While a few of the cricket pundits are adamant to boycott Pakistan during the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 without considering the plausible long-term consequences for the brilliant athletes such as Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah who have helped built one of the most talented cricket teams in the history of Indian cricket, the Indian National Olympic Committee (NOC) have already taken a major step towards cutting all relations with the neighbouring country.
During the 34th edition of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup, currently taking place in New Delhi, India decided to refuse visas to two of the Pakistani shooters in GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed.
The ban comes as a response to the unfortunate suicide bombing in the Pulwama district of Jammu & Kashmir, the credit for which was taken by the notorious terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed.
However, according to clause 6 under the Fundamental Principles of Olympism in the Olympic Charter, every Olympian enjoys a set of 'rights' and 'freedoms' what shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, ***, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
In other words, Even though the political scenario between India and Pakistan, no matter how strenuous it may be, should have no effect on the olympic athletes belonging from either of the countries.
Clearly having violated the mandate, the International Olympic Committee has decided to not indulge with friendly talks with the Indian NOC with regards to providing the rights for hosting future Olympic events in the country, “until and unless a written clearance from the government is obtained”.
The hasty decision to ban the Pakistani shooters from participating in the ISSF World Cup, might seem to be justified in the eyes of a lot of us who are scarred by the forlorn incident but it could have massive repercussions for the Indian athletes in the future.
First of all, for a country as diverse as India with a huge number of fans for nearly every Olympic sport, it is crucial to continue to host major events like the ISSF World Cup. Eventually, we will have to give in to the Olympic Charter if we wish to be associated with the greatest sporting platform, period, thereby completely negating the the value of their ongoing protest.
Secondly, if push comes to shove, the IOC will not even think twice before banning India as a whole as they did Russia in 2018, taking away the rights of the country to hoist their flags during the tournament and sing their national anthem.
For a country that sends one of the biggest contingents to the historical tournament with national teams and individuals preparing for years to get that one shot, an international ban would not only result in a lost opportunity but also the loss of potential earnings.
India doesn't lack in athletes who are trying to make ends meet. Taking away an opportunity like this would only bring hardships and struggles to the people of India. The protest then, would be the last thing on our minds.