The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shoaib: Indo-Pak series will improve bilateral ties

Lucknow: Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar feels two sides India and Pakistan should play as often as possible to improve bilateral ties.

“We want cricket series between the two countries to continue in future as it has helped in improving relations between the two countries,” Akhtar said on Monday.

The tearaway pacer said playing regularly would promote cultural exchange between the two countries, which would help strengthen bilateral ties.

On a day when most of the Indian and Pakistani cricketers preferred to remain confined to their hotel rooms, Akhtar planned his day out with “special” children.

Akhtar visited the Chetna Institute for mentally challenged and deaf and dumb students in Aliganj, but was disappointed by the huge media presence which made it difficult for him to reach out to the children.

Akhtar was somehow escorted to the playground, where he distributed sweets to children, who could hardly manage to reach him.

The Rawalpindi Express, however, made an effort to reach out to the children for an interaction during which one child told him that he had pain in his knees.

The injury-prone Akhtar tried to console the child, saying that he too had a knee pain.

He also played arm wrestling with one of the students of the institute and posed before the lensmen.Akhtar said he was associated with charity, which gives him satisfaction and it was his moral responsibility.

“I don’t care how media portrays me. Those who know me are aware what kind of person I am. I think it’s my social responsibility to do something for such children,” Akhtar said.

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