The head of the Pakistan Army's media wing has advised spectators against donning military gear at Sunday's final of the 2019 Pakistan Super League.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), noted that Pakistani fans wanted to show up at the PSL finale wearing military-style caps and shirts. This would be seen as a response to the Indian cricket team's move to wear camouflage caps in a recent ODI against Australia, which Pakistan has vehemently criticised.
But Maj Gen Ghafoor reminded such citizens that "Sports are beyond politics".
"Pak Armed Forces humbly acknowledge your love [and] support," he wrote, adding that the bond between the people and armed forces of the country was "beyond such gestures alone".
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had lodged a protest with the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the Indian cricket team last week wore camouflage caps during their third ODI match against Australia "as [a] mark of tribute to the loss of lives in Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces".
Information minister Fawad Chaudhry had even called for the ICC to ban the Indian cricket team for mixing politics with sports.
In response to the criticism, the ICC said the Board of Control for Cricket in India had sought its permission to wear the caps "as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of fallen soldiers who have died, which was granted".
But PCB chairman Ehsan Mani maintained that the permission taken by India "was for a different purpose but they acted differently".