Sports shouldn’t suffer, says Pakistan sports minister

December 1st, 2008 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 2 (IANS) Pakistan Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani Monday urged India not to mix sports with politics and to clear the cricket tour which is under serious doubt after relations between the two countries soured following the Mumbai terror attack.Jilani told reporters that Pakistan “will show sportsman spirit” by hosting India in a friendly environment.

“We don’t believe in mixing sports and politics,” said Jilani, who is also a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

“India should not do that either.”

“There may be tensions between the governments but sport should not suffer. The cricket series (against India) should go on and I want to assure India that if they visit Pakistan, we will host them in a befitting manner,” he added.

India is scheduled to tour Pakistan from Jan 5 to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International. Media reports suggest that the Indian government has decided against clearing its cricket team’s tour to Pakistan.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, has rejected such reports saying that a final decision on the tour is yet to be taken by the Indian government.

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