Cricket now, army in the future: MS
Shedding his blue jersey to don the battle fatigues, Mahendra Singh Dhoni not only mingled with the jawans guarding the sensitive Line of Control (LoC) but also spoke like a true Lieutenant Colonel would.
Inducted as an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the elite Parachute Regiment last year, Dhoni travelled to Bhimbar Gali in Hamirpur and Kalsian in Naushera Sector at the LoC. "We protect the interests of our county, for which our jawans are positioned here. They go through rigorous training and sacrifice a great deal. We don't want violence but are up and ready for anything," he said.
While he'd like to be associated with the Indian army in future, Dhoni maintained that cricket would be his priority for now.
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Admitting that he knew the army only from a distance, the Indian skipper said he wanted to use the break (from cricket) to experience the challenges jawans face. "Every post has a strategic importance," Dhoni said, adding that the day was special since he'd come to a forward post.
Dhoni visited the 40th raising day celebrations by the Jammu-based 16 Corps or White Knight Corps. The Corps is operationally committed in guarding the international border, maintaining the sanctity of LoC and combating militancy effectively — all of which have resulted in restoration of normalcy in the region.
The 772 kilometre stretch at the LoC has been relatively calm ever since India and Pakistan called truce in 2003. However, in the last few years, truce violations have increased here. A question on the feasibility of an India-Pakistan series was, thus, inevitable. "We have to make a beginning somewhere," Dhoni said. "Sports is a medium which transcends all international borders. Ultimately, the two boards have to decide when to play. As a cricketer, I've to go on the field and perform."
He insisted that he wouldn't want to join politics, although he wants to see his state Jharkhand prosper. However, he doesn't want to restrict his sphere of activity to one party.
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