Recently, there has been way too much Hullabaloo over New Zealand’s cricketers’ withdrawal from Pakistan’s tour. ECB has also withdrawn from their tour in Pakistan as they use the same security company, ESI Risk, to assess the ‘Threat Matrix’. This whole debacle puts again a gigantic question mark on Pakistan’s ability to host a foreign team safely. Pakistani fans are reasonably angry as they miss out on some exciting matches. The security establishment of Pakistan and their lackeys did not waste any time channelling the anger straight to NZ and England for cancelling the tours. Since then the social media has turned into a warzone.
I do not want to mention here what these fervent fans have done on Social media; that’s up to the people to judge, although readers’ discretion is highly advised. However, I would like to point out some of the bizarre comparisons and excuses they are making. They say that the English Prince and the Duchess of Cambridge visited Pakistan, but look, nothing happened. The NZ players had presidential level security with Gunship support. Newly elected PCB Chief Ramiz Raza even went on to say, “Western Block has let Pakistan down”. Some cricketing Pundits cannot distinguish between State-sponsored Terrorism and victims of Terrorism and since then reminded ECB of the past security situation in England, since then have called ECB, NZC hypocrites, cowards, traitors for safeguarding their players. They have been at the forefront of the fallacy known as “Pakistan is a safe country, Pakistan saved the world of Cricket during the Pandemic. Some even started mixing western troop withdrawal from Afghanistan with Cricket. Also, Petrodollar funded Woke, aka Red media. Politicians in the West have also begun to follow these incidents, making things more interesting for the so-called ‘Western Bloc’ and India as England and Newzealand withdrew from Pakistan because of IPL. After listening to their opinions, one can say these people are least worried about players’ safety; and more about blaming India, Australia, and England, the so-called Big Three. Never mind the revenue these countries contribute to the ICC, which gets disbursed amongst the cricket boards such as Pakistan barely balancing on three-legged chairs.
It is unclear what security concerns ESI Risk presented to the NZ board and what prompted ECB to withdraw from the tour. Still, a sane minded person would be able to assess very quickly. One does not need a fancy degree in ‘Risk and Security Management to figure out how dangerous Pakistan is. First of all, Pakistan is not a stable democratic country. The army has ruled it by hook or crook since its Bloody division from India in 1947. What Hitler did not do during his tenure, the Pakistani establishment did it. It is the only country in the world that used its Airforce to kill its citizen. It ran a Pogrom that killed over 3 million and wounding five times more during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war. It fought wars with its neighbour India, and after losing four times in the straight fight, it resorted to Terrorism. Over the years, this garrison state had become the epicentre of Global Terrorism. It has been accused of the mothership of Terrorism; a diplomat in the UN called Pakistan ‘Terroristan.’ At one point, it had more UN-designated terrorist organisations than the number of keys in a keyboard. In fact, the PM of Pakistan himself has admitted that over 30,000 terrorists were present in Pakistan during an official visit to the United States in 2019. No one can be sure of the real numbers, but according to experts, there are several terrorist organisations still active today.
Difficult to tour Pakistan
Cricketing experts, ex Pakistani cricketers, dare to call ECB, NZC whatever they want, but they seem to have a short memory. Cricket is a game for entertainment and can only be played in a safe, stable environment. Yes, it is disheartening for fans, but players safety is beyond anything. Players are just like you and me. They have families too. Contracts bind them, but Boards can not force them to play where they do not have the right atmosphere to play a game. Security in Pakistan has always been an issue for touring cricket teams. I watched New Zealand abandoning their tours in 2002 after a suicide bomber exploded outside their hotel in Karachi. Australia refused to travel to Pakistan on safety grounds. Indian Team pulled out of a series from Pakistan after the Pakistan sponsored terrorists wreak mayhem in Mumbai that killed 172 people and wounded three hundred plus in 2008. The Sri Lankan Team went to Pakistan next year as a replacement for India and ended up ducking bullets and grenades instead of bouncers and beamers. Six players, including Captain Mahela Jayawardene and vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara, were injured. Samaraweera had shrapnel wounds to his thigh and Paranavitana to his chest. Assistant coach Paul Farbrace was also wounded. They also had a Presidential level of security with Gunship support, just saying. After 2013 the situation went so out of control that India cancelled all Bi-lateral series with Pakistan. I guess enough of this history lesson.
According to Rusi, there were 26 attacks by TTP(Tehrik-i- Taliban) in July alone on Pakistani soil. Pakistani establishment and their lackeys can pretend it is safe to play in Pakistan, but no one in their sane mind would risk going to a place where a security agency issued a warning. It is noteworthy that ‘ESI Risk’ has been involved in PSL security too.
What happens when you ignore those warnings and something happens? What happens to the players? Who takes the blame? Would you go to a cricket ground where the army doing mine sweeping? Would you go to a place to play Cricket where gunships are circling over the stadium? I leave you to ponder.
When an ordinary Pakistani wakes up every day, what do they see? they see troglodytes carrying 21st-century weapons screaming “Death to America, Burn India”, dirty streets, no education, no jobs, poverty, debts. They get angry, but they do not have any choice. The only way they could forget all of these is Cricket, so this whole situation is very tough for cricket-mad fans who just wanted to see their Men in Green in action. The cancellation of tours will also profoundly speed up the destructions of Pakistans already crumbling, corruption-ridden, nepotistic cricketing infrastructure. Pakistan had lost thousands of innocent people due to Terrorism. Yet, you would hardly find a Pakistani on Social media saying, “Yes, the Government of Pakistan should create a Terrorism free atmosphere in the country, create jobs, provide education. They will only talk about Kashmir, Jihad, **** West, **** America, then shamelessly stand in line outside the embassy’s of Western countries for Visa.
I genuinely feel sad for the Pakistani fans and newly elected PCB Chief Ramiz Raza, they have every right to be angry, but they are mad at the wrong side. If any real Pakistani is reading this article, please stop blaming others and start asking questions to your government for failing Pakistan and its Cricket. In the end, you are losing your country to radicals; your lives are at risk, your future is at stake, not the others; it is your right to have a stable democracy.