspend all discussions with India over the hosting of global sporting events. This strong reaction comes after India refused to issue visas to Pakistani shooters for the World Cup in New Delhi.

The IOC has also withdrawn the Olympic qualification status for the men's 25m rapid fire event from the New Delhi World Cup. India has denied the visas due to the terror attack in Pulwama where 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.

The IOC has also said it will not allow India to organize any Olympic-related events in the future, unless the government gives written assurances.

The IOC restricted the withdrawal of recognition as an Olympic qualification event to the 25m rapid fire pistol competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. This happened in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition. - International Olympic Committee (IOC)

The IOC added that "in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete".

The IOC has also strongly criticized India for violating the Olympic charter.

"This situation goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic charter, in particular the principles of non-discrimination, as well as the IOC's and the Olympic movement's position, reiterated on many occasions over the past few years, that equal treatment must be guaranteed for all participating athletes and sporting delegations at international sports events, without any form of discrimination or political interference from the host country. As a result, the IOC executive board also decided to suspend all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India, until clear written guarantees are obtained from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants in such events in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic charter".

Pakistan had applied for visas for two shooters - G M Bashir and Khalil Ahmed in the rapid fire category. The event in New Delhi is also a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic games.

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