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Miranshah, the headquarters or “Sadar Maqam” of the North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) is hosting a friendly match between Pakistan XI and UK Media XI as part of the Peace Cup. The event is being organized under the auspices of the Pakistan Army.

The event is being organized under the auspices of the Pakistan Army. DG ISPR, Major General Asif Ghafoor took to Twitter to announce that the match will be played in the Miranshah stadium, named after ace Pakistani batsman, Younis Khan.

The scenes from the stadium are those of festivity, joy, and thrill with full of Pashtun razzmatazz. Pakistan has fielded a star-studded lineup which includes former greats in Inzamam Ul Haq and Younis Khan.

Three years down the line, all was accomplished; IDPs have returned; repair works have been finished, setting Miranshah and Mir Ali on the path to becoming model cities

A full-house is seeing the match which is being televised live. Governor KPK, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Corps Commander Peshawar, Lt Gen Nazir and Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor are the dignitaries gracing the occasion.

Read more: The wait is over! the historic Independence Cup kicks off today

Fellow tribesman and heartthrob, Shahid Afridi whose sixes have entertained people across the globe, whacked huge sixes all over the park, driving the local tribesmen crazy. These peaceful, brave and loyal people of North Waziristan flocked the picturesque stadium, wearing their traditional attire, singing choruses in Pashtu. The players walked out wearing the famous tribal turbans.

The beautiful stadium built in the heart of Miranshah. While the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, where the Independence Cup was successfully hosted was heavily protected with layered security, the Younas Khan Sports Complex was not heavily protected with excessive “visible” security.

Pakistan has defeated the UK Media XI by 133 runs, the result is meaningless. Its optics are somewhat important for hastening the process of the return of cricket in the country. However, today, cheering little girls holding banners of “Pakhair Raghlay”, tribal elders and people mingling with their heroes is an unprecedented and remarkable story.

The once-peaceful areas of Miranshah, Mir Ali and Dattakhel were infested with virulent terrorists who used these locations to wreak havoc in FATA and all over the country

North Waziristan was a hotbed of terrorism for a good part of 11 years. The lion-hearted Wazir, Dawar and Mehsud tribesmen were held hostage by miscreants to include the Tehreek-e-Taliban, Pakistan. The once-peaceful areas of Miranshah, Mir Ali and Dattakhel were infested with virulent terrorists who used these locations to wreak havoc in FATA and all over the country.

Read more: Sir Richie Richardson arrives in Lahore as Independence Cup fever grips…

The army under the command of the then Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014. A difficult CTMILOP required the military to not only evict terrorists and their remnants but also grapple with infiltration from across the Afghan border. Moreover, the safe evacuation, temporary placement and dignified return of the affected IDPs were onerous responsibilities.

Pakistan has defeated the UK Media XI by 133 runs, the result is meaningless. Its optics are somewhat important for hastening the process of the return of cricket in the country.

Three years down the line, all was accomplished; IDPs have returned; repair works have been finished, setting Miranshah and Mir Ali on the path to becoming model cities. At the time when the US is ramping up accusations on Pakistan and terming it as a sponsor of terrorism, these pictures depict a stark contrast to the situation prevalent right across the border, where swathes of territory are under the control of the Taliban despite the military might of the US. These are just the right optics that the world should see hours before PM Abbasi speaks at the United Nations General Assembly.

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