What’s the story?
After a Sunday that saw India and Pakistan exchange victories in cricket and hockey, there was delight and despair on both sides of the border. However, despite losing 7-1 to India in a match at the Hockey World League Semifinals in London, it is fair to say that it was Pakistan that had the final laugh thanks to their exemplary performance in the ICC Champions Trophy final.
Celebrations erupted in Pakistan after a memorable win over their arch rivals and while some of them were heart-warming to see, the celebratory messages by the Pakistan Army personnel Major General Asif Ghafoor left a bad taste.
He posted pictures of scenes in Balochistan after the match and saying ‘To whom it may concern, lay off’ and then subsequently, posted a video of celebrations and fireworks in Srinagar after Pakistan’s win. Before these, he also published a few pictures of army men celebrating with the caption ‘Valiant soldiers of Pakistan congrat Team Pak & Nation.United we shall defend Pak against all threats our enemies hatch’ (sic).
However, he did not post any tweet regarding the hockey match.
And this is.........Srinagar!! pic.twitter.com/Espi1dcmcq— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) June 18, 2017
In case you didn’t know
Tensions between the two nations have increased over the last few months due to multiple events and of late, sporting clashes have taken a political undertone as well.
The heart of the matter
Pakistan defeated India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday by a whopping 180-run margin. The Men in Blue had comfortable beaten Pakistan when the two sides met in the group stages of the competition but in the final, it was a different ballgame altogether.
Fakhar Zaman scored a century for Pakistan in the first innings, with Mohammed Hafeez chipping in towards the end, to propel their side to a strong total of 338/4. India endured a poor start in reply, losing wickets at regular intervals and slumping to a paltry score of 158 all out in 30.3 overs, with Hardik Pandya the only Indian offering some resistance.
On the hockey field, India recorded their biggest ever win over Pakistan with a 7-1 scoreline. Harmanpreet Singh, Talwinder Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored two goals each, with the remaining one coming via the stick of Pardeep Mor.
India face Netherlands in their last group match, while Pakistan will face Scotland in the HWL Semis pool stage.
Such tweets by such high-ranking dignitaries do not help the cause of either nation and only increase tensions. Such actions should be admonished.