Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shaharyar Khan doesn’t see restoration of bilateral cricket ties with India until the closure of the Mumbai terror attack case in Pakistan.
Shaharyar, 80, who has been Pakistan’s foreign secretary and also High Commissioner to New Delhi, said the Indian people and media still had a lot of grudge against Pakistan over the Mumbai terror attacks.
“Bilateral cricket ties with India are governed by existing diplomatic relations between the two countries but what feelings the Indian people and media have towards us also plays an important role,” Shaharyar told a news conference today.
He was asked whether he thought that the Lahore Lions team would be able to take part in the Champions League in India and if this didn’t happen would it affect the agreement between the two cricket boards to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 under the International Cricket Council (ICC) future tours program.
“It is too early to say whether the Lahore team will go to India but the process to send them is going on. And as far as its repercussions on bilateral series is concerned I think these ties will remain affected until there is a closure of the Mumbai attack case in Pakistan,” he said.
Around 164 people and over 300 persons were injured in the terrorist attack carried out by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Mumbai.
India has blamed Pakistan for the attacks and has said it has done nothing to punish those responsible for planning the attack.
Since the Mumbai attacks there has been no full bilateral series between the two countries even after Ajmal Kasab, the lone attacker who was captured alive by the Indian authorities, was hanged in November 2012.
Pakistan did tour India for a short one-day series two years back but that has also not led to revival of regular bilateral ties and infact since than other sporting events between the two countries have been affected.
Shaharyar said he would be going to India soon to meet with Indian cricket officials and was also slated to meet them during the ICC meeting in October. “When I meet them I have a lot to discuss with them regarding restoration of bilateral ties and participation of our players in the IPL,” he said.
Since the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, the Indian board had also not invited Pakistani players for the Indian Premier League.
Shaharyar was Chairman of the board in 2004 when a deadlock was broken and India toured Pakistan for a full Test series after a 14-year gap