Cricket is said to be a gentleman’s game. However, controversies appearing in the media regarding India-Pakistan cricket are really unfortunate especially when there has been excellent relations between the players of both countries. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan and the head of the PCB’s executive committee Najam Sethi had arrived in India last week to hold talks with BCCI in a bid to finalise the India-Pakistan cricket series in December. Shiv Sena workers stormed the Mumbai office of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to disrupt the resumption of cricketing ties between both the nations. The Shiv Sena, which rules Maharashtra in alliance with the BJP, says it will not allow any engagement with Pakistan. ICC withdrew Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar from the rest of the series. The unprecedented withdrawal of an official owing to political pressure came after ICC president Zaheer Abbas cast a shadow over Pakistan’s participation in next year’s World T20 to be held in India
By playing cricket together both the nations can improve bilateral ties. Players are innocent. They are not involved in any terrorism activities so political parties should not raise any objections. Bowling, batting and fielding skills will improve if India and Pakistan play together. We are neighbours and cannot afford to keep fighting with each other all the time. People admire Pakistani players like Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akthar and Zaheer Abbas etc and they have never uttered any derogatory word against us. The last time India and Pakistan met in a bilateral series was in late 2012, when they faced each other in two T20s and three ODIs. Ever since, their meetings have been confined to ICC events.
The intolerance we witness today doesn’t augur well for the nation’s development. We cannot progress by harbouring animosity. The nation can’t develop if political parties raise needless issues regarding people’s eating preferences. I have sailed with several Pakistani Masters and they all have been very fair. They were of the opinion that well known foreign forces do not allow us to come together. Let us understand their true motives.
Hindus and Muslims must work together realizing strengths of each other and co-operate effectively. Several regions of the nation are witnessing drought due to deficient rainfall. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upset with ministers making controversial comments. The statements might affect BJP’s performance in the Bihar assembly election. BJP President Amit Shah on summoned four senior leaders — Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, party MP Sakshi Maharaj and MLA from Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Som — and served a gag order on them. On the other hand, the Congress termed the gag order a “gimmick” and a mere formality.