It’s like a convict claiming he’s innocent because his son won the ikebana contest in school. Pakistan won the World Twenty20 Cup in England, and I think they really played well; it was a deserved victory. But now their cricket board wants us to believe that it’s safe to play in Pakistan. It’s unfortunate, not only because it belittles the achievement of the team, but more so because that’s showing blatant disrespect for the lives lost in the shocking attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore earlier this year.
The term Banana Republic is increasingly being associated with Pakistan these days. Their western province of Balochistan is ruled by warlords, the adjoining tribal areas are havens for fledgling Taliban leaders, the NWFP is politically a million miles away from Islamabad, and Azad Kashmir is anything but azad. Yet the people of Pakistan have amazing resilience and are what I believe the only reason why Pakistan is not a failed state despite all the turmoil. They deserve a lot more respect than what they get, but that’s not the case with their ruling class. Oh no it isn’t. And that’s because they only move to free their own citizens from Taliban oppression when they’re under international pressure.
And the Pakistan Cricket Board is as insensitive as their big daddies. If a protected bus carrying a visiting team can be attacked with kalashnikovs in a metropolis like Lahore, they can be chainsawed at lesser towns. But it seems like the PCB has got a hold on to the hereditary disease of the Government: amnesia. It’s almost like they can do close to nothing to alter the security situation and after a few months pretend that nothing ever happened. No blood was spilled, no lives were lost. Unfortunately, the people outside their borders aren’t so forgetful, and the ICC has rightly denied the Pakistani Board from hosting any matches.
I’m a fan of the Pakistan cricket team. They’re aways brimming with skill, and are full of confidence, even when they’re down in the dumps. They don’t talk much, but slog it out, often with devastating results for our team. I wish their bosses back in Pakistan would take a leaf out of their book and do some real groundwork rather than just waiting for the rest of the world to forget and forgive. Not this time, not this time.