So how did we do it? Was it sheer luck? Hardly any one would agree. Was it Faith only? Some would argue for that. Was it the sheer talent of Afridi, Akmal, Razzaq and Gul? Many would vouch for that. As I write this, my mother has come and sat next to me and stated: ‘wasey kamala he hey jaisey Allah nein Dilshan ko out kiya!’. I won’t say I rest my case with my mother (at least not on one this occasion). Since I prayed too and said Allah O Akbar to myself just before we won. And it was a great sight to see them all bow to Almighty in the home of consumerist capitalist neo-imperialism..
The best thing was the manner it was won. With eight wickets intact, and eight balls to spare! What makes this even more memorable is that Pakistanis beat South Africans in the semi-final. Hence they beat both pre final favorites. So how did we do it?
In brief, we won because we were better team on the day. But this was not achieved without sheer determination and proper planning. While I am not privy to behind the scenes, it was clear by watching the match that Pakistani team had done their home work. Thorough analysis had been done, strategy had been drawn, tactics had been decided and action plan finalised. Finally it was all executed in clam, cool and professional manner under a bold captain. The remarks made by Afridi and co in post match interviews showed immense respect for Younis Khan. Continue Reading
Little words can express the happiness with which I celebrate the fact that Pakistan are the World Champions of the Twenty20 world cup. To have defeated Sri Lanka with a comfortable margin of eight wickets and many balls to spare. Pakistan erupted with a roar of celebrations heard not only in Pakistan but practically every corner of the world where Pakistanis were watching this match.
This victory in my opinion was not only a sporting victory but a godsend for a nation which has been bogged down for months of uncertainty and choas, if anything, the 11 players won it to revive the ailing heartbeat of an entire Pakistani nation, for which we shall be forever grateful. Continue Reading
Keep an eye on the conversations going on online via this Live Blog, if you choose to take part then either join twitter.com and use the hashtag #PakCricket [which will pull your message into this live blog] alternatively you can leave a comment in the CoveritLive application re and after approval it can be shared with everyone keep ina eye on the Twenty 20 final. Hence we would love to hear your live commentary during the 40 overs of the entire match.
In the past few weeks I had been invited by Dawn TV to be interviewed for their show Wired and Active. I have been interviewed by the host Rabia Garib thrice, first was basically in light of my activism since 2005, the second show immediately after the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team while the latest was after our Long March effort. For those who missed the telecast can watch it online on PkPolitics. I am hopeful that the online activism will help lead Pakistan into better days ahead since citizen powered accountability is far better then a dormant and sleeping society. Truly there is no stopping us now.
Pakistan Women Cricket team has just trumped a 57-run win over Sri Lanka at the Women’s World Cup in Sydney.
Pakistan totalled 161-7 from their 50 overs and then bowled out Sri Lanka for just 104, with medium-pacer Qanita Jalil taking 3-33 from eight overs.
Sri Lanka never recovered from losing their first three wickets with only 28 on the board and although captain Shashikala Siriwardene made 58 from 11 balls, she lacked the support necessary to steer them towards their target. She was eventually run out by Javeria Khan and the game ended when Sana Mir, who had contributed an unbeaten 22 earlier in the game, had Sripali Weerakkody caught to finish with figures of 2-18.
This letter is our expression of deep sorrow and grief at the savage attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team while they were touring our country. As Pakistani citizens, we are shocked, angered, and greatly embarrassed at being the source of such anxiety to the people of Sri Lanka. There never can be a justification for such horrendous acts of violence, and the Pakistani nation strongly condemns this evil act.
The dastardly attacks were carried out by miscreants who do not share the common values that the peaceful citizens of both Sri Lanka and Pakistan cherish and uphold. Pakistan has been the victim of many terrorist attacks in the last few years, and it is evident that this cowardly act was another attempt to cause increased turmoil and chaos in a country that is already suffering through a period of extreme violence and anarchy.
We therefore thank the Sri Lankan team for agreeing to play in Pakistan even when other countries refused citing security concerns. In hindsight, those apprehensions seem very valid, but the courage of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board and players in agreeing to play is laudable, and the nation of Pakistan shall be forever indebted to your country. This tour was crucial for the revival of cricket in Pakistan, and we greatly appreciate your efforts in agreeing to be a part of this process. Continue Reading
The Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in Lahore yesterday by terrorists. SSS terms this a “shift”. I think it is a “deterioration” or “escalation” of lawlessness. If Pakistan is to retain its independence this tide will not be curbed easily by a solitary act (like the restoration of the judiciary) nor by the efforts of one individual or one institution. Both Zardari led government and the Army under Kayani have appeared ineffective to stem this.
More pertinent is to view Tuesday’s attack in the context of the peace deals in the Swat Valley and the tribal areas .. Prior to the signing of the deals, the matter of the release of militants who did not belong to the Swat area was raised, that is, non-Pashtun militants… However, after deciding on the level of compensation packages for the families of militants killed or injured by the security forces and other matters related to Swat and the tribal areas, the matter of non-Pashtun militants was deferred and the peace agreements were signed. In effect, non-Pashtun militants have been ignored and the attack in Lahore could be a bloody message to the government that the “Punjabi militants” have the capacity to cripple urban centers at any time and place of their choosing. Syed Saleem Shezad
So what should the ordinary citizen do? Packing up and leaving is NOT an option. Burying their heads in the sand? More prayers to Allah? Joining the orthodox fringe? Or if not joining, then fighting them for their rights? Continue Reading
Pakistan is in a classic ‘cry wolf’ situation. Now that the wolf has come one risks shouting about it at the peril of being called paranoid, liar, crazy or conspiracy theorist. But this unfortunate ‘wolf cry’ of the ‘foreign hand’ may have given a room to manoeuvre and protection to the external players and handlers. Fourteen ( or twelve) gunmen attacked Sri Lankan cricket team and their guards in a coordinated, well planned attack and got away (until now). But fool may be the one who thinks this was a senseless attack with the aim of terrorising ordinary Lahorites. So let us just look at the facts and let everyone draw their own conclusion. The attack has raised many questions which are pertinent and of utmost relevance and must be answered in a forensic manner.
Attackers: These observations are made on the basis of TV footage available.
Attackers were young (apparently 14 in number). They were heavily armed, had latest equipment for communication and had enormous firepower. They were wearing trousers and shirts and shalwar and shirts and travelled by rickshaws and car. They were not classic Taliban lookalike. They managed to transport all this heavy weaponry to Liberty. That must have required planning and human resource.
They must have had more accomplices who helped them escape. After they ran off there must have been transport waiting to ferry them away. So the routes and roads must have been well known. Some of the attackers were already positioned in the roundabout itself.
For escape there must have been at least seven rickshaws (unlikely), 3-4 cars or couple or mini vans or a mixture of these (to carry 14 people unless some of them walked to escape in the ensuing chaos). This means there were at least 3 to 8 other people involved. This brings a group total to about twenty. Continue Reading
A secret investigative report has just surfaced prepared by the Additional Inspector General of the Crime Investigation Division, Punjab on 22nd January 2009 outlining the potential threat to the Sri Lankan team. It outlines very briefly the following four points
It has reliably been learnt that “RAW” (Indian Intelligence Agency) has assigned its agents the task to target Sri Lankan Cricket Team during its current visit to Lahore, especially while traveling between the hotel and stadium or at the hotel during their stay
It is evident that RAW intends to show Pakistan as a security risk state for sports events particularly when European and India teams have already postponed their proposed visits considering it a high security risk to visit Pakistan.
RAW has also collected photographs of leaders of Jamaat-ud-Daawa (Proscribed) and its establishment to target them
Extreme vigilance and heightened security arrangements indicated
The report may now all seem inconsequential considering the damage has already been done, but it just goes to show that despite all the warnings there still was a massive security lapse blame for which in my opinion must lie squarely upon the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taaseer who very recently bull dozed a governors rule in the province replacing Shahbaz Sharif. This political shuffle resulted in a sudden administrative upheaval & police postings, which may have potentially be the primary cause for this disaster.
Critics may even shrug aside this report as a finger pointing session towards RAW, but that too should not shroud our mind the plan simple fact is that the Police knew of the looming threat and if they were at all serious in doing their job this would never have happened. The extremist element will exploit any situation and today marks yet another lapse for the umpteenth time, further tarnishing the image of Pakistan, maybe forever
According to NewsEye at DawnNews the Pakistan Cricket Board had promised the visiting team Presidential security, but it has not been provided despite these looming threats by RAW. Continue Reading
Early today morning a number of terrorist people on foot attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team as it was approaching Gaddafi Stadium the bus was brutally attacked by almost twelve gunmen as it passed through the Liberty Roundabout.
The bus was miraculously shielded from about two rocket attacks and serious damage was avoided as Police Security escorts retaliated for about twenty-five minutes with heavy gunfire. This sadly resulted in critical injuries to police forces and about five of these selfless public servants lost their lives protecting the lives of our cricketing guests.
Reports initially emerged that quite a number of Sri Lankan players were injured but as the news filtered through two players received serious wounds one was a grazing wound to the chest and the other to the ankle. Remaining players received minor injuries due to flying debris and shrapnel. As of now the Sri Lankan team has been evacuated via a helicopter to Lahore airport for an onwards journey to Sri Lanka via Dubai aboard an Etihad Airways flight
Watching different channels and looking at the footage of the attack, it is clear that religious fundamentalists may have struck yet again. They were armed with hand grenades, rocket launchers, modern rifles and other sophisticated weapons apparently they were with a small beard and looked to belong to Pushtoon origin [?]. Continue Reading