Sporting events can always be counted on to bring feuding nations together – think, US ping pong players visiting in China in the 1970’s.
In a show of unity Friday, India and Pakistan found themselves sitting on the same side while two tennis stars from the traditionally warring nations joined together on the court in the US Open Men’s Doubles final.
“Stop War, Win Tennis” was the mantra as the 16th-seeded pair rolled over opponents in the tournament winning every set until the duo, called the “Indo-Pak Express”, ran out of steam in the final, losing to top-seeded Americans, Bob and Mike Byron, in straight sets via tie breaks, 6-7, 6-7.
But the score didn’t mattered to the crowd which turned out in full force to see Indian Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi join forces.
Indians and Pakistanis from the New York area showing up in good numbers to cheer them on and the two nations’ UN Representatives sat together dressed in matching beige jackets.
It was a beautiful thing to see,” Mr. Qureshi said. “If me and Rohan can get along so well, on and off the court, there’s no reason the Indians and Pakistanis can’t get along with each other.”
It was a bright spot in an otherwise devastated Pakistan, following historic floods that displaced millions of people and disrupted all semblance of normal life there.
The two also created a Facebook page for Indo-Pak Express.
Watch the video of their speeches below…