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Indian govt gives written assurance to IOC; decks cleared for Pakistani athletes to participate in India

NEW DELHI: In what is a major accomplishment of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the Indian government on Tuesday gave a written guarantee to the IOA and IOC that all athletes who qualify for international events being held in India will be granted entry into the country. The sports secretary, in the letter to IOA, states, “It is the policy of the government that India will hold international sporting events and will permit all qualified athletes belonging to any National Olympic Committee recognised by IOC or any national federation affiliated to International federation concerned to participate. This also clears the decks for athletes from Pakistan to compete in international events in India. According to the letter written by the Sports Secretary, all athletes belonging to any National Olympic Committee recognized by IOC or any national federation affiliated to the International federation, who have qualified for the event and their support staff will be allowed entry into India. Earlier, in February this year, the IOC had told all International Federations to suspend talks with India about hosting future international sports events after two shooters and one coach from Pakistan were denied visas for the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, in the wake of the Pulwama terror attacks.

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