A group of young Muslims, who say they are members of Islamic charity groups, were arrested on Saturday in Kashmir, which is contested by India and Pakistan, for celebrating a cricket victory by Pakistan’s team.
The Pakistani Army has said that the supporters were acting on orders.
This is the second consecutive year the West gave Pakistan’s cricket team the opportunity to become part of the International Cricket Council. In 2017, Pakistan won a semi-final against India in the UAE, setting up a match that ended in a tie. This time the match ended with a 17-run victory by Pakistan.
Last year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan asked the country’s cricket associations to form teams to participate in international tournaments, according to Dawn. Before that, the state bodies were banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board. The United Arab Emirates hosted this year’s final.
Samiur Rehman, the head of the Mandwa Movement, which is based in Azad Kashmir, said that the group, which says it is fighting India for Kashmir, and the Muhammadabad Food Bank, which runs out of Kabuli Dar, a village in Kashmir, held a public celebration to welcome the team’s victory.
“There were 24-25 people including several women from Muhammadabad and 25-30 people from Mirpur. They met the team after their victory and prayed for them,” Rehman told BBC.
Those arrested include members of Kashmiri Islamic Society, and Sabeel Welfare Organisation.
Pakistan formed one team and India the other team, said Mohammad Najm, a spokesman for the Pakistani Army, who told reporters that the owners of the Pakistan-based Mandwa Movement were “in possession of banned foreign weapons.”
“Therefore, including elements of proscribed organisations in team members and the vendors carrying the banned arms, organized by such organizations will be done under the pretext of posing as charity organizations,” Najm said.
India responded to the incident by declaring the efforts of its neighbors to “sabotage” the final and said it viewed the detentions as a continuation of Islamabad’s “inhuman barbarism.”
The Kashmir valley is also a flashpoint between India and Pakistan. Both countries have claimed Kashmir in full and have fought three wars.
India recognizes Pakistan as the ruler of Azad Kashmir.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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