New Delhi: Denied visas in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, Pakistan's shooting federation on Wednesday wrote to the international body, asking it to drop the two 25m rapid fire pistol quotas for 2020 Olympics, in the season-opening World Cup.
The terror attack, which killed 40 CRPF personnel, had cast a doubt on Pakistan shooters' participation in the tournament, starting Saturday, in the Indian capital.
"The ISSF has received a letter from the Pakistan federation, requesting it not to offer quota places in the events their shooters were scheduled to participate. This is what the ISSF secretary-general said," a National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) official said.
Pakistan had applied for visas for two shooters — GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed — in the rapid-fire category as the event in New Delhi also serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic games.
Both International Shooting Sport Federation president Vladimir Lisin and secretary general Alexander Ratner are here for the mega event. While Lisin could take up the matter with Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Ratner said the decision to allot quota places depend on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The top two officials of the ISSF were at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range on Wednesday evening, even as the global body termed the situation urgent.
"ISSF World Cup in New Delhi faces an urgent situation as Pakistani athletes cannot get entry visas to participate in the competition, due to the terrorist attacks happened last days in India," the global sports body said in a statement.
"The ISSF and the Organizing Committee of the competition are taking all efforts to solve the situation to avoid the discrimination of the Pakistani team.
"Besides that, the ISSF and the Organizing Committee are discussing the possible consequences for India as a host country for future international competitions, in all sports," it added.
Meanwhile, maintaining that the door is still open for shooters from across the border despite the heightened tension between the two countries following the terror attack, NRAI Secretary General DV Seetharama Rao said the federation will go by the "wishes and orders" of the government.
"I can only tell you that they were supposed to come today, it is up to the government to issue the visa. The government has not asked us to not allow them. If the government does not give them the visa, we abide by that. We cannot do anything," said Rao.
"We will follow and comply with rules and regulations and orders of the government of India. Much before this unfortunate event, we had sent out invitations and visas were granted," he said.
Asked about possible repercussions from the IOC if the Pakistani shooters are not allowed to take part in the World Cup, Rao said the NRAI will discuss the issue with the ISSF.
"We have to take it as it comes. We will have to sit with the ISSF and discuss things out. Every action has counteraction."
Pakistan's National Rifle Shooting Federation (NSRF) President Razi Ahmed on Tuesday said they would not participate in the World Cup in New Delhi because its marksmen had not been issued visas by the Indian High Commission.
A total of 503 shooters from 58 countries will be competing for top honours with eight of the 10 events offering 16 quota places for the Tokyo Games.
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Updated Date: Feb 20, 2019 22:12:18 IST