A decision on whether Pakistan should sever sporting ties with neighbours India in the wake of the cancelled cricket tour is yet to be made, the Pakistan sports minister said.
Pakistan sport chief waits on India decision
A decision on whether Pakistan should sever sporting ties with neighbours India in the wake of the cancelled cricket tour is yet to be made despite intense public pressure, the Pakistani sports minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani said. India withdrew from a scheduled tour to Pakistan earlier this month over security concerns which were exacerbated by last month's terror attacks in Mumbai. "We haven't broken sporting ties with India," said Jilani.
"We are keeping all our options open but the indications are it might not be possible to send our teams to India until things improve. "India's decision to cancel its cricket tour (of Pakistan) has ignited a strong reaction from the public, the players and officials. "Most people now want Pakistan to do the same. They don't want us to send our sportsmen to India. But it's up to the higher authorities to take a final decision in this regard." Pakistan are due to send athletes to the 2009 Asian Junior Squash Championship and a quadrangular hockey tournament in India early in 2009. Any decision on their participation will be made by the foreign ministry and not the sporting authorities, Jilani said. "The matter is out of our (sport ministry's) hands and it is up to the foreign ministry to decide whether we can send our sports teams to India in the existing circumstances. "We are awaiting instructions from the foreign ministry whether we can send our teams to India. But we have to keep all options open as our first priority is to ensure security of our players in India." *PA Sport