ISLAMABAD: 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.
“Yes, I can confirm that two counsellors, one first secretary, two protocol officers and two family members have been denied permission to travel to Kolkata,” said a senior Pakistani diplomat.
However, no reason was given for the denial of permission, added the diplomat.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Dehli Abdul Basit is also awaiting permission from the Indian government to travel for the T20 match, however, permission to travel has not been communicated yet.
Basit is scheduled to travel on March 18, his application is still under consideration by the Indian authorities.
Pakistan has expressed disappointment over the decision taken by the Indian government.
Sources have also revealed that the Foreign Office is expected to summon the Indian envoy in Islamabad to formally record protest over New Delhi’s decision to bar Pakistani diplomats from travelling to Kolkata.
The Pakistan cricket team arrived in India on Saturday evening amid tight security to take part in the World Twenty20 championship, ending days of uncertainty over their participation in the tournament.
The match between Pakistan and India, which was first scheduled at the Dharamsala, was moved to Kolkata after security concerns in Himachal Pradesh.
The Pakistan government had then sought a “public guarantee” of security from Indian authorities before it sent players over for the international event.
The next day, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, assured in writing ‘foolproof security’ to the Pakistan team for its match against India.