Pakistan and India may see further progress in their relations as Pakistan’s tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq has requested Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to give an approval for playing “Tennis for Peace” event at the Wagah border with India.
The vice-president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation Irshad Bhatti while briefing the journalists here on Wednesday, said: “Aisam has requested Prime Minister Gilani to allow him play against Rohan Bopanna of India on the border with India to send a message of peace and harmony on both sides of the border and to the world.”
Both the neighbours have seen turbulence in their relations since the Mumbai terror attack.
However, Pakistan and India have resumed a peaceful dialogue specifically after the recent visit of PM Gilani to India where he watched the World Cup semi-final between Pakistan and India.
“The tennis court will be developed on the border of India and Pakistan and both the players will also change their sides during the exhibition match,” said Bhatti.
He said Rohan was also an international Indian tennis star and his presence alongside Aisam for bringing peace and harmony among the two nations would be of great help.
For luring international players again on Pakistans tennis courts, the PTF official pointed out: “We have requested China, Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and other countries of this region to send their players for invitational tournament to be played here in few months time and we received a positive response.”
“We have ensured foolproof security to ensure that Pakistan will get an International Tennis Federation ranking event,” said the official.
Regarding the introduction of new rules in national ranking events, Bhatti said: “The semi-finals and finals of every national ranking tournament will now have five sets and the change was aimed at making the sport more competitive.”