Harish Jharia

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28 March 2011

ICC World Cup 2011: India v/s Pakistan Semifinal match serves as diplomatic arena for both governments…

ICC World Cup 2011: India v/s Pakistan Semifinal match serves as diplomatic arena for both governments…

I felt real excitement when the news of Indian Prime Minster declaring his plans to witness the world cup semi final between India and Pakistan, scheduled to be played in Mohali on 30 March 2011 was flashed in the media. 

As a common man I too felt like others that Indian politicians and ministers usually do not bother about sports and games and keep their attention at the vote bank. I felt a bit more excited with this news especially at a moment when the representatives of the government have been facing corruption charges in the cases of Commonwealth Games, 2G spectrum, wiki-leaks, Adarsh housing society and a dozen other disclosures that led to the opposition demand for the resignation of the Prime Minister. 

Anyways, the presence of Indian Prime Minister at the venue would be the most encouraging factor for the Indian team and a morale booster for the players playing against their archrivals.  

Nevertheless, my excitement extinguished with the news headlines about ‘cricket diplomacy’ played by the Indian government by inviting the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan for witnessing the semifinal. This news followed by pinching information that the Pakistan government was interacting with Pakistan Army on the issue whether the Head Of State and the Head Of Government of Pakistan should accept the invitation. I was not convinced with this theory and thought that it might be the brainchild of the media. I still feel that the President and the Prime Minister of any country are not supposed to consult their Armies for attending to international issues like watching a cricket match in a neighboring country

The third news that hit the headlines was about the Pakistan government releasing an Indian under-trial languishing in Pakistani jails for more than 27 – 30 years, possibly as a good will gesture and as an acknowledgement to the surprising invitation. 

This news followed by another controversial action taken by the Home Minister of Pakistan by publically warning the Pakistani players not to indulge in sports crimes like match fixing. It was also said in the media that the telephones of the Pakistan team players were being tapped. 

I, as a common citizen of India and a common fan of cricket, am feeling confused as to what all is going on in the Indian subcontinent. The bitter memories of Commonwealth Games are still fresh in our memory when the Indian politicians and ministers queued up for being photographed with the gold-medalists. We still remember that some Indian Olympic officials attended the Asian Games in China, in spite of the fact that they were facing corruption charges and inquiries against the alleged corruption done by them, to the tune of billions of Rupees, in the CWG. 

I welcome the decision taken by the Indian Prime Minister for attending the Cricket World Cup semifinal and hope and wish that the spirits of the Indian team will surge to their heights ensuring their victory against Pakistan. 

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