BSP-04 India wants Pakistan Davis Cup tie moved over security fears

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ZCZC

BSP-04

TENNIS-IND-PAK

India wants Pakistan Davis Cup tie moved over security fears

NEW DELHI, Aug 13, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Indian tennis players want their Davis
Cup tie against Pakistan moved away from Islamabad over safety fears, a top
official said Tuesday.

India are scheduled to play the Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie in the Pakistani
capital on September 14 and 15.

But tensions between the neighbours have grown since India revoked the
special autonomy status of Kashmir, which the nuclear-armed rivals have
fought over since gaining independence in 1947.

Pakistan has frozen diplomatic ties and halted travel between the two
countries. The All India Tennis Association said it has sought a meeting with
the International Tennis Federation to force a change of venue.

“Mahesh Bhupathi, the Indian captain, has spoken to me. It is very
concerning for the players to participate under such circumstances. They are
looking for a remedy to play elsewhere,” AITA secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee
told AFP.

“We have told the ITF that the Indian ambassador has been sent back,
diplomatic relations have been downgraded, airspace over Pakistan for Indian
flights has been stopped, road and train connection is stalled.

The ITF said in a statement that it was satisfied with Pakistan’s security
plan for the event.

“We are working closely with the host nation and independent expert
security advisors — the ITF is satisfied with their current security
assessment of the site and the security plan in place,” the world body said.

“The overall security risk rating for Pakistan has not changed, however, we
will continue to monitor the situation closely with our advisors.”

On Monday, India’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju said the government would
not prevent the team from playing the Davis Cup tie in Pakistan as it was not
a bilateral series and was organised by a world body.

India cut bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan after deadly attacks in
Mumbai in 2008 that authorities blamed on Pakistani militants, with just one
limited-overs tour in 2012-13.

An Indian tennis team last played a Davis Cup tie in Pakistan in 1964, when
they beat the hosts 4-0. Pakistan lost 3-2 when they played in Mumbai in
2006.

Until recently, Pakistan has been forced to host Davis Cup ties at neutral
venues as teams refused to travel to the South Asian nation over security
concerns.

BSS/AFP/SSS/1633 hrs