April 4th, 2011
04:15 AM GMT
The Cricket World Cup is over, but will the bonhomie shown among cricket fans from India and Pakistan increase the diplomatic and economic goodwill between the troubled nuclear-tipped neighbors?
Tariq Khan – president of Muxlim, a Muslim lifestyle web site based in New York – hopes so.
An expert in marketing to the Muslim world and an adjunct professor at New York University, Khan is also a rabid cricket fan. He traveled more than 18,000 kilometers over the past two weeks for cricket matches in leading to India’s victory Sunday over Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup Finals in Mumbai.
At the India-Pakistan semifinals match, Khan – who was born in Pakistan but has family in India – divided his time sitting in both cheering sections. “Sports can often do things that diplomats can’t do,” he said. “There are huge business opportunities in these two countries.”
“In the last 10 years, India has added 170 million people,” nearly equivalent to the populations of countries like Brazil and Pakistan, Khan notes. “This South Asia market, with 1.5 billion people, is still not fully tapped.”
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