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Pakistan lodges protest with India after diplomats 'denied permission' to travel for T20 match

Pakistan lodges protest with India after diplomats 'denied permission' to travel for T20 match

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday lodged a strong protest against the Indian government's decision barring Pakistani diplomats in New Delhi from travelling to Kolkata to watch the March 19 Pak vs Ind World T20 standoff.

The Foreign Office on Wednesday summoned Deputy High Commissioner of India J.P. Singh to lodge the protest after five diplomats and their family members were not allowed to travel to Kolkata for the cricket match.

Acting Director General at the South Asia desk told J.P. Singh that the Indian government's action was against diplomatic norms and regarded it as highly regrettable.

The Indian diplomat assured officials that Pakistan's reaction would be conveyed to Indian authorities in New Delhi.

A total of 17 applications were submitted by diplomats and officials, including Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit, but only one diplomat was allowed to watch the Pakistan-Bangladesh match on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, Manzoor Ali Memon, told DawnNews over the phone.

"Even that diplomat was unable to watch the match, as it is not possible to reach Kolkata in such a short time," he said.

The match between Pakistan and India, which was first scheduled at Dharamsala, was moved to Kolkata after security concerns. The Pakistan government then sought a "public guarantee" of security from Indian authorities before it sent players over for the international event.

The next day, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, assured ‘foolproof security’ to the Pakistan team for its match against India in writing.

The Pakistani team arrived in India on Sat­urday evening amid tight sec­­urity to take part in the World T20 series and will face off against the Indian cricket team in one of the most awaited games of the tournament at Eden Gardens on March 19.

Related: Indo-Pak T20 match moved to Kolkata

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