Pakistan Tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi stated that he will boycott the upcoming Davis Cup tie against India as his protest against the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) decision to shift the venue of the match outside Pakistan.
On Nov 5, the International Tennis Federation had moved the Davis Cup match against India from Pakistan to a neutral venue citing security issues after Indian players refused to tour Pakistan.
Terming the verdict “deplorable”, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi said that he was “disheartened to learn that the ITF, under the Indian influence, continues to take away Pakistan’s right of holding Davis Cup tie against India at our home venue”.
“The attitude of both the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) and ITF towards Pakistan is highly deplorable, to say it the least,” Aisam said in a letter addressed to Salim Saifullah, the president of Pakistan Tennis Federation.
“There is absolutely no threat anticipated for the Indian tennis team in Pakistan. As you very well know that hundreds of Indians are regularly visiting Pakistan to perform their religious activities in various places like Kartarpur, Nankana Sahib and Taxila.
There has not been a single incident of violence or mishandling with any Indian national ever in Pakistan and for sure not at all in recent years,” he mentioned in the letter. Aisam denounced Indian tennis players and officials for showing disrespect to Pakistan.
“They should not insult and disgrace our security forces by saying that they cannot assure the safety and security of a few members of the Indian tennis team,” said Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. “Indian’s last excuse of Dharna in Islamabad by a political party also does not hold good anymore since that too has also concluded,” he added.
Qureshi further said that if the reason is the prevailing tensions between India and Pakistan due to what Indians have done in Jammu and Kashmir then why we should we be held responsible for their deeds.
He said that he has always maintained that politics and religion should not be mixed up with sports. “This is my point even now that neither AITA nor ITF should snatch away our right in this case,” he said.
“If the ITF does not review their wrong decision then as a protest against this unjust, unfair and biased decision I want to raise my voice and hereby announce not to participate in this tie if it takes place outside Pakistan,” Aisam wrote in the letter.
Aisam reiterated that he is always very passionate about representing the country in Davis Cup ties but this time around it is more important that he stands up for the honour and dignity of the country by rejecting to accept an “incorrect, unjust and undesirable decision”.
“The president of the PTF, its council members and the people of Pakistan are requested to kindly understand my stance. Long live Pakistan,” Qureshi concluded