Bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan impossible, says Indian sports minister

Vijay Goel
India’s Sports Minister Vijay Goel. — AFP/File

India’s Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday said bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan is a distant dream under prevailing circumstances.

The minister believed his stance will force Pakistani people to ‘put pressure on their government’.

Goel’s statement comes after India denied visas to Pakistan’s squash and wrestling teams, which were scheduled to participate in the Asian Championships in India.

Pakistan Wrestling Federation had on Tuesday said that its national team was denied a visa by the Indian High Commission for the upcoming Asian Championship scheduled to be held in New Delhi from May 10-14.

Last December, the Pakistan junior hockey team was also not issued visas for the FIH Junior World Cup in Lucknow.

Cricket, the most popular sport in both countries, has also suffered due to political tensions between the neighbours.

Pakistan Cricket Board and Board of Control for Cricket in India had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2014, under which they were scheduled to play six series in the 2015-2023 Future Tours Programme.

The agreement, however, has been subject to blatant violation by the Indian board despite numerous attempts by their Pakistani counterparts to resolve the issue.