Thursday, 15 June 2017

The big final review - 18 June/ 22-23 Ramadan

Hindu is really getting out of his skin and unable to control his little vanity.
During India Bangla semi final at Edgbaston few placards hoisted by Indian supporters read that 18th June is Father's Day & if Pakistan is playing against India..everyone knows what that means. 
Although there is no need to rile up to such nonsense. However, before seeing those stupid remarks, being a cricket fan, it was mesmerizing to see Indian batting against Bangladesh. And I was wondering, on cricketing merits, how can any team in the world beat current Indian team?. But those insolent remarks on father's day sparked a new flare. Indignant mind was compelled to put the scenario in to the context. It also gave a strong reason to reconsider that if Pakistan has made it this far, it is a matter of another 7/8 hours of good cricket to rid ourselves of that jinx of ICC competitions against India.
This Champions Trophy, Pakistan showed up a different team every match and they got better with every game. In the last game against England, our batting also clicked. If this pattern continues and an even better team than semi finals shows up at the Oval, then as they say, every thing is possible in cricket specially when Pakistan is on song.
India as a team carries more experience and exposure to high pressure games, whereas Pakistan has youthful fearlessness of Fakhars, Fahims and Rummans. Our bowling is better than India & their batting is better than ours. Level of Pakistan fielding has improved as the tournament progressed. However, since WC quarter finals 2011 against India, Pakistan has dropped catches in big games against them which consistently caused our demise. One can only hope they hold on to their catches this time around. As far as captains are concerned, Sarfraz is a spirited captain like Kohli. Both are comparatively new on the job. However, Indian batting has not been tested, likewise, Kohli's captaincy has not come under real pressure and if it does in final, it needs to be seen how he responds to it. A very neutral opinion is that Kohli is not at par with MS Dohni when it comes to subtleties of captaincy skills.
Despite Kohli's repeated statements that its just another game, its a high pressure game and the team which gets less excited on the day will carry the day. Besides, it is time that we nail India for a change.
Lastly, there should be some comparison of their omen of father's day against our omen of Ramadan. 18th June may be Father's Day which has little or no significance for us because all 365 days are parents' day. What Hindus are not aware of is that 18th June is 22/23 Ramadan as well which is a revered day followed by powerful night. Who knows India ends up asking the same question which other teams who faced Pakistan asked, 'Who is Ramadan?'

Wishing Team Pakistan success.
Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

RIP - Pakistan Cricket

Few hours from Pakistan South Africa's ODI game of ICC Champions Trophy (on 7 June 17) and for the first time it does not feel betrayal to wish them lose. Because it is established that we are a second rate team in world cricket today. We just scraped through at 8th spot to make it in to this competition & our presence in future global events may be conditional with play offs. So we are almost rock bottom. Any success at this point and the most inept administration of PCB will try to get un-due credit in order to prolong their pathetic stay at the helm of cricketing affairs in Pakistan. However, tomorrow Pakistan is up against seasoned chokers and this might be their moment to choke. For this game, we hope South Africans do not choke. Besides how bad a Mercedes has to perform to stay behind a Mehran. We used to have respectful status among cricketing nations. But then again how could cricket escape the curse of mediocrity when entire nation suffers from it. It seems we have lost it all. Our cricket is like a rudderless ship destined to wreck. We do not associate any value to stats. We keep playing shehzads, hafeezs & wahabs. Same results each time. If this is the best we've got then our best is below par. We don't even want to learn from our mistakes.
Indians had poor record against Pakistan but before 4 June Pak-India game, it was obvious from body language of Indian Team that they attached little or no value to game against Pakistan. Kohli arrogantly mentioned many a times that it was just another game for them. And why should they not behave like this? Where do we stand in terms of talent & management? Do we have one reliable player in the top order? Any player who can get the team across finish line? Anyone close to the class of AB, Root, Smith, Kohli or Williamson. They must be aplenty in this cricket crazy nation but why are they not coming through? It is the cancerous mediocrity which is not letting gifted raw talent to pull through.
Our cricket has taken a nose dive. And its standards continue to plummet. For once I wish them to lose so that it is clear to everyone that we couldn't fall any further.  So that we get rid of this mafia running PCB.
Inability to host international cricket is not enough reason to justify our sliding graph in the game. Was there plenty of international cricket in 1950s when young Pakistani Team made impact at the Home of Cricket. Not having international cricket at home is a diplomatic & management failure. Nearly, a decade now but that jinx of Sri Lankan Team bus incident at Lahore is still haunting us. Just this week, three major terror attacks took place in UK and a global event of ICC continues with full flurry. It definitely has to do with double standards of ICC but it also goes to show extremely good management of ECB that the event progresses uninterrupted.
Even, so far PSL has done more harm to Pakistan Cricket than good. PSL has been a successful business venture. When you do sport as business, it flourishes in money but spoils the sport and turns it in to a commercial commodity. Loads of money & loads of scandals. As long as Pakistan cricket remains hostage to 'queer' Mr Sethi who is well versed in media gimmicks to take along cricket, media, politics & business all together, future of cricket in this country looks bleak. We wish these leeches may one day die of over drinking Pakistan's blood.
It was very hard to say this but, 'RIP Pakistan Cricket'. After this sad demise, may Pakistan Cricket get a new life to at least remain a respectable cricketing nation.

Monday, 5 June 2017

London attacks and response

Following horrific London terror attacks on TV today (on morning of 4 June 2017), I couldn't help notice the reaction time of London emergency services. From initial reporting at 2208 hours, 'a vehicle plowing through London Bridge & Borough Market', it took London police 8 minutes to take down three attackers. This was extremely professional & thoroughly brilliant. Terrorists will always attack from behind at vulnerable spots but the mettle of a nation combating terrorism can be measured by its response to such cowardly incidents. London is the safest city in the world and this kind of police work confirms its status as such.

London Bridge 1999 with (from left) Hamza, Ahmer and Sakhawat

Reasons to write about this incident is partly nostalgic, as I had few London walks along Thames.

Partly because of my armed forces background.
And lastly, being a global citizen, I mourn equally over human loss wherever it may happen and whoever is affected by it. 

Lets relive 480 seconds (8 minutes) of brilliance and professionalism. Someone dialed 999 and floodgate of well rehearsed SOPs opened up. Everybody in emergency services seemed to have been well drilled. Everyone knew their job. London control center is linked with every node that can relay useful info on the situation. Effective command & control was possible through uninterrupted flow of information to decision makers. There was no time to wait for more accurate information to arrive. Orders for execution of the mission were to be given on the move like orders on the marching column. From within the layers of the security personnel, inner and outer cordons were to be detailed. Executioners were also earmarked to take down the terrorists. The entire area was taken over by the police. Police entered every building in proximity of Borough Market including pubs, clubs, hotels and shops. To distinguish between normal people and hostile attackers, people were asked to raise their hands above the heads and walk to the point of safety. Not to mention the secondary aspects of traffic control, administration of life saving first aid, casualty evacuation, stand by fire tenders and other security services personnel to take on any unforeseen situation. It was a classic modern day symphony played by London police using technology and grit. i have intentionally kept the narration simple for understanding of every reader but it was a complex, fluid and perfectly executed operation for which London police deserves accolades.

Wonder from where we copy our manuals these days, it would be a living bible to follow if we could just relive/ re-enact these 8 minutes in our training drills and improve our response time to such incidents. Imagine how many precious lives can be saved if we could reduce our response time and I'm saying this keeping APS Peshawar in mind.

Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Post Panama Politics of Nawaz Sharif

After getting some respite in Panama Case, Mr Nawaz Shrif has started showing his true colours. His tone and tenor is getting aggressive and desperate. Probably, he can see the writing on the wall and finds no other way out then to play his favourite sport of maligning Army. His past conduct and present posturing suggest that for every demise in past, he holds Army responsible. Apprently, he thinks that Army is the only impediment to him completing his last term as PM. What else would you expect from him & his advisors except low grade grudgy politics.
Couple of hot issues indicate his frivilous mindset:
Firstly, to stir up the political landscape, making purposeful showing of Sajjan Jindal at Murree instead of Jati Umra. Looking at few tweets of Mr Jindal against Pak Army, it is obvious why Mr Noon is making a public showing of Jindal, besides downplaying immigration laws of his own country as his guest held no valid visa to visit Murree.
Secondly, PM office's notification on Dawn Leaks, treating it like a routine matter. As if nothing significant had happened. Interior Minister was harping his own take on issue & Fawad Hassan Fawad was doing his own bit, thus creating total confusion. This situation relects either lack of coordination or deliberate concoction. Later seems credible with Nawaz Sharif's style of politics. Instead of implementing JIT recommendations & sharing the contents of report with nation, they leaked PM house  notification  to media even before it could reach concerned secretaries. Was it not enough that Army let go his daughter on Dawn Leaks. As per tacit understanding remaining culprits had to go through thorough investigations & face consequences. However, the same Mariam Bibi continues to cook conspiracies inside PM House with the help of her 'Media Cell'. And see the kind of rubbish that media team is producing. But she seems to be enjoying her version of 'Mera Sultan'.
The underlying purposes of current week's political gimmicks aimed to dis-credit Army. The salient are:
1. Distract & confuse everyone on Panama & embroil state functionaries in to non-issues.
2. Garner outside support from his tested friends in India & resonate the echo of the same in US through paid lobbiests. His job gets easier with deep-rooted disgust of India & US for Pak Army.
3. Keep intact fleeting Noon support on pretext of Army hatred (as there is nothing else to show for).
4. Antagonize army & then show his superficial magnanimity by reconciliation on issue for favourable bargain.
5. Undermine the viability of Panama JIT.
6. Push the situation to a point where Army is forced to withdraw her members from Panama JIT. Or at least, malign her so bad that JIT findings (of ISI & MI only) appear prejudiced.
7. Gain time to touch the finish line & somehow complete the term.
Some would argue that he is aiming for Siasi Shahadat but his love for chair & hatred for army is too strong. Secondly, this is his last term as PM. Later, even if his own daughter takes office, it would not mean as much as he would love to prolong his stay in office. It is sad that he is our PM but we only have ourselves to blame. Due to his inbuilt self-destruct button,  he cannot be credited for making this far in to third term; it may be attributed to IK's lack of political acumen.

Lastly, a three time PM in any other country would act as a figurehead of the nation. He could sit back and give valuable advice on matters of nationsl interest. But Nawaz Sharif with his myopia has been exhausting his energies on conquering his own Army. A weird wish that may never see fruition.

It seems Nawaz Sharif sees Army as Pharoe. He grew in Army's lap and the sooner he got power, his only wish had been to bring Army down. But the problem is that he ain't no Moses.

Please disagree & help improve my thoughts.

Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017


Welcome to the era of Trumpanization. Donal Trump triumphed in US general election 2016, however, in the process Trumpists and Anti Trump have come face to face many a times in past 14 months. Now that Mr President has the state security apparatus on his disposal, Anti Trump forces face an uphill task to register meaningful resistance.
The world is literally awe-Trumped. US allies and rest of the world is equally confused. Even the US citizens (less Trumpists), particularly immigrants whether naturalised and illegal are apprehensive or frightened.
For a start like Talibanization or terrorism, Trumpanization is not going to change the map of the world. It only involves high egos, hatred and gaining political space. He came to power through slogans like, ' Let's make America great again' with undercurrents of white supremacy. Besides, Chinese have hugely disappointed capitalist west. Chinese adopted capitalism and refused to adopt westernization because their own civilization is stronger than hollow western ways of life. Wealth is now flowing from west to far east. That is the reason west (Europe and US) is reverting to protectionism i.e. money and jobs to stay in west. Brexit was the first step in that direction followed by rise of right wing parties in Europe and then Trump triumph.
Interestingly, US is hostage to its own democratic values which Trump does not respect because he is not a politician. It was strange to see people protesting in numbers in US without political leadership of Democratic Party let alone Hillary Clinton. Democracy as a system of government might have not seen such a low in US. People are out on the roads and no one paid heed to their voice. It is worst than third world countries.
What Trump did to mainstream 'fake media' was also interesting. Media has also become a Frankenstein of our age which proclaims to be holier than pope and god. Trump has made them to taste their own badmouth curry.  
Apparently, there is nothing wrong with it if a nation wishes to keep jobs and business inside its territory. But the problem Trump's approach to this issue and how people react to it.
It is highly commendable that he does not want Muslims to visit US. Muslims should have some self respect and avoid going there. Muslims who live there have only one reason to leave there native countries, which is to suckle on better economic opportunities and a better way of life. 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Cricket, politics and Imran Khan

IK was once a 'champion cricketer' &  a 'play-boy' of London nightclubs who now leads Justice Movement( تحریک انصاف) in Pakistan. Many saw him as a breath of fresh air amid rotten politics of Noon, PPZ (Peoples Party Zardari), Q League & other nationalist/ ethnic parties. However, Imran Khan owing to his arrogant & egoistic madness made many political crash landings and somehow survived. There were always question marks over his political acumen and resultant decision making, whereas in his cricket days, he knew his game. In politics he has been below par. His latest childish and irrational opposiotion of PSL 2 Finale at Lahore further exposed his leadership vulnerabilities. His temperamental issues are more serious. He has now lost respect for foreign guests who were here to play cricket, a game that gave identity to Imran Khan. Its a disrespectful gesture to both guests and cricket.
His politics is good because people who donot matter, hate corruption and not for his political decision making like first or second dharna calls. Rather it thrives on hatred for corrupt politics and godsent opportunities like Panama Leaks. No wonder if this opportunity also goes begging due to stiff neck leadership of IK. So after consistently making political blunders, he is at the verge of losing his respect as a cricketer as well.
With this level of immaturity, it would be a disaster to put country at disposal of a bigot who does not accept counsel. Insafians may think that this post is politically motivated or less fanatic PTI supporters would raise typical questions like 'what is the alternative?'. They may go through other posts of the scribe on the subject which contain way forward for PTI alongside shenanigans of Mr Noon & his forty thieves.
Apart from few good things in KPK, mostly, IK's politics' is fraught with wrongs. Wrong army of weird advisers. Wrong  collection of political waste of past. Wrong approach to grass root politics. Resultantly, PTI continues to lose political ground & moral authority. PTI is no more a fresh breath of political air which came with a lot of promise.
Despite entering political arena for over 20 years, IK at best could be called a political novice. Instead of cashing in on govt's let ups, he resorted to 'non-political' means like agitation and sucking up to the establishment etc.  He showed a lot of teeth without having the capacity to bite.
Now the alternative of IK should come from PTI's CEC and anyone out of them would be a sensible alternative of grumpy old IK. However, if status quo persists, PTI & her passionate Insafians are going nowhere.
It is also a fact that NS could not play good cricket, however, he made record breaking three times PM whereas, our world champion, charismatic Khan sb is still day-dreaming about his first premiership jackpot.
Politics & cricket are a different ball game and IK should avoid giving "politically incorrect" statements that may cast aspersions on his legendary status in cricket. He could have attended that PSL 2 Final which might have added to his stature as a cricketer & a politician. Because politics may not be his forte but he was a great cricketer and we would love to remember him as such.
Only Allah knows the whole truth.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The King Lives

Sir Vivian Richards has always been the flamboyant face of Cricket, a game that evolved as a sport of patience & perseverance.
He was one of the Galdiators of glorious West Indian Cricket era from mid 70s to mid 80s. He caught the eye with his swashbuckling batting style. He earned the title of The King of Cricket.
Though PSL 2 is lackluster due to match fixing scandal & security issues in the country, Sir Viv Richards stands out as a shinning light of the show.
Quetta Gladiators is so lucky to have him in their dug-out. He still exudes that passion and flare which mesmerised cricket lovers of his cricketing days. How could his energy and passion be not felt in the outlook of Quetta Gladiators. And the aging stallion, Kevin Pietersen just did that today. He showed what Sir Viv would have done in his day. And boy, was he not so proud of KP towards the end.
This is the cricket we grew up with and if Greats like Viv pass on the baton with passion as he is showing, then how could you resist cricket.
The King personifies true passion and flare in cricket. He lives on  and we are glad he associated himself with Quetta.
Pakistani players involved in match fixing must be made an example of because cricket is part of our lives and they just badly mess that part up.