India and Pakistan Play For Peace

Here is a truly beautiful sportsmanship story. When sport transcends the problems which people, and even whole nations, sometimes have. Yesterday India and Pakistan came together and played together in the Men’s Doubles Final in the US Open. They played to win, and even more importantly, in their own words, they played for peace.

India’s Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi say that “If we can be friends, so can our countries”. They say it is “the beauty of sport”. They are vibrant “we are trying to give a message of peace to people of India and Pakistan.”

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947. "It is the beauty of sport that it’s above culture, politics and religion," says Qureshi. "It feels very good to see the Indian fans taking autographs from me and Pakistani fans taking Rohan’s autographs. Rohan always points out that even if we change the minds of 3% or 4% of people, it’s worth it. And if we two can be friends together, then why can’t other Indians and Pakistanis be friends?"

India’s and Pakistan’s ambassadors to the United Nations have been sitting together and cheering them on. The players now want to stage an exhibition match at the Wagah border crossing between India and Pakistan. They have invited their presidents and prime ministers and are awaiting a response. In Wimbledon, earlier this summer, they started wearing t-shirts with the message "Stop War, Start Tennis".

They eventually lost narrowly to the hot favourite America brothers, Mike and Bob Bryan who spoke warmly about the ‘IndoPak Express’: “What these guys are doing bringing India and Pakistan together is very special. It shows that sport can bring people together." Both of the Americans have  donated generously to an appeal fund set up for the Pakistan floods.  "It’s just a match and it’s just a game. A lot of people in Pakistan don’t have homes and are out on the street. What these guys are doing bringing India and Pakistan together is very special. It shows that sport can bring people together."

5 thoughts on “India and Pakistan Play For Peace

  1. I know that this entire site is devoted to these types of stories and this is the first one I have read but it is so inspirational.

    It speaks volumes to what sport means to people and how for just a few hours we can look past all of our differences.

    Hopefully this example of friendship and comraderie will go along way not just in India and Pakistan but everywhere around the globe where there is conflict with seemingly no resolution.

    Thank you for the story.

  2. I am not a huge sports fan however there are some sports – some would say is violent – that I watch simply because of the sportsmanship of the participants. I REALLY love this website and will continue to follow it. These types of stories HAVE to give us all hope for peace sportsman-like behavior from more of us. Thank You.

    • Thank you Jason and Rachel. Much appreciated.
      There is a lot of good stuff out there.
      For example – although cricket is being criticised right now, I wrote a piece that demonstrates sportsmanship last year entitled
      It Ain’t Cricket . Feel free to share the stories with your friends by using the ‘Share/Save’ button at the end of each article. Best wishes, Paul

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