MHA put Pakistan’s participation on hold for Asian Jr wrestling

Vastavam web: The Home Ministry has given green light to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for hosting the Asian Junior Championship but has put on hold participation of grapplers from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, according to officials. WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar confirmed that the MHA has given a go ahead for the event but said Pakistan’s participation was “subject to clearance from security agencies.”

While Tomar informed only about Pakistan’s participation, the PTI has learnt that clearance has been put on hold also for wrestlers from Iraq and Afghanistan.The clearance for the tournament paves the way for the grapplers and the officials from Uzbekistan, Japan and Turkmenistan and Korea to secure visas.WFI Secretary VN Prasood said the tournament will go ahead even if Pakistan contingent does not get permission to compete but it will have its own consequences.

“The tournament is on. We have given visa requests for Pakistan also but it all depends on ministry. If Pakistan are not allowed, the world body UWW may not give India tournaments to host in future,” Prasood feared. “If Pakistani contingent are not allowed to compete and denied visa, the UWW (world body) may punish us. They may ban us and take away the event from India. It’s Pakistan’s right to compete at the event ,” Singh said.”It’s not a bilateral meet, it’s an Asian Championship. Pakistan can’t be denied the chance to compete. Pakistan is not at the mercy of India to compete. Only after giving guarantee, which ensures participation of all countries, we are allotted tournaments,” he said.

Singh said he will meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh tomorrow to sort out the Pakistan issue.Recently squash players from Pakistan also struggled to secure visas for the Junior World Championship, starting July 17 in Chennai. India and Pakistan have not played a full bilateral cricket series since 2007 with the the Indian government not giving a go ahead to the BCCI in the backdrop of tense relations between the two countries. The WFI President expressed satisfaction that Indian girls finished second at the recently concluded World Cadet Championships and stressed that facilities have improved at training centres in India.