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Pakistan pulls out of Chess Olympiad in protest against India’s politicization of sports

ISLAMABAD: In protest of India’s “mischievous attempt” to mix politics with sports, Pakistan has decided not to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad being held in India.

“Pakistan will also raise the matter with the International Chess Federation at the highest level,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Thursday.

Pakistan was invited by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad scheduled to be held in Chennai, India, from July 28 to August 10. A Pakistani contingent was already training for this event.

The Foreign Office said, “Regrettably, India has chosen to politicize this prestigious international sporting event by passing the torch relay of this event through the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” it said. 

The torch relay passed through Srinagar on June 21.

The FO said by passing the torch relay through IIOJK, in utter disregard of the globally acknowledged “disputed” status of the territory, India had committed a travesty that the international community cannot accept under any circumstances.

“India must know that by such provocative and indefensible actions, it can neither seek nor claim international legitimacy for its unjustifiable, illegal and tyrannical occupation of IIOJK continuing for over 7 decades,” it said.

The FO said, “Pakistan also strongly urges the international community to call upon India to end its gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK, revoke its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, and free all political prisoners including the true Kashmiri leaders”.

Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized “disputed” territory between Pakistan and India.

The IIOJK has been under forcible and illegal occupation of India since 1947 and this dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for more than seven decades. India is responsible for widespread atrocities and egregious human rights violations in IIOJK.


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