NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants cricket between Pakistan and India despite prevailing tensions between the two neighbours, a close aide of the prime minister has said.
Sharif is an ardent cricket fan. Vetoing a series between the two countries can never be a desired decision for him, Indian media quoted the aide as saying on Wednesday.
"The decision to bind Pakistan Cricket Board to seek permission for a series with India is because there are no positive signals from India. Shiv Sena is promoting hatred and Sharif is concerned about the players' safety," said the prime ministerial aide.
He said Sharif was a strong advocate of Pakistan-India cricket like millions of fans on both sides of the border.
Sharif was hoping for improved ties with India where cricket could be taken as a sport not war, he said.
"Yes, there are political tensions but we never wanted this. Sport should be taken as a sport. We hope we will be able to solve this issue," he added.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, however, was strongly against playing with India.
Nisar on Tuesday said he would oppose Pakistan's visit to India because New Delhi backed Shiv Sena's extremism.
Pakistan and India have not played a full series since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai which India said were carried out by militants based across the border.