Hoping to Celebrate Pakistan Day in Bangladesh

Posted on March 21, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, History, Sports
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Adil Najam

On March 23, 2011 , the 71st Pakistan Day will be celebrated all across Pakistan. And hopefully it will also be marked gloriously in Bangladesh where the Pakistan cricket team will play in the Cricket World Cup quarter-final match against West Indies. If Pakistan wins – and one dearly hopes it does – Pakistan will then meet either India or Australia in the semi-final at Mohali in Chandigarh, India. No matter which, what an exciting game that will be!

With the dream of an India-Pakistan Final no longer possible (although either one of them could make it to the Final) the only possibility of the two meeting in this World Cup is now in the Chandigarh Semi-Finals. The one team that must be rooting most strongly against that game ever being played must be Australia. And not just because that would require Australia to lose its Quarter-Final. Much more so because they would want to take on Pakistan again and avenge the defeat Pakistan handed them in their last group game.

But all of that comes much later. First, Pakistan has to win the Pakistan Day Quarter-Final in Mirpur, Bangladesh, on March 23. At the top of its group, erratic as ever, but in generally good form, Pakistan will enter the game as the clear favorites against the West Indies which finished fourth in its group. West Indies, too, can be erratic but brilliant and has two Cricket World Cups under its belt. But that was a long time ago; as was Pakistan’s. In some ways, this is the Quarter-Final that Pakistan would have wished for. And so must the West Indies.

But beyond cricket, the symbolism of playing this crucial game in Bangladesh on Pakistan Day is obvious. One hopes that it will be a positive symbolism: not a symbolism of a strained past, but of a reconciled future. Although we, in what is now called Pakistan, remember March 23, 1940 as ‘Pakistan Day’, it was as much (if not more) a day defined by what is now Bangladesh and by Bengalis and very much a part of our shared history. That history has been shared, but often blotted. There is a sense today, in both countries, that our shared future has to be defined by mutual respect and good will. From Pakistan it requires true reconciliation, true introspection, and an honest hand of friendship.

The symbolism of this match on this date could be a demonstration of just that. Bangladeshi cricket fans showed great affection for the Pakistan team when it practiced there recently and having been ousted from the Quarter-Finals themselves (partly) because of a defeat at the hands of the West Indies, one expects – and hopes – that the Bangladesh crowd will be rooting for Pakistan. This may be the closest that Pakistan will get to a friendly crowd for the rest of the tournament. In fact, rumor is that Bangladesh may be declaring a local holiday for the game (as it has in previous week-day matches in this World Cup).

One hopes very much that all of this will be a good omen for the Pakistan cricket team. But even more so for Pakistan-Bangladesh relations.

29 responses to “Hoping to Celebrate Pakistan Day in Bangladesh”

  1. Nahid Alam Shovon says:

    pakistan is a country full of cheat. they only can derailed human. they wasn’t our friend, isn’t our friend & won’t be our friend. we just hate them. they use religion as their protection. even they are cursed by the god (Allah) for their this kind of negative task. it’s a matter of shame that “they don’t have peace & only cricket can give them peace.” this is the speech of their cricketer. they are humiliated all over the world. even they can’t play home series in their home ground. ‘how shame’… please god bless them so that they can be human being.

  2. GSR says:

    The government of Pakistan does not owe an apology to anyone. It tried to prevent Indian (and Israeli interests) from tearing Pakistan apart in two. India armed (militarily, financially and politically) Bengali separatists.

    India’s ultimate goal is to divide the Muslims even further so that they can reconquer us and convert us “back to Hinduism” so we can worship cows, pigs, etc. Good luck on that one ;-). That is in the back mind of many Hindus.

    Bangladeshis should be working with Pakistan in stopping Indian supremacy and expansionism. They should also look at their corrupt government (as with the corrupt governments of India and Pakistan) that screws them everyday!

    Although my family is from India, I still cheer for Muslim Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!!!!!

  3. Shahran says:

    Adil ,

    A very appropriate post based on the occasion.

    Another interesting fact that I must share here.

    March 23rd, Pakistan Day
    March 23rd , Pakistan is playing in Dhaka’s “Sher-e-Bangla” stadium in Dhaka which is named after “Sher-e-Bangla” ( or as we say in Urdu Sher-e-Bengal”) Maulvi A.K Fazlul Haque , the who presented the Pakistan Resolution on 23rd March 1940.

  4. Ramlah says:

    tksbd: Our government does not give a damn about us, you are talking about an apology letter? they kill us everyday, if you scratch the land here you will see more blood too. Lets just keep the government aside and talk about us the People, who have no issues with you guys. Enjoy the match :D

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