Pakistan pulls out of Chess Olympiad; India hits out at Pak for ‘politicising’ sporting event | Chess News

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: Pakistan withdrew from the Chess Olympiad being held in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, prompting India to hit out at the neighboring country for “politicising” the sporting event.
Hours after Pakistan announced its withdrawal from the Olympic Torch Relay passing through Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said it was “very regrettable” that the Pakistan has “politicized” the prestigious international event.
Bagchi claimed that the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh “have been, are and will remain an integral part of India”.
“It was the politicization of the event,” Bagchi said, referring to Pakistan’s decision.
Pakistan was invited by the International Federation of Chess (FIDE) to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad to be held in Mamallapuram near Chennai from July 28 to August 10.
“It is surprising that Pakistan has suddenly taken the decision not to participate in the FIDE Chess Olympiad, especially after the team has already reached India,” Bagchi said.
The spokesperson was responding to questions about Pakistan’s decision to boycott the Olympiad, citing the event’s torch relay passing through Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is very regrettable that Pakistan has politicized the prestigious international event by making such statements and withdrawing its participation,” he said.
Earlier today, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry announced its decision to boycott the Olympiad.
“Pakistan condemns India’s malicious attempt to mix politics and sport. As a form of protest, Pakistan has decided not to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad and will also raise the matter with the International Chess Federation in highest level,” he said in a statement.
On a separate question, Bagchi said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of India and rejects any comments that do not “reflect this reality”.

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