LAHORE - The past week PSL euphoria in Pakistan created dissensions even within the political parties which witnessed conflicting opinions coming from their leaders in the last few days.

Senior leaders of the two main opposition parties, the PPP and PTI were conspicuous for their contradictory statements with some supporting the PSL final in Lahore while others opposing the same. 

If the PTI chairman Imran Khan opposed the event on security grounds, two senior members of his team, Asad Omer and Ch Muhammad Sarwar backed the government decision.

Asad Umer not only espoused the international cricket coming back to the country, he also went to the Qaddafi Stadium to watch the final match. Immediately upon reaching the stadium, Omer tweeted about the advent of a retired Australian cricketer Dean Jones now known for his cricket commentary. 

“The full of life and joy Dean Jones has also arrived...wearing a very nice white kurta”, he said in his tweet.

Senior PTI leader and former Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar termed the PSL final in Lahore a vital step in the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. In a statement yesterday he said that terrorists were against the revival of cricket in the Pakistan, but they will meet failure. “PSL final in Qaddafi Stadium is success of whole nation and people are participating with utmost zeal”, he said, adding that terrorists will not succeed in their nefarious designs as the entire nation stood united to hold the event.

Sarwar also said that his party did not believe in politicking over terrorism, and rather supported the efforts of the law enforcement agencies to curb this menace.

PTI’s media cell reported late yesterday night that Ch Sarwar also went to the Qaddafi stadium to watch the final.

Similarly, the PPP-P President, Asif Ali Zardari openly expressed his disapproval of the PSL final taking place in Lahore. He even advised Sheikh Rashid Ahmad of Awami Muslim League to review his decision to watch the match. “It will only benefit [politically] the ruling PML-N”, Zardari told Rashid who did not pay heed to his advice and reached the stadium yesterday as per his plan.  

Even his own party men did not listen to him on this matter. Two main leaders of the PPP, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Qamar Zaman Kaira also went with the popular mood.

In a statement issued to the media by his son Qasim Gilani a day before the event, the former prime minister described the holding of the PSL final in Lahore a decision in the right direction. “It will go a long way in restoration of international cricket in Pakistan”, Gilani said, adding that it was government’s responsibility to provide adequate security to the players and the public at large.

Qamar Zaman Kaira who now also hosts a TV show, also supported the PSL final at the home ground, terming it’s a wise decision. “I will like to go [to the stadium] and watch the match if I manage to get a ticket”, he said.

Meanwhile, the local PPP and the PTI leaders have grilled the ruling PML-N for distributing most of the match tickets among the party activists. PPP’s Lahore leader Faisal Mir uploaded pictures of PML-N legislators on the social media distributing tickets at ceremonies held in the City yesterday. He viewed that the PML-N had deprived the common citizens of Pakistan from watching this much awaited event. “The PML-N bought tickets of all enclosures for its workers. People of Pakistan will not accept the monopoly of one political party over the game of cricket”, Faisal alleged.   

Local PTI leader Ishtiaq Malik also complained that tickets were not made available to the commoners and sold only to the PML-N workers. He said that PSL final was a political show orchestrated by the ruling party for its workers.