The forthcoming Cricket World Cup Semi-Final match between India and Pakistan scheduled on the 30th of March 2011 in Mohali, Chandigarh, India is being billed as the “Mother of all Battles” a pot-boiler for the teams and all other stakeholders! In all the last world-cups where India won all the matches, the media tried to flare-up the pre-match environs in a similar manner, thereby adding fuel to the fire, which is burning for the last sixty years. One simple thought as to who are the real beneficiary from such hype would in turn point towards the media industry (including print and electronic) along with the advertising and allied professionals. Both the countries are witnessing “trust deficit” since gaining independence from the British rulers. They fought many pitched battles, lost many citizens directly or indirectly through full scale war or low intensity conflicts, only to escalate their costs by procuring the latest defense avionics,that too culminating in filling up the foreign coffers of the developed economies. Little does the common man know, about the great potential, albeit hidden which would be on anvil if both the countries decide to allow their people to meet, trade frequently and exchange their cultural heritage and other similarities. The first hand experience of yours truly, while working with many Pakistani friends and colleagues in the Middle East, more specifically in the Gulf Cooperation Council, points towards the fact that, there is very little which makes us different and there are too many which makes us identical! An irony indeed, that common food habits, identical dress sense, language, ancient culture, heritage and history, likings are few of the commonalities which can build a
common fabric between a common Pakistani and Indian. In spite of all these so called disturbing elements present within both the countries are trying their level best to scuttle any opportunity of bridging this divide. Their sole objective is to ensure their vested interests are met and their personal bank accounts are replenished at one shot and periodically as an when such opportunities arises. It is indeed pathetic for a common Indian and Pakistani to taste each other’s products and services in a third market (read, The Middle East) as direct import and export is very limited within the respective nations. Imagine the benefit both the country could have accrued if they would have had a FREE TRADING environment where people to people contact would have been the order of the day. It is indeed painful to note that Cricket Diplomacy, Back Door Diplomacy is considered the most effective tool for communication for administrators on both the sides of the border so as to bring the warring parties on the negotiating table. The availability of a handful few disturbing elements are taking billions of people to ransom! When would the common man on either side understand that the blood, skin and the physiological make-up of a common Indian and a common Pakistani is no different, when would they realize that these battles are taking us no-where especially when a chunk of their populations are facing poverty, diseases etc. Let’s not fall into the trap of this media hype, especially before India takes on Pakistan either on the cricket field or in a hockey match. Let the sport be an unifier for one and all.It’s time for every Indian and Pakistani to introspect and give shape to the real “AMAN KI AASHA”. Yours truly always do it, albeit outside the country as is the case with my unfortunate Pakistani friends.Neither of us can travel to the other’s country so as to bridge this trust deficit, even though we admire each other whenever we know that our next door neighbour is more like us. This blog calls for all sensible Indians and Pakistanis to bury the hatchet and look forward with the common prism of peace, prosperity and tranquility!