Pakistani daily criticises Himachal CM for his cricket statement

Islamabad, March 4 (IANS) A Pakistani daily on Friday criticised India’s Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for his comment on the Pakistan-India match and said that letting political views “tarnish the sport to such an extent is unacceptable”.

An editorial “World T20 security concerns” in The Nation said that the woes of Pakistan cricket continue to pile up.

“Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that they will not provide security for the Pakistan India match to be held there on March 19 for no other reason than he doesn’t like Pakistan,” said the daily.

It added that seeking political parallels in sporting events is one thing, “but letting political views – extreme ones at that – tarnish the sport to such an extent is unacceptable”.

“Even before it has begun the World T20 has already stepped outside the bounds of sport and into politics, with tangible consequences. Failure of both countries to control this will be highly damaging – especially for India,” the daily noted.

The editorial noted that a lot has been said about the security situation in Pakistan when it comes to cricket.

“However the questions over security of Pakistani players playing in India is often brushed under the rug. Yet the problem exists; Pakistani players from several sports have had to be pulled out of India to avoid violence while others are warned not to come,” it said.

“Virbhadra Singh’s statements make the problem worse; where the threat used to come from fringe groups in the past, now the state has joined in on the action by wilfully refusing to provide protection that it is bound to provide.”

It went on to say that “India is fighting a niggling problem with extremism, one that extends to it’s government benches”.

“…India is becoming a perilous place to international tournaments involving Pakistan – perhaps next time a ‘neutral venue’ would be more suitable.”

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