Hosting India for cricket not possible until occupied Kashmir curfew is lifted: Awan

Updated February 08, 2020

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Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan speaking to reporters at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. — DawnNewsTv
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan speaking to reporters at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. — DawnNewsTv

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday stated that Pakistan will not host India for cricket until New Delhi lifts a crippling curfew it imposed in occupied Kashmir last year.

Speaking to reporters at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the PM's aide said: "India has created many barriers in our path and promoted false propaganda on all forums to stop international cricket in Pakistan.

"Until India frees the people of occupied Kashmir, any matches between the countries will only pour salt on the wounds of the Kashmiris," she said.

"To ensure peace in the world and in the region, India needs to remove the curfew imposed in the valley and give the Kashmiris their rights.

“Once our point of difference [on the Kashmir issue] is settled, who wouldn’t want there to be cultural exchanges between the two countries? But this will not be possible if Indian atrocities in the occupied valley continue," she maintained.

Awan also took the opportunity to thank the Bangladesh cricket team, their cricket board and, their government for participating in the matches between the two countries.

"They honoured their commitment, and by sending their team, have supported us in reviving international cricket in the country. Together we have demonstrated to the world that we are a peaceful country," she said.

Commenting on the country's image, the PM's aide said: "Pakistan has been recognised as an ideal tourist destination. Other countries are also softening their travel advisories for Pakistan [in light of the improved security situation]," she pointed out.

She added that apart from cricket, the government is also trying to promote other sports in the country so that the untapped potential of the youth can be harnessed.