Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray asked people to disrupt India-Pakistan cricket matches scheduled in December, till Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde retracts his statement about forgetting the past and playing cricket with Pakistan. The Shiv Sena ad the MNS have opposed any sort of cultural or sports links with Pakistan and its players due to its alleged involvement in terror attacks in the country.
“Even though I am lying indisposed on my bed, my blood does not allow me to sit silent when it comes to national interest. Hence, I am publishing this statement for my Hindu brothers with such intensity,” said ailing Thackeray, whose health has been an issue of concern for his supporters, in the statement published in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna on Monday.
“Shindesaheb, if you have some shame left, withdraw this statement about the Hindustan- Pakistan cricket matches, otherwise, it’s my heartfelt appeal to staunch Hindus, (and) self-respecting patriots in not just Mumbai and Maharashtra, but in India, to prevent these matches from taking place wherever they are scheduled. Disrupt these matches. Let’s see what happens,” said Thackeray.
Attacking the home minister for his statement, Thackeray questioned whether it was possible for people to forget the bloodshed by Pakistani terrorists at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus during the 26/11 terror attacks. Thackeray said that the “wounds of 26/11 are still fresh.”
“Pakistan’s terror attacks are continuing on Hindustan’s soil, infact, they are on the rise day by day. Instead of crushing them, cricket matches are being played with them (Pakistanis). Actually, it is the country’s misfortune that it has such ignorant leaders,” charged Thackeray.
In October 1991, MNS MLA Shishir Shinde, who was then in the Shiv Sena, had dug up the pitch in Wankhede stadium to protest an India-Pakistan cricket match which was to be played there.