Posted by: nestaquin | March 5, 2009

Kill Terrorists, Create Cricket

child-bomberI am waiting till after the Kingsmead Test match before sharing my considered and critical view on the future of Pakistan cricket but a headline posted at Cricinfo today, “Kill Cricket, Create Terrorists” needs a quick riposte.

In a plea to the international community Pakistan captain Younis Khan clumsily espouses his view that cricket has the potential to teach the youth of Pakistan a better way of life. That’s fair enough and he is correct in his assumptions that cricket is a valuable tool in teaching young men about morality.

However, what irks me is the absence of awareness and the gross naivety in regards to the seriousness of the situation. Asking the ICC to save cricket from the nefarious elements within Pakistani society is akin to expecting a butterfly to rescue an antelope from the jaws of a crocodile.

Perhaps if Pakistan forced their terrorists to face justice instead of appeasing them with vast tracks of their western countryside then cricket in Pakistan wouldn’t need saving.

I’m not privy to what inhabits the twisted minds of the Taliban and their shadowy warlord buddies but I’m inclined to think that they take a very dim and dark view of the ancient game. If the Pakistani people want cricket to thrive in their country the answer to their anxiety is simple. Use the intelligence of a united populace and the full might of your military to eradicate your lands of these murderous thugs. Once that is achieved cricket and every other positive aspect of society will naturally blossom with the vigour and beauty of wildflowers on a sparkling sunlit spring day.

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Responses

  1. That picture makes me mad. Not at you Nesta you are just a messenger. I am mad at so many things and ashamed to call my self Pakistani. The people ruling our nation have hijacked our country and turned it into a living hell. Where once you would smell Parathas and Sweets and fresh air, now you smell gun powder. Where once people would lay lives to safeguard their guests and visitors, now are taking lives of their guests. Where once a human was deemed a human now is deemed as excess meat. I am devastated to see my beloved country in this state and i would like to tell Pakistani people, if they see anyone with a gun in a random street, gang up on him and beat the crap out of him.

  2. Nestaquin, speaking as a Pakistani, I agree entirely that the only hope for Pakistan is if we can eradicate these terrorists. Everytime an incident like this happens, I have to ask the hard question: “Are we responsible for the acts of these maniacs? ” . Some days, it’s harder to keep faith that this isn’t a fair reflection of what my country is about, but I know that is the case.

    The Pakistani people are in no way complicit or supportive of these terrorists. In every election in Pakistan, religious parties have never gained significant seats at the center, an indicator of their unpopularity.

    Unfortunately, the two major parties who are always voted in on the back of promises to dismantle terrorism ( the PPP and PML) are too corrupt, inefficient and self-interested to manage it. Add in the problem of a porous border with Afghanistan and huge swathes of frontier to patrol, and it’s a very strategically challenging situation. While the Pakistan government deserves much blame, pinning the military failure entirely on them is a bit tough, especially when one considers that it took the much better funded and equipped US army years to stamp out the Iraq insurgency.

    I doubt most rational Pakistanis would call for cricket to return here anytime soon. I was relieved when the Champions Trophy was shifted, and I think Pakistan shifting cricket to a neutral venue is long over due. That said, I think our country (or at least it’s cricket) could use al the moral and financial support it can get in these troubled times.

    It’s rather disheartening to see your country pounded by terrorists, and then instead of the world rallying in support of us fighting the “good fight” (incidentally, several thousand Pakistani soldiers have died fighting the local Taliban), we’re condemned as responsible for this malaise.

    Oh, I do understand that there have been many failures on the part of the state, and ill-advised policies they have followed which have not helped the situation. Nonetheless, international isolation of Pakistan will only help the terrorists perpetuate the pallor of despair and fear they use to maintain their tentacles in society.

    I’m not saying that you’ve villified Pakistan in anyway; on the contrary you’ve restricted yourself in the blog to saying what is patently true. I just needed to vent some frustration seeing how the image of Pakistan has been battered in blogs and articles across the internet. And sadly, I can’t even say such negative sentiments are totally inaccurate :(.

  3. Use the intelligence of a united populace and the full might of your military to eradicate your lands of these murderous thugs. Once that is achieved cricket and every other positive aspect of society will naturally blossom with the vigour and beauty of wildflowers on a sparkling sunlit spring day.

    It actually is that simple. But obviously someone hasn’t been thinking that way for decades now.

    There is an inevitability about what’s happening now – the complete takeover by the extra-governmental forces, destruction therein, and a tortuous rescue effort at some point of time later from their clutches.

    This phalanx of ideological controllers includes also parts of establishment and perhaps the government of the day – so to shed it off and start on a new road will require something tremendous. Let’s hope such a desire exists and is growing within the people of Pakistan.

  4. Thank you for your thoughts Faisal, Amirali and Soulberry. If you need to get your frustrations off your chest 99.94 is a forum where you are free to do so. Your comments only illuminate the situation and bring a broader understanding.

    I do understand that the problems Pakistan is facing are incredibly complex and that they won’t be sorted out anytime soon.

    So I am better informed I have been reading as many different sources and communicating with many different people from Pakistan these last few days.

    I hope to publish my findings and a probable solution for Pakistan cricket next week but only after I have learned as much about the situation as possible. In times like these it is better to be rational rather than emotive and comments like yours are of great assistance. You have my gratitude.

  5. ‘Use the intelligence of a united populace and the full might of your military to eradicate your lands of these murderous thugs.’

    well said nesta. but there is a small problem. the military is not too keen on doing that.

  6. Amirali – that’s a very considered post as is faisal’s.

    Nesta – I feel that your prescription for peace in Pakistan is a good one, but some way off in time. Government works through consent, a lesson learned by the English administrators and Scottish soldiers who built an empire in the sub-continent and beyond. Even an enterprise as awesomely successful in its own terms as the British Empire and its proxy, the British East India Company was incapable of delivering governance to Afghanistan’s tribes. This is not to defend Empire, nor to suggest its return in another guise, merely to show what consent can do in terms of governance, but also where its powers ran out.

    So the short term solution is for Pakistan and its allies to continue to play a high price in blood and treasure in order to bring some semblance of order and allow the possibility of the government’s writ to run to the whole of its territory (and in the comfortable West, we are grateful for the sacrifice of Pakistan’s armed forces fighting that battle).

    Then, indeed concurrently, the world must give the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan a stake in a future bigger than score settling or fulfilling romantic dreams of sacrifice. Cricket will have a role to play in that, but so too will a government which is palpably not corrupt and, if not democratic, then accountable to its people. Most important of all, the education and opportunities for the talents of Pakistan’s vast population of young men and women must be there to allow them to shine in ways that they believe to be valuable, which may not be the same way that’s done in the UK or Aus, but it won’t be by going on suicide missions against civilians either.

  7. Nestaquin:

    As a Pakistani, I am extremely ashamed & embarassed, shocked & angry, despodent & despaired by the events of two days ago. I had always perhaps naively told foreigners how my country was safe & how the Western media was cooking up obnoxious stories for no reason. I had always said that Pakistan is a moderate country, far more liberal than its image in the Western media.

    Alas, I am in a poor position to preach to the rest of the world now. Pakistan HAS become a dangerous & unsafe place but its because of a problem that has been building up for 30 years now. The problems in Pakistan are extremely complex & you cannot hold an entire population, or stereotype an entire people just because some of us are bad apples.

    All I can say now, is that I hope the rest of the world stands with moderate & peace loving Pakistanis & helps us solve our problems. Outsiders will have to show us greater sympathy & understanding, because WE are the ones suffering the most. It is time for you guys to make alliances with liberal Pakistanis, instead of painting us all with one brush.

  8. Qasim – well said.

  9. Nesta and others,

    Here’s a link that describes Lashkar-e-Toiba’s considered opinion on the great game:

    http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/05/stories/2009030560961000.htm

    And now that we indeed are discussing politics:

    Qasim and my other Pakistani brothers,

    There will be no shortage of support from the World if the moderate Pakistanis decide to standup to the military-jihad complex.

    How do we get rid of these forces?You think a MacArthur Plan for Af-Pak (not the exact plan used in Japan after WW2, but some thing similar, driven primarily by Pakistani citizens and supported by friendly forces) would help?

    After all, my Pakistani friends keep telling me that 99% of Pakistanis are peace loving, do not subscribe to Jihadi ideology, and have a modernist approach to human rights and rule of law.I trust my friends. So, the country is being ruled by an in-house occupational force (1%) for the past 3 decades.

    Will there be a buy-in for a different occupational force that will root out the current military-jihadi complex?Yes, the friendly occupational force could be given policy direction and monitoring by Pakistani citizens.

    Even assuming that this MacArthur type plan could get a buy-in, how does one bypass an Army that has nukes, and is holding the country to ransom? How will the peaceful, moderate majority rise up?Questions without answers.

    I want to give hope and support to you all.But feel helpless.You guys are on the ground.You need to lead the world to resolve the mess.I pray God to give you that strength.

  10. Kumar,

    Indeed. The world is very willing to assist but the impetus must come from within Pakistan.

    The British gave us the bat and snatched our sword…

    I’ve always considered my bat a metaphorical sword and sought to find my inner warrior during the contest. However, I am at a loss to understand how anyone could find cricket anything less than a civil and noble pursuit. Scoring a century seems a far better use of a swordsman’s skills than creating widows and orphans.

  11. deeply shocked by these events and disappointed by much of the coverage. As usual here is an exception, perhaps THE exception.

    Thoughtful, heartfelt and yet opinionated and a wonderful tonic to a range of other forums which have ranged from practically banning the topic (not cricket/too political) to a depressingly chauvinistic one-up-manship.

    nestaquin, I applaud you for braving the subject and posters (unless some editing had to be done?) I likewise commend you without exception your sincerity and humanity on this and the related thread.

    • Thanks mate, no editing needed, the commenters here are 99.94% exceptional. I’m still trying to understand the implications for cricket of the heinous attack and the PCB’s response of attacking the umpires is the latest insanity emanating from Pakistan.


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