Pakistan Refutes MEA Claim of Approving Visas for 19 Officials
NEW DELHI: The bickering between India and Pakistan over the denial of travel permission to Pakistan High Commission officials to watch T20 World Cup matches escalated on Thursday with Islamabad terming India’s statement that it had allowed entry to 19 mission officials “misleading”.
According to sources, those who have not been given permission include the country’s Defence Advisor, Press Counsellor, three Political Counsellors, Naval Advisor and Air Force Advisor.
“The High Commission has requested permission for 34 officials to watch four matches — two in Kolkata and two in Mohali. So far, permission has been given only to 10, including the High Commissioner and family members of the officials.
“While permission for Defence Advisor, Press Counsellor, three Political Counsellors, Naval Advisor, Air Force Advisor, and Protocol Assistants have not been given, the figure of 19 given by India is misleading,” a High Commission source said here. On Thursday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said India had approved the entry of 19 Pakistan High Commission officials and was prepared to consider more such requests.
“Pakistan has not informed the government of the itinerary for the proposed travel, as required by bilateral practice. This was despite repeated reminders over the past few days. However, considering the occasion, 19 approvals were issued as a gesture. We have urged that agreed requirements are met so that the rest of the requests can be processed,” the ministry spokesperson said.