NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of India denying visas to Pakistan wrestlers and squash players, Union sports minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday said that the relationship between the two countries can only improve after Pakistan puts a stop to terrorism.
The sports minister said that sports activities and terrorism can’t take place together.
“Terrorism and sports can’t go along and Pakistan should understand that. The relation between the two countries can be cordial only after Pakistan stops sponsoring cross border terrorism,” the minister said after the announcement of National Youth Awards in Delhi.
Goel said that that India take these ties seriously and hopes that the lack of sporting ties between the two countries will put pressure on their goverment to fight terrorism. “India take these things very seriously. We are not at loss, our decision to stop bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan will force Pakistani people to put pressure on their government to act against terrorism…The entire world knows Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism,” he added.
The squash and wrestling teams were denied visas to participate in the Asian Championships that are scheduled to take place in India next week. Last year, Pakistan’s junior hockey team was also not issued visas for the FIH Junior World Cup in Lucknow.
Goel on Wednesday announced a wide range of fields including sports that would fetch the national youth awards. He said that instead of the States nominating the persons or organisation for the National Youth Awards, it would be an online process.
According to the minister, instead of one organisation, the award would be given to ten organisations every year for their services. The award has been enhanced to ₹200,000, a trophy and a certificate. The individual awards of ₹50,000 each, increased from ₹40,000, apart from a medal and certificate would be given to 25 eligible youth in the age group of 15 to 29 years, for their good work in the field of health, research, innovation, culture, promotion of human rights, art and literature, tourism, traditional medicines, active citizenship, community service, sports and academic excellence and smart learning.
“It will now be ensured that the selection process is transparent and the restrictions in the nomination process are removed, thus making the Awards more broad-based and accessible to the deserving youth of the country,” added the minister.
For the first time, the ministry has decided to get nomination for the National Youth Awards through online mode to cover the people on pan-India basis. Earlier, the nominations were received only through State/UT governments with the restriction that they should nominate only 5 names for Individuals and 2 nominations in voluntary organizations category. It was a routine affair and no adequate publicity was given by the State governments or UTs to popularize the awards and seek varied nominations.