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Pakistan boycott Chess Olympiad in protest against Kashmir torch relay

Pakistan had already sent a team to the Chess Olympiad being hosted in India, but they pulled out in protest against tournament's torch relay travelling through Srinagar last week.

Pakistan boycott Chess Olympiad in protest against Kashmir torch relay

The Pakistani team for the Chess Olympiad 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 July 2022 11:56 AM GMT

Pakistan have pulled out of the 44th Chess Olympiad being held in Chennai as an act of protest even though their ten-member team had already landed in the host country.

Pakistan on Thursday accused India of politicising the Chess Olympiad by having the event's torch relay passing through Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar.

"Pakistan condemns India's mischievous attempt to mix politics with sports. As a protest, Pakistan has decided not to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad and will also raise the matter with the international Chess Federation at the highest level," said Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

"By passing the torch relay through IIOJK (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir), in utter disregard of the globally acknowledged "disputed" status of the territory, India has committed a travesty that the international community cannot accept under any circumstances. India must know that by such provocative and indefensible actions, it can neither seek nor claim international legitimacy for its unjustifiable, illegal and tyrannical occupation of IIOJK continuing for over 7 decades," said the statement.

The Chess Olympiad is being inaugurated in Chennai on July 28, Thursday, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian government has said it is surprising that Pakistan decided to boycott the Chess Olympiad even after their team reached India.

Among the ten chess players sent by Pakistan, the five-member women's team had sisters Mehek Gul and Aleena Zahid, Sanobia Wasif, Noor Fatima and Sahrish, while the men's team had Aamir Karim, Junaid Sohail, Muhammad Waqar, Muhammad Shahzeb and Ehtsham.

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