ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday invited the Pakistani Taliban to play cricket, saying members of the outlawed group were avid viewers of the matches Pakistan played and that the approach will end up in a positive outcome. He said that the Taliban should play cricket match with government team instead of completing on some other plat form, adding that this could bring better results.
He was speaking to media representatives after striking a few shots during the friendly match between the PCB and common wealth teams here on Monday. Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq, Chairman PCB Najam Aziz Sethi, Shakeel Sheikh and others were also present on the occasion. He said that there are some forces in cricket who want to marginalize Pakistani and Pakistani cricket team. He said the cricket is the name of peace, friendship and brotherhood. He said that the Pakistani cricketers through cricket should give the message to the world that Pakistan and Pakistani cricket could not be marginalized.
Nisar said the Taliban appeared to have much interest in cricket, adding that they should drop the path of war and mayhem and instead play cricket.
He said Pakistan was suffering because its enemies were bent up wanting to spread terrorism in an otherwise peaceful country.
Chaudhry Nisar said if a cricket match with the Taliban does take place, the outcome will be positive.
He said Pakistan is a peace loving country; however‚ some forces are attempting to give the impression that people of Pakistan are not peace loving.
He said that intelligence agencies‚ armed forces, government and masses will not rest till the restoration of complete peace. He said this is defining moment for Pakistan and every option would be used for establishment of peace in country.
The Minister said that entire nation will have to stand united at this defining moment of history.
Responding to a question‚ the Interior Minister said there were various powers who wish to destroy Pakistani cricket.
He said cricket is the game of peace‚ brotherhood and harmony and playing politics on it will only damage the game.
He said Pakistani cricket team is currently visiting Bangladesh to play T-Twenty world cup and expressed the confidence that the players through their outstanding performance will deliver the message to the world that its cricket can not be marginalized.
He said a strategy will be evolved to protect the interests of Pakistani cricket. Nisar played cricket in a charity match here. He hit shots like a professional batsman.
Talking to media after the match, the minister said that conspiracies were being hatched to end international cricket in Pakistan. He said government and PCB jointly would have to devise strategy for restoration of cricket matches in Pakistan again.
“Cricketers must give a positive response to the world by their better performance that Pakistan cannot be cornered in the cricket world”, he said.
He invited the Taliban to play a cricket match with the government’s team as they are interested in cricket.