A senior Pakistani minister has been denied a visa to visit India for the second one-day international between the hosts and Pakistan. The news comes after 46 Pakistani journalists, awarded media accreditation for the five-ODI and three-Test tour, were unable to cover the first match as they were yet to be issued visas by the Indian High Commission (IHC).
Railways minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed intended to watch Thursday's second match at Mohali, but was informed by the IHC in Islamabad that he could not be issued the required visa. "I was planning to travel on Wednesday but they left me disappointed," he told AP. "They didn't give any reason for not granting me the visa.
"This time I had got invitation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India and even then they did not give me the visa at the eleventh hour."
According to the minister, official permission was sought from the Pakistan government for the required travel and as a result, a protest has been lodged and the Pakistan prime minister informed. No official from the IHC was available for comment.
While visas were famously relaxed and citizen-to-citizen contact was actively encouraged during the last three series between the two countries, a similar trait has yet to be seen this time around. This surprised the minister, who firmly believed that "there should be people-to-people contact between the two countries."