Do Not Play Pakistan in World Cup: Harbhajan tells India
New Delhi, 19 February: While many Indians have spoken against the culprits of the terrorist attack in Pulwama in Kashmir in which 49 CRPF jawans (personnel) have already died, with several critically injured and still fighting for their lives, on the sporting field, the seasoned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has taken the lead and opined that India should not play Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup in the wake of the dastardly terror attack in Pulwama.
“India should not play Pakistan in the world Cup. India are powerful enough to win the World Cup without having to play Pakistan,” Harbhajan Singh told Aaj Tak. “This is a difficult time. The attack that has happened, it was unbelievable and it’s very wrong. Strict action will surely be taken by the government. When it comes to cricket, I don’t think we should have any relations with them otherwise they will keep treating us like this.”
He also added that India should sever all ties with Pakistan and that the entire country should stand by the martyred soldiers.
“I don’t think we need to have any relations with Pakistan or play any cricket with them,” he said. “I don’t think India should play the World Cup match against Pakistan. Country comes first and we are all standing behind our country. Cricket or hockey or sports, it should be kept aside because this is a huge thing and repeatedly our soldiers are killed. We should stand with our country. Cricket or hockey or any sport, we don’t need to play with them.”
Harbhajan is of the view that on India and Pakistan meeting in the semi-finals or finals of the World Cup, the people concerned should take a call from people as there is enough time to make a decision.
“We are too small to discuss what needs to be done – there are big people sitting in power who can take a call,” he added. “What happens if we have to play Pakistan in the semi-final or final? There’s plenty of time for June-July. The people in power will need what to do. But nobody can harm India. What happened in Pulwama is tragic. We are safe today only because of our defence forces,” Harbhajan said.
“We should not keep any kind of ties with Pakistan: we are powerful enough to feed the world on our own. Cricket, sports is not as important. We stand with every member of the defence force. Their sacrifices should no go to waste,” Harbhajan added.
Responding to the Harbhajan’s call, IPL chairperson Rajiv Shukla although coinfirmed to have faith in the concept of sports being above everything else but asserted that “if somebody is sponsoring terrorism” then it would obviously have an impact on sports.
“Our position is very clear. Unless government gives us nod, we are not going to play with Pakistan. Sports should be above all these things but if somebody is sponsoring terrorism, obviously it will affect sports also,” Shukla told reporters.
Pakistani players’ pictures removed
Rajasthan Cricket Association removes photographs of Pakistan players
In a protest against the dastardly act of terror in Pulwama, the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) has pulled down pictures of all Pakistan players from its lobby.
“BCCI, RCA and other associations are with the families of martyred soldiers. As a mark of protest, we have removed pictures of Pakistan cricket players. We wish that India takes the revenge for the act,” RCA vice president Mohammad Iqbal said.
Pictures of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and several others have been pulled down.