Happy events are seldom reported from the Kashmir Valley, least of all from areas in some proximity to the ever-simmering Line of Control the place the sound of small arms fireside and the “whirr” and bangs of mortars current the background music. Hence there was set off for pure delight when the air was crammed by the cheers of an estimated 20,000 people who had congregated to look at a soccer match carried out on the Baki Aber ground in Rajwar throughout the distant Bangus Valley throughout the Kupwara tehsil ~ an area often throughout the data for makes an try at infiltration by militants.
The occasion was the final word of the Bangus Valley Soccer Tournament and pitted Muhammaden Sports of Sopore in the direction of SW Ashkura of Baramulla. The District Football Association of Handwara had organized for the momentary arrange of floodlights with transportable generator models, to current the game the setting of a chief class match. From early throughout the afternoon people had been gathering on the topic: they travelled in autos, autos, buses, or simply walked.
The “fans” had been of all ages, some had been youthful children, others had been senior residents ~ and, that’s hardly believable given “normal conditions in the region, no special security arrangements were deemed necessary. Had a message been sent out to both militants and their mentors across the border? Nobody opted to answer that query but there was no violence or disruption during the match. It matters little who won the game played on 16 September ~ a “goal” had been scored for peace andgoodwill.
Sport has flourished in J&Ok whatever the “difficult” circumstances that prevail, nevertheless a number of it is confined to town centres. The gathering at Rajwar elements to the love of sport having penetrated into distant areas, which affords rather a lot different for altering the customary narrative of violence.
The Army, which continues with its practice to win over hearts and minds (although with a lot much less fanfare than when the ‘sadhbhavna’ mission was getting extreme priority) has its private passion for sport ~ presumably soccer may fit wonders: “local” fields might very effectively be cleared, makeshift goal-posts erected. We now have an full of life minister for sport with a navy background, perhaps he might have an effect on his former colleagues in uniform to experiment with a model new mannequin of goodwill incomes.
That apart, the event launched Rajwar and the Bangus Valley into public consideration ~ the realm is alleged to have considerable potential for tourism enchancment with its grassy meadows and vibrant blooms. The fast stage being that there is further to problem from the Valley than stone-throwing, fidayeen strikes, shutdowns and stone-throwing schoolgirls.
The state authorities ought to make concerted efforts to have the headlines re-written ~ a soccer sport might set that ball rolling.
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