Pakistan slams India for politicising international chess olympiad, backs out

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Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar - Radio Pakistan
Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar – Radio Pakistan
  • Pakistan condemns Indian attempts to politicise 44th chess olympiad being held in Chennai.
  • India politicised olympiad by passing torch relay across Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, says FO.
  • Says India disregarded territory’s “disputed” status.

Pakistan strongly condemned India’s “mischievous attempt” to politicise the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, which begins today in Chennai, and has boycotted the event in protest.

According to Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar, Pakistan has been invited by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to compete in the 44th Chess Olympiad, which will be held in Chennai till August 10. A Pakistani contingent had already begun preparations for this event.

“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),” said the FO spokesperson.

The torch relay passed through Srinagar on June 21, 2022, according to the FO spokesperson’s statement.

The FO spokesperson slammed India for the act and said that by passing the torch relay through IIOJK, 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. As is well-known, Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised “disputed” territory between Pakistan and India,” the statement read.

The FO spokesperson statement further stated that the IIOJK has been under forcible and illegal occupation by India since 1947, and this dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for more than seven decades.

It stated that 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,” it read.

“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,” the FO spokesperson said.

“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,” the statement concluded. 

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