Articles of the year 2011

Spy vs. Spy
Published on February 20, 2011

The first round match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was a delight for all Pakistani fans, and their wishes were granted of a great match topped by a win for Pakistan. However, its just the beginning, but our eleven men have shown their ability to fight right to the last ball, as opposed to the roll over Rover of old when they gave up without a whimper. Captain Shahid's energy on the field was reminiscent of Miandad of old, exhorting his team mates to try harder, spurring them on, unlike Inzamam who looked fast asleep even when running. The battle is just beginning, and the Pakistanis have shown their willingness to fight. Shoaib has shown that he can bowl ten overs, and Ijaz Butt can keep his mouth shut. If these factors continue in this vein, we have a good chance.

Now with Nawaz Sharif in an assertive mood, we can be sure that no idiotic instructions can emanate from the Chairman's box, having brought Pakistan and its millions of fans to a 'TV only' place at the table. Butt's ridiculous and insulting behavior resulted in our being isolated, and ousted from hosting any of the matches hurting only the Pakstani public. Repeated appeals to President Zardari and Minister of Defence Ahmed Mukhtar went unheeded for lack of interest or understanding of the game. Not realizing the intense passion for cricket in the rank and file, they have ignored the fans at their own risk. Not that they care. They are content with their bullet proof limousines—a must have, for the newly inducted Ministers, who insist on this as an important perk. Not realizing that the truly popular leader is one who finds himself safe in crowds. The others are manifestations of manipulated polls, with the political machines of the various parties going into high gear at election time, and conveniently forgetting their voters after the polls.

The Raymond Davis affair is taking a sinister turn, for, the depth of the CIA network is only now beginning to unravel, with the nexus of our Ambassador in Washington having granted 500 plus visas directly without any reference to ISI or Intelligence Bureau. This huge number of agents were operating without any supervision, and had cultivated contacts independently with the Madrassas, fielding their own agents to do their own bidding, which may or may not run in our favour. We have already seen our Beloved Benazir being assassinated so cruelly when the same US perceived a shift in her policy to an earlier avowed plan. The interests of Governments rise above the accepted norms of society, which makes these acts that much more dangerous as they are out of sight of the public eye. With Nawaz Sharif finally entering centre stage, he will ensure that no underhand deals will be undertaken while he is around.

The shocking disclosure by Shahbaz that the gas shortages in the Punjab are artificial, and have been created at the behest of the PPP in Islamabad, is enough of a bombshell to destabilize any PPP dreams of a thrust into the Punjab, and may even let the housewives of the Punjab rise to the defense of their kitchens. If this accusation is indeed true then a very dangerous level in politics is being breached, and explanations are demanded, for the misery being faced by millions of households, by the deliberate cutting down of gas supply for a political whim is certainly not acceptable in any condition. Our people have a difficult life as it is, and to send our women to gathering wood to burn in our stoves is taking our country back fifty years. Far better to burn the bullet proof limousines, with their occupants still inside. The PPP Government has shown its inability to address the problems of the people with prices climbing out of reach of the common man, however when the politicking starts to impact in the form of 'artificial' gas shortages, then the other issues will pale in comparison, creating a very dangerous cause. This would need an immediate clarification either way.

Coming back to the Raymond Davis affair another American has been arrested in Peshawar with an expired visa, and with the Pakistani authorities on a high alert, are doubly so with the two intelligence agencies eyeballing each other. The Pakistani officials will be looking to push back the arrogance, that was being displayed of late, has now gone on the back burner,with the matter being referred to the courts. But with Imran Khan and his party jumping into the fray can raise the temperature considerably. And Imran with his impeccable reputation here and abroad brings a new dimension to any dispute, especially when the integrity of Pakistan is concerned. And especially at the involvement of a covert CIA agent whose cover has been blown by his own acts.