Kashmir Army Officers Expect World Cup To Improve Ties28 March 2011
Srinagar: Cricket might succeed where diplomacy failed and mend India's ties with Pakistan, according to some of the Indian army officers posted on the disputed Kashmir border area. The neighbours who fought three wars since their 1947 independence will meet each other in Wednesday's World Cup semi-final in Mohali with prime ministers of both the countries in attendance. Army Major Mohan Singh lauded Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invitation to his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani and said the gesture would improve relation between the countries. 'Our Prime Minister inviting Pakistan's Prime Minister would surely improve the relation between both the countries,' Singh said on Monday. 'A few years ago, the situation was really bad but vast changes have taken place since.' Gurpreet Singh, another officer, echoed the sentiment. 'The match will enhance mutual love between both the countries. It will enhance mutual understanding and brotherhood among the people of both the countries.' The entire country seems in the firm grip of a cricket fever and a Bangalore jeweller is planning to gift Sachin Tendulkar a golden cricket set when the batsman hits his 100th international century. 'This is his last World Cup. He recently hit his 99th century. I hope he would hit one more century and I'm planning to give him something for his achievement,' said T A Sarwana, who is spending 500,000 Indian rupees to prepare the set that comprises a bat, a ball and a replica of the World Cup trophy.