World Cup 2023: PM’s aide says national team should be allowed to tour India

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Interior and Legal Affairs Attaullah Tarar addressing a press conference at the PTV HQ on February 7, 2023. — APP
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Interior and Legal Affairs Attaullah Tarar addressing a press conference at the PTV HQ on February 7, 2023. — APP
  • Ata Tarar says PTI chief harmed country for “using cricket” to enter politics.
  • SAPM says Pakistan cricket team should be allowed to visit India. 
  • Tarar says “Babar’s game is quite better” than India’s Virat Kohli.

As Pakistan’s participation in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 hangs in balance, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Interior and Legal Affairs Ata Tarar has said the national team should be allowed to visit India for the mega tournament.

Tarar, while speaking to Geo News on Sunday, said that the Pakistan cricket team should take part in the World Cup just like the national football team toured India for SAFF Championship 2023.

He also lashed out at the cricketer-turned politician, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, saying that sports and politics are two different things and the latter caused damaged to sports “for using it to promote his politics”.  

Moreover, Tarar said that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is a “bigger player” than Indian cricket star Virat Kohli.

“Babar’s game is quite better,” he added.

It may be noted that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is leading a high-profile committee to decide on sending the national squad to India for the most-anticipated event, which is scheduled to start in October.

The World Cup, featuring 50 overs matches, is slated to begin this October but Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said that it requires the government’s approval to send the squad to India — the country’s arch-rival since its partition in 1947.

The sources said that the committee headed by FM Bilawal will make recommendations on all matters related to the World Cup in India and Pakistan’s tour will be decided in the light of these recommendations.

They said that the final recommendations will be sent to the prime minister for approval.

The committee, headed by FM Bilawal, comprises Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari, chiefs of the national security institutions, and foreign secretary.

As ties between Pakistan and India remain severed, with security in the neighbouring country being a major issue that comes in the way of national team’s visit.

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