Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K), the land of chinars, saffron, sufis and saints, is famous for its diversified beauty, landscapes and culture – along with its scenic views, snow-clad mountains, lush green valleys and rhyming cliffs, truly branding it as a paradise on earth. Recently, this natural beauty has become the land of sports and festivity in AJ&K, whereas the same paradise on earth has turned into hell in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K). What a tragedy that one part of Kashmir is experiencing peace and serenity, while the other is going through an endless cycle of trauma and crisis of humanity. In AJ&K people are witnessing the colors of joy and sports but in IIOJ&K, bitter haunting silence is prevailing.
While I was sitting in the scenic cricket stadium of Muzaffarabad, AJ&K, witnessing the freedom, joy and colors of cricket, I was contemplating the sorrows of the other side in IIOJ&K, and decided to pen down the comparison between both sides of Kashmir. One can easily see the prosperity, peace and happiness within the Kashmiris mostly settled in elegant houses and good civic sense. Whereas, on the other side, fascist Indian government is pursuing policies of violence and state-sponsored terrorism. I was mesmerized by the scenic beauty of Muzaffarabad and its surroundings and visualizing the beauty of IIOJ&K which has turned into a living hell due to the Indian atrocities.
The people of IIOJ&K are undergoing torture, exploitation and state-sponsored terrorism by Indian Armed Forces, meanwhile in AJ&K, the organizing of cricket league is similar to a gentle breeze. Kashmir Premier League (KPL) is a real befitting response against the Indian August 5, 2019 act and provided great respite and entertainment to the Kashmiri community. The city of Muzaffarabad has the unique honor of hosting the epoch-making event of the cricket league. But India, ethically and morally, stooped low to politicize the sports arena and tried her level best to make it controversial. KPL proved to be a ray of hope and is conveying the message of Kashmir’s identity, ideology and the right to self-determination. India, depressed by the league’s success and participation of international community, contacted the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stop it and even unveiled her wicked face by writing a letter to the South African Cricket Board. Herschelle Gibbs – star player of South Africa – had to come forward and let the world know about Indian malicious designs against cricket.
KPL proved to be a great success as it purely started with the intent to promote peace, prosperity and sports in Kashmir. The highly sensational, neck-to-neck matches made the league the most successful with a viewership above 43 million. KPL received worldwide appreciation and recognition and sent a clear message to the world that on the Indian side of Kashmir, bloodshed, killings and brutalities are being patronized by Modi’s government, whereas in AJ&K peace and prosperity prevails. Indian efforts to politicize the event remained largely unsuccessful. Not only did the local talent emerge from the league but the local industry, culture and economic activities got a boost through it.
To sum up, in AJ&K, sports, harmony and tourism is flourishing whereas in IIOJ&K, exploitation, torture and state-sponsored terrorism is thriving. As per Kashmiri writers, Pakistan gave us a pen instead of a gun and a ball instead of a bullet. They were highly obliged and thankful to Pakistan and during KPL, celebrated 14th August with full zeal and fervor. Slogans of Kashmir baney ga Pakistan were echoing everywhere in the valley. Every viewer witnessed Pakistan’s national flag being hoisted in the stadium, streets and houses of Muzaffarabad and all across AJ&K. The successful conduct of KPL made it an epoch-making event in the history of cricket. The interest of local Kashmiri public, diaspora, international sports enthusiasts and international players made KPL a competitor cricket league. Due to the viewership in millions, sports analysts perceive the prospective of KPL flourishing like PSL in the future.
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