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Pakistan plan to invite India

Islamabad: Pakistan are planning to invite archrivals India for a nine-nation hockey tournament to be held in Lahore in December.

“We had been asked by the ministry what would be the appropriate time for a resumption of Pakistan-India hockey series and we told them that the first opportunity would be to invite them over to Lahore for the tournament,” Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary, Brig Musarratullah Khan was quoted as saying in the local daily Dawn.

He, however, said the matter of inviting India was at a very preliminary stage but if India did participate, the tournament would gain added attraction.

Though there have been no bilateral exchanges between the two sub-continent rivals for some years now, they have continued to play in multi-nation events on neutral soils, their latest clash resulting in a 4-4 draw in a three-nation tournament in Sydney on Saturday.

The recent confidence building measures taken by Prime Ministers of both Pakistan and India have once again increased hopes of a revival of sporting ties.

The PHF plans to hold the tournament at the National Stadium in Lahore. World champions Germany and Holland have expressed their inability to play.

Malaysia, Korea and England are keen to attend and confirmation from other countries could come during the forthcoming meeting of the Asian Hockey Federation in Busan later this month, Khan said.

Egypt and China are also on the list of PHF invitees for the tournament which will be the first international hockey competition in Pakistan since September 11, 2001, which led to the shifting of the Champions Trophy from Lahore to Rotterdam.

Egypt and China are also on the list of PHF invitees for the tournament which will be the first international hockey competition in Pakistan since September 11, 2001, which led to the shifting of the Champions Trophy from Lahore to Rotterdam.

In another development, PHF said it proposed to take further disciplinary action against Sohail Abbas and Waseem Ahmad for playing in Germany without seeking permission from PHF.

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