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Pakistan Army takes on India after Champion’s Trophy 2017 win; here’s how it treated cricket as war

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Published: June 19, 2017 2:08:30 PM

ICC Champion's Trophy 2017: There seems to be a new vigour in the Pakistan Army to further spread hatred and politicise the win. Here's what it said.

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa watching India Pakistan ICC Champion?s Trophy final. (Source: Pakistan Inter Services Public Relations)

When it comes to cricket, Indians and Pakistanis love to play against each other, but they hate to lose. They hate to play it like the sport that it is and they behave as if it is a war. While that has been the case since decades, there seems to be a new vigour in the Pakistan Army to further spread hatred and politicise the issue. History was made on Sunday night when Pakistan defeated India in the finals of the Champions Trophy 2017 in London. It was a big win for them because the lowest ranked team decimated the strongest team in the tournament. But the way the Pakistani Army celebrated, is ridiculous from many angles. It took to Twitter aggressively to post some highly polarising content. Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the official spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces, tweeted a video which he claimed was from Srinagar and which allegedly showed people celebrating Pakistan’s victory. In another picture, he alleged Balochistan too celebrated the Pakistan win.

During the ICC Champion’s Trophy final, the Pakistani army media unit sent out a frenzy of tweets with pictures of soldiers and various army personnel watching the match. The Twitter account also quoted its army chief Qamar Bajwa describing the Pakistani team as one that is “against every threat”. The Pakistan Army then went on to equate its cricket team with the “valiant soldiers of Pakistan” and said that the “nation” would “defend Pak against all threats our enemies hatch.” The official Twitter account of Pakistan Inter-Services Public Relations, posted a photo, allegedly of people watching the match in Balochistan, with a caption that said “To Whom it may concern. Lay off”.

Pakistan Army has announced ‘umrah’ for it cricket team after the India-Pakistan win. This move underlines the fact that how religion and the army play a big role in Pakistan. (Umrah is a pilgrimage to Islam’s Holiest City-Mecca.) Meanwhile, according to Pakistan’s newspaper The Nation, the Pak Army also reportedly gave a 21-gun salute to the cricket team after the Champion’s trophy win.

Here’s what the Pakistan Army tweeted after Champion’s Trophy 2017 win:

While the issue of terrorism is grave and the issue of Kashmir is important, such acts of politicising by an Army only widens the chasm between both the countries, instead of bridging the gap with a mutual love for cricket.

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