The demand for canceling the upcoming India vs Pakistan match at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is gathering pace with the likes of Union Minister Giriraj Singh asking for ‘reconsideration’ due to the recent killings of non-locals in Jammu and Kashmir by JK ultras.
There’s been a series of targeted killings of civilians, especially the non-locals, in J&K recently. Two laborers, non-local, were killed Wanpoh area of Kulgam when terrorists began firing indiscriminately on them. A carpenter and a Pani Puri hawker, both hailing from Uttar Pradesh, were shot dead on Friday in the union territory.
India and Pakistan only play in ICC tournaments and Asia cup with their last bilateral series coming in 2012-13 and last Test series in 2007. The one-on-one cricketing relations ended after the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, and since then, the BCCI has cited government issues for not playing Pakistan outside ICC tourneys.
“I think the match should be reconsidered since the relations between India and Pakistan aren’t good,” Singh responded to a query if the India-Pakistan match should even be held in the wake of targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir.
Punjab Minister Pargat Singh has also called for the cancellation of the match to avoid further souring the relationship between the two nations.
“India vs Pakistan match in T20 World Cup shouldn’t be held because the situation at the border isn’t ideal and both the countries are currently going through a stressful period. We have to guard humanity and not do anything that may end up putting further stress on the relationship between the two countries,” he said.
Mukesh Sah, brother of Arvind Kumar Sah, the pani puri seller who was killed by the terrorists, also said: “Terrorists are entering Jammu through Pakistan and killing people. We should never play any match against Pakistan again.”
On the other hand, India captain Virat Kohli has played down the hype surrounding his team’s clash with Pakistan, saying, “I have just approached this game (vs Pakistan) as another game of cricket and I know there is a lot of hype around this game, more so with ticket sales and demands of tickets.”
India and Pakistan are scheduled to clash in the T20 World Cup 2021 on October 24 in Dubai.