Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Interim Management Committee head Zaka Ashraf on Monday approached Foreign Secretary Syrus Sajjad Qazi and raised concerns over the delay in the issuance of visas for Pakistani fans and journalists willing to visit India for the World Cup.
A number of journalists across Pakistan are waiting for clarity from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad regarding their applications, even after the commencement of the 50-over showpiece.
Earlier, the International Cricket Council had given Pakistan a quota of 50 journalists but there were 206 applicants from the country. Those who were unable to get a place in the quota were yet to receive a reply citing the reason for refusal.
Fans, meanwhile, have been kept in the dark, with reportedly no correspondence whatsoever having taken place between visa application centres and the Indian High Commission regarding their process.
Last week, an ICC spokesperson told Reuters that India was working hard on the matter with the council’s support.
Meanwhile, the PCB has repeatedly expressed displeasure over the uncertainty surrounding the visas.
In a press release issued today, the PCB said Ashraf called upon Qazi and raised alarm over the delay in visas for fans and journalists.
“The chairman requested the foreign secretary to take up the issue with India’s Home Ministry through the Pakistan High Commission Office in New Delhi,” it stated.
According to the press release, PCB was extremely disappointed to see that journalists from Pakistan and fans were still facing uncertainty about obtaining an Indian visa to cover the World Cup.
“In the meantime, the PCB has again reminded ICC and BCCI of their respective obligations and terms and conditions stipulated in the host agreement to guarantee visas for fans and journalists of participating teams,” it added.
The press release further stated that the PCB had also taken “serious notice” of security threats being reported in Indian media and requested the government to evaluate players’ security in India.
On Saturday, Indian media reported that the local police had received a “threat email” from an anonymous sender to blow up the Ahmedabad stadium — the ground where the World Cup final is scheduled to be played — if Rs5,000 million were not paid to a local gangster.