India and Pakistan healing old wounds

Back in March, I wrote about the distinct possibility of cricket bridging these 2 nuclear countries together – and even the hope of denuclearisation. After Pakistan’s absolutely stunning victory in their ODI series, the final match having been attended by senior government officials from both countries, there is now genuine belief that old wounds are healing.

India's and Pakistan's leaders unite

Manmohan Singh and Pervez Musharraf (Musharraf was in India for the first time since 2001) released a joint statement, including the following agreements:

      set up a joint business council to improve trade
      launch a rail link between the Indian state of Rajasthan and the Pakistani province of Sindh by 1 January 2006
      increase the frequency of the bus service across divided Kashmir launched on 7 April
      allow trucks to use this route to promote trade
      open a new bus link between Poonch in Indian Kashmir and Rawalakot in Pakistani Kashmir
      reopen consulates in Mumbai (Bombay) and Karachi by the end of the year
      begin a bus service between Amritsar and Lahore

Now, I don’t know how much of a part cricket had to play in bringing the two leaders together. But it had some affect, however big or small. It is that which just amazes me – how sport can impact on people’s lives and, seemingly, cricket in particular.

Meanwhile, someone called Mulayam Singh Yadav thinks Indians should not be watching Cricket:

Cricket is not our game, wrestling is. In fact, cricket should not be played at all

I wonder how peace talks would have continued if wrestling became India’s national game…

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