Responding to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Amit Shah's statement opposing India's participation in any bilateral cricket series with Pakistan, the Congress on Sunday said the Government of India is 'confused' regarding its relationship with Pakistan, while branding the former's stance to be 'hypocritical'.
"Amit Shah needs to think before speaking. When you are saying you want no relationship with Pakistan, why are you permitting them to pay international matches? I think the Government of India is confused about the current relationship with Pakistan," congress leader Meem Afzal told ANI.
Vehemently opposing the intermixing of sports and politics, Congress leader Tom Vadakkan said the Centre needs to draw limitations, keeping in mind the larger interests of the people.
"Do not restrict drawing red lines just to sports," he added.
Ahead of the big clash between India and Pakistan in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the BJP chief categorically stated that India and Pakistan will not feature in any bilateral cricket series but would continue to participate in international tournaments.
"India, Pakistan will continue to play at international tournaments but neither India will play in Pakistan nor Pakistan will play in India," said Shah.
The comment from the BJP president came days after Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel had said cricket series between the two countries was not feasible until cross-border terrorism stops.
"BCCI should come out with a proposal on Pakistan only after consultations with the government. I have already made it clear that any bilateral series with Pakistan is almost impossible because there cannot be sports relations between the two countries until there is terrorism from the Pakistani side," Goel has said last month in the national capital.
"Sports and terrorism cannot go hand in hand," he added.
Goel, however, added that there was no control of the government on multilateral games.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had earlier last month sent a legal notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for failing to honour the MoU signed between the two cricket boards in 2014.
The PCB had also demanded compensation close to USD 60 million from the BCCI for not honouring the MoU signed when N. Srinivasan was at the helm of affairs in the Indian board.
According to the 2014 agreement, India were scheduled to play six series against Pakistan, four of them were going to be Pakistan's home series, subject to clearance from the Government of India.
The two Asian neighbours have not played a full bilateral series after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)