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Rediff.com  » Sports » Visa delay forces Aisam to opt out

Visa delay forces Aisam to opt out

December 20, 2008 20:53 IST

Pakistan tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi on Saturday dropped plans to take part in the Chennai Open after he failed to get an Indian visa on time.

"The Indian high commission didn't refuse me a visa but they told me they can't issue it before a month," a disappointed Aisam said.

Aisam, who was due to take part in the high profile tennis event from January 6, said the Indian high commission had told him they would have to follow normal procedure while processing his visa application.

Indian authorities have revised their policy of issuing visas to Pakistan nationals after the Mumbai terror attacks.

The high commission in Islamabad had recently announced that from now on it would require atleast a month to process visas so that proper security checks could be carried out.

Prior to the thaw in relations brought about by the Mumbai massacre, high profile Pakistan nationals travelling to India were issued urgent visas.

Aisam said he was disappointed at not getting the visa as he was looking forward to the Chennai Open. 

"Anyway I will have to be more careful in future now while thinking about playing in India and will have to apply for visas keeping the month long deadline in mind," the tennis star said.

The Indian government this week refused permission to its cricket team to travel to Pakistan for a series while authorities in Pakistan are also taking their time to issue clearance to the hockey and squash teams for taking part in international events in India next month.

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