iconimg Thursday, May 28, 2015

Abhinav Rajput, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 25, 2014
Amid the growing tension over incidents of cross-border firing, a Pakistani contingent crossed the Wagah border to play kabaddi matches scheduled in New Delhi on Sunday.
 
The players of Lahore Lions was totally unaware of the situation when asked about the escalating tension after their match against the Punjab kabaddi team at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
 
"These things should not happen, we want to see friendly relations between the two countries," said Akmal Shahzad Dogar, rider of Lahore Lions.
 
For Dogar, who has been to Punjab earlier, this is his first visit to New Delhi.
 
"I want to explore this city. I have heard a lot about it."
 
When asked about the other places he wants to visit in India, he said, "My native village is in India. It is in Tarn Taran Sahib district in Amritsar. I really want to go there, but it is very difficult to get permission."
 
"Most of my team mates have their native villages in India. Their ancestors migrated to Pakistan during the partition days. They too cherish the dream of visiting their villages."
 
He adds that people back home, especially those who lived in India but later migrated to Pakistan, want to know how places like Delhi look now.
 
They also want to know whether he has been to those places.
 
He also talked about cricket and his favourite Indian players.
 
"Sachin Tendulkar is of course the favourite and in the current lot I like Virat Kohli," he said.
 
Babar Waseem Gujjar, captain of the Lahore Lions, too shared similar sentiments.
 
"I have my village in Ludhiana district. It is called Burj Hari Singh... I want to go there and not just me, my family members too want to go there," said Gujjar.
 
Talking about India-Pakistan sports ties being strained by activities on border he says, "For us Indian sportsmen are like brothers. Sometimes, when we play for clubs teams we share the same room. Most of us have brotherly relationship with the Indian kabaddi players."
 
He adds that sometimes he feels that both the countries should be reunited.
 
Like most Pakistanis, Gujjar also likes watching Bollywood films. "Any movie that has Sanjay Dutt is my favourite." When asked about Bollywood actresses, he just blushes.