World Cup 2023: Pakistan slams India for dragging Zainab Abbas into ‘unnecessary’ controversy


Famed Pakistani journalist Zainab Abbas can be seen in this photo. — Zainab Abbas/X/File
Famed Pakistani journalist Zainab Abbas can be seen in this photo. — Zainab Abbas/X/File
  • Zainab Abbas is being dragged into an unjustified case, says FO.
  • Pakistan says that as hosts it is India’s responsibility to provide security. 
  • Pakistan demands India to issue visas to journalists and fans.

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Thursday slammed New Delhi for the “unnecessary” controversy Pakistani presenter Zainab Abbas was dragged into during the ongoing World Cup saying that the registration of the case was not the “right step”.

“The case against Zainab Abbas on unnecessary tweets is not the right action. Zainab is being dragged into an unjustified case,” said the spokesperson in response to a question during her weekly press briefing.

Baloch said that as host of the World Cup it is the “Indian state’s responsibility” to provide security. She added that it is also India’s responsibility to provide a favourable environment for the Pakistani cricket team.

World Cup 2023 presenter Zainab had left India, earlier this week, after an Indian lawyer filed a complaint against her over alleged “anti-Hindu” statements.

As the news of her leaving India emerged it was being claimed that she was deported by India.

However, a spokesperson for the International Cricket Council (ICC) had confirmed to Geo News that the presenter had left the country due to “personal reasons” and dismissed deportation reports.

An Indian lawyer had reportedly approached the police for the registration of a complaint against Abbas for allegedly issuing statements against India and Hinduism.

Abbas was announced as one of the presenters for this year’s World Cup earlier this month. The presenter was really excited about the opportunity to travel to India when the announcement was made.

Pakistan demands issuance of visas: FO

In the press briefing, the FO spokesperson shared that Islamabad was in touch with Indian authorities on the issue of the visas of Pakistani journalists and fans who want to attend the World Cup.

“We are in touch with the Indian authorities in this regard. We demand the issuance of visas soon,” said Baloch.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Indian embassy has finally started processing visas for Pakistani journalists to travel to the neighbouring country for the ICC event.

The embassy started contacting the journalists willing to cover the showpiece event underway in India, and directed them to submit their passports at the earliest.

However, they are yet to receive the visas. 

The much-awaited development came after the PCB expressed dismay over the delay in the issuance of Indian visas for Pakistani fans and journalists despite nearly a week into the World Cup 2023.

The mega cricket event began on October 5, but the Indian authorities have not yet issued visas to Pakistanis for attending the World Cup, leaving them in uncertainty.

In line with ICC law, the host country has to issue visas to fans and journalists for covering the events, but India has turned a deaf ear to Pakistan’s hue and cry.


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