Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj says no to India-Pakistan bilateral series at neutral venues

India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2013.

Sushma Swaraj

Things aren't looking good between India and Pakistan when it comes to cricketing relations. The political tension between two nations has affected the bilateral cricket series between them.

India has accussed Pakistan of trying to spread terrorism in India and has refused to have any sporting or cultural ties with Pakistan until a solution is worked out. This has meant that India and Pakistan only play each other in ICC tournaments.

Now, even External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has hinted that any bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan is unlikely unless Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism and firing. 

As per PTI reports, Swaraj said this to Parliament's consultative committee on external affairs during a meeting which was also attended by Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

During the meeting, Swaraj also said that she had met Pakistan's envoy to India and proposed to him that both countries release the prisoners who are above 70 years of age or women or of unsound mind as part of humanitarian aspect of the relationship.

The India–Pakistan cricket rivalry is considered as one of the most intense sports rivalries. A similar situation was seen between 1962 and 1977 as no cricket was played between the two countries owing to two major wars in 1965 and 1971. The 1999 Kargil War and the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks have also interrupted cricketing ties between the two nations.

Swaraj, responding to the question of cricket series between India and Pakistan on a neutral venue, she hinted that it seemed unlikely until Pakistan stopped cross-border terrorism and firing, the member said. 

She clarified that terrorism and cricket can't go hand in hand, the member said.

Members also sought to know from the ministry various aspects of the recent Maldives-China Free Trade Agreement and increasing proximity between the two nations and its impact on India.

The ministry in its reply said that the relationship between India and Maldives remained close and cordial. It also mentioned about the increasing defense cooperation between the two nations

By Sihyeu Singh - 01 Jan, 2018

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