India defeated Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup semi-final, but not without Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar courting controversy over certain umpiring decisions which may just have ‘tilted’ the game in India’s favour. As Bangladeshi cricket fans vociferously question Dar’s (and Gould’s) umpiring decisions over Rohit’s no-ball and Dhawan’s catch, even Indian and Aussie greats, Laxman and Warne, have questioned the decisions.
However, creating equally alarming news is the allegation of a possible Conspiracy Theory involving Pakistan, that it might have intentionally ‘influenced’ Aleem Dar to ensure he takes umpiring decisions favouring India, and thus create enmity and bickering between India and its eastern neighbour, Bangladesh.
It is no secret in geopolitical circles that India has been actively following a ‘Look-East’ policy by deepening its relations with Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. This is contrast with the past when India’s prime focus in the region was its western neighbour, Pakistan. This shift in India’s stance towards the East has made Pakistan insecure, as it sees a higher propensity of those countries to trade with India, than with Pakistan.
With China as its only ‘all-weather’ friend in the region, an increasingly insecure Pakistan is believed to be looking for any opportunity to create rift between India and its eastern neighbours. This is the basis of the allegation of a possible conspiracy theory surfacing involving Pakistan, following today’s semi-final match.
What makes this allegation weird is that the Pakistani umpire is actually ‘helping’ India, and it is unbelievable that Pakistan and India would ever be helping each other. The defence taken by the Pakistani establishment is that it is laughable that such a situation could even happen. While it is laughable that this situation is itself laughable, the allegations stress that this ‘unbelievable’ angle is exactly what might make it true, since it absolves Pakistan of any involvement in creating a rift between India and Bangladesh.
It alleges Pakistan of deviousness is to ruffle India’s relations with its eastern neighbours, and the possibility that Pakistan may have intentionally ‘influenced’ its own umpire Aleem Dar to take decisions favouring India, and thus create a rift between India and Bangladesh. If these allegations are indeed true, then Pakistan has partially succeeded to create an ‘anti-India’ wave in Bangladesh, as Bangladeshi fans have gone all out protesting vociferously against ICC and India for the umpiring faux pas.
The improbability of Pakistani actually helping India, makes these allegations unbelievable. Yet this improbability is the very basis that strengthens the case for a possible conspiracy theory angle.
Pakistan has shrugged off the allegations saying it is the result of an over-active imagination.