By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s Foreign Office has expressed concern over a propaganda banner that was flown by a certain group during the Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Saturday.
Planes with banners carrying propaganda-based slogans were flown above Headingley Stadium in Leeds, UK.
FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said taht cricket grounds were not the place to engage in propaganda and that it was unacceptable.
Demanding that the cricket-related authorities and the law enforcement agencies conduct an investigation into the matter, Dr Faisal said those who were engaged in this propaganda should be held accountable.
The matter, the FO spokesperson said, was also being considered to be taken up on a diplomatic level.
Furthermore, Islamabad also expressed concern over some of the Afghan fans’ inappropriate behaviour against and scuffle with the Pakistani fans during the match, Geo TV reported.
Ugly scenes were witnessed outside Headingley during the Pakistan-Afghanistan face-off as a violent scuffle broke out between the two teams’ supporters. At least two fans were ejected from the ground after clashes in one of the stands.
Journalists who tried to film the scenes outside the stadium were also harassed and manhandled by a group of Afghan fans.
Makhdoom Abu Bakar of Pakistan;s Dawn News TV had said Afghanistan cricket fans manhandled him outside the ground as he tried to film their behaviour.
“While I was making footage of attack on Pakistani spectators. The angered crowd manhandled me as well. Tried to snatch mobile phone and pushed me several times,” Abu Bakar had posted on his Twitter account.
“Thanks to security for timely response. Surprised and shocked to see such hatred towards Pakistanis,” he added.
Some of the fans were also seen jumping the wall of Headingley to enter the stadium occupying seats without tickets.
Later, when the match concluded and Pakistan won, numerous Afghan fans had tried to attack players in the ground but their attempts were thwarted by security officers.
In light of this, Pakistan team’s head of security had met the local organising committee as well as representatives of the International Cricket Council (ICC), demanding security be increased.
By Muhammad Luqman