In the wake of the dastardly act of terror in the Pulwama district of Kashmir, the Cricket Club of India (CCI) covered the portrait of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan which was present at its Brabourne Stadium headquarters in Mumbai. This decision was taken on Saturday, February 16.
Imran Khan is a former Pakistani cricketer and was the captain of their team in the 1992 World Cup which Pakistan won. Speaking about covering the portrait of the cricketer-turned-politician, president of the CCI, Prem Udani told ANI that although the club respects Imran Khan's cricketing achievements, they are covering his portrait as a sign of solidarity towards the martyred soldiers in the Pulwama terror attack.
"We respect Imran Khan's cricket credentials but at the same time he is Pakistan's Prime Minister and we're just showing our solidarity with our forces and our country," Udani told ANI.
He added that covering the Pak PM's portrait is a temporary move and a decision on removing the portrait completely will be taken in the days to come following a detailed board meet. "We have temporarily covered his portrait but we will soon meet and decide over removing his portrait from the CCI permanently. It's a weekend and we hope in some days, we will have a detailed board meet and a decision for the removal of this portrait will be taken," Udani said.
This decision comes in the aftermath of over 40 CRPF personnel succumbing to a suicide bombing mission carried out by Pakistan terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). This incident happened around 3:15 PM on February 14 when a 22-year-old terrorist named Adil Ahmad Dar rammed an explosive-laden SUV into a bus carrying CRPF troopers in Lethpora area of Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway.
In the aftermath of the incident, India has revoked the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status that it had earlier given to Pakistan. This came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 15.
Pakistan, on their part, has claimed that they have no links to the attack. Replying to Pak Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua's claims, India said JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack, is based in Pakistan, and the "links are clear and evident and for all to see". According to the IANS, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said Pakistan's demand for an investigation was "preposterous".
Pakistan PM Imran Khan, who is yet to make any statement on the issue, has played in the Brabourne Stadium for Pakistan on three occasions. Out of the three, twice he was playing against India and the other time, he led his side against Australia where he also won the man of the match award.