Amid calls for India to boycott its June 16 cricket World Cup clash against Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said forfeiting the match would not just cost two points but also be "worse than surrender".
Mr Tharoor, in a tweet, said the government did not even declare national mourning following the Pulwama attack and wants to cancel a match three months from now.
"Reminder: at the height of the 1999 Kargil War, India played Pakistan in the cricket World Cup, & won. To forfeit the match this year would not just cost two points: it would be worse than surrender, since it would be defeat without a fight," the senior Congress leader said.
"Our government did not even declare national mourning wants to cancel a match 3 months from now? Is that a serious response to 40 lives taken in cold blood? BJP wants to divert attention from its own fecklessness and inept handling of the crisis. We need effective action, not gesture politics," the parliamentarian from Thiruvananthapuram added.
Asked about Mr Tharoor's remarks, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said there should be no cricketing ties till terrorism being encouraged from Pakistani soil doesn't stop.
"India needs to adopt a strong stance against terrorism and in that strong stance cricket is included," he said.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket Friday decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash against Pakistan but said it would individually urge ICC members to "sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub".
There has been a call to boycott the June 16 World Cup face-off against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, which killed more than 40 CRPF personnel.
In a meeting to address the spiralling speculation around the match, the CoA deliberated on the matter but did not take any position for now.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday said India stands to lose by boycotting Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup.
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