Kolkata: The Indian government barred five Pakistani diplomats and two of their family members from travelling to Kolkata to watch the upcoming World T20 match between the two neighbouring countries on March 19 due to security reasons. (ICC World T20: Pakistan Team Finally Arrives in India, Shahid Afridi Hopes For Fresh Start)
A senior Pakistani diplomat, who did not want to be named, expressed disappointment over the Indian decision and told IANS: “It is unfortunate that India, despite being the host of the World Cup, is refusing to fulfill its obligations and creating hurdles.”
Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi, Abdul basit, was also awaiting permission to travel to Kolkata. So far, he had received no communication green-lighting his visit. (World T20: Amitabh Bachchan to Sing National Anthem Before India vs Pakistan Clash at Eden Gardens)
Basit is scheduled to travel on March 18 to watch the World T20 encounter at Eden Garden. (T20 World Cup: Pakistan, Happy With ‘Solid’ Assurance, To Reach Kolkata on Saturday)
Sources also revealed that the Pakistani Foreign Office is expected to summon the Indian envoy in Islamabad to formally record its protest over New Delhi’s decision to bar the Pakistani diplomats from travelling to Kolkata.
IANS has, meanwhile, reliably learnt that the external affairs ministry has denied permission to the diplomats in question as they belong to the Inter-Services Intelligence and their travel posed a security threat.