As the situation begins to unravel, it has been revealed that the Indian disinformation campaign played a key role in cancelling New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan. This was yet another nefarious attempt to spoil the sport by spreading fake threats just to defame Pakistan.
India has been hatching conspiracies on behest of its fascist Modi regime through a pliant, hyper-sensationalist media but has failed to weaken Pakistan’s standing at the international level. This has gained traction after the Taliban takeover of Kabul as India has lost its influence in Afghanistan. Now it has resorted to sending fake threats from fabricated accounts to scuttle a cricket tour.
An Indian newspaper had published a concocted article claiming the New Zealand cricket team risked being attacked in Pakistan. Then the wife of Kiwi cricketer Martin Guptill received a threatening email. The origin of these emails has been traced to the Indian city of Mumbai. All this happened before the team arrived, but just hours before the match, it cancelled the tour citing credible threats.
Pakistan has another case to show Indian’s nefarious campaign. After the detailed reports of human rights abuses and war crimes in occupied Kashmir, and the exposure by EU Disinfo Lab, Pakistan should also peruse the case at global forums against India. There should be a detailed investigation of how India used social media and digital networks to sabotage a cricket tour and malign Pakistan.
Pakistan now faces the arduous task of restoring the lost glory of cricket. It would be an upscale task to convince other nations to tour the nation. This was certainly not what PCB chairman Ramez Raja would have expected just days into his new job. It would be unwise to further politicize the matter as Raja claimed that the ‘Western bloc’ had joined together to isolate Pakistan. However, regional security and other geo-political matters would continue to impact the sport.
The cancellation of the tours has lessons for Pakistan and whether it will remain a cricket destination. Teams cannot play under a cloud of uncertainty and Pakistan needs to allay their concerns. It is essential that Pakistan should make it worth known to the rest of the world and foil Indian attempts to sabotage cricket.