India Pakistan cricket #KhelneDo

Ind-Pk-cricket-VOR“It’s just a game” doesn’t apply to any cricket match between India and Pakistan. But in recent years, fans have been stepping beyond national positions to support the other team even while rooting for their own, and to point out that yes, it is just a game. And that it’s better to fight on a sports ground than the battlefield. Continue reading

Adieu Gul Hameed Bhatti

Gul Hameed Bhatti as I will always remember him (photo courtesy GHB Facebook page)

Feb 5, 2010: Sad day. Woke up this morning to the news that Gul Hameed Bhatti had passed away last night. I knew he was not keeping well, but didn’t know how ill he was — dedicated journalist, sports editor, friend, equal rights upholder, and fine human being. Went to the funeral this afternoon and it brought back so many memories – the last time I was there was probably when his wife Razia Bhatti, founder editor of Newsline, died in 1996. I had known them both since 1981, when I was an intern at The Star evening paper, now also sadly no more. Razia was then editor of monthly Herald, down the corridor.

Gullast we spoke was when I called you about a story I was doing on the Pakistan Women’s Swimming Team for IPS, several months ago. Your own reports provided great material on the issue of course, like this 2008 story in The News on Sunday Sports page. My story got delayed several months because my father was very ill and subsequently passed away. I was relieved for him when his suffering was over, and Gul, I am relieved your suffering is over and that you are with your beloved Razia where ever you are, together again.
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‘No nuclear test, no missile test, just test cricket’

Cricket fanCongratulations Pakistan. Ok, so it wasn’t a test match – but is cricket a surrogate war between India and Pakistan – or a shared love that can help transcend animosities? Just found this article I wrote in March 2005, my column Personal Political published in The News op-ed and the Indian weekly Tehelka… Not much has changed since then.

Below, the version published in Tehelka, April 5, 2005

Cricket and the Peace Constituency

Ordinary Pakistanis and Indians are happy to recognise each other A Pakistani Girl Promoting Peace between Pakistan and India

Beena Sarwar

Will he, won’t he, will he, won’t he…?” Yes, he will, confirmed the Indian Prime Minister’s Office on March 15, ending the speculation by announcing that General Pervez Musharraf would visit India for a one-day match in Delhi on April 17. Musharraf had made it clear that he would make the visit if invited — and everyone was waiting to see whether the invitation would be extended.

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