India denies visas to Pakistani chefs for Amritsar food festival


India on Saturday denied visas to Pakistani chefs intending to participate in the ‘World Heritage Cuisine and Food Festival’ scheduled to be held in Amritsar next month, as tensions between the two countries increased following New Delhi’s volte-face on a meeting between foreign ministers of both countries on the sidelines of the UNGA summit and the Indian Army chief’s inflammatory remarks against Pakistan.

The festival will take place from October 12-14 with chefs from over 40 different countries taking part in the event.

According to details, the Pakistani chefs have decided to lodge their protest to the secretary general of WorldChefs, a global network of chefs associations, in Paris against the Indian refusal to grant visas.

Ahmad Shafiq, secretary general of Pakistan Chefs’ Association, said that they had fulfilled all necessary documentation required for the visa but organisers of the event told them that their invitation had been cancelled owing to political pressure.

The event is an initiative of the World Cultural Culinary Heritage Committee of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WorldChefs).