Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju

Cannot take isolated stand in multilateral events: Kiren Rijiju

ANI | Updated: Aug 12, 2019 13:44 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 12 (ANI): The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju has said that an isolated stand cannot be taken when it comes to multilateral events organised by international bodies.
His remarks came after All India Tennis Association's (AITA) decision to travel to Pakistan to take part in the upcoming Davis Cup.
"I have already made it clear. Any bilateral match with Pakistan will have to get clearance from the government but if it is a multilateral event organised by international bodies then we cannot take our own isolated stand. We have to be very clear," Rijiju told reporters at an event.
However, Rijiju also remarked that any bilateral event between the two countries will require a political sanction.
"Any bilateral match with Pakistan must have a political sanction, otherwise I just cannot go on commenting on every match. The security issue is completely different from the issue of the game," Rijiju said.
On August 5, India abrogated Article 370 which accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir after a resolution regarding the same was passed in both houses of the Parliament.
The Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill 2019 was also passed which converted Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir (with a legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature) and after this decision, Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic ties with India.
Seeing the downgrading of diplomatic ties, AITA Secretary-General Hironmoy Chatterjee had said that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) will decide whether India plays against Pakistan or not.
"Idea is, for ITF to see the situation is conducive or not. Let the ITF decide on the situation primarily, if they find the situation is very sensitive as Pakistan have severed all diplomatic ties with India, then they will not issue a visa. If they do not issue the visa, so how would we go there. In that case, Pakistan will get penalised and the tie will get shifted to a neutral venue," Chatterjee had told ANI.
The Indian team is scheduled to travel Pakistan for the first time in 55 years to participate in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-1 tie at Islamabad on September 14 and 15.
Chatterjee said that if India opts out of playing against Pakistan, it will invite penalty. He added that if Pakistan does not issue visas to the players they will be unable to travel.
"We don't want to be in a situation where we will say that we don't want to go. It is too early to say anything, the situation has become a bit tense after the scrapping of Article 370. We are going to go through the process," Chatterjee had said.
Chatterjee had added that the AITA is also gathering information from the players for the visa application of Pakistan.
"Regarding this, we did not have any meeting, we need to put in an application and we are gathering the information for the application of visa as the players are playing in different competitions around the world," Chatterjee had said.
AITA on August 5 had announced Mahesh Bhupathi as the skipper for the India-Pakistan Davis Cup tie on September 14 and 15 in Islamabad.
Six players were named by the association, who will be taking part in Davis Cup. Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni, Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan and Sasi Kumar Mukund were all named in the lineup.
Mukund was named as the reserve and Zeeshan Ali was announced as the coach of the team.
The Davis Cup draw was rolled out in February this year, but after the Pulwama attack on February 14, chances of the Indian tennis team touring Pakistan looked bleak.
The Indian cricket team had last toured Pakistan in 2007, and after that, no team across any sport has toured Pakistan.
India last played Pakistan in the Davis Cup in 2006 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, in which the hosts managed to register a 3-2 win to take India's head-to-head tally against Pakistan to 6-0. (ANI)

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