In the wake of the ceasefire violations by Pakistan and twin terror attacks in Samba and Kathua district, Jammu & Kashmir Indian Style Wrestling Association has for the first time decided not to invite grapplers from across the border for the 9th Mission Dosti International Indian Style Dangal.
"We have not invited the Pakistani wrestlers this year. Although they were interested to come and take part in the International Indian Style Dangal at Katra, but we did not invite them ", Association's president Shiv Kumar Sharma told PTI.
"The decision to not invite the wrestlers from Pakistan was taken in view of the increasing LoC ceasefire violations, firings, attacks on Indian posts, infiltrations and terror attacks in Kathua and Samba recently," Sharma said.
"How can we ignore Pakistan's attempt of attacking Army and people to keep militancy up."
The Dangal will be held this year in Katra base camp on October 11.
The association had setup this tournament in 2005, to be held at the base camp of Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine during Navratras to
forge strong friendship bonds with Pakistan.
During past eight years Pakistan grapplers had been taking part in the Mission Dosti Dangal and also won the prestigious title of Rustum-e-Indo Pak Dangal title.
J&K has instead invited wrestlers from England, Belarus and Ukraine to participate in the competition.
Sharma added that apart from the international athletes, grapplers from Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Railways, BSF, J&K Police and Jammu and Kashmir are scheduled to participate in the event.
Mission Dosti, an Indo-Pak wrestling contest organised by the Indian Style Wrestling Association of India in collaboration Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and Municipal Committee Katra.
"People here are very angry and are raising slogans against Pakistan. The mood is completely different this time. We couldn't ignore the sentiments of the people of the state," Sharma said adding "so it was full stop on invitation to Pak wrestlers."
Sharma expressed hope that things will improve along the LoC and the Pakistani wrestlers would be taking part in the event next year.
"Let there be normalcy after which we will start the mission afresh next year", he said.