In a first, India-Pakistan fans root for each other’s countries; Facebook plays peacemaker

The ICC World T20 2016, which is being played in India, did not quite begin the way it should have for the Pakistan team. Owing to political pressures, their game against India was shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata. Their skipper Shahid Afridi was criticised heavily back home for saying his team is ‘more loved in India’, with former captain Javed Miandad calling his remarks ‘shameful’ and a Lahore court issuing him a legal notice.

While certain organizations from both the countries are trying to derail the peace process between the two countries, the cricket lovers from both the sides of the border have come out to convey the message that cricket is the biggest leveller and the only thing that can bring the people of both the nations on the same page.

In the backdrop of all these negative happenings, an online campaign #ProfileForPeace initiated by Nudrrat Khawaja and Samir Gupta has come as a bright ray of hope. As a part of this initiative, hundreds of thousands of social media users from both the countries have started changing their profile pictures on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote the peace through cricket.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also acknowledged the initiative through his post. “Fans around the world are going to facebook.com/profilepicframes and using a profile frame to show support to their favourite teams. But fans from India and Pakistan are doing something different. Hundreds of thousands of Indian cricket fans are putting the Pakistani frame around their picture. And Pakistani fans are doing the same thing — showing support for India. They’re using the hashtag #ProfilesForPeace,” his post read.

Fans even shared their sentiments by tweeting on the matter:

The campaign is gaining widespread acclaim and momentum, with more and more people coming out in its support. Hopefully it will bring about the desired change, which will be evident when the Indian fans cheer for Pakistan and vice versa on March 19, when the two teams are scheduled to play in Kolkata.