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Pakistan withdraws from 44th Chess Olympiad 2022

The announcement from Islamabad came two days after the Chess Federation of India confirmed that 10-member team will travel to Chennai to participate in the Olympiad.

Aakash Srivastava Author

Published on - 28 July 2022 5:30 pm

In a shocking turn of events, Pakistan has pulled out of 44th Chess Olympiad, scheduled to take place in India accusing the host nation of politicizing the marquee tournament by passing the torch relay for the event through Jammu and Kashmir. The announcement from Islamabad came two days after the Chess Federation of India confirmed that ten-member team will travel to Chennai to participate in the Olympiad.

In an official announcement, Islamabad described the passing of torch relay through Kashmir as a ‘travesty’ and once again reiterated to free the political prisoners in the valley. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also accused India for politicizing the sporting event and justified their decision to not participate in the event.

“Pakistan condemns India’s mischievous attempt to mix politics with sports”, read the statement. Responding on the development, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi reportedly said that it is surprising of Pakistan to not participate in the Chess Olympiad even after their team reached India.

“As a protest, Pakistan has decided not to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad and will raise the matter with International Chess Federation at the highest level,” read the statement from MEA. Notably, the torch relay passed through Kashmir’s capital Srinagar on June 21. The neighbors further stated that India has disregarded the sentiments of local people in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and committed a travesty that the international community cannot accept under any circumstances.

“India must know that by such provocatively and indefensible actions, it can neither seek nor claim international legitimacy for its unjustified, illegal and tyrannical occupation of IIOJK continuing for over seven decades,” the statement from Pakistan’s MEA further read.

The Chess Olympiad 2022 will be held at the Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Centre, which is located on the East Coast Road in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the event on Thursday in the presence of state’s Chief Minister MK Stalin and other dignitaries. A total of 30 Indian players across six teams (three each in the Open and the women sections) will represent the country at the event.

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