Pakistan Tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has announced that he will be boycotting the upcoming Davis Cup tie against India as his protest against the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) decision to deprive Pakistan of the tie’s hosting right.
Making an announcement on Monday 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”.
In a letter addressed to President of Pakistan Tennis Federation Salim Saifullah, Aisam says that “The attitude of both the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) and ITF towards Pakistan is highly deplorable, to say it the least,”
Pakistan’s ace tennis star stressed 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 refusing to accept an “incorrect, unjust and undesirable decision”.
He further continued saying, “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”.
While criticizing Indian tennis players and officials for showing disrespect towards Pakistan, Aisam added, “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”.
“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 further added.
Aisam says that he has always maintained that politics and religion should not be mixed up with sports. He further added that “This is my point even now that neither AITA nor ITF should snatch away our right in this case”.
“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”, writes Aisam in the letter.
“The president of the PTF, its council members and the people of Pakistan are requested to kindly understand my stance. Long live Pakistan”, Aisam concluded.
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 on November 5.