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Published: Friday, April 27, 2001, 19:07 [IST]
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New Delhi: The government on Friday reiterated that India would not play against Pakistan in a "bilateral" match but said it had no objection if the two countries came face-to-face in any "trilateral or multi-lateral tournament".

Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Uma Bharti said in the Rajya Sabha that the decision not to play against Pakistan was taken by the External Affairs Ministry and the Sports Ministry was only a nodal agency to convey the government's decision.

Replying to a supplementary, she said India had made it clear that it would not play against Pakistan at "irregular venues" like Sharjah, Singapore or Canada since it attracted more attention of the youth. "There is no change in the policy," she asserted.

"We have never been against cricket or any other sport. In fact the government has encouraged other sports," she added.

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