Indian badminton players to skip series in Pakistan as tensions rise
Indian Border Security Force soldiers take up positions at an outpost at the India-Pakistan border in Jammu on October 2. Photograph: (AFP)
As relations between India and Pakistan remain tense, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has decided to withdraw its participation from the upcoming Pakistan International Series scheduled to be held in Islamabad from October 18-21.
BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta confirmed the news, stating that the decision was "an act of solidarity" with the Government of India, Indian news agency ANI reported.
"The announcement comes as an act of solidarity with the decisions of the Government of India in the wake of ongoing tensions between the two countries. On behalf of the council members of BAI and the entire badminton fraternity, we express strong concerns and support towards the sentiments of our fellow citizens of India," Akhilesh Gupta said.
Indo-Pakistan relations have deteriorated after the attack by Pakistani militants on an army base in Uri on September 19 that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers. India retaliated by carrying out surgical strikes on five terrorist launchpads across the Line of Control. 38 terrorists were reportedly killed in the attack.
Pakistan has denied the surgical strikes, instead claiming that eight Indian soldiers have died and one captured during cross-border shelling across the LoC.
Five member states, including India, recently pulled out of the regional SAARC summit that was scheduled to be held in Pakistan in November, blaming Pakistan for the disruption of peace in the neighbourhood.
(WION with inputs from ANI)