Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thackeray objects to Pak players' `namaaz' at Mohali stadium

Mumbai, March 30 (PTI)

After attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for inviting his Pakistani counterpart to the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has now objected to the Pakistani team performing 'namaaz' in Mohali stadium.

"The Pakistani team could have performed namaaz in their rooms, but by doing so on the greens (of the Mohali stadium), they gave a clarion call for a holy war," Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece `Saamana'.

"Tanks, troops, artillery and missiles have been deployed at Mohali. Is this deployment because there is a match in progress? Such preparedness is not seen during other matches. Why should it be for Pakistanis," the Sena chief, an avid cricket lover, said.

Thackeray had earlier said, "If Pak President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani can be invited for the match in the name of peace, why should injustice be done to Kasab and Guru," referring to the main accused in the Mumbai terror attacks and the Parliament attack.

The Shiv Sena has been opposing Indo-Pak cricket ties, saying Indian soldiers were being killed on the border while fighting Pakistan and, "hence, our country should not maintain ties with the neighbouring nation." In 2005, Sena activists caused minor damage to the pitch at Mohali, then venue of a Test match beween the two countries.

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