LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary General Olympian Asif Bajwa has reacted strongly to the negative campaign of the Indian government and its media against Pakistan particularly in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack. In a statement, Bajwa said, If Indian government and its media did not change its stance towards Pakistan then we would also be compelled to change our stance in accordance with the public sentiments.
Bajwa further said that the PHF have very cordial relations with the Indian Hockey Federation and both the federations want bilateral series between the two countries but the Indian government and its media campaign to malign Pakistan would force the PHF to reconsider its decision of allowing its hockey team takes the Indian tour.
He said that the series between the two countries will not only promote the game in the region but would also develop a temperament among the players to play in a pressure game. “But the way the Indian government and its media has launched a campaign against Pakistan, it would be difficult for us to allow our team tour India” he stated. “We the hockey community strongly condemn this attitude of the Indian government. If they persist with the same behavior then we have to abandon out tour of India”, he added.
The Pakistan and Indian junior teams were to play in a five match series last month but the Indian government did not allow its team to take the tour and Pakistan hockey team is to visit India early next year. The junior series cancellation cost the PHF nearly Rs. 6 million, Bajwa said. Bajwa said that sports should be kept separate from politics otherwise it would be devastating for the game in the region. “If we followed what the general public in Pakistan feels then it would be the end of relations with India” he said.-SANA