‘After days of grief, Pakistan cricket team has brought back smile of red-cheeked Kashmiris’

Muhammad Amir, the Pakistani pacer, runs in excitement after bowling out Indian top batsman and captain, Virat Kohli .

Srinagar: “Why grass is greener in Kashmir” is a question everyone asks when Pakistan cricket team wins any title, and that too against their Indian counterparts.

It is 22nd day of fasting during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan and Kashmiris are stuck to televisions everywhere: homes, markets, shops, offices and even in vehicles.

It is third consecutive day that Kashmir is tense, after three civilians were shot dead by the armed forces when they tried to disrupt a military operation in Arwani area of Kulgam, to help militants escape unhurt during an encounter.

The slain included a 14-year-old student, Ehsan Mushtaq, who was shot in chest and died on way to hospital.

The bodies of the militants were recovered from the debris of three destroyed houses a day later.

The deaths added to the miseries of civilian population here but as Indian cricketers clash with Pakistan, the streets wore a deserted look as Kashmiris stuck to their TVs.

After putting a massive 339 target before Indian cricket team, their bowling strength bulldozed the Indian batting strength.

All over Kashmir, fire crackers are being burst while youth are raising pro-Pakistan slogans.

“Thank you Pakistan (Cricket team),” a youth yelled as the Sarfaraz Ahmad – Pakistan Cricket team captain – caught the ball hit by the last batsman of India. “Your win has lessened our grief.”

Every time, when Pakistan and Indian cricket teams clash, Kashmiris side with the green team and it has brought wrath to them as well.

In the Champions Trophy which Pakistan lifted by winning over India at The Oval in England today, the armed forces thrashed the local populace of Turkewangam of Shopian when Pakistan crashed in to finals by winning over England in their last match.

Last year, when India lost to West Indies in T20 final match, Kashmiri students clashed with their counterparts from mainland India at NIT Hazratbal. The engineering college was shut for days together.

Outside J&K, the Kashmiri students who study faced wrath of their non-Kashmiri mates for cheering for the green jersey wearing team.

While this report is being filed sitting in a corner of a house located in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, youth are on the road. Their voices are over powering the loudspeakers of the Masjids around as they sing pro-Pakistan songs.

“After days of grief,” said Riyaz, a Srinagar based student, “Pakistan cricket team has brought back smile of red-cheeked Kashmiris.”

The Sehar Khan has been called and he is back with his drum moving around the streets as youth surround him. Some are even dancing.

India secured only 158 runs as Pakistan lifted the trophy after rounding the Indians in only 30.3 overs.

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