Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir told reporters on Wednesday that the Centre is unlikely to grant permission to the Indian cricket team to play against Pakistan in Dubai due to the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Home Minister and the Home Ministry will take call on this but I don’t think the atmosphere is right given the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Ahir said. He was responding to reports that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has written to the Home Ministry seeking permission to play Pakistan in Dubai.
“We get many proposals and letters but the atmosphere today is not right for Indo-Pak cricket,” he said.
Reacting to this stance of the Indian government, Pakistan limited-over skipper Sarfraz Ahmed criticised India for not playing a bilateral series against his country, even after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
“Maybe India is afraid that’s why they do not play us,” was Sarfraz’s bizarre understanding of the situation. “It’s always fun to play in a match against India,” he added.
The BCCI has reportedly written to the Home Ministry seeking permission to play Pakistan and complete its obligations under the MoU, which was inked between the two cricket boards in 2014. The BCCI wanted to host Pakistan for a short series in 2016 but did not get government clearance owing to tension between the two countries and the subsequent terror attacks on Indian soil.
The cricket board is now said to have approached the Home Ministry seeking permission as the Indian team is willing to play a series in Dubai. India has been accusing Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in other parts of the country.