Stories about indo-pak

Will the real Afridi please stand up?

* Anas Abbas contributed to this blog post. “I think I am a cricketer first and then a diplomat. I am an ambassador for Pakistan, so I should know what to say. I think it’s a great sign for both countries and sports, especially cricket always brings these two countries together.” So spoke Shahid Khan Afridi on the eve of the World Cup semi final against India. Mere days after winning the hearts of numerous Indian fans with his generous remarks after the semi final loss, Afridi struck out wildly when he went on record to lambast Indians on a TV talk show. “If I have ...

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India’s ‘small hearts’ and Afridi’s big mouth

I’ve never been Afridi’s biggest fan. But his recent form with the ball, and his leadership in the World Cup changed my mind…well, sort of. I have always found him to be mercurial. From scoring a hundred in 30-40 balls to getting out after playing the most atrocious shot in the books, Afridi has even bitten into a cricket ball. A day after his return to Pakistan, he held a brief press conference on his front porch. Lala fired back to a question asked by one of the reporters regarding Pakistan’s defeat against India. He questioned why Pakistanis look towards India with ...

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Pak-India semi-final: Life, liberty and the pursuit of sadness

April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. T S Eliot The Wasteland, 1922 Desire and hope can be painful, especially when hope is thwarted. Yet in sports defeat for either one of the sides is inevitable; I believe it can even lead to good things in life later on, like land turned fertile after a volcanic eruption. But I’d still want my side to win. In the wake of the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan, what I am finding particularly, annoyingly, unendingly painful is the reactions that the defeat ...

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Pakistan and India: I know you, you are just like me!

As cricketers, celebrities and leaders attempt to build bridges of friendship between India and Pakistan, The Citizens Archive of Pakistan and the Indian nonprofit Routes2Roots have initiated Exchange for Change, a program that encourages dialogue between students across Pakistan and India. Students have exchanged letters focusing on their lives and neighbourhoods, their respective country’s history and their families. The students share their joy for pani puri and are curious to learn about each others’ cultures and the reasons for separation. Here are a few excerpts: A letter from India: “My dear friend, I am an ordinary girl like you from Mumbai, India. I study in ...

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To the haters: It’s a battle of teams, not nations

The semi-final between Pakistan and India – dubbed the mother of all battles – finally takes place today. Every cricket fan and everyone else – who may or may not be interested in cricket – has been touched by the anticipation in the air. However, while the contagious excitement has spread joy, several souls seem to be miffed. In their effort to be ambassadors of peace, they have accused us, the ‘cricket crazies’, of being jingoistic and nationalistic. But they seem to have completely missed the point. What makes this semi-final, or any other Pakistan-India match, such a thriller is not the ...

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Reality check: Pakistan can beat India on their home turf

I am not a pundit, and I am definitely not Paul the octopus. I am just a cricket fan who believes in his team. All I ask of other cricket followers is to show respect to our highly talented cricketers who have played exceptionally well to qualify for the semi-final. There is every chance that Pakistan will end up playing at the Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011. Us Pakistani “rickshaws” will take the highway to Mumbai, leaving behind the BMWs Mr Shastri has claimed India to be. Team Pakistan can win the semi-final, and nonsensical warnings from Mr Rehman Malik ...

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World Cup 2011: Why do we love to hate India?

Cricket mania has spread like wildfire and everyone wants their team to win. But so far, the South Asians are championing the race tooth and nail. Pakistan is poised to face its rival India in the semi finals and we have made cricket a life and death scenario. Our spirits were high after securing victories against big teams like Australia, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, but a prospective showdown with India has given our excitement a new meaning altogether. We are just not willing to accept defeat. If we were facing any other team in the semi-final instead of ...

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Magic in Mohali: I watched Pakistan beat India

In November 2007, I went to Mohali to watch a Pakistan versus India match. Walking to India We crossed the Wagah-Attari border by foot – a monumental step in my life.  I was struck with mixed emotions, the joy of visiting India and extending our message of peace and love. At the same time, I remembered the stories of hardship my ancestors faced while migrating to Pakistan in 1947. It took nearly six hours of waiting, tedious registrations and formalities amidst heavy police protection at the Indian side of the border. A large number of Indians were walking towards the border for the evening ...

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Reality check: India will win the semi-final

The Pakistan versus India semi-final on March 30 has the general population psyched on both sides of the border. People are vigorously praying to their respective Gods that they be given this win. Indians are keeping a vrat (fast) for the sake of the Indian team while people in Pakistan slaughter goats in the hope that God would accept their sacrifices and present a victory over India. Well, only God can really help and if He is busy on March 30 then I guess India are winning. God helped the Pakistan cricket team win the World Cup in 1992. Let us take ...

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Celebrating Eid with Aisam

Watching Pakistan’s Aisamul-Haq Qureshi almost win the Men’s Doubles Final at the US Open in New York was not a bad way to spend Eid. Throw in a velvety lump of gulab jaman gratis the Bengali uncle at Spice Corner, beaming from behind the counter in an embroidered black kurta; some papery pista-encrusted bakhlava from the toothless Palestinian landlady, her troop of grandchildren hurtling through the building in a jumble of satin and plastic wands; and a cup of spongy ras malai from Curry in a Hurry, served by a waiter in a Jinnah cap with a retro Shahrukh Khan-Madhuri Dixit video playing on the TV – I’d say Eid was downright unforgettable. We hadn’t planned on it. I was expecting ...

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