Pakistan tennis star calls for India peace match

KARACHI: Pakistan tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has resumed calls for a peace match on the Indian border to foster reconciliation efforts between the two South Asian rivals.Qureshi, whose doubles pairing with Indian star Rohan Bopanna has been dubbed the “Indo-Pak Express”, wrote to Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani calling for “tennis for peace.”The star’s father Ihtesham told AFP that Aisam had made the request as a “unique effort to promote peace”.

Qureshi and Bopanna, currently 17th in the ATP world doubles rankings, made headlines around the world when they reached the final of last year’s US Open.”They floated the idea after the US Open. We hope Pakistan will take the initiative,” said Qureshi.Unveiling the idea last year, the pair said they wanted a net strung across the Wagah border crossing, as part of a “Stop War Start Tennis” campaign.Qureshi last year said the International Tennis Federation and Peace and Sport, a charity run by Prince Albert of Monaco, supported the idea and had also written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.India broke off diplomatic and sporting links after Islamist gunmen launched coordinated attacks on targets in Mumbai, killing 166 people in November 2008. India blamed Pakistan-based militants for the assault.But hopes are being revived that India and Pakistan could agree to resume direct sporting ties after the prime ministers of both countries watched the World Cup cricket semi-final between India and Pakistan two weeks ago in India. – Yahoonews