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Zee’s media outlets boycott India-Pakistan match ‘in support of armed forces’

MUMBAI: Zee’s media outlets, including a clutch of news channels and newspaper DNA, have boycotted the coverage of the ICC Champions Trophy match between India and Pakistan as a gesture of support to the Indian armed forces who are combating cross-border terrorism.

Zee founder-promoter and a Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra said that Zee News, Zee Hindustan, WION, DNA and all other news channels from Zee Media will not cover any news about the India-Pakistan match. “Rather we will show the stories of actual heroes who will be fighting for us even when our cricket team will be playing with enemy,” he tweeted ahead of the match.

“Government made it clear that terror and talks can’t go together then how come terror and cricket can go together,” Chandra said.

“Producers stopped casting Pakistan actors, similarly, Pakistan banned our TV programs,” he said. If Afghanistan can snap cricketing ties with Pakistan following the recent Kabul attack, then why can’t India do the same.

“We can’t be selective in our patriotism where at one end we outrage over Pak actors in our movies and at other hand we play cricket,” he said.

“Rather than outraging after terror incidents, after ceasefire violations and casualties of Armed forces, it is better to act now,” he added.

“Let’s tell our Army that the people for whom they risk their life are more interested in supporting them than cheering for cricket match. We can’t be selective in our patriotism where at one end we outrage over Pak actors in our movies and at other hand we play cricket.”

Meanwhile, Zee News Editor-In-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary urged for viewers’ support in this move by the channel. “Bat, ball and bombs cannot go together,” he tweeted.

On 2 June, Chandra had tweeted that the Board of Control for Cricket in India should have refused to play the match with Pakistan. “[This] would have given strong message globally, after all, it’s money which they care about,” he said.

Last week, Sports Minister Vijay Goel had said that cricket and terrorism can’t go on at the same time. He had stated that there would be no cricketing ties between India and Pakistan until cross-border terrorism ended. “We have, however, no say on multilateral events [ICC tournaments],” he had said.

Last year, after the terrorist attack at Indian army’s Uri camp, Chandra had said Zee’s channel Zindagi was going to stop broadcasting Pakistani television shows.