Captain Mahesh Bhupathi has said that Indian tennis players want safety precautions before they travel to Pakistan, Islamabad for their Davis Cup tie against Pakistan. After New Delhi withdrew “special status” from its portion of the contested in Kashmir. Pakistan expelled India’s ambassador and suspended all public transport links and mutual trades with their neighbour.
Since they had gained independence in 1947, the neighbouring countries have fought two wars over Kashmir. Bhupathi said that security was his main concern for the team. The All India Tennis Association said that they had written to the sport’s governing body, asking them to shift the tie to a different venue.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) already responded to the previous AITA request, stating that they were pleased with the safety plan, which is in place in Islamabad.
General Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee of AITA wrote to the ITF in an email seen by Reuters: “The recent developments have occurred in an atmosphere, which is not favourable for a happy, friendly tie between the two teams and having huge respect for each other”.
The India association have asked the ITF to share the security reports from its evaluation of the situation in Islamabad as well and set up a call between their respective security consultants. In 1964, The Indian tennis team was the last time they went to Pakistan for a Davis Cup tie, defeating them 4-0, while 2006 Pakistan lost 3-2 on their previous visit to India.
Pakistan was required to host Davis Cup ties at the venues for more than a decade as the teams refused to travel to the country because of security reasons. They played their first home game tie after 12 years against Iran in 2017. In the same year, the ITF fined Hong Kong, because they disapproved of travelling to Pakistan.
Since 2007, India’s cricket team have not toured Pakistan. Nevertheless, the mutual ties between both countries have remained suspended since 2008, although they have met in international competition.
India’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju had said that the government would not prevent the team from playing the Davis Cup tie in Pakistan. It is not a mutual series and organised by a world governing body.
By Tauseef Asif