Lucknow: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday backed party president Amit Shah’s statement opposing India’s participation in any bilateral cricket series with Pakistan, while saying the decision came in view of the active support by Islamabad in terror activity.
“This has been the consistent policy after the Pathankot attack on army base. This has been reiterated by Amit Shah. Unless peace is restored and Pakistan stop middling in the internal affairs of India and playing with the internal security by instigating the terrorist and allowing cross border terrorism India should refrain from playing with Pakistan any game,” BJP leader S. Prakash said.
Echoing similar views, BJP leader Rahul Sinha said no matches should be played between India and Pakistan unless Pakistan stops encouraging the terrorists.
“Unless the situation becomes normal and Pakistan stops encouraging the terrorists, no matches should be played between both the countries. I support Amit Shah’s statement,” Sinha said.
Ahead of the much-anticipated face-off between India and Pakistan in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the BJP chief categorically stated that India and Pakistan will not feature in any bilateral cricket series but would continue to participate in international tournaments.
“India, Pakistan will continue to play at international tournaments but neither India will play in Pakistan nor Pakistan will play in India,” said Shah.
The comment from the BJP president came days after Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel had said cricket series between the two countries was not feasible until cross-border terrorism stops.
“BCCI should come out with a proposal on Pakistan only after consultations with the government. I have already made it clear that any bilateral series with Pakistan is almost impossible because there cannot be sports relations between the two countries until there is terrorism from the Pakistani side,” Goel has said last month in the national capital.
“Sports and terrorism cannot go hand in hand,” he added.
Goel, however, added that there was no control of the government on multilateral games.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had earlier last month sent a legal notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for failing to honour the MoU signed between the two cricket boards in 2014.
The PCB had also demanded compensation close to USD 60 million from the BCCI for not honouring the MoU signed when N. Srinivasan was at the helm of affairs in the Indian board.
According to the 2014 agreement, India were scheduled to play six series against Pakistan, four of them were going to be Pakistan’s home series, subject to clearance from the Government of India.
The two Asian neighbours have not played a full bilateral series after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.