In a last-ditch attempt to ensure Pakistan’s participation in the shooting world cup, International Shooting Sport Federation president Vladimir Lisin has offered to provide his private jet to bring Pakistan team to New Delhi.
There is no clear word yet on visas for the Pakistan contingent and they are unlikely to participate in the event which begins on Saturday at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. In an email written to the National Rifle Association of Pakistan, Lisin told the Pakistan team that ISSF will ‘solve their transportation problem’.
“I’d appreciate you confirm the readiness of two Pakistani athletes and one official to participate in the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi in case they are granted visas [on Thursday]. The ISSF will solve the transportation problem by sending a private jet that will bring them to New Delhi,” the email read.
“The organising committee will also ensure that team members do not face any harassment either at the airport for bringing firearms and ammunition for participation in the world cup or during their stay in India,” the email added.
Meanwhile. there is no official word yet on whether the 16 Olympic quotas will be distributed at the season-opening World Cup, with Lisin initially saying that International Olympic Committee had decided to withdraw the same. Later, however, National Rifle Association of India chief Raninder Singh said talks were still ongoing with IOC.
Pakistan were not granted visas in the wake of terror attacks last week in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed.
Two Pakistani shooters – G M Bashir and Khalil Ahmed – were entered to participate in the World Cup in the 25m rapid fire pistol event which is scheduled for 25 February. They were supposed to be accompanied by a team manager.
Executive vice president of NRAP Javaid Lodhi, in his reply to ISSF wrote that they are ready to come to New Delhi latest by February 23 but want arrangements for team “for the security of the team members.”
“We hereby confirm that our team will participate in the ISSF World Cup if necessary arrangements proposed by you are made and our team arrives in New Delhi at the latest by 23 February afternoon so that they can at least have one day pre-event official training February 24.” Lodhi’s email added.