The streets of all major cities lit up with celebrations Sunday night after the Pakistani cricket team defied the odds to thrash rival India in the Champion’s Trophy final in London. As people shared scenes of celebrations, the head of the military’s media wing Major General Asif Ghafoor also tweeted pictures of jubilant fans in Balochistan and Srinagar. However, DG ISPR took the opportunity to warn those concerned to ‘lay off’ Balochistan.
‘And this is our Balochistan. ‘To whom it may concern’. Lay off,’ he wrote on Twitter. Pakistan believes India is fomenting terrorism and separatist movements in Balochistan. In his Independence Day speech last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came out openly in support of ‘freedom’ for Balochistan.
Earlier, Gen Ghafoor also tweeted pictures of Pakistan Army soldiers celebrating Pakistan’s win against the arch rival.’Valiant soldiers of Pakistan congratulate team Pakistan and nation. United we shall defend Pakistan against all threats our enemies hatch.’ The upset was watched by hundreds of millions of fans globally, possibly a billion, and brought normal life to a standstill across much of the sub-continent. Even Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir celebrated Pakistan’s victory. Young men gathered in mass at TV shops across Srinagar as Pakistan belied expectations to thrash Virat Kohli’s team by 180 runs at the Oval in London. Kashmiris, who traditionally support Pakistan in cricket, especially against India, took to the streets after the win waving Pakistani flags and chanting ‘Jive Jive Pakistan (long live Pakistan)’ as fireworks exploded over Srinagar’s skies.
In his message, President Mamnoon Hussain felicitated the nation and national cricket team on winning. The president also congratulated the Pakistan Cricket Board on this achievement. He said the national cricket team had attained historic victory through its commitment and resolve. The military leadership also congratulated the Pakistani team on their win. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa while congratulating the team announced Umrah trip for the players. ‘Nothing beats team work, Pakistan is a team against every threat,’ the army chief was quoted as saying by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).