Pakistan Boycotts Chess Olympiad 2022 After India Politicizes Event

The Chess Federation of Pakistan has decided not to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad, which is set to take place from July 28 to August 10 in Chennai in protest of India’s torch relay through Kashmir on July 21.

India staged the first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, or 75 years of India’s independence, which covered over 75 major cities in India, including the Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Asim Iftikhar, a spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign office, told the media that although Pakistan had been invited to compete in the competition, the neighboring country had politicized the esteemed international event.

India chose to politicize this prestigious international sporting event. Pakistan was invited by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to participate in the Chess Olympiad. A Pakistani contingent was already training for this event.

The spokesperson further added that they will raise this issue with the FIDE at the highest level and urged the international community to put an end to India’s grave and persistent breaches of human rights in the IIOJK.

He also claimed that India betrayed the international community by carrying out the torch relay through the occupied valley, ignoring the region’s “disputed” status, which the world cannot accept under any circumstances.

CFP informed the media earlier this week that Pakistan’s 10-member national chess team, comprised of the country’s top five male and five female players, will compete in the international Chess Olympiad in India.

The national chess contingent has also participated in several international tournaments including the West Asian Championship where they were only able to bag the bronze medal.

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