Pakistan’s youngest and first female foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who is in India for peace talks, has mooted for resumption of bilateral cricket series between the two countries. The development of sports diplomacy came when she met her Indian counterpart SM Krishna on Wednesday. According to an Indian news agency PTI, she made the point that the time was particularly ripe for resuming Test series between the two nations.
The Indian foreign minister SM Krishna gave a positive response to Khar’s push for sports diplomacy and said India is keen to host Pakistan in bid to revive bilateral ties.
Moreover, in her visit to the Pakistan high commission on Wednesday, she also asked the BCCI vice-president and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla to take initiative in reviving the cricket ties between Pakistan and India. Shukla has assured Pakistan foreign minister that prospects of Indo-Pak Cricket series will be discussed in BCCI’s next meeting, which is scheduled for next month.
Pakistan and India have not played each other in a bilateral series since December 2007 though, during that time, they played three ODI’s in Champions Trophy 2009, Asia Cup 2010 and World Cup 2011. India was scheduled to visit Pakistan in 2009 but the tour got scrapped due to security concerns in Pakistan.
According to current ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP), India is set to host Pakistan in March-April 2012. The tour initially looked vague but after the positive steps taken by Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers the prospects of the tour have become bright. Furthermore, there are five bilateral series scheduled between Pakistan and India in ICC’s FTP from 2012 to 2020.
Hina Rabbani Khar is also a polo enthusiastic and she is the co-owner of the Polo Lounge, a popular upscale restaurant in Lahore.
Video from an Indian news channel about this news story