Protests against the India-Pakistan match in the upcoming T20 World Cup continued even as a two-member Pakistan team, headed by Director Federal Investigation Agency Usman Anwar and comprising PCB official Ajam Khan, reached Dharamsala this evening to review the security arrangements.
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) President Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Monday fired another salvo at BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, also a BJP MP from Hamirpur, and claimed that he had earlier opposed any cricketing engagement with Pakistan.
Sukhu said Thakur, who had in August 2015 tweeted against playing Pakistan, said the HPCA chief has now changed his stance.
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“Thakur had then said ‘Dawood in Karachi. National Security Agency (NSA) wants to meet separatists here. Are you really serious about peace and you expect we’ll play cricket with you?’ He has changed since his stance,” Sukhu pointed out.
“What has changed on ground since Thakur had opposed holding of any cricket matches between the two countries that led him to change his stance on the issue,” he asked, adding that on one hand BJP talks about nationalism and on the other its MP is trying to justify the hosting the Indo-Pak match.
Criticising Thakur for pursuing “pseudo nationalism and double standards”, Sukhu said that he used to make long speeches on patriotism and used to oppose holding of Indo-Pak cricket matches while BJP was in opposition.
“But now Anurag Thakur is not only advocating holding of cricket match with Pakistan but is also ignoring the demand of families of martyr soldiers,” Sukhu said.
Sukhu called on the BCCI to distribute 50 per cent of revenue/profit from matches to be played at the same venue among the kins of those who laid down their lives in terrorist attacks.
“Congress party was not against any sport or cricket but as the match is associated with the sentiments of the families of martyred soldiers and ex-servicemen, the party is supporting their stand and opposing the match at Dharamsala and now the ball is in BCCI’s court,” he said.
Meanwhile, youth congress workers led by party spokesperson Virender Chander Chauhan took out a procession in Palampur to oppose the match.