India and Pakistan were sparring on Tuesday over Indian government’s refusal to grant permission to five Pakistani diplomats to travel to Kolkata to watch a World Cup T20 cricket match because they were seen as having links with “ISI and defence” organisations.
“While two of the diplomats will be given clearance to travel to Kolkata for the Pakistan-Bangladesh cricket match, five will not be given the permission as they have ISI and defence links,” Indian sources said.
Terming the denial of travel permission to seven of its Delhi-based diplomats as “unfortunate”, Pakistan High Commission sources said Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad will be summoned in this regard.
“Ministry of External Affairs of India refuses permission to seven Pakistan diplomats who were visiting Kolkata to encourage the Pakistan cricket team. It is unfortunate that India despite being the host of the World Cup is refusing to fulfil its obligations and creating hurdles,” the sources said.
Pakistan will play Bangladesh in a Super 10 Group 2 encounter at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday. Pakistan and India will also play at the same venue on March 19.
Indian sources also maintained that Pakistan High Commission did not even provide “basic details” of the diplomats who wanted to travel to Kolkata.