As always in matters concerning Pakistan, news of a tour here by the Pakistani cricket team has raised strong reactions here in India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has worked out an itinerary of two T 20s and three ODIs, to be held in December-January.This move has been welcomed by some, including the former Pak captain, Inzamum-ul-Huq. And why wouldn’t he? A tour to India means a lot to the Pakistanis, I would imagine. However, not everyone in India is happy about the Pakistanis visiting India. The aged Shiv Sena leader, Bal Thackeray has said his party will fiercely oppose this tour. Perhaps by design, the organizers have not scheduled any match in Mumbai! Thankfully, they have not organized the tour in November-December, as this period inevitably reminds us of the Pak backed terror attacks on Mumbai which have gone down in history as “26/11.”
You may recall that the two countries have not had bilateral tours since then. They have of course competed in world championships, like the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka some months ago.
I, for one, am against this tour. Here are my thoughts in the matter:
- Pakistan has never recognized its implication in the 26/11 attacks. They have played games with us and dodged the issue all the time. Even now there is strong reason to believe that terrorist outfits based in Pak continue to infiltrate/attempt to infiltrate in to India to wage an undeclared war.
- We seem to be bending over backwards to accommodate them, when they never seem to do the same. Be it reality shows on television or programs for the public, look at the number of artistes from Pakistan who are welcomed and feted in India. How many Indian artistes have been invited to Pakistan ?.
- It is all very well for some politicians to say that bygones should be bygones, as did Home Minister Shinde recently. None of his family members were slaughtered by the terrorists like many innocents who lost their lives during those awful days in November 2008. He is fully protected in any case at all times.
- We aren’t gaining anything much by hosting the Pak cricket team. At best the richest cricket board in the world will get richer.
The last point will happen if people decide to see these matches in large numbers. It remains to be seen whether our cricket fans will flock to the grounds or choose to stay away.