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Last Updated 18.10.2019 | 7:49 PM IST
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Shatrughan Sinha on sports diplomacy in Mohali

Shatrughan Sinha“>

Shatrughan who has worked closely towards improving relationships between India and Pakistan is more shocked than amused by the presence of Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers at Mohali for the match.

“Is this really cricket?” he asks amidst chuckles? “I call this not cricket diplomacy. I call it cricket hypocrisy. I believe Mohali has been turned into a battle ground with army men, cops and other security officials swarming the place, all because of the presence of the two Prime Ministers at Mohali. With such elaborate arrangement over there, I see no need for Shotgun (Shatrughan’s nickname) there. There are too many other sophisticated types of weaponry at the stadium. A Shotgun is just not needed.”

Getting serious BJP’s most witty and intelligent politician asks, “What signals are the two Prime Ministers sending out to the people of the two nations? The ordinary people on both sides of border have nothing to do with high-level politics being played out. I’m all for peace between the two countries. But when large issues on the political level including terrorism and 26/11 remain unresolved, what are you proving to the world by meeting at a stadium ground?”

Sinha also wonders if this kind of high-level diplomacy is conducive to a healthy game of cricket. “How can the average cricket lover enjoy the game when the stadium is turned into a battle field and an arena for high-voltage diplomacy?”

The irony of a Pakistan’s Minister warning the Pakistani team about match-fixing is not lost on Shatrughan Sinha, “When their own minister is warning his own players about match-fixing how can we expect them to play a fair game with our boys? And really, why are we giving so much important to cricket and neglecting other national sports?”

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