LAHORE - Pakistan Ju-Jitsu Federation (PJJF) president Khalil Ahmad Khan has said that the Indian High Commission (IHC) has showed biased attitude towards national ju-jitsu team and deprived the men in green of winning gold medals.

Pakistan national team was supposed to participate in the 1st South Asian & Central Asian Ju-Jitsu Championship at Bangalore, India which was scheduled to commence from May 29. But the IHC, showing biased attitude, denied visas to Pakistan male players and issued visas to only nine women players.

Talking to The Nation on Wednesday, Khalil expressed his disappointment at this discrimination and has strongly condemned this biased act of the IHC and urges upon the Pakistan government, through the foreign ministry, to call the IHC into their office and register their official protest for this biased act. “There appears no justification for granting visas to only female participants who cannot travel unchaperoned to this event.”

Termed this act as a biased and prejudiced action, the PJJF president stated: “When we will organise an international event in Islamabad in the month of September 2015, we will still invite our counterparts from India and extend them all our warmest hospitality in our soil. Sports are above politics and are the best way of diplomacy in bringing together the hostile and war conflicted nations. However, the Indian High Commission (IHC) is adamant in continuing its negative attitude.”

When asked about the reasons behind refusing visas to Pakistani men players, the PJJF chief replied: “It’s all a biased attitude and decision of the IHC, as they really don’t want Pakistan players to feature in the said event, because Pakistan is currently the Asian Champion in ju-jitsu, so beating the Asian champions is a tough task for Indian players. Therefore, they have preferred to keep the Pakistani men away from the tournament so that their local players may excel in the event. This is against the spirit of sports. They must not politicize the games rather they should strive to make the sports free and fair and provide equal chance to players of every country.”  When asked whether they would send women players to India for the event, Khalil replied: “How can we send our female players to the said event without any coach or technical official, as the IHC has issued visas to only female players, not to even a single official. So I, being PJJF president, after consulting with my house, have decided not to send our women players to India.”

Briefing about the entire process, the PJJF followed to get the Indian visas for their players for the event, the PJJF chief said: “We, the PJJF, have received the official invitation from the Ju-Jitsu Union of Asia (JJUA) as member of the sports fraternity, which was responded to in a positive manner and we confirmed our participation by sending the tentative list of around 38 members including male and female players.

“Finally, a delegation of 25 members as players with four officials and two referees were sent to the organisers in India. This list was submitted by them to their ministry of external affairs in New Delhi. 11 Agencies got involved in India for this clearance for Pakistani citizens; the passports were submitted to the IHC after obtaining the required NOC from Ministry of IPC (Sports), through the good office of the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan. All relevant documents were given to the IHC which processed the applications for more than a week. The organisers from India also approached and requested the IHC for the issuance of visas to the Pakistani sports contingent. However, the IHC, apparently with discriminatory and malafide intent, approved visas for only nine female participants and refused visas to all others, including male players,” Khalil concluded.