A top Pakistani minister provoked derision on social media on Monday after he suggested the Taliban could swap their guns for cricket bats and offered to host a match with the militants to revive stalled peace talks.
Pakistan's government entered into a formal dialogue with the Taliban earlier this month, but the process faltered after the militants executed 23 kidnapped soldiers. The military has retaliated with a series of air strikes in the tribal areas that border Afghanistan and are home to the Taliban's top leadership, killing dozens.
But with talks on a sticky wicket, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Monday that cricket could offer hope. "I have information that the Taliban keep an interest in cricket. So if this message can go through to them, we can have a cricket match with them which can have a better result," he told reporters in Islamabad following an exhibition game.