The national anthem of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) was played during a cricket match in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, according to an IE report. The incident happened on Sunday and the anthem was played before the start of the match in a stadium. This comes months after a video had surfaced which showed a group of amateur cricketers wearing Pakistan cricket jersey – Pakistan national anthem was also played at the start of the match there.
What is even more shocking is that, the ‘opening ceremony’ of the match was streamed live on Facebook, the report says. According to report, The video shows members of the two teams, Shining Star Pampore and Pulwama Tigers, lined up as the Azad Kashmir anthem was heard. All the players are seen in blue jerseys. It was the final of cricket tournament, the IE reports.
The incident assumes significance as the stadium is adjacent to the Degree College Pulwama, which has been at the centre of the ongoing student protests in the Valley. Notably, The stadium is also close to Karimabad village, a militant stronghold in Pulwama district, the report says. A cricket player who was present at the stadium told IE, “This is not something extraordinary or rare. This happens at most places during sports events, especially cricket tournaments. It becomes news only when the videos are circulated or posted on Facebook.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday had said, “Kashmir is ours, Kashmiris are ours and Kashmiriyat is also ours.” He also asserted that the Narendra Modi government will find a ‘permanent solution’ to the Kashmir problem. The home minister’s assertion came amid continued unrest in the Kashmir valley. Singh also accused Pakistan of trying to “destabilise” India by fomenting trouble in Kashmir. “But I want to tell all of you that our government will find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.