Pakistan journalists facing worst attitude from BCCI
By: Mohsin Ali
ISLAMABAD: The ongoing bilateral cricket series between Pakistan and India after a lapse of five years is a total loss as far as Pakistan Cricket Board finances are concerned.
The situation as far as Pakistani cricket mad fans or even sports journalists are concerned is alarming as Indian High Commission has so far failed to issue even a single visa to any Pakistani citizen who wanted to visit India to watch their team in action, despite assurances of providing visas to 3000 fans.
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik during his recent visit to India had promised that new visa policy would be applied especially for the current series, but the reality is quite different.
While talking exclusively with this correspondent from Chennai, senior sports journalists Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai, who had gone to India to cover the series said: “We are getting the worst-ever treatment at the hands of the organisers and they have denied us access to internet or other medium to remain in touch with our organizations”.
Ayaz further said: “We despite showing our passports and made several requests to the organisers for issuance of mobile sim card but nobody paid heed to our request for sim cards. At last I used my source in India and now I am using a sim issued on a local person name,” he claimed.
Ayaz said: “The situation gets even worst for the Pakistanis as not a single restaurant or guesthouse is ready to provide us accommodation, how could be it possible for the fans, who after travelling long distances came to know that now they have to arrange self accommodations.
“It was the duty of BCCI and PCB to sort out all these minor issues well before the start of the series. Indian High Commission would only issue visa to Pakistani fans for the last One Dayer which would be played at Indian capital New Delhi and relatively very close from Lahore, as Indians doesn’t want Pakistani fans to visit other venues,” he stated. .
The biased Indian media and above all their spectators are arguably the worst fans on earth, who only cheer for their team players while Pakistani fans had always cheer for every opposition.
BCCI had deliberately choose far flung venues as the travelling distance between each venue to other spans from 4 to 8 hours and even if the authorities had issued visas to Pakistani fans they would find it almost impossible to cope with such a hectic schedule.
It is the duty of Foreign Office, especially the Interior Minister Rehman Malik to look into this matter of grave concern for the Pakistani fans and take up the issue with his Indian counterparts and lodged a very strong protest, so the same not to be repeated in future.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf, who is presently in India, should take up the issue with the BCCI chief to address these minor issues faced by the Pakistani journalists and fans as well who were deprived of watching their favourite players in action at any cost.
This matter should not be ignored as this is the matter of prestige for the millions of Pakistanis and a respectable solution is the need of the hour. BCCI would earn millions from this particular series and PCB would only get peanuts. The resumption of bilateral cricket series is a positive development, but it should not be a one-way traffic. Indians now also compelled to visit Pakistan for a long overdue return leg tour to Pakistan to enable fans to watch their heroes in action.