India vs Pakistan Davis Cup: Aisam Qureshi pulls out in protest against shifting of tie to neutral venue

Aisam ul Haq Qureshi, one of Pakistan's top tennis players, said he won't play the India vs Pakistan Davis Cup clash unless the tie is hosted in Islamabad.

Pakistan's Aisam ul Haq Qureshi says he will not play in the India vs Pakistan Davis Cup tie if the ITF moves the match out of Pakistan to a neutral venue.   -  Getty Images

Pakistan’s top doubles player Aisam ul Haq Qureshi refused to compete in the upcoming India vs Pakistan Davis Cup tie, protesting the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) decision to shift the tie from Islamabad to a neutral venue. Kazakhstan is the likely neutral venue.

Aisam, one of Pakistan's top tennis players, took to Instagram to reason out his decision and made it clear that he won’t play unless the tie is hosted in Islamabad.

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Addressing PTF President Salim Saifullah Khan in his post, Aisam criticised India and the ITF. “The attitude towards Pakistan of both All Indian Tennis Association and ITF is highly deplorable, to say it the least. There is absolutely no threat foreseen for Indian tennis team in Pakistan,” Aisam wrote.

“However, if ITF does not correct their wrong decision then as a protest against this unjust, unfair and biased decision I want to raise my voice and hereby announce not to participate in this tie if it takes place outside Pakistan.”

View this post on Instagram

Dear Mr. Salim Saifullah Khan Assalamoalikum, I have been deeply saddened to learn from you that ITF continues to insist to take away our right of holding Davis Cup tie against India at our home ground and have decided to hold it outside Pakistan at a neutral venue under Indian influence. The attitude towards Pakistan of both All Indian Tennis Association and ITF is highly deplorable, to say it the least. There is absolutely no threat foreseen for Indian tennis team in Pakistan. As you very well know hundreds of Indians are regularly visiting Pakistan to perform their religious activities in various places like Kartarpur, Nankana Sahib and Taxila and there has not been a single incident of violence or mishandling with any Indian National ever in Pakistan and for sure not at all in recent years. Recently, high profile visit of British Royal family took place during which the Royal couple visited several cities in Pakistan including Islamabad, Lahore and Chitral. Her Majesty the Queen of Holland is visiting Pakistan this week. Recently football stars like Kaka, Figo and Puyol visited Pakistan. If everyone else can come including hundreds of other Indians every day then why can't a few member Indian Tennis team visit Pakistan when Pakistan has assured them of extremely high level security protocol. They should not insult and disgrace our security forces by saying that they cannot  assure the safety and security of a few member Indian tennis team. If the excuse is the tension between India and Pakistan due to what Indians have done in Kashmir then why should we be penalized for their wrong doing. However, if ITF does not correct their wrong decision then as a protest against this unjust, unfair and biased decision I want to raise my voice and hereby announce not  to participate in this tie if it takes place outside Pakistan. I must stress that I am always very passionate about representing my country in Davis Cup ties but this time around it is more important that I stand up for the honour and dignity of my country by refusing to accept an incorrect unjust and undesirable decision. The President of PTF and the people of Pakistan are requested to understand my stand.

A post shared by Aisam Qureshi (@aisamqureshi) on

 

Aisam said he has taken the stand to “stand up for the honour and dignity of my country by refusing to accept an incorrect unjust and undesirable decision.”

“The President of PTF and the people of Pakistan are requested to understand my stand.”

Aisam said he had faced a lot of heat in the past even in Pakistan when he played with a Israeli player and with India’s Rohan Bhopanna. He said that he took a stance because he felt it was important to put sports before everything else.

RELATED| Pakistan Tennis Federation to appeal against neutral venue, says ITF and AITA have lowered their stature

He continued that hundreds of Indians regularly visited Pakistan “to perform their religious activities” in various places like Kartarpur, Nankana Sahib and Taxila and there has not been even a single incident of violence or mishandling with any Indian National.

Recently, the high profile visit of the British Royal family took place during which the Royal couple visited several cities in Pakistan including Islamabad, Lahore and Chitral. Her Majesty the Queen of Holland is visiting Pakistan this week. Recently football stars like Kaka, Figo and Puyol also visited Pakistan.

“If everyone else can come including hundreds of other Indians every day then why can’t a few member of the Indian Tennis team visit Pakistan when Pakistan has assured them of extremely high level security protocol,” he said.

“They should not insult and disgrace our security forces by saying that they cannot assure the safety and security of a few member Indian tennis team,” he added.