CRICKET DIPLOMACY

Battles, not games

Battles, not games

Open Letter to the Prime Minster on cricket diplomacy between India and Pakistan

Dear Prime Minister<br> Even decades of experience in dealing with Pakistan has not taught any lessons. Our peaceful approaches have always been responded with indifference, insincerity and insults. How can you trust a nation that promotes terrorism against its neighbour, constantly violates the LOC, and has no tolerance for other religions?

In order to keep the people’s attention away from internal problems, Pakistan has kept the Kashmir issue alive without any genuine interest to solve it amicably. They never do what they say or mean. They talk about peace and then take a war-like stance by provoking tension across the border. They harbour terrorists wanted by India and give them royal treatment. They support the so-called independence for Kashmiris, who are Indian citizens. Many innocent Indians languish in their jails.

They pay for their follies of promoting terrorism by becoming victims themselves. If you breed a cobra in your house to bite a neighbour, it may turn against you and attack you. Those who live by the sword will die by it. But who cares. Anything that hurts the neighbour is good for them.

When you don’t trust someone why invite them and cause trouble. Cricket matches between the two countries are not played with the spirit of the game, but as if they are battles, with tempers running high. The fans are high- strung and even fanatic during the games. So why invite them and increase the animosity further. This is no diplomacy, and by doing so we are showing our weakness not kindness. It will do more harm than good. It can even increase the hatred between neighbours.

For decades South African Cricket team was boycotted because they practiced apartheid. This was solely an internal policy and did not affect neighbouring countries s. Yet other cricket playing countries supported this action by the world. Sanctions are imposed on countries which violate the peaceful existence of neighbors. India’s peaceful existence is affected by the action of some neighbouring countries. To some extent such issues can be amicably resolved. But if the other party is adamant and does not want a solution, any amount of diplomacy will bear fruit. There is saying “Chanting Vedas before a he-buffalo.” It is a waste of time of both.

Yours sincerely,
K.R.K. Moorthy, Mumbai

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