New Delhi: India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has given a strong message that cross-border terrorism will never be normalised.
When asked about the government’s views on the cricketing ties between India and Pakistan, Jaishankar at an event held on Friday in the national capital said there should be global pressure on Pakistan to end sponsoring terrorism and India will have to take leadership in maintaining that pressure.
“You know our stand on cricket. We should never accept that a country has the right to sponsor terror. Unless we don’t delegitimize this, it will continue. So, there should be global pressure on Pakistan. The pressure won’t come unless the victims of terror don’t voice themselves. India should, in a way, lead the way because our blood is spilled,” the external affairs minister said.
The recent announcement by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently stating that Indian players will not travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023, triggered a huge row between the BCCI and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
"Tournaments keep coming and you are aware of the government's stand. Let's see what happens,” Jaishankar said at the media conclave show ‘Agenda Aaj Tak.’
When asked about the resumption of ties between India and Pakistan, the minister said, “Will you talk to me if I put a gun on your head?”
“If your neighbour aids terrorism out in the open and there is no mystery about who the leaders are, where the camps are. We should never think that cross-border terrorism is normal. Give me another example where one neighbour is sponsoring terrorism against another. There is no such example. In a way, this is not even abnormal, but exceptional, " Jaishankar said.
Earlier this month Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja said that Pakistan may consider pulling out of Asia Cup 2023 if their tournament hosting rights are withdrawn due to the Indian team not travelling to their country.
Previously, in October, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had completely dismissed the speculations of Team India travelling to Pakistan for the event and said that the Asia Cup would be held at a neutral venue. The last time these two teams played a bilateral series was way back in 2012.
Ramiz Raja had also threatened that if India chooses to opt out of the Asia Cup then Pakistan will also not travel to India to participate in the ICC ODI World Cup....