Reiterating his government’s stance on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday said there cannot be any bilateral sporting ties between the two neighbours until attacks from across the border end.
Goel’s comments came after the Pakistan Wrestling Federation on Tuesday claimed that the Indian High Commission denied visas to the country’s team, which was scheduled to participate in the Asian Championships scheduled here from May 10 to 14.
“Terrorism and sports can’t go along and Pakistan should understand that. The relation between India and Pakistan can be cordial only after Pakistan stops sponsoring cross border terrorism,” Goel told reporters after announcing the National Youth Awards here.
“India takes these things very seriously. We are not at loss; our decision to stop bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan will force Pakistani people to put pressure on their government to act against terrorism. The entire world knows Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism,” he added.
The Pakistan Squash Federation had also raised similar concerns after their team were denied visas for the Asian Individual Squash Championship in Chennai.
Commenting on the preparations for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, to be held in the country later this year, the minister said: “After my people gave me a report that things are not going well with regard to preparation (of FIFA World Cup), I myself decided to visit different venues. I met the Sports Minister and Chief Minister of Kerala recently. I will visit Kolkata on May 5.”
“I am confident that everything will be in place,” he added.