Playing for peace: #TeamIndoPak

Playing for peace: #TeamIndoPak
From top left: Shikha Tandon, Olympian swimmer, San Francisco; Hasan Mobeen, Islamabad; tennis player Aisam ul Haq Qureshi, Pakistan; Adeel Azhar, radio jockey, Karachi; Rahul Mukherji, Kolkata; Shuvro Ghoshal, sports journalist, Bangalore; Rohan Bopanna, tennis player, India; Neha Aggarwal, Olympian table tennis player, Hyderabad; squash champ Maria Toorpakay Wazir, Pakistan; Kiran Khan, Olympian swimmer, Lahore. #TeamIndoPak

Tennis icons Aisam ul Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna have teamed up again – this time virtually, along with squash legend Maria Toorpakai Wazir and a host of Olympian athletes and ordinary people — in #TEAMINDOPAK, an initiative that describes itself as a politically neutral peace and sport campaign.

This heartening movement between Indians and Pakistanis began ahead of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on April 6 this year. With IDSDP celebrations running till April 11, #TEAMINDOPAK organisers are keeping the game open until April 15, for the duration of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

All you need to do if you want to join the team and play this game is to hold up a white card to show your support for #TEAMINDOPAK. And post a photo to your social media feeds with the hashtags #WHITECARD and #TEAMINDOPAK.

Each team should have two or more members with at least one person from each country but the organisers there not to worry if you don’t have a friend from the neighboring county. In that case, you can send your picture or with your family and friends, showing a #WHITECARD in support of #TEAMINDOPAK.

Send in #TEAMINDOPAK photos, collages and videos to the Facebook page Team IndoPak, or tweet your contributions to @TeamIndoPak. To be counted, you can also simply post team photos to your social media on Facebook and Twitter – but remember to use the hashtags.

“The idea of Team Indo-Pak is to come together, create a bond for peace using sport as a tool. We are not trying to solve all problems, but we believe we can at least make a start”, say the initiative’s founder Rahul Mukherji, a management professional in Kolkata and fellow organiser Hasan Mobeen, an HR professional in Islamabad.

The organisers underscore the unifying power of sports “irrespective of age, religion, culture, language and country”. It is a universal language that has a great following especially among the youth.

“We want the common people and children of both countries to communicate and make friends from across the border, make lots of friends. Let the children be playmates before they learn about hatred”.

The organisers say that Peace and Sport, the neutral and independent organization based in the Principality of Monaco under the patronage of Prince Albert II is also supporting the initiative.

“Let’s keep sports out of politics and let sport be the catalyst of peace in our region”, says Mukherji.

For more informatoin, email Team Indo-Pak <[email protected]>.

Game on!

— aka

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