Pakistan to pull out of chess olympiad in protest against India's politicisation of sports

Pakistan on Thursday decided not to compete in the 44th Chess Olympiad being hosted in India as a protest against what it calls Delhi's "mischievous attempt" to link sports and politics.

According to a statement released by the Foreign Office, "Pakistan will also discuss the matter with the International Chess Federation [FIDE] at the highest level."

Pakistan was invited by the FIDE to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad scheduled to be held in Chennai, India, from July 28 to August 10. A Pakistani contingent was already training for this event.

The Foreign Office said, “Regrettably, India has chosen to politicise this prestigious international sporting event by passing the torch relay of this event through the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)."  

The torch relay passed through Srinagar on June 21.

The FO said by passing the torch relay through IIOJK, in utter disregard of the globally acknowledged “disputed” status of the territory, India had committed a travesty that the international community cannot accept under any circumstances.

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“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 seven decades,” it said.

The FO furthered, “Pakistan also strongly urges the international community to call upon India to end its gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK, revoke its illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, and free all political prisoners, including the true Kashmiri leaders”.

Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised “disputed” territory between Pakistan and India.

The IIOJK has been under forcible and illegal occupation of India since 1947 and this dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for more than seven decades. India is responsible for widespread atrocities and egregious human rights violations in IIOJK.

Since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, Indian occupation forces have extra-judicially killed more than 650 innocent Kashmiris. More ominously, India has been seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory in flagrant violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, international law and the 4th Geneva Convention.

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