Pakistan should clamp down on former proteges: Kashmiri CM

4 March 2009

Srinagar: - Kashmiri Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has called for separating sports from politics even as he wanted Pakistan to see reason and correct the damage caused to it by the forces it had promoted and protected at one point in time. 'Sports and politics have to be separated and I do not think any cause should allow sportspersons to be targeted,' Abdullah said while talking with media persons here Tuesday afternoon on the Lahore incident in which Sri Lankan sportsmen were attacked. He described the incident as unfortunate and said that perhaps it was for the first time since Munich Olympics that sportspersons were attacked. 'It is unfortunate for the entire subcontinent,' the chief minister said adding that the only positive thing about it was that there were no deaths. 'We should thank God for that,' he said. The chief minister said that Pakistan must recognize that it is the victim of the very forces it had once promoted and protected. He said it was in the interest of Pakistan itself to clamp down on these forces. He said terrorists had no loyalty and if they were today against India tomorrow they would be against Pakistan. 'Forget about the interest of India or Sri Lanka, it is in Pakistan's own interest to put an end to all this,' he responded when a reporter wanted to know if he thought the incident had affected sports interests in the region. He said that the neighboring country should realize that it is not the governments of other countries that want to isolate it but the sportspersons from the rest of the world themselves were reluctant to visit and Pakistan has to understand this. Abdullah refused to correlate the Lahore incident with the peace process between India and Pakistan and said that any wider linkage between the two would be unfortunate. He said that India wanted Pakistan to stabilize at the earliest so that the benefit of that stability was felt in the region.