Indian visas are “clueless” to Pakistani supporters, as match tickets are thrown away

Indian visas are “clueless” to Pakistani supporters, as match tickets are thrown away. Pakistani cricket lovers are cursing their lot in life because they were unable to get Indian visas in time for the present ICC Cricket World Cup, leaving them devastated.

Even though the tournament started on October 5 and India will play Pakistan this Saturday in the biggest match in cricket history, several match ticket holders told Al Jazeera that their money will be wasted because the Indian High Commission in Pakistan has yet to announce a visa policy for match ticket holders from Pakistan.

“We don’t qualify for a reimbursement since we belong to the ‘no show’ category,” cricket enthusiast Umer Faizan, who was present at Pakistan’s opening two tournament matches, said Al Jazeera from Islamabad, the country’s capital.

“Although the tournament has been underway for almost a week, there is still no policy regarding visas for Pakistani spectators,” he stated.

Because of the tense relations between the two nations, obtaining a visa is a difficult and drawn-out process that frequently necessitates background investigations by national security services on both ends, which can lead to protracted delays.

Pakistanis who wish to visit India for major events, like the World Cup, must apply under specific visa guidelines designed to accommodate press members covering the games and holders of match tickets.

Almost two months before his team’s opening game on October 6, in August, Faizan purchased the tickets during a pre-sale deal.

“I purchased the tickets with three other friends, and we thought it would be an incredible experience to watch our team in India, but we don’t know how to obtain an Indian visa.”

According to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it has taken a convoluted diplomatic road to inform the Indian government of its “serious concerns and alarm” on the predicament faced by spectators and journalists.

The board claimed in a statement this week that PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf has urged Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Syrus Sajjad Qazi to bring up the matter with India’s Home Ministry through the Pakistan High Commission Office in New Delhi.

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