2 Pak Shooters Denied Visa for ISSF WC in Delhi

IN the  Aftermath of the  Terror  attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama on February  14, two  Pakistani  shooters have been denied Visas for the International Shooting  Sport Federation’s  World Cup  scheduled to  commence in South Delhi’s Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range   on February 23.It was earlier reported that the two shooters — GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed — were issued visas. Pakistan’s National Rifle Shooting Federation has revealed that the visas were not received Visa until Wednesday. NRSF of Pakistan has taken up the matter with The International Olympic Committee (IOC), ISSF and the organisers, requesting them to not disburse Olympics quota places in the 25m Rapid Fire competition, in which Bashir and Ahmed were to take part. ISSF secretary general Alexander Ratner told The Tribune that they are waiting for any direction that may come from IOC. “They (NRSF) want quotas to be transferred to the next World Cup, to be held in Beijing,” Ratner said. Asked if ISSF was willing to transfer the quotas, he said: “We don’t have the authority to take such a decision. The Olympic qualification process is decided by IOC. We know that Pakistan National Rifle Association and their Olympic Committee are in contact with IOC. I believe IOC is also in contact with the Indian Olympic Association. We don’t know but we presume it is regarding this visa issue only. By tomorrow morning we will know for sure about this situation.” Meanwhile, ISSF said its executive is discussing consequences for India as host for future competitions. “The ISSF and the Organising Committee of the competition are taking all efforts to solve the situation to avoid the discrimination of the Pakistani team,” an ISSF statement said. “The ISSF and the Organising Committee are discussing the possible consequences for India as a host country for future international competitions in all sports,” it added. Reacting, Raninder Singh, president of National Rifle Association of India, and an ISSF vice-president, said: “It is unfortunate that the team for whatever reasons has not been granted visas despite all our efforts. However, the format of the competition has not been changed”, he added. Raninder though admitted that it was bound by the wishes of the government of India. “The NRAI cannot comment on the wisdom of the decisions taken by the government of India. We accept what the government wishes to do in these circumstances. What other consequences follow on the basis of the decision, we will see when they come up,” he said.

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