RAWALPINDI - India’s Sachika Kumar completely rubbishes misperceptions against traveling to Pakistan and termed Pakistan as completely safe for all kinds of sporting activities.

Sachika expressed these views during an exclusive interview with The Nation on Sunday soon after her semifinal match. She said people tried to scare her and urged her not to travel to Pakistan due to terrorist threats but she decided to embark on friendship journey.

“It was not about winning or losing in the event; it was about bridging gaps between the two neighbours. I am very glad that I took the right initiative and traveled along with my mother. The organisers had fulfilled their promise and provided us exceptional accommodation, excellent meal and they are taking very good care of us. I talked to my father on routine basis and told him about my wonderful experience. I am sure the players who turned their backs and decided not to participate in the event would never forgive themaleves, they don't know what they have missed.”

Sachika, 19, said she had heard stories about Pakistan's complete dominance on world squash. “I am a great fan of great Jahangir and Jansher. I started to take interest in squash at the age of 10 at Pune. My father played squash so I decided to try my luck as a professional player in squash and become world number 1 player. I practice at Chennai. Now-a-days I follow Ramey Ashore. India has great potential in squash. Deepa has already reached top 10 in the world. I want to follow her footsteps and break into elite class sooner rather than later.”

Sachika further said it was her very first WSA event. “I had won some local tournaments in Delhi but never participated in a WSA event before. I am glad I had reached the final of my very first international event. I have already made some friends in Pakistan and looking forward to come again and again to play in Pakistan. I feel no security issue. I had traveled through Lahore and visited places in Islamabad. I must admit Pakistan is almost similar to what we have in India, we share a lot of common things.”