Union Minister Anurag Thakur said India would not play any bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan until it stopped cross-border terrorism. He made the comments amid an ongoing encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag, which claimed the lives of four security personnel.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday said India will not play any bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan, unless the latter stops cross-border terrorism. He also said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had already taken a decision earlier on not resuming bilateral cricket relations with Pakistan.
“The BCCI decided long ago that it will not play any bilateral matches with Pakistan until they stop terrorism. We will not resume our cricketing ties with Pakistan unless they stop carrying out attacks across the border or infiltration incidents,” Thakur, a former BCCI president, told reporters in Rajasthan’s Udaipur.
He made the remarks amid a growing chorus for India to cut off its cricketing ties with Pakistan after four security personnel were killed in a fierce gunfight by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag, which has now entered its third day.
Thakur termed the gunfight in Anantnag as “unfortunate” and a strong befitting reply would be given to the terrorists.
“The Modi government has taken drastic steps against terrorism. Terror incidents have come down in the last nine years. What has happened in Kashmir is unfortunate and very sad. We will give the terrorists a befitting reply,” he said.
“When the 26/11 attacks (Mumbai 2008 attacks) happened, the Manmohan Singh-led Congress government remained a mute spectator,” the Union Minister added.
India has made it clear that it would engage with Pakistan only if it stopped carrying out terrorist activities across the border.
LAST BILATERAL SERIES BETWEEN INDIA, PAKISTAN
The last time India and Pakistan played in a bilateral series was in 2012-13 amid strained ties. Since then, both countries have faced each other only in ICC events and the Asia Cup.
India last toured Pakistan for a bilateral series in 2006.
In August, BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that India would not travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023, citing “political tensions”. The tournament was supposed to be played in Pakistan. In response, Pakistan threatened to pull out of the ICC Men’s World Cup, scheduled to be held next month, in India.
However, the Asia Cup is now being held in a hybrid model with some matches being played in Pakistan and the remaining ones in Sri Lanka, where India have played all its matches so far.