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Visually impaired Pakistani reporter dreams of peace


Sania Zaidi sits in the R. Premadasa stadium press box as the World Cup drama unfolds beneath her.
Nothing unusual about that except the 28-year-old Pakistani journalist has been blind since childhood and is on a mission to promote better relations between Pakistan and India.
She wants cricket to promote peace, courtesy and courage which have been lacking in our wonderful world. She can’t see it but she can sense it and is at this World Cup to promote her mission.
Working on a laptop with special software, the college professor from Multan in central Punjab is hard-working and determined.
On her mobile phone she tapes all the tournament press conferences to use in her stories for a Pakistan magazine as well as radio bulletins.
Her objective is to tell the world about Pakistan and its love of cricket and the heartache caused by the sport’s international suspension in the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.
The brazen attacks, which left eight people dead and seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach injured, forced Pakistan to play its home series on neutral venues.
It also prompted the International Cricket Council to strip Pakistan of its right as a co-host of the 2011 World Cup, a move which Sania deplores.

With a master’s degree in mass communication and busy working on her post-graduate studies, Sania teaches at the Bahauddin Zakaria University in Multan.
Cricket is her major interest, having compiled two books of interviews with several players from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, the West Indies and England.

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