Indo-Pak Cricket Diplomacy !

R.D. Bhardwaj “Noorpuri”

We, as Indians are glad to know that Pakistani Prime Minister, Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani has accepted our Prime Minister’s invitation to visit India and see the Indo-Pak semi final cricket match being played at Mohali. It would have been better if their President, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, could have also accepted the invitation to see this glorious / hilarious match here & enjoyed the thrills. This really an ideal occasion provided by the sporting event and thus, leaders of both the countries could have sit together and discuss the vital issues concerning both countries and dwell upon what further could be achieved to improve the bilateral ties between people of both the neighbouring countries and ease the ongoing tension so that friendly and cordial atmosphere could prevail.

It is also as a goodwill gesture of this cricket match that the Pakistani Govt. has decided to release Mr. Gopal Dass who was languishing in Mianwali jail in Pakistan, after wrongly crossing the border over to Pakistani lands, since July 1984. It is also pertinent to mention here that there are around 60 POW in lodged in different Pakistani jails since Indo Pak war of 1971. In addition to this, one more Indian citizen – Sarabjit Singh, who is also languishing in Kot Lakhpat jail in Pakistan since 1991 and is falsely implicated in anti-terrorist acts. Only God knows whether all these Indian prisoners get proper and sufficient food or not and that whether they get milk and medicines etc. in case they need these things as and when they fall ill in jails.

In view of the above, Govt. of Pakistan is requested to please look into the fate of all these prisoners and display another act of benevolence, and release them at the earliest, preferably before Vaisakhi, as a goodwill gesture, so that decades old woes and sufferings of these hapless prisoners and their families here in India, could be brought to an end and they get an opportunity to unite with their families for the rest of their lives. Please think positive and tread cautiously towards restoring friendly and long lasting peaceful atmosphere between the people of both the neighbouring countries. Our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh should utilise this opportunity to the maximum and take-up the issue with his visiting Pakistani counter-part and emphasize that such measures really go a long way in knitting the otherwise damaged threads of our relations, not only between people of both the Asian nations and their cultural ties, but also bring huge confidence between the both the Governments and swell their volume of trade and business as well.