Guns fall silent as Pakistanis mourn World Cup defeat

KARACHI,  (Reuters) – The guns fell silent and the  streets were deserted after Pakistan were defeated by India in  their World Cup semi-final in Mohali yesterday.

Zealous Pakistan fans, who had fired throughout the match at  the fall of every Indian wicket or a boundary scored by the  Pakistani batsmen, did not bother to waste their ammunition  after the defeat and returned home silently.

“I had purchased 200 bullets out of my savings to celebrate  the victory but now I guess I will save it for some other day,”  Bashir Ahmed a manager at a local trading company said in the  Saddar area which has the largest concentration of arms shops.

“I don’t know how to describe my feelings right now. I am  very disappointed and sad. Losing to India and that too in a  World Cup semi-final is intolerable,” said Zehreen, a young  enthusiast who had the green Pakistan flag painted on her cheeks  and also sported the replica T-shirt of the Pakistan team.

Soon after the semi-final ended, open spaces and parks where  around 3,000 giant screens were installed privately or by the  government were deserted after they were packed by enthusiastic  fans cheering everything about their team.

Former test captain, Rashid Latif who watched the match with  the players of his domestic team said the disappointment of the  people was understandable.

“I have never seen so much euphoria or passion before a  cricket match in my life. It was infectious but the end has been  disappointing,” Latif told Reuters.

But he advised cricket fans to accept the defeat gracefully.

“I think given the problems Pakistan cricket has faced in  recent times reaching the semi-final was a big achievement by  itself,” he said.

Sardar Khan, a taxi driver who did not bring his vehicle out  on the road on Wednesday because of the match, was angry with  his team.

“They always disappoint us when we have high expectations  from them. Our performance was pathetic. Losing to India is hard  to accept at any time,” he said.

Such was the interest in the match that the government had  suspended the customary power loadshedding during the day to  enable the people to watch the match without any cuts.

The provincial government had even declared a public holiday  while, in one of the city’s leading religious institutions, the  Jamia Binnoria students had held mass prayers for the success of  the team.

“I guess we will have to wait for another four years to win  the World Cup. But I hope with this match relations with India  will improve and we can resume playing bilateral cricket  matches,” said Iqbal Haider, a senior politician and senior  official of the human rights commission.

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