India and Pakistan have shared a difficult relationship right from the time of their partition. Sport has been one avenue which has alleviated tensions and brought the nations closer. Now however, the upcoming hockey series between the two countries has been called off due to diplomatic pressure.
The Indian government has called of the upcoming bilateral hockey series, which was to be played at home and away between the two countries, citing security reasons. The Ministry of External Affairs of India said that the appropriate permissions were not granted. The two countries have been trying to renew bilateral hockey ties after 7 years.
Earlier a bilateral snooker series between India and Pakistan was also cancelled, with diplomatic pressure being the culprit once again. The last bilateral hockey series was played in 2006 and was won by Pakistan. The Pakistanis managed to win 3 games, while India took 1 out of the 6. The remaining games were drawn.
The April 2013 tour of Pakistan would see them play India in the cities of Mohali, Delhi, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Ranchi. In return, India were to tour Pakistan from April 23, 2013, playing at Faisalabad, Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot.
With this latest cancellation, the people of both countries are being denied an opportunity to witness sporting rivalry at its best, as not many events in sport are as electrifying as an India-Pakistan series.