By Chetan Sharma
Olympic-bound boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav on Monday advocated resumption of sporting ties between India and Pakistan, saying a boxing tournament would be a ‘great idea’.
The Indian pugilist — who is currently training in Bellary, Karnataka for Tokyo Games — said he met with Pakistani boxers in South Asian Games last year and they, too, wanted the two nations to join hands again.
“Sports help in developing friendship between countries. India and Pakistan also must unite for the betterment of the people. However, I would also suggest that Pakistan needs to stop favouring terrorism and promise to be our good neighbour then there is no harm in playing with them,” Vikas told IANS.
“I think a boxing tournament between India and Pakistan could be a good way of promoting the sport. I would ask both Pakistan and India that it would be better if they live with love and affection.
“Humanity is above all. Soldiers die and their families suffer. We must understand that the need of the hour is to help each other rather than getting into ugly fight,” the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist added.
Vikas’s reaction came after British boxer of Pakistani-origin Amir Khan recently shared the same views. “Many lives will be saved. Both India and Pakistan must unite and fight the common enemy which is poverty. I want all this tension between the two nations to end,” Amir had said.
Earlier in March, Vikas became one of the nine Indian boxers to qualify Tokyo Olympics, after moving down to 69kg weight category from 75kg.
The 28-year-old was forced to leave the national camp in Patiala in July after violating the COVID-19 quarantine protocols. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) later cleared him after an internal enquiry found the breach as “unintentional”.
“Whatever happened is history now. I don’t want to get into it. Right now, I am focusing on winning an Olympic gold. My training is going great guns and I am sure that I will perform well in Tokyo,” he said.
(Chetan Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com)