Sunday, February 15, 2015

Shame upon Pakistan’s Cricket Team

February 15, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi

Was the first match for the world cup between the cricket teams of India and Pakistan fixed? Was it fixed while the match was in progress or prior to the match? This latest Indian victory is sixth in the row against Pakistan. Is Virat Kohli always invincible for the Pakistani bowlers and fielders and even this time too? In case of Kohli why the easy catch behind the wicket and another at the boundary were dropped by Pakistani fielders? An easy catch given by a Pakistani batman at the slip could be a willful loss.

 Apart from the empire’s deliberate tilt towards the Indian team, the fact is as evident as the daylight that at some point during the play there could be a tinkling from somewhere for the Pakistani team to go slow and then the domino effect started.

The Pakistani team seems to be incurably scared of the Indian cricketers by nursing a preemptive notion that they are not going to ever win against Indian cricket team. Is it written in the scriptures that Pakistani team would lick the dust every time it plays against its traditional rival India?

Winning or losing on merit is immaterial but to lose under pressure from the invisible quarters or for perks and financial gains settled behind the doors by international brokers in connivance with team mangers and coordinators is downright disgrace and is unforgivable. It is like selling the national honor for personal gains.

Such a possibility in fixing this vitally crucial match on the part of some Pakistani players cannot be ruled out. Also with a preconceived defeatist mentality how Pakistani cricket team could be trusted that in future it would deliver the best of its performance in such prestigious, historical and rare matches?

Dismissal of four batsmen just for four runs in a quick succession, smacks of deliberate and premeditated wrong doings on the part of those players. Except vibrant yet under pressure skipper of Pakistani team Misbah-ul-Haq who scored 76 runs, the other batsmen were either sold out or frightened enough to give in easily and play faulty strokes.

It would be in order to sift the facts and unearth the backdoor intriguing and bargaining or pressures.  To do so an inquiry team compromising unflinchingly honest members should be constituted.
It is time for Pakistani authorities dealing with such high profile and prestigious sport as cricket to ponder and deliberate why there have been such humiliating setbacks for cricket in Pakistan.  

The Pakistani’s team blatant defeat at Adelaide is a wake-up call to reassess and take stock of the downfall of the cricket in Pakistan and repeated miserable output by the Pakistani players. The onus falls upon the selection team of six members who prefer their own horses to run.

The Selection committee members invariably have an impression of being biased in the selection of the right and typically professional players. All of sudden the most deserving and the competent are dropped and those with meager expertise are taken in. 

It would be better if this number of six is reduced to only three individuals who should be men of absolute integrity, should have the moral courage to reject outside interference and keep their nose to the grinding stone while making a selection of the players.

It is a moment of reckoning also for the government as well as the cricket board to select the players on the basis of their performance and clean past. The cricket Board needs to be reconstituted and only such members should be inducted who have a passion of patriotism, are truly nationalist in their outlook and uncompromising in right decision making for a bright and glorious cricket. If in that situation even if Pakistan loses there would be no bickering or pointing of accusing fingers toward the selectors.
Otherwise such humiliating and disdainful failings keep happening the cricket  fans even the common Pakistanis might lose interest and faith in the fairness and expertise of the selected in putting up an excellent team. Unfortunately the Pakistani cricket domain is also infest and polluted like politics. This murky situation needs to be drastically addressed sooner the better.
Nevertheless the India team deserves a hearty tribute and warm congratulation for proving their mettle and winning this most crucial match with flying colors. Hopefully it would have the glory and honor of emerging once again as the world champion by defeating the other teams. If that happens this would be the third time India would attain this singular distinction. Earlier India won this title in 1983 and 2011.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Bakhtawar May Replace Bilawal

February 9, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi

The Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and also the chief (Sardar) of the Zardari clan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is living in England for a few months now. There is no firm indication that he would be returning to Pakistan so soon. In London his activities are not reported regularly as a political leader all the more the head of a leading political party of Pakistan is ought to be in media and press. He was seen once making a speech in London to show his party’s solidarity with the cause of the Kashmiris.

While in Pakistan after being crowned as the chairman of Pakistan People’s Party on December 30, 2007(he was then 19 years) with his father Asif Ali Zardari opting to be the Co-Chairman; he delivered thundering speeches on a few occasions that the critics and political observers decreed as amateurish and unnecessarily bombastic. Some politicians even dubbed those speeches as to be written by others and to be relayed by a young orator in the making, without comprehending as to what he was jettisoning.

By staying in England he missed the death anniversary of his mother Benazir Bhutto falling on December 27 every year. Even Asif Zardari’s trip to London to persuade Bilawal to return to Pakistan for observing Benazir’s death anniversary did not materialize.

Although the PPP cancelled the celebrations of the 86th birth anniversary of its founding chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in view of the gruesome Peshawar massacre, yet Bilawal did not issue any statement nor showed any exuberance in the birth ceremony of his illustrious grandfather and the founder of the Pakistan People’s Party.  He did not send even a message to the party leaders on this momentous day.

The face book gives glimpses of his courtship in England with some odd females and once sitting in between the two girls in an exceptionally jovial mood. One would venture as if he has been sitting in the happy hours of some club. However his choicest place for making the best use of his time is reported to be “Covern off beat Club” occasionally holding gay nights for the students.

It could be a mere gossip that Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto might have developed differences over the party's affairs. Bilawal appointed Jehangir Badar and Bashir Riaz as his political adviser and press secretary respectively without consulting Zardari. Asif Zardari reportedly advised Bilawal that being young he could not take independent decisions until he was fully groomed.

It appears either Bilawal is hugely enamored of the glamorous life that the western free societies offer or else he has developed some serious differences with his father whose caretaker role he may not be liking. It could be possible that he ran away from the hum drum of the political life as boring or too much a tall order for him to handle.

 Lately in a public meeting Asif Zardari obliquely hinted at the rumors of the differences between him and Bilawal. Zardari did not elaborate whether those rumours were credible or not. But in equal measure he did not deny that hearsay as to be baseless.

One could presume that the mantle of the chairmanship of the PPP may not sit well with Bilawal Zardari who patently does not have the making of a veritable politician as his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or his mother Benazir Bhutto were. He may even discard and opt out from spearheading a political party in the footsteps of the previous heads including his father Asif Ali Zardari as an accomplished political wizard of his own kind.

The image of Bilawal and his illustrious mother Benazir Bhutto was wickedly, maliciously and deliberately tarnished in a book under the title “Indecent Correspondence: Secret Sex Life of Benazir Bhutto authored by Roshan Mirza and published in 2014. This stinking book, graphically narrates the kind of no-hold-barred sexual misconduct of Benazir and Bilawal and some other VIPs including one of the closet friends of Benazir Bhutto and a former high profile female diplomat. 

It is difficult to believe in the contents of this sleazy book. However it has indeed wrought the irreparable damage to the reputation and national standing of both Benazir and Bilawal. While Benazir Bhutto is no more in this world, Bilawal might have seen or read the nauseating contents of that book and he must have felt a shudder in his frame. 

The resultant scary feelings or the possible smearing in the political arena might have convinced him to desist from entering the political arena and face the ensuing damning consequences. That dirty book might as well have been read or heard by Asif Ali Zardari who could have nursed the distasteful feelings about his son.

But one could watch Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari moving around in the absence of her brother Bilawal. The recent strings of events indicate that Bakhtawar may have been brought forward to replace Bilawal and in due course to become the chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party. Lately on January 8 she was seen praying with her father Asif Zardari on the eve of the inauguration of a Solar Desalination Plant being set up in Mithi city of Tharparker. 

After the assassination of Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto, Bakhtawar remained reasonably active in party affairs and delivered on some important occasions. It was being conjectured then that she could be be the successor to Benazir. But it is not known as to what happened then that she disappeared from the scene, thus paving way for her brother Bilawal to hold the reins of the PPP.