Pakistan tennis authorities are planning to stage exhibition matches in Waziristan for promoting peace in the tribal area and showing that the country can still host sporting events. Security forces have been battling Pakistani Taliban militants in several parts of the northwest Waziristan over recent years. “We have chalked out some exhibition matches in Waziristan around June-July this year,” Mumtaz Yousuf, secretary of the Pakistan Tennis Federation said.
“We feel that the federation needs to take an initiative to promote some sports in these disturbed areas. It is also our way of sending a message to the international community that despite the war on terror sporting activities can be held in Pakistan.” Yousuf said Pakistan’s top player, Aisam-ul-Haq, would be invited to play in the exhibition matches. “Obviously the situation in that region is not very good and we have sought clearance from the military and other law enforcement agencies. The match will not be possible without their support,” Yousuf said.
The venue for the matches would be decided with the consultation of the security forces, he added.
Aisam, who reached the US Open doubles and mixed doubles final last year, wanted to see relations between Pakistan and India improve and he could play in a match against his men’s doubles partner Rohan Bopanna.
“We plan to host a peace match between Aisam and his Indian doubles partner, Rohan Bopanna, at the Wagah border at the end of the year,” said Yousuf.Like AwamiWeb