Cricketing ties between India and Pakistan have, in no way, helped to improve the troubled bilateral relationship between the two countries. Except for a few ardent cricket fans, most people in both countries view an India-Pakistan cricket match as an extension of hostility played out in other spheres (“BCCI for resuming cricket ties with Pakistan,” July 17).
The Pakistani political and military elite continue to view India as a perpetual adversary. The masterminds of 26/11 are roaming free in Pakistan. Terror camps targeting India are still active there. Cricketing ties can wait till Pakistan abandons its policy of weakening India through terror proxies.
Sunil Gavaskar, who has criticised the BCCI decision because Pakistan is not cooperating in the 26/11 probe, is right. Cricket diplomacy will not change the hardened stand of those who support terrorists surreptitiously. Hobnobbing with the failed state will be nothing short of an exercise in futility.
It is unfortunate that cricketing ties between India and Pakistan have become a diplomatic tool. India has no doubt been a target of Pakistan’s overt and covert cross-border terrorism. Islamabad certainly needs to do more than New Delhi to put the bilateral relations on track. Sports are healthy and sportsmen are ambassadors of goodwill.
Cricket has a huge following in both countries. But the popularity of the sport has not been leveraged to bring the two estranged neighbours closer. Irrespective of what hardliners feel, cricketing ties must resume and continue.