As India humbled Pakistan with an 89-run win on Sunday in a Cricket World Cup match, a verbal spat broke out following the Indian home minister equating the latest win with the recent air strike in Pakistan's Balakot region in February.
Just after India won the rain-stricken match based on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the national president of the country's governing party, the BJP, tweeted:
Another strike on Pakistan by #TeamIndia and the result is same.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 16, 2019
Congratulations to the entire team for this superb performance.
Every Indian is feeling proud and celebrating this impressive win. #INDvPAK pic.twitter.com/XDGuG3OiyK
However, this went a bit too far in the eyes of the Pakistan Armed Forces, with its spokesperson hitting back at the Indian home minister's reaction.
Major General Asif Ghafoor, chief spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces and director-general of Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations, while congratulating India on their victory, mocked the Indian home minister over Pakistan's retaliatory air strikes on February 27 in the Noushera region of Indian Kashmir.
Dear @AmitShah yes ur team won a match. Well played.— Asif Ghafoor (@peaceforchange) June 17, 2019
Two things with different denominators can’t be compared. So are strikes & match. If in doubt please see results of our Nowshera counter strikes & response to IAF violation on 27 Feb19 downing two Indian jets.
Stay Surprised. https://t.co/cY089VmYIe
Earlier, a wave of celebration ran across the Indian government as several Indian Ministers congratulated the Indian cricket team after Indian Captain Virat Kohli led team registered a win over Pakistan in the much awaited encounter.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari also took to social media to express their joy on the Indian cricket team's performance.
Congratulations to Indian cricket team for winning the match against Pakistan in #CWC2019. The Indian team played an amazing game of cricket for this victory.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 16, 2019
We are all proud of Team India.
Congratulations to team India & captain Shri @imVkohli Ji for a spectacular win against #Pakistan in #CWC19. A proud moment for India and cricket fans across the world. May the winning streak of Indian cricket team continue in the ongoing world cup match. @BCCI #PakVsIndia pic.twitter.com/apEBBkBTpM— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) June 17, 2019
India's former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, too, sent her best wishes, as the Indian team registered their third victory, maintaining their unbeaten streak in the tournament.
शानदार जीत के लिए भारतीय टीम को बहुत बहुत बधाई. Congratulations to Team India on a splendid victory.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 16, 2019
The intensive build-up to the India-Pakistan cricket match was due to tensions prevailing between the two South Asian neighbours. They were exacerbated by a deadly suicide bomb attack allegedly claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad on a convoy of Indian military personnel in Pulwama in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February.
In response to the attack, the Indian Air Force conducted an air raid on a suspected terror camp in Balakot on 26 February.
Pakistan denied existence of any such camps in the area, with media citing locals as saying that besides hitting some 15 pine trees, only one elderly villager was hurt in the air raid.
The following day, the two countries' aircraft engaged in a fierce dogfight over Kashmir. Since then, both sides have been involved in sporadic fighting over the de facto border.