New Delhi: In the backdrop of protests against Pakistani cricket team visiting India to participate in the ICC World Twenty 20 championship, thousands of fans from both sides of the border have come together to convey the message of peace. The game, they say, unites people from both nations and not divide them.
A special online campaign -- #ProfileforPeace – aimed at putting a stop to the hate politics between the two countries, has drawn thousands of cricket lovers to change their profile pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote peace between India and Pakistan.
While hundreds of thousands of Indian cricket fans are putting the Pakistani frame around their picture, Pakistani fans are responding likewise - showing support for India.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg too was surprised to notice this campaign. ‘Something pretty interesting is happening in India and Pakistan on Facebook right now,’ he wrote on his wall:
“Last week marked the beginning of the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 -- the biggest cricket tournament of the year. This is the first time the tournament is being hosted by India. Fans around the world are going to facebook.com/profilepicframes and using a profile frame to show support for their favorite teams. But fans from India and Pakistan are doing something different. Hundreds of thousands of Indian cricket fans are putting the Pakistani frame around their picture. And Pakistani fans are doing the same thing -- showing support for India. They're using the hashtag #ProfilesForPeace.”
“When we designed the profile frames feature, we just wanted to help people show support for their favourite teams or a cause they believe in. But this story shows that the more connected we are, the more we realize that what unites us is more important than what divides us.”
Security concerns forced the India-Pakistan World T20 match to be shifted from the original venue Dharamsala to Eden Gardens in Kolkata after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) raised issues with the ICC and the BCCI. The two sides will play at Eden Gardens on March 19.
India and Pakistan have played against each other only in international events. Last year, the BCCI refused to resume bilateral cricket with their arch-rivals. India last beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup last month in Mirpur.