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Former hockey players support govt decision to call off hockey series with Pakistan
Former hockey players have supported the government decision to call off the bilateral hockey series between India and Pakistan, which was scheduled to take place from April 5-15.

The government decision comes in the wake of the recent attack on a CRPF camp in Srinagar and the resolution passed by Pakistan parliament demanding the return of mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru to his family. Guru was executed and buried secretly in Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 9, 2013.

Dhanraj Pillay told NNIS: “If you look at the current situation, the right decision has been taken because soldiers present on the border are protecting us, and there is so much of firing taking place in that area.”

On similar lines, another former Indian hockey player Jagbir Singh said: “It is a welcome move by the government of India that we have refused to play any such series with Pakistan, because when we talk about sports and sportsmanship, and the atmosphere in any case is no friendly. We may call this a promotional series for hockey in India and Asia, but, I see no reason, why we should play Pakistan in such an atmosphere.”

But Tariq Anwar, Union Minister of state for Agriculture feels that foreign policies and diplomacies should not hinder sporting ties.

If we forget politics and look at hockey alone, Indian fans will miss quality action, as India-Pakistan rivalry in hockey is said to be one of the biggest in the world. Apart from this, the Indians would also miss out on these matches, which could have helped them prepare for the World Cup qualifiers taking place in the next 2-3 months.

Hockey players are supporting the decision of the government with arms wide open. One such player is Arjun Halappa. “See if you are thinking country wise, I think it is a correct decision. I know sport is important, but Indian citizens are more important. Country comes first. The government has taken a good decision,” Hallapa said.

Pertinent to mention, the Indian government did not allow the Indian snooker team to travel to Pakistan last month as well.

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