Sunday, April 3, 2011

India-Pakistan peace color Cricket

One would think the score vanished, the high wall of animosity calving. For a few hours, India and Pakistan have taken communion, Wednesday, March 30, a single breath in the shared worship of a god, that's cricket. The two rival countries born in 1947 in bloody ruins of the British Empire of India have stood within a game, their mixed pulses, married their imaginations.

Bangalore in Peshawar, Lahore, Calcutta, Chandigarh in Karachi, life has beaten at the same rate: deserted streets, offices idle crowds clustered around a screen, cheers greeting the good shots. Of course, some elated when other grieving. Of course, there were two dreams one happiness, that of a qualification in the final of the World Cup.

But a stadium - in this case the Mohali (Punjab) - is better than the trenches. And the game than war. "The best outcome would be for each camp that peace may win Mohali", wanted the eve of the match the Pakistani daily The News. Finally, India has triumphed in Pakistan after the semi-final played in the jubilation.

She will meet Sri Lanka in the final on April 2. In Pakistan, the disappointment, but not resentment, welcomed the defeat. "We lost against a better team, and there is nothing to be ashamed," said an editorial in The News. So much wisdom in contrast to the acrimony of past years, especially since the attack on Pakistani jihadists Mumbai end of November 2008 (166 dead), which had precipitated a violent crisis in relations between India and Pakistan.

More than two years after the tragedy, the air is again a bit lighter. Match Mohali - Random qualification - fell like a divine surprise to crystallize an expectation, that of tearing the inevitability of conflict. "It is time to put away our differences in the closet so that our two nations move forward," Dawn pleaded, another Pakistani newspaper.

Everyone soon realized that that game was a unique opportunity to force the destiny, to substitute what unites what angry. Commercial television, which usually compete in bellicosity, have outbid this time in harmony. In an unprecedented move, the Indian channel Times Now has teamed up with his Pakistani counterpart Geo TV to broadcast a town on the game, titled "The India Pakistan Debate" ("The debate between India and Pakistan).

"Debate", the word unctuous. For once it replaces that of "crisis" and "conflict". From the studios of Bombay and Karachi connected live, suddenly dissolved space, abolishing border division. Meanwhile, Imran Khan, the playboy of the Pakistani cricket - and ex-captain of the team world champion in 1992 - intervened studios another channel in India, reinforcing the sense of osmosis.

And on the screen displayed the phrase "LOC: Love of cricket". In the political vocabulary Indo-Pakistani LOC usually means "line of control" (LoC), that is to say, the de facto border in Kashmir fracturing, not litigation resulted in the partition that led to three wars ( 1947, 1965 and 1999) between the two countries.

The hijacking of the symbol could better sum up the atmosphere. Adding to the sweet euphoria, Bollywood actress explained this in Mohali on a television show how Pakistanis and Indians were near. "We share the same culture, same language and same food," he said. Our biryani (rice dish) is the same.

" Dream celebrity? Media bubble? And therefore say that these monsters cold states, those who have real power to give life to hope? Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has significantly contributed to the optimism by striking a blow: he has invited his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Gilani, the Mohali match.

The offer was accepted by the head of government in Islamabad with an ostentatious pleasure. Both Punjabis (Punjab was divided by the partition of 1947), the two men spent the day on March 30th overall in the stands and then over dinner, along with figures of Gandhi-Nehru dynasty: Sonia Gandhi, Congress Party president, her son Rahul Gandhi, general secretary of the party.

It is the political leadership of India in full force and has gathered around the Pakistani leader, while rising in the spring night the cries of the stadium. In the Indian subcontinent, it is called the "cricket diplomacy" ("cricket diplomacy"), a local version of "ping pong diplomacy" between China and America.

The case is not new. In 1987, the Pakistani dictator Zi Ul-Haq had traveled to India to attend a game in full tension over Kashmir. In 2004, President General Pervez Musharraf reissued gesture, more happily this time. His visit was a prelude to an unprecedented rapprochement between the two countries.

Until the attacks in Bombay in 2008 and the upturn torpedo wakes the old demons of war. Here is the great fear of idealists Match Mohali: a fedayeen commando, emerged from a sanctuary, bloody hope again. And dedicated the "cricket diplomacy" to constantly drive the rock of Sisyphus. coiled @ bbc.

Frederic Bobin en Article published in the edition of 02.04.11

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