I watched the Pakistan-Australia second Twenty20 with my Cadet College Hasanabdal classmates who had come for an overnight stay in my village of Wah: Sher Afgan, my roommate in Aurangzeb Wing, and Salim Beg, Omar Wing. Sheru went on to join the Foreign Service and retired as Special Secretary Foreign Affairs, and Salim is a respected investment adviser.
By God what a match it was, and how wonderful it was to see Pakistanis in the Dubai cricket stadium, men and women, boys and girls, react to every shot, every ball: the silent prayers and the anxiety; the bursts of joy and laughter and dancing; the young kids animated and shouting instructions to the players!
And we three sitting with bated breath praying for our country’s victory: Sher Afgan actually pacing up and down the room. And then sweet victory in the Super Overs following that great bowling spell from the diligent Abdul Razzaq, and from his batting performance which included a magnificent four. The joy of the Pakistani crowd was overwhelming: tears of joy glistening on many faces; the utter happiness of the team and their supporters so over-whelming that it brought tears to our eyes too.
Why must we, so shamefully, go to third countries to play I asked myself even though I knew the answer: no team will visit Pakistan because we have crazies running all over; crazies that are the appendages of the Deep State and who have already showed themselves to be the brutes they are when they attacked the visiting Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009, bang smack in the middle of Lahore.
We can do anything I told my friends, anything in the world: if, only if, our monstrous Deep State and its adjuncts would let us out of their clutches; if they would only lift their joint knee from the nation’s jugular.
If, only if, it would let the country grow into a civilised place and not a militarised, angry entity: the needless, useless anger that comes from daily doses of ‘jihad’ emanating from its Paknationalist-type propagandists, spreading hate and rancour against everyone in sight. Indeed if, only if, it stopped holding the country to ransom for its own selfish motives of looking for and finding, and making ever newer enemies to justify its own lavish existence.
If, only if, it finally realised that all of its projects have ended in dismal failure, and ignominy has been heaped upon its many defeats, just because of its own incompetence and unprofessionalism and extreme arrogance. Hopefully it will realise that merely bullying ‘bloody civilians’ does not help it do its own job any better.
As I have oft begged the Deep State, let it include the people of Pakistan in making decisions for our country because all wisdom does not belong to our Rommels and Guderians alone. Instead of lording it over the country, let it train its own to do the jobs they are paid handsomely to do.
Actually, things might be changing slowly. Could anyone have imagined a debate in our National Assembly where a party leader would actually say that the origin of militancy can be traced to ‘within the governmental structure’? And that militant groups working in the name of religion would ‘become active when any agency (no prizes for guessing which ‘agency’) needs them’. Er, what have I been screaming about for the last decade and more, please sirs?
Also mark, reader, that this was said by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, once the leader of the MMA (Mullah-Military Alliance) that was set up by the Commando and the ‘agency’. But while the times are changing, are people listening? E.g., Imran Khan?
Does he understand that the jihadi arms of the Deep State, nurtured and protected like favourite sons, ARE the problem? He wants to go to Waziristan with a 100,000-strong caravan to show solidarity with the ordinary, lay people there. But what about the jihadis, many of them foreigners with only one aim: the takeover of the State of Pakistan/launching global Jihad and setting up the Caliphate? I doubt it.
Talking of Imran, SKMCH comes to mind. Khawaja Asif’s allegations (which I agree with) of improper prudential oversight in investing its funds in a company owned by one of SKMCH’s directors certainly didn’t stop people I know making contributions to it.
P.S. If there are any specific charges against Save the Children, the government should spell them out. Blanket bans are counterproductive.
P.P.S. We can do anything, if, only if …
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2012.