Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir today called for cutting off all ties with Pakistan till the time Islamabad brings to an end “cross-border terrorism” emanating from its soil.
Adopting a tough stand against Pakistan, Gambhir said that "Indian lives are more important than sports".
"I would not even think of playing cricket with Pakistan. Indian lives are more important than sports," Gambhir told mediapersons.
Expressing his disagreement with those who talk about the need to keep politics and sports separate, the Indian opener insisted that every Indian must put himself into the shoes of Army personnel before commenting on such matters.
"I absolutely endorse that we should not have any relation or ties with Pakistan until the time this cross border terrorism finishes. People need to put themselves in army's shoes who have lost their kids, someone have lost their father, son.
"We can say this sitting in an AC room that cricket or bollywood should not be compared to politics as long as we don't think ourselves as Indians, or think for our own countrymen. So I totally endorse that until the time we don't secure our own Indians, our own countrymen, all other things can be kept aside," the 35-year-old added.
Gambhir, who had recently made a comeback to the India Test team against New Zealand, is not the first Indian sportsperson to express his views on the issue of Pakistan.
India Test skipper Virat Kohli had condemned the Uri attack of September 18 on an army camp that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers and former opener Virender Sehwag has also spoken out this on the social media.
The Indian team has not played a bilateral series with Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. India were due to tour Pakistan in January 2009 but that series was cancelled following the attacks.
Another scheduled series in March-April 2012 was also cancelled after the Indian government refused to give the green signal to the tour.
(With PTI inputs)