Now India will grant visas for sportspersons from all countries, including Pakistan

NEW DELHI :Clearing the way for sportspersons from Pakistan to compete in international events held in India, the government assured the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tuesday that visas will be granted to participants from all countries “without prejudice”.

This allows the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to go ahead with its bids to host mega events, including the 2032 Olympics. In February, India was on the verge of isolation after a three-member Pakistani team was refused visas for the shooting World Cup in Delhi.

In a letter to IOC chief Thomas Bach and IOA president Narinder Batra, Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya said the government will “permit all qualified athletes belonging to any National Olympic Committee…” to take part in events held in India.

By refusing visas to sportspersons from Pakistan in February, India faced the risk of not being allowed to host big-ticket events such as Olympics and Asian Games. The assurance ensures India stays within global norms against discrimination in sports, including for political reasons.

“Such participation of athletes shall be without prejudice to our principled positions and policies on other political matters, including issues such as international recognition or otherwise of country of origin of the athletes,” the letter stated.