Pakistan minister Hina Rabbani Khar says country is ready to host matches again
The situation in Pakistan is conducive to staging international cricket, assured foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
“You must have seen the situation in Pakistan has improved considerably in the last few months. The year 2009 and 2008 were bad, but a lot of normalcy has come back,” she said while interacting with journalists during Monday’s Twenty20 match between Pakistan and England.
“I don’t think there is as much of a security risk as is perceived,” she said and stressed the Pakistan government was committed to providing high-level security to visiting teams.
Replying to a Sport360° query on the progress made for resumption of cricketing ties between neighbours India, the 35-year-old minister said: “Our Prime Minister has always talked about the resumption and India is also very enthusiastic. The only problem is scheduling and that is why there have been problems, but cricket plays a huge role in bringing people of both the countries together so it should be played.
“I remember that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that it (cricket) is a great way to go and if both the governments feel it’s a great way then we should go that way.
“PCB chairman has written letters to the Indian Board and when I was in India (last year) I noticed a great deal of keenness on the part of India and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to revive this brand of cricket,” she added.
Stressing the importance of Indo-Pak cricket ties, she said, “We have always believed in cricket diplomacy and there is a harmony in cultures of both the countries. We both are good at cricket and people on both sides love the game. People in Pakistan are bound by cricket and we need that unity at the moment.”