The BCCI today shot down BJP’s demand of cancelling the Indo-Pak limited-overs cricket series in the wake of visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik “insulting” India, insisting that the matches would be held as scheduled.

“There is no question of calling off the tour. All the arrangements have been made and the tour was planned much earlier. Politics should not be mixed with sports and the tour will go on,” senior BCCI official and IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla told PTI.

Yesterday, the BJP, in Parliament, had accused Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde of remaining silent by not responding appropriately to Malik, who triggered controversy by equating 26/11 Mumbai attack with Babri Masjid demolition and describing LeT terrorist Abu Jundal as an operative of Indian intelligence agency.

New Delhi has rubbished Malik’s assertions.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, “The Indo-Pak cricket series (commencing on December 25) should be cancelled.

“What kind of goodwill are we creating by playing cricket matches after Malik’s visit,” he told reporters outside Parliament House.

“ ...our Home Minister has shown weakness by not responding to Rehman Malik in kind. He should have immediately responded, if he (Malik) used hard words, he (Shinde) should have used hard words,” Sinha said.

“If you (Malik) insulted India, you (Shinde) should have said we don’t accept it. He (Shinde) should have contradicted the Pakistani Interior Minister’s statement then and there.”

India are scheduled to play two Twenty20s and three one-dayers against Pakistan starting December 25.

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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