PCB chief Najam Sethi complains about India's 'strict' visa regime; MEA says 'not a big deal'

Najam Sethi said, "It has taken me 19 hours to get here and I was subjected to a lot of inconvenience and hardships. If we had been given a proper Visa, it just takes two hours to get here from Lahore."

PTI, April 23, 2018

Kolkata: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi claimed that India's "strict" visa regime forced him to take an arduous journey for the ongoing ICC meeting in Kolkata, a claim that was brushed aside by the Ministry of External Affairs as "not a big deal".

Sethi claimed that he had to take a 19-hour journey for coming from Lahore to Kolkata.

File image of Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi. AP

File image of Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi. AP

"It has taken me 19 hours to get here and I was subjected to a lot of inconvenience and hardships. If we had been given a proper Visa, it just takes two hours to get here from Lahore," Sethi told PTI.

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, who is currently in China, said due procedure is followed for all visa applications.

"It's not a big deal. There is a certain process that's followed for people of both the countries. Whenever an Indian travels to Pakistan he or she also has to go through a certain process," Kumar said.

"In this specific case, he (Sethi) has come here for a specific purpose to attend a meeting in Kolkata. So, he was given a one-city Visa. He can complain or say anything but there's absolutely nothing new in it," he added.

Sethi, who is accompanied by chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed, claimed he had to travel via Dubai to New Delhi before boarding a flight to Kolkata.

The PCB officials landed in Kolkata around 10 pm last night.

"The Visa regime is so strict that we could not fly directly from Pakistan to Delhi, or Pakistan to Kolkata," he said.

"I had to take a flight from Lahore to Dubai, then Dubai to Delhi and then to Kolkata," he said.

A PCB delegation is visiting India for the first time after 2015. That delegation had come to discuss resumption of bilateral cricketing ties between the two arch-rivals.

The meeting was, however, disrupted after Shiv Sena activists stormed into the BCCI headquarters to protest.

Updated Date: Apr 23, 2018





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