Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur reaffirmed India's stance on September 15 declaring that the country will not engage in any bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan until the latter puts an end to cross-border terrorism. The decision aligns with the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) previous resolution to not resume cricketing relations with Pakistan.
Speaking to reporters in Udaipur, Thakur, a former BCCI president, emphasized that the BCCI had made this decision long ago and would not consider resuming cricket ties with Pakistan until acts of terrorism and border infiltrations cease.
This statement comes amid escalating calls for India to sever its cricketing connections with Pakistan following a prolonged gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag, where four security personnel have lost their lives. The encounter has entered its third day.
Thakur condemned the situation in Anantnag as "unfortunate" and assured that a strong response would be delivered to the terrorists. He praised the Modi government's proactive stance against terrorism, emphasizing that terror incidents have declined over the past nine years.
He also took the opportunity to criticize the Manmohan Singh-led Congress government for its perceived inaction during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
India has maintained that dialogue with Pakistan will only be considered if Pakistan ceases terrorist activities across the border. Bilateral cricket series between the two nations have been on hold since 2012-13, with encounters limited to ICC events and the Asia Cup. India's last tour of Pakistan for a bilateral series took place in 2006.
In August, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah announced India's decision to skip the Asia Cup 2023, initially scheduled to be held in Pakistan, citing political tensions. In response, Pakistan threatened to withdraw from the ICC Men's World Cup, set to take place next month in India. The Asia Cup is currently being conducted in a hybrid format, with some matches held in Pakistan and the remaining fixtures in Sri Lanka, where India has played all its matches thus far.
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