Yoga guru Ramdev has said that the cricket match between India and Pakistan, scheduled to take place on Sunday, is against “national interest”, reported PTI.
The cricket teams of the two countries will play against each other in the United Arab Emirates as part of the T20 World Cup.
Ramdev has joined those calling for the match to be cancelled because of a spate of militant attacks on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The game of cricket and the game of terrorism cannot be played at the same time,” the yoga guru said on Saturday. He was responding to a question on whether he thought it was right to hold the match.
As many as 11 civilians, including migrant workers, have been killed by militants in the Union Territory this month. The Resistance Front, believed to be an offshoot of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for most of killings.
Political leaders have also opposed the India-Pakistan match. On Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Atishi said it will not be right for India to play cricket with Pakistan unless attacks on Indian soil and the targeting of citizens stop.
The MLA added that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi would agree that cricket matches between India and Pakistan should not happen.
“When the prime minister was in the Opposition, he repeatedly asked why we were playing cricket with Pakistan when the neighbouring country was perpetuating terrorism in India,” she said.
Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi criticised the Centre for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Poor labourers from Bihar are being killed [in Kashmir],” the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief had said. “Targeted killings are taking place. What are the Intelligence Bureau and [Home Minister] Amit Shah doing? Weapons are coming to India. Will you a play a match [in this situation]?”
But the Board of Control for Cricket in India has refused to cancel the match. “As far as the match is concerned, it is a international commitment,” the board’s Vice President Rajeev Shukla said.