Sports versus terrorism

UNS OPINION SERVICE

In the second match Sri Lankan team came under fire, though without casualty of guests, at a time when they were going to commence the unfinished test match. In our region(South Asia)cricket is one of the popular game which is a spectator sport having millions of audiences. This tragic incident had distorted psyche, enraged and hurt feelings and emotions of the people. However the Sri Lankan government and cricket team had taken a bold, courageous and firmly determined step against terror threat, visited at a time, when other had flatly refused and tension was dangerously escalated in the aftermath of Mumbai tragic and bloody incident. Whereas the explosive situation was further aggravated by Supreme Court decision and Punjab became a political battleground. As this country has been portrayed as epicenter of terrorism with an already tarnished image in the comity of nations. Pakistan fighting a difficult, unending and expensive war both in terms of men and material resources and suffered the most in the world. Similarly Sri Lankan has been grievously hurt by insurgency, now to subdue them after two decades, in a decisive battle to wipe out Indian sponsored terrorist outfit LTTE.Both countries enjoy very cordial relations since independence,political,diplomatic,defence,trade and business and having better understanding on regional and bilateral issues within SAARC.This abortive attempt by home grown militants, whatever hidden motives they have, but for obvious reasons wanted to strain relations between Pakistan and phlegmatic Sri Lanka,further pollute murkier and uncertain situation in the region and cause severe financial losses to the country. Certainly there was a serious security lapse because Head of state level or VVIP security was nowhere in sight as is the state responsibility and promised by the government.But safety and security of Sri Lankan players not seems to have priority of the government, instead to control ML N protest against Governor rule, who have bravely embarked upon a tour when other countries had refused. In such a situation who could believe such hollow promises in the future and this hold true not only sports teams but also foreign investors and casual tourists who still planning to visit Pakistan will be discouraged. The death of six police constables without firing a single bullet in their defense were apparently ill equipped and poorly trained to tackle such a situation and another contingent of police force failed to arrive. These police and law enforcement officials deserve severe punishment for their criminal negligence. Once peaceful and politically stable province have become a risky zone with uncertainty and escalated tension in Punjab. How militants sneaked to the secured area with so much ease? Why and how easily after 30 minutes of firefight they escaped unhurt and not apprehended? These militants highly competent, will equipped and well trained to execute their plan to achieve their objectives may belong to LeT and Jamat u Dawa.How calmly and scot-free they walked away not only embarrassing government but a serious matter of national shame. It is premature and unreasonable to blame India without fair,transparent and credible inquiry.It will give relief and benefit of doubt to these militants in hastily jumping to the conclusion.However foreign hand can not be ruled out because of Pakistan’s own vulnerability since many years to foreign intervention and intrigues by hegemonic and imperialist powers in the region and beyond.Due to inter provincial disharmony,ethnic,linguistic,regional and sectarian conflicts other countries exploit our weaknesses. It is in our own interests to conduct a fair,transparent and credible inquiry to bring to limelight patrons,instigators and sponsors of these terrorist to justice.Attacks on Sri Lankan team is not only a severe blow to arranging sport events in Pakistan but in the region.If terrorists and extremists can hit a target in Pakistan they can do the same anywhere in South Asia.It has also caused huge financial losses in million of dollars to the country’s kitty and its business and commercial activities which thrive, flourish and hinge upon tourists native and foreign. Hence terrorism can not be fought merely through military means alone. It should be fought and defeated through public support and participation and games from cricket and foot ball to squash and table tennis be made part of the strategy against these evil forces.If NATO and ISAF troops can fight in tough and volatile Afghanistan and other troubled regions then why not to use effectively sports as an instrument to play in a relatively peaceful countries.Politics should not be made a barrier in arranging sports events.I personally believe to fight these evil forces on many fronts by encouraging and protecting to drag out talented youths from going to  the lap of these terrorists gangs to games. It can help in cooling down embers of hatred, creating better understanding between players and people and confidence building measures between countries. It plays an important role as an ambassador of peace, friendship and progress and to refuse to play is tantamount to give in to these terrorists. These games, not only abroad, will prove sufficient in overcoming widened gulf of inter provincial,ethnic,linguistic,sectarian and regional disharmony within the country.Not only Sri Lankan team was attacked but inter provincial game’s concluding session in the eleventh hour was attacked by terrorists in Peshawar.Whereas the impacts of this tragic incident is far greater than expected for the future of international sports in Pakistan because terrorists are hell bent on in connivance with foreign intelligence agencies and some elements in our own country to declare this hapless country a failed terrorist state.Some European countries and US keeping away their citizens to visit Pakistan due to entrenched feelings of insecurity.All countries in South Asia joined by Afghanistan must adopt a regional approach and bring all the resources at their disposal to defeat these terrorists and dismantle their extensive network through wisely comprehensive and collectively well thought out strategy.These terrorists and extremists outfits has made vast territory with huge population hostage to their whims. In case of any misunderstanding terrorists can trigger a nuclear war due to longstanding hostilities between the two nuclear armed countries. These hostilities had soured friendly relations for decades, affected people to people contacts, trade and business. While rising poverty, high unemployment and depriving millions of people from education and basic health facilities due to huge military expenditure and an unending   race of non conventional weapons. These terrorists have no religion, nation and state having a violent ideology and  Jehadi mindset enemies of all and representing none. It is extremely difficult for one country without the support and cooperation of others to defeat these terrorists which needs resources, financial,technical and non technical, counter insurgency training and weapons, timely intelligence sharing, strengthening of human intelligence. Further extension of political and diplomatic support to each other for the noble cause of humanity bringing halcyon to the region. All must participate in fighting war on terror through agreed strategy by military top brass, political and religious leadership, media and journalists, professionals from all walks of life, trade unions and business community.

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