Keep sports away from politics, says Pak's ex-minister | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Keep sports away from politics, says Pak's ex-minister

punjab Updated: Apr 07, 2012 20:43 IST
HT Correspondent

Advocating cordial relations between his country and India, Pakistan's former federal law minister Babbar Awan on Saturday called for putting an end to "politics in sports" by governments on both sides.

"Despite differences and problems, we should not ban cricketers or other sportspersons from participating in sporting events on either side of the border,"
Awan said when asked about non-participation of Pakistani cricketers in the ongoing Indian Premier Cricket league.

Talking to mediapersons at the Amritsar Bar Association (ABA) office,
Awan pointed out that cricket and other sports bring people of the two countries closer. "People on both sides are crazy about India-Pakistan cricket matches and in such a situation, the two governments should renew their sporting ties," he added.

To a question regarding Indians languishing in Pakistani jails, the former minister said his government had taken steps to release and send home all such prisoners, who have completed their term.

Similar steps have been taken by the Indian government, he added.
Awan pointed out that Indian undertrials, who cannot afford lawyers for arguing their cases in courts, were provided free legal aid in his country.

On strained relations between India and Pakistan, he said, "It is just a matter of attitude. We must take steps to change this mindset, remove all misgivings and learn to trust each other. A majority of European nations, who were once hostile to each other, have now come together. This can happen in the sub-continent too."

Earlier, Awan and justice Chaudhry Ramzan (retd) crossed over through the Attari road check post, where they were received by members of the Punjab and Haryana bar council. In Amritsar, they went to the Golden Temple and also paid homage to martyrs at the Jallianwala Bagh.

They were received by the ABA members at the district courts and were honoured by president Pradeep Saini.