Amid high tension on the Indo-Pak border, Kabbadi teams of India and Pakistan played matches of the World Kabbadi League in a healthy environment in Bathinda late Friday evening.
Players on both sides felt there was a need to promote matches between Indian and Pakistan rather than exchanging fire on the borders.
"Competition should be between players and not soldiers otherwise the soldiers of both sides will lose their lives, which is useless. The responsibility of a healthy competition should be given to sportspersons," said Vikas Akbar, manager of Pakistan's kabaddi team.
"There should be no borders or boundaries for players. Sports always send a peaceful message whereas tense situations on the border create hatred on both the sides," said Akbar.
The captain of Pakistan's kabaddi team, Shafiq Chishti, echoed the same sentiments. He said, "Participating in a game is important; losing or winning is a part of it. On ground, we are competitors and make the best possible efforts to win but off ground, we respect each other irrespective of country, caste or religion."
The match on Friday was held between Khalsa Warriors and Lahore Lions in which Khalsa Warriors won the match by 64/55.
The crowd present in the stadium to witness the matches seemed to concur with the views of the Pakistan team. 26-year-old Dilsher Singh said, "When firing takes place in Jammu and Kashmir, tension is created all around. Some international organisation must interfere so that peace prevails on both the sides."
Another spectator Sukhmanpreet Kaur Sidhu said, "Even after 67 years of Independence, both the countries are trapped in the same issues. Such ceasefire violations give birth to negative thoughts among citizens of both the countries. Political leaders, instead of politicising such a sensitive issue, should try to bring peace and harmony."
It is interesting to note that the Pakistani team was expected to play its matches in Bathinda last month; however, they missed their league matches due to Visa issues which surfaced at the last moment.