Indo-Pak Hockey World Cup clash would help deescalate tension: PHF secretary

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Karachi, Feb.21 (ANI): The much awaited clash of the arch rivals India and Pakistan in the upcoming Hockey World Cup is being dubbed as the match of the tournament, and officials of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) are hoping that the match would improve the bitter ties between both nations.

"Sports is all about peace. We hope that our visit of India will in some way help improve relations between the two countries," PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said.

Pakistan is scheduled to play a couple of practice games before the 'explosive' World Cup opener against India on February 28, and Bajwa expressed the hope that the team would repeat the success of 1994, the year Pakistan last won the Hockey World Cup.

"We are hoping that the entire nation will support us and pray for the team to come out with good results in the World Cup," The News quoted Bajwa, as saying.

Pakistan's participation in the quadrennial spectacle, which be held in New Delhi from February 28 to March 13, was in doubt due to the prevalent tension between two countries.

However, the PHF gave the green signal for the team to visit India after being assured of "presidential-level" security cover by New Delhi.

"They have told us that our team will get VVIP security that is generally reserved for visiting heads of state. We were briefed about the security plan by our delegation which visited Delhi and everything seems fine," said Bajwa.

"The Delhi police chief has personally assured the delegation that our players will be given the best possible security cover. Our High Commission (in New Delhi) has also expressed its satisfaction about it," he added. (ANI)

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