Cricket matches with Pak in India? Kin of 2 bravery award winners differ | india | Hindustan Times
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Cricket matches with Pak in India? Kin of 2 bravery award winners differ

The father of a Kargil war martyr decorated with the country’s highest military award has opposed Indo-Pak cricket matches anywhere in India as long the hostile neighbour continues its proxy war.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2016 12:29 IST
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Vikram Batra
The comments GL Batra, father of slain Indian Army captain Vikram Batra, came in the backdrop of a controversy surrounding the March 19 tie between the two rivals during the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.(AP File Photo)

The father of a Kargil war martyr decorated with the country’s highest military award has opposed Indo-Pak cricket matches anywhere in India as long the hostile neighbour continues its proxy war.

The comments GL Batra, father of slain Indian Army captain Vikram Batra, came in the backdrop of a controversy surrounding the March 19 tie between the two rivals during the ICC World Twenty20 tournament. The match will be held in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

“It is my personal opinion that matches with Pakistan shouldn’t take place anywhere in India. They are waging a proxy war in Kashmir. Recently, the Pathankot attack took place. We shouldn’t be so humble. But is it humbleness or weakness?” Batra said on Saturday on the sidelines of an official function to honour Army heroes.

Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his gallantry during the 1999 Kargil war.

In reply to a specific question, Batra said: “Of course they are just players (Pakistan cricketers). But a proxy war is going on. How can we entertain them? When circumstances are good, they could play.”

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh wrote to the Centre saying the state could not provide security for the match and also that war veterans are opposed to holding the match at Dharamshala.

After the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) threatened to pull out of the tournament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the match will be held as scheduled.

The wife of a 1971 Indo-Pak war veteran also supported Batra.

“They are sending terrorists here. We shouldn’t allow them (Pakistan) to play here,” said Dhanno, the wife of colonel Hoshiar Singh who was also awarded the Param Vir Chakra.

Contrary view

However, the grandson of another PVC awardee said he was opposed to the extreme view.

Stating that cricket is just a game, Jameel Alam said, “Everyone loves to see India playing a cricket match. India should play Pakistan and defeat them.”

Alam grandfather, havildar Abdul Hamid, was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Retired air vice marshal Bhupendra Kumar Bishnoi, who was awarded the Vir Chakra twice in 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars, said, “I personally feel we should play. Sports have nothing to do with politics.”

Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in the country.