Aftab optimistic of revival of Indo-Pak cricket

KARACHI: Federal Sports Minister Pir Aftab Hussain Jilani expressed his optimism of resumption of cricket ties Pakistan and India.

"The recent meeting between the Prime Minister of Pakistan and India could break the ice and we might have the revival of cricket series very soon," he told reporters after the launching of book on Indo-Pak cricket titled "Cricket Fever" by Syed Khalid Mahmood at Karachi Gymkhana.

"Let me assure you that the Government of Pakistan is very eager for the resumption of sporting ties but our Indian counterparts have yet not reciprocated in the same manner," he said.

He said cricket if the most popular game in both the country and in his opinion it didn''t make sense to deny the peoples of watching the two most exciting teams in the cricketing world in action on their own soil.

"It is heartening however to note that contacts are being revived in other games and we are hoping cricket turn will come sooner than later," he believed.

He said Sports Ministry and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) allowing various teams to visit India on case to case basis and want similar gesture from Indian Sports authorities.

Commenting on the dispute within the national sports federations, he said they were autonomous bodies and they want to give freedom to take their decisions independently.

Talking about the controversy of in Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for imposing life bans on Olympic goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed and Olympian Naveed Alam, he said it was upto the controlling body of the game to decide on it.

However Pir Aftab said if approached, the Ministry of Sports will look into the matter.