We are yet to severe sporting ties with India: Pakistan

Pakistan sports minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani said the people in his country feel that no Pak team should go to India due to the cancelled tour.

updated: December 27, 2008 15:06 IST
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Pakistan sports minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani on Saturday said they have not severed sporting ties with India but the feeling among people in his country was that no Pakistani team should go to India in the wake of the cancelled cricket tour.

Jilani said it was becoming increasingly difficult to send any of their teams to compete in India in any sport.

"We haven't broken sporting ties with India. We are keeping all our options open but the indications are it might not be possible to send our teams to India until things improve," Jilani said.

Indian government had denied permission to the Indian team to travel across the border after dreaded Mumbai carnage, which it feels was planned on the Pakistani soil.

"India's decision to cancel its cricket tour has ignited a strong reaction from the public, the players and officials. Most people now want Pakistan to do the same.

"They don't want us to send our sportsmen to India. But it's up to the higher authorities to take a final decision in this regard," Jilani was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

Pakistani athletes are scheduled to travel to India for the 2009 Asian Junior Squash Championship and a hockey tournament involving Pakistan is also planned early next year.

Jilani said it was up to their foreign ministry to decide whether to allow players go to Indian and participate in sports events.

"The matter is out of our (sports ministry's) hands and it is up to the foreign ministry to decide whether we can send our sports teams to India in the existing circumstances," he said.