~~Ill-conceived US-Afghan war cost Pakistan dearly~~
Published: Friday, August 9, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad: Former Pakistan captain turned politician Imran Khan on Friday strongly criticised the United States, saying its 'ill-conceived' campaign in Afghanistan was costing Pakistan dearly. "Since joining the (anti-terror) coalition, Pakistan's suffering has increased... America's ill-conceived campaign in Afghanistan has cost us dearly and cricket is hit worst," Khan, who now heads the Movement for Justice political party, said. Khan was reacting to the Australian Cricket Board's (ACB) decision to pull out of October's Test tour of Pakistan amid security fears. "Foreign exports and foreign investments stopped last year and now no foreign team is prepared to tour Pakistan which could cause bankruptcy for Pakistan's cricket," he said. "A country earns through a home series from TV rights, and if series after series are shifted, Pakistan cricket will be financially devastated." Two bomb attacks in southern port city of Karachi in May and June and two attacks on Christian targets this week prompted the ACB to decide against the October tour. "Australia's concerns are genuine and we should understand them and chose a neutral venue where proper funds could be generated," Khan said. He urged the world cricket governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), to help Pakistan through its current crisis. "It's in the interest of cricket for the ICC and other countries to help Pakistan, because it's not a good omen if Pakistan cricket suffers due to declining finances," he said.