After a long wait, a Pakistan team will be travelling to India to take part in the Asian Championship. Wrestlers from the neighbouring country will become the first Pakistan team to compete in an international competition post-Pulwama terror attack in 2019.
The Indian High Commission which was initially reluctant to accept the visas of Pakistan team has finally accepted them. “WFI has requested the government to provide the visa to the Pakistan squad and it’s almost done,” WFI office secretary Vinod Tomar has confirmed.
The Pakistan Wrestling Federation too has confirmed the progress on the visa front. “Yes, it’s done. We expect to get visas in a couple of days,” New Indian Express has reported PWF Operations Manager Farid Ali as saying.
The Indian high commission accepted the passports and visa applications from Pakistan’ grapplers after getting clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs. A nod form the Ministry of Home Affairs is still awaited.
However, the position over visas to the Chinese wrestlers is still not clear. WFI terms it as “still under process. Visa process for the Chinese team is still under process as WFI is trying all it can to facilitate the visa to the (Chinese) squad. Amidst present conditions, it is very unlikely that the team will get the visa as no country is allowing any Chinese nationals to enter the country. Even the people who are having a connected flight from China are restricted in some countries,” said Tomar.
“A UWW official from the headquarters in Switzerland is also facing a lot of problems in getting the visa for the event as she is carrying a Chinese passport,” he added.
The WFI is under immense pressure from the world governing body and the International Olympic Committee to ensure visas for all the participants for the New Delhi Asian Wrestling Championships.
The continental tournament will be held in New Delhi from February 18 to 23.