Pakistan to participate in cricket World Cup in India

Pakistan to participate in cricket World Cup in India

Islamabad believes state of bilateral relations with India should not stand in way of fulfilling its international sports-related obligations, says Foreign Ministry

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan on Sunday announced it will send its squad to participate in the forthcoming cricket World Cup in India, a move that will provide an opportunity to millions of fans to watch another high-voltage clash between the two arch-rivals.

The much-awaited decision was announced by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry in a statement amid escalating diplomatic tensions between the two countries that have been locked in a string of land and sea disputes, mainly Jammu and Kashmir, for decades.

"Pakistan has consistently maintained that sports should not be mixed with politics. It has, therefore, decided to send its cricket team to India to participate in the upcoming ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket World Cup 2023," the statement said.

Islamabad said it believes that the state of bilateral relations with India should not stand in the way of fulfilling its international sports-related obligations.

"Pakistan’s decision shows its constructive and responsible approach vis-à-vis India’s intransigent attitude, as the latter had refused to send its cricket team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup," it maintained.

Islamabad, however, expressed its "deep" concerns about the security of its cricket squad during the mega event, which is slated to take place in October and November.

"We are conveying these concerns to the International Cricket Council and the Indian authorities. We expect that full safety and security of Pakistan cricket team will be ensured during its visit to India," the statement concluded.

Although hockey continues to be the national sport for both India and Pakistan, politicians have used cricket as a tool for diplomacy to help mend fences.

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