Bangalore: Dec 25, 2012
A Pakistani fan's journey across seven seas turned sour after he was not allowed to carry the India-Pakistan flags and jerseys inside the Chinnaswamy stadium ahead of the first Twenty20 international at Bangalore on Tuesday.
Mohammad Bashir came all the way from Chicago to witness the first-ever bilateral series between the two countries since 2007.
"I am very sorry to say that the police has not allowed me to carry India-Pakistan flag and jersey inside the stadium.
I did not like it," Bashir told PTI.
"Why did they do it to me? There will be many Pakistani government officials who would watch the match. Wouldn't they not be carrying our national flag and wearing jersey. Will they stop these officials from carrying the Pakistan flag and jersey inside the stadium?" he asked.
Bashir, who claimed he had also watched the Indo-Pak 2011 World Cup semifinal in Mohali, said a feeling of love and bonhomie should exist between the two nations.
Bashir said he arrived here from Chicago on Monday evening with his wife. He got a shock, though, on arrival as he found out that tickets had been sold out.
But Bashir did not lose hope and visited the stadium in the morning and, fortunately, a gentleman handed him a ticket without taking a penny.
"The gentleman approached me with the ticket after he watched me on a news channel airing my disappointment of not getting a ticket to watch India-Pakistan match which the world enjoys. People in India are so good that I really would cherish this very moment for years to come," he said.
Asked for his reaction about a 500-odd Pakistani fans not getting tickets due to some delay, Bashir said this experience was no different from the World Cup semifinal.
"I faced the same problem, but somehow I got into the stadium. Pakistani fans should come to India and enjoy matches with Indian fans. This will strengthen friendship between the two nations. If there are bad elements in both countries they should be punished," he said.
First Published: December 25, 2012, 5:31 pm