When MS Dhoni Met Meher Khalil, The Bus Driver Who Saved Sri Lanka Team During 2009 Lahore attack
New Delhi: Meher Muhammad Khalil is known for his bravery he showed during the 2009 Lahore attack on Sri Lankan team bus. Khalil drove the Sri Lankan team to safety after the terrorists opened fire on the bus which was on its way to Gaddafi Stadium.
He received praises from everyone for his brave act which saved many lives. Khalil in 2015 was given the honour of driving Zimbabwe team bus to venue as it became the first team after the 2009 attack to travel to Pakistan. Recently, World XI team backed by ICC was in Pakistan and Khalil drove them as well.
The ‘famous’ bus driver is now awaiting SriLankan team to return to Lahore. Sri Lanka is scheduled to play third and final T20I in Lahore thus marking their return to the country for the first time since the attack. And Khalil is expected to drive the bus once again.
Khalil was in Morocco and South Africa for his business and now has returned to Pakistan. During a visit to South Africa he met former India captain MS Dhoni and in an Interview with The Indian Express, Khalil recalled his meeting with MSD and Suresh Raina.
“I saw MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina at that time (in South Africa). Raina spoke very warmly and Dhoni said, ‘you are so brave, you saved them,’ and I told him, ‘mere bhi bhai hain voh Sri Lankans, ek bhai ke liye jaan dene ko taiyaar hai’ (they are my brothers as well, I can give my life to save them),” he told The Indian Express in an interview.
As per the interview, Khalil’s brother was part of the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahedeen who died in Kashmir.
“Un dinon mujhahideen bolte the, aaj kal toh terrorist hi bolte hain (those days they were known as militants, now terrorist is the term for them). One thing I know for sure is all this violence is not going to take one anywhere. What our region needs is peace,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khalil also urged India to come and play cricket in Pakistan.
“All I want is for India to come and play in Pakistan. Pura Lahore khada ho jayega kyunki apna bhai aaya hai ghar mey khelne key liye (entire Lahore will stand up in support of their brothers),” he said.