Aisam to boycott Davis Cup tie against India in protest against ITF’s decision

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Lahore

Pakistan’s ace tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq on Monday expressed his disappointment over the International Tennis Federation s (ITF) decision and announced that he has pulled out of a Davis Cup tie against India.
He is protesting against the International Tennis Federation s (ITF) decision to deprive Pakistan of the tie s hosting right.
On Nov 5, the ITF had moved the Davis Cup tie against India from Pakistan to a neutral venue citing security issues after Indian players refused to tour Pakistan.
Terming the decision ‘deplorable’, Aisam said that he was ‘saddened 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 foreseen 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.
‘They should not insult and disgrace our security forces by saying that they cannot assure the safety and security of a few member of the Indian tennis team,’ said Aisam, the most successful tennis player to come out of Pakistan.
‘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.
Aisam further said that if the excuse is the tension between India and Pakistan due to what Indians have done in occupied Kashmir then why we should be penalised for their wrongdoing.
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 correct 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 country by refusing 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,’ the tennis ace added.
The Asia/Oceania Group I match had initially been planned for September, but was pushed back to November 29-30 after safety fears were raised by India amid tensions between the neighboring nations over Kashmir.
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.—APP

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