Samir Chopra September 23, 2008

Why India is not Pakistan

There is a quite simple reason why teams tour India rather than Pakistan
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A couple of days ago on Different Strokes, I wrote that it would be fun to start talking about the playing of cricket again. Today, I'm going to ignore my advice and talk about cricket's political context. The recent bombing in Islamabad has forced my hand.

Folks might remember that Australia's decision to tour India had resulted in extremely loud denunciations of its "hypocrisy" in choosing to go to one country where bombs go off and making excuses to not go to another where bombs go off as well

I'd suggest the Aussies are on reasonably good ground, if what guided their decisions is their overall perception of the countries. There is a quite simple reason why teams tour India rather than Pakistan. Pakistan has been in the headlines (literally) for a very, very long time with regards to its internal political instability and violence. Think about all the things the West associates with Pakistan since 1979: Afghanistan, the mujahideen, refugee camps, military coups, the Taliban, the ISI, assassinations, the wild Northwest, fear of nuclear weapons falling into jihadi hands, Dr Khan's proliferation network, the Daniel Pearl beheading, the list goes on. And when a country is led by Army generals for a long time, it is quite difficult to remove the aura of political instability around it. Pakistan's problems have been on the West's radar for a very long time and are associated with a set of issues that the West is obsessed about. No one in the US or UK gives a hoot about the PWG in India or violence in the North-East or wherever, no matter how many Indians die. The patron of the Pakistani government, the US, has elevated and demoted Pakistan simultaneously to problem child and critical geo-political player.

And since 911, Pakistan cannot stay out of the news even if it wanted to. Pakistan's violence appears systemic, and embedded in a larger narrative about the "unstable, violent, Islamic world". India's violence appears sporadic, and discordant with a broader narrative about the rising economic superpowers of Asia. I live in the US and the constant stream of articles in the press about Pakistan's wild NorthWest, the ISI's implication in the activities of the Taliban, and the prospects of its civil government falling next year to another military coup is supplemented by articles about India's corporations going on acquisition sprees, the growth rate of the Indian economy, Snoop Dogg going to Bollywood and so on. Under these circumstances, I'm a little surprised that so many people consider the Australians utter and total hypocrites. This is the information they read about on a daily basis. Why wouldn't their perceptions of the country in question be affected?

I'm willing to bet good money that more English and Aussie backpackers have visited India than Pakistan in the last seven years. Are they also all hypocrites? Are they all also getting fat checks from the BCCI when they alight from their flights at Delhi International Airport? What guided their decisions?

The clincher is in the comparison between how the Delhi and Islamabad bombings were covered. Delhi did not even make it to the front page of the New York Times. Heck, it was hard to find any coverage on it. But the Islamabad incident went to the front page and stayed there. Why? Because this is supposed evidence of Pakistan's vulnerability to the Al-Qaeda and so on and so forth. Delhi's bombings? Oh, the usual stuff the US can't care about. I wonder if the Presidential candidates even commented on it

Pakistan's violence is of interest to the West. It imagines its interests are implicated there. This brings attention. Plenty of it, and it ensures that the country acquires a scary aura. And honestly, if folks read that in the Pakistani capital, a 600 kilo payload of high-explosive can be transported in, assembled, and then driven around in a VIP area, then, well, what reassurance can the PCB provide to already apprehensive boards?

Comments have now been closed for this post.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Numair Rahman on September 25, 2008, 21:20 GMT

    Even accepting the fact that the author was not biased there are some facts that should be cleared. Terrorism is an act that is done in different places. What the west does is also an act of terrorism but the word peace is covered by it. I agree there has been bombings in Pakistan, but no crickets have ever been affected. Not that we should wait for one, but the Aussies were too hasty about the fact. The current turmoil is happening in Srilanka, India and many other places but it is a matter of national pride. Pakistan is the country that is suffering. They wont be playing a single test match in this year. This is simply unacceptable. The ICC should have arranged something for the PCB. India just being a lucrative nation has been able to attract everyone. All in all what ever has happened needs to be given another look.

  • Mirza on September 25, 2008, 20:25 GMT

    A shallow, simplistic and ignorant assessment of the matter at hand. Sir, you should stay away from political analysis. Stick to cricket.

  • Ash on September 25, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    Hold on a sec, why on earth mix cricket with politics i thought as an editor you'd use a little more common sense and keep your own personal feelings to yourself. Perception is subjective and not everyone will agree with the way you see things. You should have been at the very least a little more empathetic towards the current situation in Pakistan i.e the loss of revenue no teams touring etc. Its not about why teams tour India , its about not touring Pakistan citing unfortunately India. Had Austrailia Toured another country given same political situation than PCB would have cited them as an example. Its nothing personal against India and your article would suggest that you have it made it personal and you are teaching other Indians the same which is wrong. I think you ought to consider a career change. But thanks for letting us all know what you really think of Pakistan!

  • Vipul_patki on September 25, 2008, 18:00 GMT

    The cricinfo followers from Pakistan are justifiably angry at the article but I guess the article is trying to show the westerners' perception rather than the author's. If Indian cricketers can complete more than one tour to Pakistan, then every other country is safe to do so. I sincerely hope that violence in Pakistan (and indeed in India as well) abates so that we can enjoy more criket.

  • Ram on September 25, 2008, 17:55 GMT

    I am really sorry but I found the article in bad taste. It is clear that India is not safe. Period. For every Daniel Pearl we have a Graham Steines. For every Karachi blast we have a Delhi blast.

  • Vivek on September 25, 2008, 17:55 GMT

    The author I believe has delivered this article in an extremely irresponsible manner. Given its tone, it is easy to misinterpret it as an India vs Pakistan issue which goes to show why one shouldn't write about politics if its not their forte. And regarding the comment posted above: "Perception is end result of profound thoughts & simple facts" -Perception is the end result of prejudice and information. If the information itself is prejudiced, you have a situation like this. Which is what I think Samir intended to portray all along but was let down by his eloquence :).

  • Arun Rajaram on September 25, 2008, 16:20 GMT

    I am an Indian and I respect my country. At the same time I don't show any disrespect to any other country. It is ridiculous to say that India is safe when compared to Pakistan. No place is safe that way. Aussies were in England when the london bombings happened, they had their A team here when Delhi bombings happened, IPL saw jaipur bombings. I would say aussie board is biased, because their would have a bigger dent financially if they choose not to tour india. India hold the financial advantage, whereas pakistan doesn't. Not just Aussies but all other western countries who had expressed their concerns should look at themselves and ask a question whether they are living in the safest part of the world. I understand safety of players is utmost important, but at the same time you have to respect ICC's security reports too. If each of them have their own opinion then it's not good. It is high time that ICC takes strict actions against all these countries and penalize for their pull outs.

  • sg on September 25, 2008, 16:01 GMT

    interesting article. point being made is, it is about perception, not reality. this is not a anti-pak article in any way. myself, i feel pakistanis have been treated very unfairly by 'rest of the world', but hey, being an indian i am also proud that we are not shrinking away from touring pakistan. and yes, i love pakistan too.

  • asif sarfraz on September 25, 2008, 12:31 GMT

    I agree with aly! I think cricinfo has become a political website! I posted some comments about this yesterday, but they were never published! Think I may have made the staff realize the tensions that they are creating to the cricket fans! Split in world cricket! Thank cricinfo! After all it is media! Negative media!

  • salman on September 25, 2008, 12:28 GMT

    well no one is safe in his own home, 9/11 was in america, 5/5 in London, pakistan is going through a tough time. all we can do just pray for better time, and we can see cricket in this part of world again.

  • Numair Rahman on September 25, 2008, 21:20 GMT

    Even accepting the fact that the author was not biased there are some facts that should be cleared. Terrorism is an act that is done in different places. What the west does is also an act of terrorism but the word peace is covered by it. I agree there has been bombings in Pakistan, but no crickets have ever been affected. Not that we should wait for one, but the Aussies were too hasty about the fact. The current turmoil is happening in Srilanka, India and many other places but it is a matter of national pride. Pakistan is the country that is suffering. They wont be playing a single test match in this year. This is simply unacceptable. The ICC should have arranged something for the PCB. India just being a lucrative nation has been able to attract everyone. All in all what ever has happened needs to be given another look.

  • Mirza on September 25, 2008, 20:25 GMT

    A shallow, simplistic and ignorant assessment of the matter at hand. Sir, you should stay away from political analysis. Stick to cricket.

  • Ash on September 25, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    Hold on a sec, why on earth mix cricket with politics i thought as an editor you'd use a little more common sense and keep your own personal feelings to yourself. Perception is subjective and not everyone will agree with the way you see things. You should have been at the very least a little more empathetic towards the current situation in Pakistan i.e the loss of revenue no teams touring etc. Its not about why teams tour India , its about not touring Pakistan citing unfortunately India. Had Austrailia Toured another country given same political situation than PCB would have cited them as an example. Its nothing personal against India and your article would suggest that you have it made it personal and you are teaching other Indians the same which is wrong. I think you ought to consider a career change. But thanks for letting us all know what you really think of Pakistan!

  • Vipul_patki on September 25, 2008, 18:00 GMT

    The cricinfo followers from Pakistan are justifiably angry at the article but I guess the article is trying to show the westerners' perception rather than the author's. If Indian cricketers can complete more than one tour to Pakistan, then every other country is safe to do so. I sincerely hope that violence in Pakistan (and indeed in India as well) abates so that we can enjoy more criket.

  • Ram on September 25, 2008, 17:55 GMT

    I am really sorry but I found the article in bad taste. It is clear that India is not safe. Period. For every Daniel Pearl we have a Graham Steines. For every Karachi blast we have a Delhi blast.

  • Vivek on September 25, 2008, 17:55 GMT

    The author I believe has delivered this article in an extremely irresponsible manner. Given its tone, it is easy to misinterpret it as an India vs Pakistan issue which goes to show why one shouldn't write about politics if its not their forte. And regarding the comment posted above: "Perception is end result of profound thoughts & simple facts" -Perception is the end result of prejudice and information. If the information itself is prejudiced, you have a situation like this. Which is what I think Samir intended to portray all along but was let down by his eloquence :).

  • Arun Rajaram on September 25, 2008, 16:20 GMT

    I am an Indian and I respect my country. At the same time I don't show any disrespect to any other country. It is ridiculous to say that India is safe when compared to Pakistan. No place is safe that way. Aussies were in England when the london bombings happened, they had their A team here when Delhi bombings happened, IPL saw jaipur bombings. I would say aussie board is biased, because their would have a bigger dent financially if they choose not to tour india. India hold the financial advantage, whereas pakistan doesn't. Not just Aussies but all other western countries who had expressed their concerns should look at themselves and ask a question whether they are living in the safest part of the world. I understand safety of players is utmost important, but at the same time you have to respect ICC's security reports too. If each of them have their own opinion then it's not good. It is high time that ICC takes strict actions against all these countries and penalize for their pull outs.

  • sg on September 25, 2008, 16:01 GMT

    interesting article. point being made is, it is about perception, not reality. this is not a anti-pak article in any way. myself, i feel pakistanis have been treated very unfairly by 'rest of the world', but hey, being an indian i am also proud that we are not shrinking away from touring pakistan. and yes, i love pakistan too.

  • asif sarfraz on September 25, 2008, 12:31 GMT

    I agree with aly! I think cricinfo has become a political website! I posted some comments about this yesterday, but they were never published! Think I may have made the staff realize the tensions that they are creating to the cricket fans! Split in world cricket! Thank cricinfo! After all it is media! Negative media!

  • salman on September 25, 2008, 12:28 GMT

    well no one is safe in his own home, 9/11 was in america, 5/5 in London, pakistan is going through a tough time. all we can do just pray for better time, and we can see cricket in this part of world again.

  • Sumeet on September 25, 2008, 12:05 GMT

    The article does bring light on the fact that the 'perception' the western world holds about india and Pakistan are so very different. I am an Indian staying in UK and I am surprised how the delhi blasts were not even mentioned in some of the newspapers or news channels here while each and every act of terorism occuiring in Pakistan is highlighed to the core.

    My feelings are with Pakistani folks who are being deprived of some quality cricket because of no fault of theirs but due to that of media, administrators and politicians.

  • MSJ on September 25, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    Perception is end result of profound thoughts & simple facts

  • javed on September 25, 2008, 8:55 GMT

    i just want 2 c shuaib in action against australia in pakistan.

  • Z on September 25, 2008, 7:49 GMT

    The story about Pakistan is true but that isn't any reason that series can go on elswhere

  • S Mohanty on September 25, 2008, 5:37 GMT

    See,I know that our Pakistani friends are hurt about what is happening but this article only says about the threat perception in the minds of westerners(and their media)it does not support or oppose terrorism or seek to differentiate between victims.Please understand and all please pray that peace descends upon our our unfotunate planet

  • Amir Naqvi on September 25, 2008, 4:06 GMT

    I would agree with you samir on all the points you mentioned except that the bombings are bombings regardless it happens in India or Pakistan since thay all leads to terrorism hence a equal scare to everyone. The difference though is the poilitical instability of Pakistan compare to India which is a reality. I won't go in to the details of reasons but the geographical factor plays a critical role in it, being the neighbour of Afghanistan plus the political interests of many... makes Pakistan a exploited figure in the foreign media. Coming back to the point I don't think Australians made a hypocratic decision not to tour Pakistan given the security fears in the country at present however there is a definite element of money involved which makes India a top choice always.

    Amir Naqvi, Sydney-Australia

  • Shahid Ahmed on September 25, 2008, 4:02 GMT

    That is true Samir, you can clearly feel the hesitancy that people would experience when deciding whether to step foot in Pakistan or not. Being a Pakistani i even feel this myself due to the media attention the violence in the country receives. I feel this would have serious implications for Pakistani cricket as a whole. They are not playing any international cricket at all, the PCB themselves do not seem too fussed about this and nor does the ICC. If things continue downhill for Pakistani politics i would suggest if a neutral venue for Pakistan home tours is such a bad idea?

  • abdulla on September 25, 2008, 3:16 GMT

    you don't know what you are talking about samir. Australia decided to tour India right away after the bombings. like it was a no brainer. and it took them about 3 or 4 months to finalize their decision about pakistan. India is not that different than pakistan. there have been 7 bombing in india over the past 3 months.

  • Ahsan on September 25, 2008, 2:50 GMT

    Bombings can happen anywhere. Your post explains a lot. It is unfortunate that Mariot Bombing is used here to increase "points". If 25 bombs can explode in one day in Delhi than it doesn't make Delhi any different than Islamabad.

  • Ali on September 25, 2008, 2:15 GMT

    hey samir, you are almost right to draw a sketch what is going on in pakistan about cricket, but sadly you just show one side of the picture. in reality, india was always more worse place for playing cricket for every single reason, like 1996 semifinal, 1987 pakistan tour to india, west indies 1986 tour, paksitan vs india calcutta test 1999-00 test. it is not enough, india was not a safe country since 1947 for every games becasue for constant safety and peace issue in every part of country like punjab, kashmir, gujraat etc. but every subcontinent nation support India for in difficult times. but India's role for neighbour nations is vice versa. in nutshell, no country is safe at the moment but all the world should stand for those who are fighting against the terrsosim ghost. cheers

  • Salman A. Khan on September 25, 2008, 1:46 GMT

    Being an overseas Pakistani, I couldn't have agreed more with you. Being patriotic about your country is one thing and being realistic is another. Many of us Pakistanis did feel hurt by the Australian behavior, but now looking at it from what I would say a more neutral perspective, I feel the Aussies were spot on with their touring options. Presently Pakistan is not a safe place to travel. I personally have been putting my own travel plans away due to security reasons.

    Surely a peaceful Pakistan is an absolutely gorgeous land to visit. And many would attest with that too. But times now are not right.

  • Arjun on September 24, 2008, 22:09 GMT

    Sad but true, i seriously can't see how Pakistan is going to get itself out of the hell hole it's in these days...and india to has it's issues (that need to be considered when touring, both as a tourist or international sports team)...however no way near the level that Pakistan is at. Ricky and his lads wouldn't have to make too many easier choices in their careers.

  • Mufaddal Millwala on September 24, 2008, 21:56 GMT

    i am a diehard fan of the pakistan cricket team and was deeply dissapointed at the withdrawal of teams from the champions trophy. although i completely agree to the decision of the Aussies to go against touring pakistan and to back out of the champions trophy. it is true that pakistan is a very vulnerable country and despite the best of security conditions almost anything could happen. it would have been a disaster if the champions would have gone ahead as scheduled and then this islamabad bombing wud have taken place. Could have been much much more worse for pakistan and pakistani cricket.

    A really well written article that really clarifies and justifies the decision of the aussies. Nice work

  • Rishi M on September 24, 2008, 20:39 GMT

    It is in cricket's best interest to help pakistan back on the international tour list . I am sure all cricket nations will support Pakistan's effort to stabilise . Given this , Pakistan should stay focused on its recovery path instead of diverting itself by calling other nations hypocritical . Perceptions are not allways true , but perception do govern decisions and only Pakistan can change it . Australia not only tours India , but also tours Sri-Lanka and Bangladesh . I am sure a tour to Pakistan will come in the near future and hope to see the repeat of the fantastic feats like the once performed by Inzy in '93 was it .

  • Ahmed on September 24, 2008, 20:20 GMT

    Samir saab, come down from your high horse. If us Pakistanis are stuck in a bad situation, this doesn't mean that you need to feel good about it. Despite having an apparently sane head on your shoulders, you are of course a part of the media and will talk their tongue but seriously ... the way world is these days, India should count its blessings, and not mock others.

  • Faisal Khan on September 24, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    Stick to cricket. You're no expert on geo-politics or security issues. You would also do well to tone down the "proud to be Indian" nonsense and write in a non-partisan manner.

  • jay from san deigo on September 24, 2008, 16:59 GMT

    hmmmmm...you missed a very crucial point here. Money!

    Imagine an Aussie player declining to tour India for the test series due to security concerns; but then showing up for the IPL next season. I don't think so. Remember the London bombings in 2005? Aussies could have just packed their bags and left. But wait a second, doesn't most English cricket counties employ these Aussies as overseas players!

    Its more than terrorism Samir. Money rules the roost.

  • Rahil Khan on September 24, 2008, 16:47 GMT

    Indeed its all about headlines. However, Aussies know it well (even tho the money is masking it out for now) that a bomb is a bomb is a bomb. It does not matter whether it makes it to the next morning's newspaper headlines. What matters is the deadly nature of a terrorist's bomb. Whether it is 100 kilo or mere few grams, it probably doesn't take much to fatally hurt the frail human body. So, I am still not convinced as to how Aussies can prevent themselves from walking into a terrorist's bomb just by reading the headlines. At some point you have to question there excuses on their face value: I.e. "Why should I risk my life for playing cricket?" Well you are still risking your life by playing in New Delhi any way you cut it. It would be utterly irretional to think that the intensity of a bombing or the coverage by media will dilute the deadly nature of this heinous crime.

    Cheers,

    // Rahil

  • waseem on September 24, 2008, 16:39 GMT

    HI! really objective and fair piece of writing though iam frm pk and really die hard pk cric team fan and it does hurt not seeing our boys in action 4 so long,even though some times it hurts even more when they r in action:P but i guess after reading this,article ppl in pk should try to understand aussies objection, and we shouldnot blame em ppl in pk r used to hardships and dangers,but as we always ask gorraz to rescpet our culutre and traditions we should do the same,and accpet it that after all its just a game aussies r professional just like some other teams but we in Sub continent r emotional and take it personal. so ppl please get off aussie back and relaxe,and if we have any hard feelings pak team show us ur janoon on the ground and lets beat aussies all ends up and then smile shake hands and welcome them to pk. iam sure the guys who have toured pakistan know well that average pakistan ppl r really friendly.and will remain so!!!!!!

  • saeed khan on September 24, 2008, 16:37 GMT

    The bombs exploding in India and Pakistan have the same tragic results. There really is any difference death is death. The Australians are going to India because the amount of money involved is huge period. Doesn't say much about the Aussies off or on the field. The next Chairman of PCB should be a strong, proud character who can call a spade a spade. Without Pakistan cricket is more boring than watching Bowling - the Aussies are probably World Champions at the too (BOWLING).

  • Queenslaner in London on September 24, 2008, 16:30 GMT

    I too am getting tired of reading the Pakistani vitriol aimed at the Australian cricket team. Panistanis should note that Aussies love the Pakistan team - they are colourful, have flair, are always great entertainment, and over the years have produced magnificent cricketers (Shoab and Asif aside). The big fella was my favourite! But really, who can blame anyone for not wanting to go to a place where Bhuto could not even be protected after a first attempt, the violence is ongoing and no matter how sophisticated the security plans, trust in the ability to carry them out is just not there? I for one would love to see the Aussies play there, but perhaps pakistan should first get its own house in order, after all these are cricketers not paid soldiers and no matter what the ICC says, they cannot be drafted into a dangerous place. Remembere that Aussies are colonials too, so please remove that particular chip, get rid of the miltary, stop the bombs, and prepare a sporting wicket.

  • Amir Malik on September 24, 2008, 15:33 GMT

    you dont have to remind people whats going on in pakistan. people like you are firmly believe in what media has to say. condition in pakistan is bad but not worse.There are so many foreigner live and come to pakistan for meetings. people like you dont do there home work and just believes in what media has to say. how many times have you been to pakistan? population in pakistan is 160 million and if there is few thousand people against western, that dont make country unsafe. what happened in india few days ago when capital of india got attacked. what happen to security in india when jaipure bombed occured. so guess what if you want cricket in safe place then there is no safe place in the world anymore. no body is safe except heaven. thanks

  • Farooq Siraj a born Pakistani on September 24, 2008, 15:22 GMT

    Samir- As much as id like to disagree with you , but your rite on the money. Great article.

    Regards FS

  • Sean on September 24, 2008, 15:10 GMT

    "Pakistan's violence is of interest to the West. It imagines its interests are implicated there. This brings attention. Plenty of it, and it ensures that the country acquires a scary aura". Couldn't agree more Mr.Chopra but with rest of the stuff???? Naaaaaa.

  • jibran ahmed on September 24, 2008, 15:06 GMT

    I fail to agree with you on the second last para. There was a massive difference in the scale and magnitude of bomb blasts that took place in the respective cities..trust me if the same would have occurred in India then there would have more hue and cry over there with all the eyes on ISI. And please update us that even if one international cricketer has been the slightest of injured in the last decade or so due to any terrorist acts.

  • From the USA on September 24, 2008, 14:57 GMT

    The unwillingness of certain boards to visit Pakistan highlights a broader stereotype gaining popularity in western civilized nations. That being of the "scary, violent, unstable Islamic state." The coverage of Pakistan doesn't differ when compared to the coverage of other Islamic nations. It is a biased way of looking at the world and I personally believe it is because the west, especially the US, is trying to cover up the constant mess it has made of the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I can honestly imagine the next American President blaming Pakistan for the 9/11 bombings and use it as a precept to go to war with them... What a sham, what a shame.

  • Faraaz on September 24, 2008, 14:41 GMT

    a poor attempt to justify hypocrisy which ultimately fails..the writer fails to acknowledge the double standards of the media that only talks about India's economic ignoring the bomb blasts, Kashmir unrest or communal violence..instead the writer uses the media to make a point that India is a safer place..when its not..it is as vulnerable to terrorist attacks as Pakistan is.

    I know Pakistan is not a safe place to be at this moment...but India is just as unsafe and Australia deciding to tour India despite the bomb blasts is a very hypocritical decision.

  • DesiHungama on September 24, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    India can't be Pakistan.

  • harish s n on September 24, 2008, 14:31 GMT

    people who are cursing samir please try to analyse the point he is trying to make.he is just trying to say what the western countries think of india and pakistan.

  • Khadim Ali on September 24, 2008, 14:24 GMT

    You are almost right. But Pakistan's problems have not been entirely of its own making. Western world has vested interest in keeping Pakistan fragile and they do so by various means. The situation on the ground is very bad and the perception created by the media and politicians is even worse. But even in the best of situations some people were not too keen to play in Pakistan, the only Islamic and conservative cricket playing country. India would be a more attractive place to visit in most circumstances because its bigger, richer and more liberal. As a Pakistani all I hope and pray for is that the situation improves so that people can't use law and order situation as reason for not playing in Pakistan.

  • anonymous on September 24, 2008, 12:42 GMT

    You've clearly understood why it is that the Aussies are being hypocritical. And you've done it by talking about the images and rhetoric surrounding instability in Pakistan and India.

    But surely you yourself are not confusing this with reality? That they are being hypocritical?

  • Al on September 24, 2008, 11:12 GMT

    Australia's decision not to tour over the past 10 years came well before the bomb blast - some specious ex-post reasoning at play. I'm North American and I attended matches on England's tour to Pakistan in 2006. Where were the Aussies? The media says Pakistan is bad, therefore it's bad. It's trite for the media (the writer) to blame the media and then swallow what that same media perception whole heartedly. Worst bit of writing I've seen on this site.

  • Haroon on September 24, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    The reason why the bomb blasts of Pakistan are making headlines in the US newspapers is that they are usually carried out by people whom the US are fighting and know a lot about (Al-Qaeda). Whereas the bomb blasts of India have nothing of US's concern, so they do not make it to the headlines. The people of US know that the bomb blasts of Pakistan are carried out having much to do with their war on terror, or in other words them. According to the Newsweek Pakistan had the 3th largest death toll owing to bomb blasts, with a figure of around 1900, whereas India had the 4th largest death toll owing to bomb blasts, with a figure of around 1200. So what do you have to say about Hypocrisy now ?

  • Amby on September 24, 2008, 9:08 GMT

    I fully agree to the opinion of writer and the apprehensions pakistan post to world! PCB should understand and look in the matter why aussies prefer to tour india rather than voilence vulnerable pakistan....

  • Aly on September 24, 2008, 8:55 GMT

    Is Cricinfo a website for Cricket or Politics Mr. Chopra?

  • Sachin on September 24, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    Well said.

  • King_Viv on September 24, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    How India can be compared to Pakistan is unknown to me. One is a booming economy where more and more foreigners are coming to make a living, the other is imploding into a failed state. Yes bombs go off in India, but this is a country of 1.1bn people so look at the percentages and you will find India is far safer than Pakistan or South Africa (where everyone I know has been mugged). Bombs regularly went off in Britain in my childhood in the 80s and 90s yet not one international team considered Britain to be unsafe! Well done Samir, I agree with you!

  • omar imran on September 24, 2008, 7:29 GMT

    i respect your point of view samir, but let me tell you one thing. any bombings, or any violence that has occured in pakistan is only and only targeted at corrupt politicians, the taleban, alqaeda, and all these groups who spread violence love cricket them selves they love the people who play them too. no one in the cricket world should be scared of touring pakistan they can never be hurt. it was in the news channels how all these taliban leaders were saying how they love watching cricket them selves and how they will never attatck cricketers. well thats what i saw on the news, thought id share it.

  • Jaspreet Swaich on September 24, 2008, 7:23 GMT

    Good point Sameer. India is a victim to more terrorist attacks and casualties then any other nation, but its perception that matters. Pakistan is seen as a dangerous place by the virtue of its geo-political location and its chequered past. Having said that I am sure BCCI's monetary and political influence also played a role. Given similar circumstances, BCCI would have had a hard time coaxing a foreign team 20 years back.

  • SK on September 24, 2008, 5:50 GMT

    You are absolutely right in your assessment there. Unfortunately global perception of Pakistan is a long way from change and in my opinion it is mostly due to the internal situation within the country. Terrorism and Nepotism is rife within the country and this has creeped not only into cricket but into other aspects to such an extent that it is considered to be a normal way of life within the country. Utterly deplorable. If you ask me, Bangladesh, seems like a much better investment as far as the future of the game is concerned.

  • T from NZ on September 24, 2008, 4:22 GMT

    The West can relate better to India. India has a strong culture of secular democracy which Pakistan lacks.

  • T from NZ on September 24, 2008, 4:10 GMT

    There is also a perception that perpetrators of violence in Pakistan have anger or hatred towards Westerners. While the perception regarding India is that the anger and hatred is towards Indian Hindus (by Muslims), the Government (by Maoists) and occasionally there may be some conflicts about very localised issues. There is also an understanding that India has problems with Kashmiri militants, but outsiders still have confidence in the stable democratic government to keep people safe from them (even if there is the occasional failure).

  • T from NZ on September 24, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    The Pakistani Cricket Board and Team should re-located to the United Arab Emirates. There are advantages for the board and its officials, the Pakistani players, the UAE team, the Pakistani diaspora and of course cricket fans around the world.

  • Vivek Mohite on September 24, 2008, 3:23 GMT

    You have reiterated good points in defense of Australia's decision to tour India. India is one of the top tourist destination, Pakistan is not; most big Indian cities are safer than Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar. Pakistan doesn't have an image problem, problem is the reality and facts on ground. Government has lost control over large parts of the country therefore law and order has suffered. How can a public and high-profile international cricketers feel safe in such an environment?

  • Khan on September 24, 2008, 3:20 GMT

    I have only a few words to say after reading just a few lines of this column.....' thats what i expected from an indian writer'. No matter what happens, India will keep on finding excuses and chances to take cheap shots at pakistan. Im from the frontier province of Pakistan and i firmly believe india is no safer than Pakistan. But then again, this is what i expected from an indian writer :)

  • Don Mahya on September 24, 2008, 3:04 GMT

    Exceptional article, Sameer. Perfect analysis of the views and perceptions of the people world wide about india and pakistan. Keep writing.

  • Karthik on September 24, 2008, 2:02 GMT

    Its a good article. And the title of the post sums it up nicely. In India, people take their democracy for granted, and generally have no perception of what it is to be under military rule. We have bombs exploding in India as well, true. And they are a hazard to innocent people, no doubt. But the similarity ends there. Pakistan is volatile. India is not. Pakistan is unpredictable. India is not.

  • MANU RASTOGI on September 24, 2008, 1:55 GMT

    I couldn't agree more with what has Sameer just written. There is a world of difference in India & Pakistan. While India is booming economy Pakistan is struggling to keep even the Pakistanis at home. I live in NZ and the perception of India and Pakistan are very different. As far as Hypocrisy is concerned Samir is right BCCI is not giving fat cheques to every foreigner who lands on Indian soil. NZ Cricket team is travelling to Bangladesh even though Bangladesh is also prone to violence but not like Pakistan and BCB for sure cant afford hefty pay cheques otherwise why would so many of their players retire to play in ICL. It's not hypocrisy it's safety first and we in the Western World believe in safety first principle in everything we do.

  • Warnesie on September 24, 2008, 1:35 GMT

    Excellent article Samir. I hope people actually digest the information in it before reacting by posting a diatribe of how racist the West is.

    The thing that really annoys me is how Australia gets singled out. South Africa, New Zealand and England also bailed out of their own accord. How about critizing all of them and not just the Aussies?

    The point was also raised that the cricketers would receive "Presidential" protection. The fact that many Pakistani politicans and other high profile persons have been shot or blown up while supposedly under that sort of protection doesn't really make us all that comfortable. (Especially when one was shot a couple of hundred metres away from the Chief Minister's house)

    Personally I was against Australia pulling out of the Champions Trophy, but I have changed my mind. There's no racist reason but the chances of a Pakistani team being in danger of assassination here is virtually zero.

    Perhaps the Pakistan government can do something?

  • rev on September 24, 2008, 1:08 GMT

    Couldn't have said it better myself. I have been travelling to the subcontinent for years on business, and much prefer heading to India than Pakistan. The fact that many (including the fools in Kamran Abbassi's blog) were pointing to the 'Presidential security' on offer as proof of the Australian cowardice should hang their heads in shame. Pakistan cricket can count itself lucky wiser heads decided to boycott the Champions Trophy, else the Marriott bombing may have removed Pakistan from the cricketing calendar indefinitely.

  • StaniArmy on September 24, 2008, 0:16 GMT

    The above post is what happens when someone believes what they read in a newspaper and writes about something they know nothing about. Please stick to Computer Science and Philosophy.....in the US.

  • Matt on September 24, 2008, 0:03 GMT

    I'm assuming that the intended purpose of this article is to provoke? Aside from that it is jibberish written by a lunatic.

  • tamaaz khan on September 23, 2008, 23:47 GMT

    Backpackers do not have travel agreements to tour Pakistan according to the Future Tours Schedule the ICC teams participate in.

    Political violence in Pakistan has been a fact of the country since its founding. The violence has never affected sports. Unlike in India where the Shiv Sena has targeted Cricket and Pakistan specifically.

  • Johny on September 23, 2008, 23:19 GMT

    I have been to Pakistan and i have no doubt if the champions trophy would taken place in this country some or most of the teams may very well have been staying in this hotel. so the Aussie concerns were valid and it saved Pakistanis the embaressment of having foreign athletes killed on its soil.

  • Asad Rana on September 23, 2008, 21:00 GMT

    Dear Samir i am a Pakistani and i agree with you. I hope Australian team will play in India as per schedule and go back to Australia safely. Presently things are not well for any international side to tour Pakistan. I want Indian and your support in convincing ICC about a compensation plan, or neutral venue cricket so we may not see the end of cricket in Pakistan as hockey and squash.

  • ali on September 23, 2008, 20:47 GMT

    Don't do this Samir. This is poor journalism. Everyone in the world knows Pakistan's issues so repeating them smacks of complete lack of analysis or intelligence.

    There is another perspective to this argument. Try to understand it and then come back with something more imaginative next time. It'll do cricket journalism some good.

  • P K on September 23, 2008, 19:54 GMT

    Mr.Chopra,I beg to differ with your comments mentioned in the article.I always believe that sports should not be mingled with politics.Pakistan has once and again reiterated that it will provide top security arrangements to the cricket teams visiting Pakistan(Asia cup 2008 is the best example).When Asian teams like India are willing to tour Pakistan,why not others?India is leading from the front in this regard w.r.t their commitment to tour Pakistan early 2009.And, I appreciate them being a hardcore Indian cricket fan.

    I agree that the political situation in Pakistan is highly unstable due to the current political events. But,that should not deter from cricketing events taking place.Champions Trophy 2008 would have been an ideal platform for all cricketing nations to stand up and say "We are here to fight global terror and none can stop us from playing cricket".ICC should make sure that cricket is played across and promoted globally, which I believe is very important.

  • sami on September 23, 2008, 19:46 GMT

    Interesting, definitely agree on where you are coming from however the naratives you talk of are subject to a wider debate. Do you think pakistan should be avioded by all non asian playing nations?

  • Daiblo on September 23, 2008, 19:30 GMT

    I think one of the most blinkered blogs ever.

    India we all know is the financial future of cricket. How else does Lalit and the gang actually dictate to other boards not to let their ICL players play domestic cricket of county.

    Give me a break. What if say South Africa were holding the IPL. wOULD it be able to exert the same power on the rest of the cricketing boards regarding the ICL. I THINK not.

    The bcci IS THe financial hub of cricket Chopra and you know it too. That is the main reason teams like Australia chose to go there even after there were two bombs recently in the very city they were going to play a test match in.

    And that is before the Islamabad bomb went off. Frankly it almost saddens me to say it but that blast gave people like you and indeed ponting a chance to justify not having to go to Pakistan.

    It saddened me to hear the guy jump immd after facing some flack from the aussie press earlier about having double standards. Seems you do to.

  • senvad on September 23, 2008, 19:26 GMT

    Very Well Written..Cannot put better by anyone else....

  • Zohaib haq on September 23, 2008, 19:00 GMT

    I think you forgot to mention what's in India something like 17 insurgencies, 50 year old kashmir instability, bombing and killing,extermist hindu's buring churches, ahmedabad riot killing thousands of muslims, Shiv Sena attempts to dig up pitches, Jaipur bomb blast during IPL, Dehli bombing right before the Australian tour and so on. Everyone knows its the money thats driving australia and not the security , so kindly set your mindset out of nirvana and into reality!

  • khobaib aksi on September 23, 2008, 19:00 GMT

    you just not making any sence.. the true is aussie dosen't get the night life which you indian offer their.. can you name me any event that happen to any sports man or any violence or any mishab in sports arena.. sports and politics are two diffrent thing. so open the eyes and smell the coffe, dont talk like true indians and putting negative thoughts in people minds.you indian are killing catholic people your country have bomb blasts every second day..but they still go because they get to enjoy the night life.. so stop with your one sided comments mr samir chopra..

  • Daud Farooq on September 23, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    I haven't read such a shallow analysis of a situation that is faced by Pakistan and touring cricket teams than this one. India has always been a favourite place to tour for the western countries. Pakistan not so...bottom line is any excuse and they wont tour. Of course the situation is bad in Pakistan but to leave the country in sporting isolation damages the country far more.

  • Lion King on September 23, 2008, 18:30 GMT

    A type of article only a biased Indian writer could have written. It wd hv made more sense hd it come 4m a political commentator. Unfortunately it came 4m some1 who claims to be a sports journalist.

    U will neva find such 'enemity' from Pakis.

    Coming to Aussie double stds, yes it is a fact of life that BCCI is offering the kind of money and other amenities which Pakistan cannot offer o/wise they wud be touring Pak too without a doubt. There has been no Australian or sportsman killed or injured in Pak but this has happened in India. Wake up ppl, the Aussie priest was burnt alive there not very long ago, the Shiv Sena terrorists tried to attack Pak team and also dug up the pitch. History tells that from cricketing and Aus prespective, Pak is a safer place so far than India.

    Aus players who want to prove their mettle hv said publicly that they will tour. So did their A team last yr.

    Ppl lets come out of our biases n try to report in the right spirit of this great game we all love.

  • vinay on September 23, 2008, 18:11 GMT

    Samir, You are absolutely right. I am an Indian and I read the articles about Aus hypocitsy and I just couldnt beleive the authors were trying to compare India and Pakistan. I think those authors now fell slapped in the face after this truck bomb incident. There is definetly dislike of weterners and western culture in Pakistan to the extent that people are ready to commit suicide to show the resentment

  • Imran on September 23, 2008, 17:42 GMT

    It is rather disturbing how cricinfo have given free license to use their blogs to seamlessly push a political agenda. It is quite valid to argue that India's security situation may not be as bad as Pakistan, but to do so with such a biased approach really beggars belief and if Samir truly does believe that all of India's press is positive then he surely has a very selective reading pattern. Even the infrequent view of the South Asian section of BBC shows how India still has mass problems with Poverty (500m-800m estimate), highest HIV problems in the world, frequent attacks on minorities (Christians, Muslims), communal violence, a massive problem of female infanticide which would be completely unacceptable in any civilized country, widespread corruption and a growing problem of religious extremism. It's quite easy to diminish any country reputation if one solely focuses upon the negatives, it is more saddening that the writer doesn't offer the slightest bit of sympathy to bomb victims

  • nkkashmiri on September 23, 2008, 17:16 GMT

    well said. 6 of my colleagues in the UK visited India last year. I am sure Pakistan is as beautiful but none wanted to go there. Why ? The answer does not lie in emotional outbursts like the ones posted earlier after Aussies and others cancelled there tours but in samir chopra's article! The next big question is about the Indian tour next year, if it will go ahead though i really want to see it hapenning at least for the sake of cricket lovers in pakistan but not at the cost of any life.

  • Faisal Riaz on September 23, 2008, 17:12 GMT

    i for one was quite happy that chamions trophy never went ahead because if something had and something happened to any members of the touring teams it would have left a lasting mark on pakistan cricket for very long time, anyway about your article i dont understand what your trying to say, if india's bombing was on the new york times front page would that have made the bombing any worse then it was. its a shame things like this happen, whether in pakistan or indian or any where else in the world, and i dont think its right for you label pakistan a "violent islamic world" because there is nothing islamic about pakistan, the constitution of the country in not islamic, and all of these bomb blasts have nothing to do with religion there are politocally motivated, for personal gains and nothing more then that, and the only reason america and the west is so intrested in the news about pakistan is so they can use the news to justify the attacks on the tribal areas of pakistan

  • Haroon Farooq on September 23, 2008, 17:01 GMT

    I agree with the argument given by you about the unstable political and security situation in Pakistan as unfortunately the terrorists attacks are a norm in Pakistan these days. So, I have no wonder that Aussies are touring India as Terrorist attacks are pretty rare there as compared to Pakistan. So, being aware enough and understanding the situation many people in Pakistan have compromised and we have given up the hope of competitive cricket in Pakistan till the situation improves.

    But, with due respect to you Sir, we the Pakistanis (even being Muslims) are being victimized by the terrorist attacks as well. So, please do not generalize the things by writing: "unstable, violent, Islamic world".

    Islam means peace. Majority of the Muslims are against violence. A violent minority should not be encouraged to take over the whole religious thoughts by making such generalized comments. Please do not take an opportunity to disgrace any religion at such a sporting platform. Thanks

  • Shais Amer on September 23, 2008, 16:59 GMT

    Thanks for your kind thoughts and your invincible interest in the whirlpool of global politics... Cricket is dyeing and the saga continues of rebuilding it from the dyeing roots in Pakistan. However India is off course in the better and in more stable hands of the richest cricket board. Fact which we can’t deny is both the nations (Pakistan and India) politics are corrupt, their rules are rigged and dictated by a man’s decision.

    Don’t mix politics with cricket nation! be warn. We as nation kill the sport. It’s the same we did to our hockey and at last it faded like the work of bleach.

  • Drock Man on September 23, 2008, 16:49 GMT

    Pretty stupid blog post. Here is all you need to know bombs go off in both countries, therefore both countries are dangour, if you are making apoint that if in one country you have 15% of getting killed by a bomb and in another it's only 10%, i am not sure if you will send your kids to either one of them. But since you are indian, it would only make sense to write something anti-Pakistan. So I understand your bias in this blog and there is nothing wrong with it.

  • Syed Muhammed Owais on September 23, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    You can't have it both ways, Samir. You suggest that Ausrtalia's, and Western countries', views of Pakistan and India are a matter of political posturing. Then you end with: "what assurance can the PCB prrovide..." Do you agree Australia was unwise, like other Western citizens, in listening to the foreign media or don't you?And what about the Islamic world being "unstable, violent?" Sounds strange from someone living in the US, a country not known as a bastion of peace (or truth).

  • D on September 23, 2008, 16:37 GMT

    Pakistanis fixating on "Indian Dollars" were being myopic and self-serving. Only Pakistanis believe that India is "as bad as Pakistan". I visited India this summer and it is a stable country and society, with some concern about naxalite and islamist violence. I would say that one can walk around in India confident that 99.99% of people do not present a threat. In Pakistan that percentage probably drops to 75%-80%. It is delusional to chest-thump that Pakistan is as safe as India. It is not.

  • A Pakistani on September 23, 2008, 16:29 GMT

    Question to Mr. Sameer Chopra: "If India's parliment can be targeted by the terrorists then what would you say about the security situation in India?

  • royy on September 23, 2008, 16:24 GMT

    Your allusion to the Backpackers drives home the point indeed. In fact, it was not too long ago that India was hailed as the third most popular tourist destination in the world according to the statistics provided by the Discovery Channel. Wonder how the people crying foul will go about connecting that with BCCI's 'ugly' financial clout or the 'hypocrisy' of the Australian cricketers. The very fact that the countries boycotting the CT had no qualms about playing in Sri Lanka, had the tournament been shifted there, whose Cricket Board is quite in want of finances suffices to indicate the flimsy logical ground on which stands the drivel emanating from a particular quarter about the immoral undertone of the entire issue. Guess one has to blame it on the radical indoctrination against India that eradicates the slightest trace of logic, maturity, level-headedness and capactiy to introspect in that quarter.

  • Ramana Kumar on September 23, 2008, 16:22 GMT

    I am relieved somebody has put the India / Pakistan situation in the right perspective. Kudos to Samir Chopra! Theres been a great deal of nonsense going around about hypocrisy of the Western countries in the ICC. Also a lot of loose talk that absence of night life in Pakistan is another excuse for Western players to avoid the country. Pakistani sympathisers like to portray the country as a morally superior place victimised due to lack of money power. Its about time they appreciated the fears of foreigners; and also the truth! Pakistan is a much smaller country than India and there are fewer places to get away from the problem areas. Theres very little thats going right with the country for so many years now. And if the Marriot in the middle of the VIP area can be destroyed, who can guarantee safety for anybody in Pakistan ? And cricketers are not commandos or suicide bombers. They have a right to place their own safety first, before any country's sentiments or feelings.

  • Dnyanesh Nadkarni on September 23, 2008, 15:48 GMT

    As an Indian I thoroughly appreciate the writer's views but probably can understand the consternation with which the Pakistanis would view it. The fact that an Indian has written it would probably invite more hate email for this article than if somebody born in the Western country would have written it.

    But the one thing I like cricinfo for is that you guys regularly have blogs from both sides of the line. I await Kamran Abbasi's article on this issue.

  • Venkat on September 23, 2008, 15:47 GMT

    Arguably, the first pragmatic argument I have ever heard on the distinction between the two countries. As opposed to the likes of Andrew Miller, Dileep Premachandran and Osman Samiuddin. People need to understand that the habit of hyphenating India and Pakistan is a dying habit, atleast in terms of western perception. Both countries have, clearly, chosen to follow different paths, and the one must not be forced to face the consequences faced by the other. Clearly, India is being excessively penalised for its geographical proximity to Pakistan. Is it our fault if people like to visit for the beaches, deserts, architecture, wildlife and culture? Those vacationers didn't come because Sharad Pawar was waving wads of cash in their face, did they?

  • DesiHungama on September 23, 2008, 15:34 GMT

    This writer ought to get his money back from where ever he graduated from. Utterly rubbish article. But I guess I wont' blame him as the intention is to stir up the emotions of Pakistanis rather than bring out the facts. It is saddening this lot of people have infiltrated into blogs,discussions groups and their purpose is nothing but to spread hatred and create anarchy. What s shame!

  • Wasi on September 23, 2008, 15:25 GMT

    Are you seriously saying that the perspective the Ausies have is the exact same as that of the people in the US. If you you are wrong. Sitting in the US and citing the NYT's example of ISL bombing coverage as US obsession and then equating that to an "Ausie obsession" (translated white obsession) with the instability of not only Pakistan but the entire Muslim world is plain ignorant (with apologies). Yes the white man is scared or sometimes pretends to be scared of the Mulim world for the simple fact that they don't want to visit some stupid backward country where they can not free drink, party or pick up chics and I get it. I don't condone it but I get it. But for you as a desi to try to equate/translate/project, albeit very succinctly, your experience of living in the US to some window into the minds of all white people, in this case whites from Austrailia is just ludicrous in my humble opinion

  • Chinmay on September 23, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    Good article Samir. I completely agree with you. It is foolish to compare India and Pakistan in any shape, way or form. And yet that's what so called experts do. One is a theocratic state while other is a secular nation. One is ruled by military while other is a largest democracy in the world. The list of differences is just too long to print here. The status of India as a Asian superpower (and not only in terms of Cricket) as well as emerging world power is undebatable. It's high time the experts start incoporating the reality into their writing.

    Again, well done Samir. You hit the bulls eye!

  • Kartik on September 23, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    Samir puts the whole point of "perception" in good light. I am an Indian living abroad too and frankly am taken aback at the amount of airtime networks like CNN dedicate to covering every terrorist attack or bomb blast in Pakistan. There was hardly any mention of the half dozen bombs that went off in India's technology hub, Bangalore and just perfunctory mention of the Delhi blasts which killed no less than 20 people. It is sad that the Pakistani cricket fans are losing out on seeing their team play test cricket due such media machinations, but for any educated person in the West who follows the news regularly, Pakistan would appear to be a more dangerous place than India.

  • AJAX on September 23, 2008, 15:00 GMT

    The real indication of whether a country is safe or not is whether the Bangladesh Cricket Board has determined it is safe enough for their cricket team to tour for a bilateral series. So far Bangladesh have determined that Pakistan was safe for a full Test and ODI series. They decided it wasn't a good idea to play a single Test or bilateral ODI series in India. Please reflect on that before bringing your facts and newspaper reports to the internets. Who cares about Western perception... the future is Bangladesh!

  • AJAX on September 23, 2008, 15:00 GMT

    The real indication of whether a country is safe or not is whether the Bangladesh Cricket Board has determined it is safe enough for their cricket team to tour for a bilateral series. (note, they eat a lot of fish, they would know). So far Bangladesh have determined that Pakistan was safe for a full Test and ODI series. They decided it wasn't a good idea to play a single Test or bilateral ODI series in India. Please reflect on that before bringing your facts and newspaper reports to the internets. Who cares about Western perception... the future is Bangladesh!

  • ali malik on September 23, 2008, 14:55 GMT

    I think Mr. Chopra needs a reality check when making comparisons between the security issues of Pakistan and India. A security concern is a security concern be it in one country or another. Marriot is known worldwide and the blast in one of its hotels will obviously feature more in the media. And yes, more backpackers have visited India than Pakistan due to being a larger country with more holiday resorts. Fact of the matter is that Austrailia's decision to tour India shows lack of principle and integrity from its players. Military rule has not stopped previous Aussie et al teams to tour Pakistan in the past when there was a full blown war on next door in Afghanistan with the Soviets. Is the ICC going to allow the players rather than their authorities to decide when, where and who to play as long as the finanacial prospects are great. If players need a break from a busy schedule the ICC should consider player rotation perhaps and increase players in a squad to avoid fatigue.

  • Adnan on September 23, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    As a US-based Pakistani, I agree that the perceptions of both countries in the Western eye are decidedly different. I think it is risky and downright foolish for the Pakistani government to procure any high profile foreign team at this point. Australia is especially vulnerable since they are coalition partners. The argument that no sports team has ever been targeted is absurd. It only takes one attack and this is no time to invite one. Instead, the PCB should use this hiatus to strengthen the domestic structure and groom new talent.

    This too shall pass.

  • Hemant Gandhi on September 23, 2008, 14:49 GMT

    Samir,

    The situation can be described in one sentence.

    When the 'State' sponsors 'Terrorism', it comes back haunting the state some day.

    Pakistan is paying for what they have been doing all these years. Same applies to India. Some political parties have used 'terrorism' for political purpose in the past, and it has been haunting India in the states like Kashmir. India can not arrange cricket matches in Kashmir, can they?

    ZERO sympathy to Pakistan and none will be spared for India too, if they go in the same direction.

  • Anonymous on September 23, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    I understand everything wat u saying but the problem is still there ... pakistan has a very record in cricket we all pakistanies love cricket the most thing we watch ewe play we think its cricket then give us a enogh cricket in others grounds Icc should help Pcb because pcb is not rich but watever u rite to bq a pakistani I agree with u

  • Ayaz Hameed on September 23, 2008, 14:26 GMT

    Thanks for reiterating the point that Pakistani cricket supporters have been trying to stress for the last few months i.e. perception is very different than reality. Reality is that terrorism is a fact of life in this post-911 era. It is unfair to sideline a major cricketing country on the basis of these false perceptions, inherent biases and greed. If there are any guarantees, it is that no one can provide adequate reassurances and security to protect people against someone willing to tie explosives to their body, walk/drive into a building and blow themselves up. One only needs to look at England, USA, Spain, Iraq, Israel and India among other countries to prove that fact. The other reality is that Pakistan has been forced into this war on terror and now more than ever, we need the support of our "allies." Finally, Id like to do my part in correcting the skewed perceptions of the West. Times of India headline today "Explosives-filled(live grenade)bag found at Kolkata station"

  • GreatChamp on September 23, 2008, 14:16 GMT

    Great article which sums up everything. I like this article because it provides reasons with evidence. This is true, and pakistan folks have to admit it, India is no Pakistan and vice-versa. People make image of a country by reading about it in the press. I see that NYTimes cover lots of article on Pakistan but not on India. And so as Washington Post and other leading newspapers. The image coming out of Pakistan from these newspapers are not so good and hence its very irreasonable to say that Australians are hypocrats. The BEST way for Pakistan to play is to play at neutral venue. There are so many pakistanis citizans across world that its foolish to say that no one will come to watch there matches. Ofcourse, playing in your own country make a difference but what can be done of the present situation. So, Great article Mr Chopra.

  • ALi on September 23, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    Disgraceful...blatant politics! Change the website name to PoliticInfo!

  • Viswajith on September 23, 2008, 14:06 GMT

    I do agree with the post and it is an excellent one at that. Without getting into the details I would rather say that it is about time the PCB realizes its other and controllable issues rather than blame one board or the other for not touring Pakistan. They have already let two hugely promising talents in Mohammed Asif and Shoaib Akhtar rot. It would be effort usefully spent if they can nurture cricket talent instead of decrying the other country boards for not touring Pakistan. There are talks of Asif also joining the ICL brand now. What does this do to cricket in Pakistan in general?

  • A__tralian on September 23, 2008, 13:52 GMT

    Well said Samir! At the same time, the security at all these matches should be elevated to counter any machinations from across the border.

  • Sol on September 23, 2008, 13:41 GMT

    Sir - your article looks quite baised. The point is not the frequency of bombings. This is the world we live in now, unfortunately. Australians opted out to tour pakistan and decided to tour India is about money and money only. If they refused to Tour India, then it would get difficult for them to justify playing the lucrative IPL in the same country. This will be big financial loss for the Kangaroos. This is the reason all the cricket bodies, specially players association in Austrlia is acting dumb. They really don't care about the bombings. This was a exuse to bail out of their commitment touring pakistan. Don't be surpised if the tour goes on even if there is bomb explods next to their hotel or during the game. Be realistic and accept the money power in this modern world.

  • Adil on September 23, 2008, 13:27 GMT

    We are only helping the West on the war on terror we are unlucky that we have a neighbour like Afghanistan. Pakistan's economy was considered a Tiger economy during the era of Musharraf.

  • Srikanth on September 23, 2008, 13:19 GMT

    Very True. Here in New York, I didnt even find out about the Delhi bombings until a couple of days later. About the Pak bombings, I saw it within a couple of hours since, as you mentioned, it was the headlines on NYT, CNN etc. My first thought was that the ACB and the ECB and the South African board did the right thing. If they had agreed to tour, the players would have revolted after this. This went off in a 5* hotel in the heart of a big city. Scary.

  • Pradeep Goorha on September 23, 2008, 13:11 GMT

    Staying with the political context, Mr Chopra has chosen for his material, Pakistan's has amply manifested that no institution has any intrinsic ethical bias any more. The Government plays Chinese checkers with the Cricket Board. The Board cannot even seek protection from security services. The security services are infilterated with all kinds of "jehad" sympathisers. Everybody from higher echelons down to a patrolman on the beat cannot be trusted for his symapathies lie elsewhere while he says something else. Granted that most do it for survival, but they do it all the same. Which institution could guarantee then a safe stay in that country? Visitors, whether cricketers or tourists evaluate risk-threshold. And Pakistan plain doesn't look good.

    I don't think it has to do much with Indians acquiring businesses abroad, registering 9% gowth rates, or appearing to control their nuclear arsenal efficiently.

  • tazz on September 23, 2008, 13:01 GMT

    Pretty one sided article from an indian living in the west.

    well done crickinfo for letting his publish such an anti pakistani and anti islamic article

    well done Samir im sure your mates love you for writing this rubbish.

  • harish s n on September 23, 2008, 12:55 GMT

    excellent article!!!the western countries have a better impression about india rather than pakistan.india has done so much in the other fields that the terror that strikes india goes unnoticed whereas pakistan is a place known more for its terror strikes than anything else.so we cannot blame australia for their decision .

  • Mohammed Azad on September 23, 2008, 12:52 GMT

    An interesting account of the media-led war on Pakistan, which has subconsciously affected the perception of the Australian public. It seems this is not only feeding the bigoted and prejudiced views of ordinary Australians, but fellow Indians like yourself. Recently I was surprised to discover that since 9/11 India has had more victims of ‘terrorist attacks’ than any country in the world other than Iraq. These are revealing statistics and raise many questions about the deficiency of India’s internal security measures.

    As opposed to using the recent bombing as an opportunity to kick our vulnerable neighbours whilst they are down, we should be looking at what we can do to remedy the security measures at home. And, putting cricket aside for a moment, we should be doing more to challenge Australia for their flawed views about Pakistan. Remember,it was not that long ago when the west carried similarly archaic and stereotypical views about India as a feeble & dependent former colony.

  • Za on September 23, 2008, 12:36 GMT

    These reasons are valid and understandable. What are not are the desire to create a Western style experience in Pakistan, with booze and miniskirts till the early hours of the morning. The cultural heritage of Pakistan is not such and the lack of entertainment in the country as a whole is something that its citizens bear everyday. It cannot be artifically created for a three week period when hosting the Aussies. Take the familiar with the unfamiliar.

  • Adnan Gul from Portugal on September 23, 2008, 12:16 GMT

    Ahh, Mr Samir, you seem to me very inocent to tell us what is happening in Pakistan. I or rather I say we here far in Portugal know what is happening in India (or disputed region of Kamshir) but as we all know that there has been a continuos propeganda about Pakistan specially after it accounce themself a Nuclear power. anyways I come back to the Cricket, this week there were 8 bom blast in Spain and even now and then it happnes on regular basis, but if sporting acitivies depend on this happening then there will be no sport anywhere in the world, as we all know no country is safe. rather talking about Pakistan problems we should be all together to help sport and cricket grow in the mind of people than to compare countries behave of living. Australia made a big mistake not to tour Pakistan they have left a bad image in the heart of Pakistan people and that will make cricket less popular in coming years.

    our best wishes are with Ind and Aus to provide us a good cricket.

  • Qamar on September 23, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    Unfortunate as it may be, the writer makes some very valid comments. Regardless of who else is to blame for the perception of Pakistan - the situation within Pakistan has to change and only Pakistanis can try and change it. As much as I like to see cricket coming back to Pakistan... I'd much rather see a better Pakistan.

    Nobody can argue with the fact that if we have a stable Pakistan, then cricketer's will have to come to play in Pakistan...and there will be no need to blame others!

  • Ryan on September 23, 2008, 12:03 GMT

    Well that's the first excellent coverage of this issue I've read in a long long time. Every Pakistani has called our team hypocrites, but do they even know that at the time of the Islamabad blast, the Australia team would have been inside the Marriott Hotel? How would have PCB justified that, after giving "foolproof" security? Their Prime minister's house is very close to it, yet that truck was roaming freely around that area! This proves what fcking security inspection did ICC do, just to please one of their "dear" members! Grow up Pakistan Cricket Board and people, everything does not go how you want it to. And yes, comparing India with Pakistan is like comparing the armies of USA and Papua New Guinea.

  • Ali Ahmad on September 23, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    A disappointing post. Surely the indepth security reviews done by the ICC provide enough information for a truly informed decision - beyond bias and perception. Backbackers don't get the high level of security touring cricket teams do. Cricket hasn't been a target of attacks - in Islamabad, the president was scheduled to be in the hotel. To succumb to paranoia and media shaped perception is typical of Americans post 9/11. There may good reasons why touring Pakistan is a fair decision, but you won't find them in the post above.

  • abbas on September 23, 2008, 11:29 GMT

    I totally agree with you, the hypocratic feudal class along with bullying army genereals and the long bearded taliban mullahs make this country very unpopular cricketing destination for westren countries. and the pakistani cricket team really makes me weep , i have even started suppotin india, pakistan team really is just..............

  • Cameron Hogg on September 23, 2008, 11:22 GMT

    Very valid points...still unfortunate that the Pakistani people have to miss out due to issues which are predominately out of their hands.

  • naveen on September 23, 2008, 11:00 GMT

    Whether you agree are not, Pakistan got what they deserve, for supporting terror directly and in-directly. Funniest thing is that Pakistan has links even with Delhi blast and they have already started sending terrorist to Kashmir through LOC . They just cant stay out of limelight. May be they love it.

  • Nair on September 23, 2008, 10:49 GMT

    Surprising to hear the comparison. Take India, a target of sponsored attacks but never hosted or supported nor any government agency involved in terror outfit. Governments are bullied and terrorised to support terror groups with money or threats and always been Pakistan who initiated aggression into Indian territories. Pak politicos supported those causes to survive and stay in power and military visibly and invisibly supported the same. Economy wise if not for aid from US and Islamic states Pakistan is in tatters. In Delhi explosions were caused for terror not for making a new President terrorised to stpo US attacks on terror outfits. North east or PWG are political and not sponsored terror outfits of international calibre except Kashmir units which everyone knows the source. Comparison should be on logical not just emotional and defensive basis. Indian cricket has less confrontations and dope scandals than Pakistan cricket and better organized so why not tour India than Pak?

  • Muhammad Siddique on September 23, 2008, 10:48 GMT

    well.. in india only the cricket teams have been threatend. it was in kolkata when the ground has to be vacuated due to voilence... it was world cup semi final in india when umpires had to award the match to sri lanka and it was the mohali in india when pitch was teared..... for my long memory i cnat witness such event in pakistan..... though newsland, west indies, india, sri lanka and south africa along with england and zibaway has toured pakistan after 9/11.... y the threats are only for Australia.......

    its about being realistic that it propoganda which pakistan has suffer because after all its front line ally of USA in so called war of terrorism......

    please let the pakistan live its spirit... how can you comment a situation untill you have been in that...

  • Siddharth on September 23, 2008, 10:38 GMT

    Very True. There's a lot of difference between Delhi and Islamabad not only in these bombings but the way the situation would be handled. even a common man in India is safer than a VIP in Pakistan. The truth lie in the fact that India is actually capable of protecting whom they want to, like any other developed nation. And you blame Aussies for not traveling to a country, where a presidential candidate gets hit by attack. Hilarious !!

  • AM on September 23, 2008, 10:34 GMT

    What a load of nonsense!! Yet another article trying to justify double standards of the Aussies.

    Bombs are bombs, no matter where they go off. That doesn't make India a safer place than Pakistan.

  • vish on September 23, 2008, 10:15 GMT

    completely agree with you mate- as always.You have always made sense. Im sure all the boards who refused to tour pakistan find themselves vindicated. I wonder how haroon logat feels now because just a few days ago he had said the countries will rue their decision . Another egg on ICC's face- they have been proved wrong yet again.One shudders to think if any one of the teams had been lodges in that hotel on the fateful day.

  • Malik on September 23, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    Dude, this is a very biased article I'm disappointed it's allowed on here. If your country (I assume India) is willing to play in Pakistan and Pakistan can assure it security. India-Pakistan rivalry extends further than just the field hence if Indian players are willing to play in Pakistan than what excuse do other boards have? About your last statement of giving reassurance, if you know where terrorists might attack (i.e. a remote chance of blowing up a cricket stadium while having an international match)than you can have ample security arrangements to protect that. but if you don't know where they're gonan attack (i.e. Marriott hotel, Islamabad or Twin Towers, NY) than all the security arrangements in the World can't do anything. As much as we'd like to believe cricket players are not popular enough to be attacked (i.e. such as Ponting and co or dare i say Pietersen.).They're only famous in their respective countries and the cricket world. Not popular enough for terrorist attraction

  • dil nye on September 23, 2008, 10:07 GMT

    I suppose rational pakistani's will take no offense to this fair article. Pakistan is now officially a banana republic, surely Pakistan should be focusing on internal political issues instead of Australian cricketing hypocrisy

  • Ramesh on September 23, 2008, 10:07 GMT

    I agree with u. pakistan is no more safe place, but by knowing all these why this BCCI officials sending Indian team to pakistan to play test and one day international series? is BCCI trying to show off in front of the other nations which negotiated to tour pakistan. do you think this Indo-pak tour goes on peacefully? I dont think so..

  • The Landscaper on September 23, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    I am Pakistani working abroad, so scare to go back Home for annual vacation, imagine Aussies or other nationality.

  • Ra on September 23, 2008, 9:49 GMT

    Samir, If what you describe is the real case, that the security is so bad, blah blah blah, then why are the Indians coming over for their series in January. Its all about what the media and people like you want to project.

  • zain on September 23, 2008, 9:35 GMT

    what a narrow minded and biased article. Absolute no base for it. What you should be looking into is a bomb is a bomb regardless of which country has the bigger explosion. In this day and age, bombs are going off everywhere.. Instead of writing about how we should rise above it, and carry on with our daily lives, you have taken this opportunity to have a go at pakistan.

  • homepsych on September 23, 2008, 9:28 GMT

    What complete and utter tosh! You miss the most important point - Australia have always done this - in Sri Lanka and now Pakistan where other non-Asian teams have continued to tour as recently as 2006/7. The Champions Trophy is a canard and just been used an excuse for teams to have a rest/not visit a country that has been tainted by the perceptions of neither a nightlife nor a big pay day. The security being promised was that for visiting state presidents! The Aussies would have been there in a flash if the financial situation was reversed and this was a pay day of IPL proportions. So please don't insult our intelligence by stating this is to do with anything more than the money and the fact that the PCB cannot threaten to take its bat (and millions) home like the BCCI.

  • Rohan, V on September 23, 2008, 9:25 GMT

    This is a perfect analysis to whole situation. Aussies took the right steps by backing out the tour for sure. A bomb in Delhi and another in Islamabad definitely has different meanings and aftermaths. Cheers, R

  • Concerned Citizen on September 23, 2008, 9:21 GMT

    "And honestly, if folks read that in the Pakistani capital, a 600 kilo payload of high-explosive can be transported in, assembled, and then driven around in a VIP area, then, well, what reassurance can the PCB provide to already apprehensive boards?"

    I would imagine the same type of reasurances the Indian board gave after the well coordinated 8 bombs in Banglore and 17 the next day in Ahmedabad.

  • Ifzal Hussain on September 23, 2008, 9:12 GMT

    I totally agree that Pakistan is much dangerous place than India. I live in Britain but am now scared to go to Pakistan, i mean its only a matter of time that the terrorists bomb the airport or an airplane causing many deaths. Any westerner must be foolish travelling to Pakistan now as they are main targets for these terrorists, i am actually glad the Champions Trophy didnt go ahead as it surely would have been targeted. Also it appears that the so called leadership changed venues at last minute, this seems extremely fishy to me, surely they must have known that something was going to happen at the hotel that night? And if they did why didnt they inform the hotel & public, isnt it their duty to protect there people at all costs.

  • Naz Khan on September 23, 2008, 9:10 GMT

    You are an utter disgrace to the Cricinfo blog, Samir. Using a cricket blog to put across your political views is fairly unacceptable. Your views are ignorant and well, im sure you wont be the most welcomed journalists to Pakistan as and when foreign tours resume. We all know how Indians have fought amongst themselves, be that in Mumbai or Gujrat. Still known to have that really dodgy accept and way of living, I feel you are an outcast to your own race and portray the same views that people from the last generation did. Well, good luck but im sure we dont need you at Cricinfo!

  • Jimmy james on September 23, 2008, 9:06 GMT

    I fully agree with you Mr.Chopra. Also I am perturbed to hear that BCCI is considering a Tour of Pakistan in 2009 Jan less than 4 months ahead? WHY?

    We all know that PCB will offer Security but is not the security palpable as seen in the Marriot bombing?

    In my opinion India MUST NOT TOUR PAKISTAN AT LEAST FOR 1 YEAR

  • Vipul Gupta on September 23, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    Excellent article Mr Chopra. Even I was of the opinion that the Aussies stand of willing to tour India and not to tour Pakistan smacked of double standards. But , as you said , that at the end of the day it is a matter of perception. Pakistan has for a very long long time now , and not without good reason , been perceived by the West to be unstable whereas India despite the bombings is considered to be a booming economic power which is something very positive. Living in India one does not really know that how the Western media portrays a particular region for its people , which at the end of the day is very important in shaping the opinion of the people . And no one can fault your argument that more English and Aussie backpackers tour India than Pakistan.

  • Rehan Malick on September 23, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    Seems to me you are happy at you and the the other boards being vindicated. That's fine you and the other boards had their reasons but I would expect a bit more tact from a person like you who is teaching at the PhD level. People have died here and I do not think that Pakistan at the moment is caring about the champions trophy; but seemingly people like you don't care about the value of human life and just add to the world's problem. Seems to me you are hell-bent on defending your motherland only because Pakistani fans cited the other boards as hypocritical. I don't understand why you would take it on yourself to defend cricket boards when human lives have been lost. Your article is nothing more than political propaganda. You sound like a 3rd grader saying "I told you so". Grow up and act like you really are an educated person if you don't then all I can say is that hope is lost for this world. Everybody let's clap for Samir as he has been proven right and let's tally the cost 50+ dead

  • Awais on September 23, 2008, 8:28 GMT

    Thats the last thing Australians would have wanted. Our loss is their gain. Islamabad bombings has made the Australians more happy than anyone as they have an excuse now. No body has shown solidarity to Pakistan which we expect from hypocrites.

    By the way, Mr. Samir chopra! Islamabad bombings made the front page of NYC because 2 American soldiers got killed.

  • SYED FAHAD HASSAN on September 23, 2008, 8:22 GMT

    Well sir with all due respect, iwould like to comment on your ignorance about your own countries facts. There are over 27 separatist movements in India eaching having militant capabilities. The recent bombings in the most famed and secured parameters (three of them)of Dehli makes India as vulnerable as Pakistan. In addition to this all this hue and cry about the mujahideen,jihadis and not to mention your favourite scapegoat ISI goes for a six when the Indian natinal team comes here and plays freely without ever being perturbed. Moreover if the international press is giving more importance to Pakistan than India nowadays because of our forced security problems its not our fault. The fact of the matter is that BCCI has the money which attracts the Aussies that is why they are lured to India. As they say in India "paisa phenk tamasha dekh". I dont mean to be offensive but what assurance can you give me that there will not be any bombings during the Aussie stay in India

  • Imran Khan on September 23, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    A shocking article. Apparently the author is a university professor & thus responsible &educated. I would very much doubt those credentials on reading the diatribe that he has posted on this rather pitiable excuse for a Blog. Even greater shame is afforded to the Cricinfo who have allowed for such rubbish to even see the light of day. For all India and Paks wrangling and quagmires they have conversely supported each other’s policies and interests when it comes to cricket. Pak is facing a hard time and there is no denying that fact. However what does that have to do with this particular series? Whose to say that RAW is not involved, in an attempt to destabilize the nation? We don’t know? It is a plausible argument and one that fits with IR and military strategy. I just want to know if the author is attempting to rub salt into the wounds or is he one of those western quislings desperate to prove how subservient and loyal he is to his white masters? You’re a disgrace to the Indian nation

  • A Malik on September 23, 2008, 7:51 GMT

    Hypocrisy at it's best...

  • Sameer on September 23, 2008, 7:40 GMT

    Don't You Think This Political Situation Is Killing The Status of a Test Playing Nation. How many matches they played this Year Compare them with any other Team. If Not In PK why Not in Any other Country. If this un-stability Is since 9/11 then why ICC even Bother to Announce a Tournament or Tour which will be played in Pakistan.ICC Should Announce that the Tournament will be Played in India or any where else But not in Pakistan (1st they Give us Hope then Break Heart with Diff Reasons) Why the hell they have to announce to began with? We Can Watch it On TV As well But Let Them Play atleast Give them a Quality Teams to Compete with rather Than BA or Zim.It is killing us.In 2009 T20 every one will be Going in with a lot of Practise, Experience What about us? Have they Played any 20,20 anywhere this Year? have they Played any One day Series against top 5 Teams? or any Test This Year? You've mentioned everything but You forgot to mention how destructive it is for Cricket of Pakistan

  • Javed Munir Dar on September 23, 2008, 7:36 GMT

    Indo-Pak is a sensitive subject, so one should be very careful in writiing on this issue,the writer does not seems to have full command on this subject.

  • Sam on September 23, 2008, 7:34 GMT

    How typical Samir, It's all about day and time. No country is safe. Can India Gurantee the international player's safity? Atleast no one in pakistan destroy cricket pitches like shivh sinha.

  • Umair on September 23, 2008, 7:27 GMT

    All well and good Samir but the bottom line is that cricketers in Pakistan have never been targeted by terrorists and at the end of the day if India and Sri Lanka can tour Pakistan so can Australia and the rest.

    We all know the differences between India and Pakistan and we all know how the media projects them differently but then why is it that the Asian teams feel safe there but the Australians don't?

    A bomb that explodes in Karachi is the same as a bomb exploding in Delhi is the same as a bomb exploding in London is the same as a bomb exploding in Jaipur.

    You can't rule one bomb as being more dangerous than the others.

  • K.Prakash on September 23, 2008, 7:09 GMT

    Good analysis of the different perceptions on Pakistan and India. You, however, omitted to mention that recently the US Govt has released news of the fact of ISI involvement and collaboration with the terrorists including in the recent bombing at the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

    The fact that a country's intelligence wing is a sponsor of terrorism is frightening and nobody will wish to travel there. Trumpeting about double standards will not even be responded to.

    Pakistan badly needs to get their act together before the West will even remotely consider that it is indeed a 'civilised' place worthy of a visit. Time is running out and they have to do it quickly to shed the mantle of 'pariahs' which currently is their status. The innocent people of Pakistan deserve better from their 'masters' be it a democratic or 'autocratic' institution.

    We can only wait and hope that good sense will prevail sooner than later.

  • Ali Malik on September 23, 2008, 7:07 GMT

    I liked your column but there were too many BIOS statments which have no GROUND REALITIES. Speaking of terrorism in Pakistan, lets not forget that Pakistan was never an unsafe place before 911... This is not Pakistan's WAR this is not their WATCH....but unfortunatley people of Pakistan have to go through this, and not to mention but it would really help if India stop funding Afghanistan against Pakistan.... There is a lot more to say and lot more to revealed, but I am not sure if I will be safe after all the truth....:)and you may call me "Atankwadi" so my dear friend Samir Chopra I have an advice for you "PLEASE DONT STUFF YOUR HEAD WITH THOSE WHICH YOU DONT UNDERSTAND" thank you and enjoy your life....

  • Irfan Rizvi on September 23, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    Being a Pakistani my immediate reaction to this article was anger but once I thought over it the writer has a point, We should not be inviting any teams to Pakistan until and unless we are atleast as safe as India, We should be looking for alternatives as in UAE or some other place to play, but the beside this point whenever pakistan gets a test series against a world class team why is it a maximum 3 test series, Pakistan needs to play more test matches, why ashes being such one sided series for such a long time is a 5 match series, why WI and australia series is 5 match series thats a big mismatch, so what i request the ICC in particular even if its away series Pakistan cricket needs to play more so please give them more matches.

  • Adnan Hasan Syed on September 23, 2008, 6:53 GMT

    As a Pakistani, I can't agree more with Samir. The West is concerned with Pakistan's violence because, honestly, it has been responsible for igniting it through the geo politics in the recent past. Who has been behind the Afghan infulx in Pakistan since 1979? We sided the Mujahideen back then because we were the cold war ally against the USSR. We were used as a base camp for the anti-Taiban campaign after 9/11 becasue we chose to be a part of the war against terror. We always sided the west, forcibly or intentionally, and paid the price. As for India, all is well because it pays well. More people, more money, more sposnsorships. Who will dare to miss a tour to India? Feel free to blame us for failing to secure a VIP area although we all know who has the longest list of Prime Minister assasinations. A bomb is a bomb anywhere. If NY is not safe, no place is. The people who die in Pakistan blasts didnt have the 7 layers of state level security promised to the teams. But never mind!

  • Naeem on September 23, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    Samir chopra, the major difference between Pakistan and India is that Pakistani politicians are puppets set up and supported by US.It will not allow the people to choose theri own governemnt. It has froced Pakistan to fight this so called "war on terror". And anyone and evryone wether it be ISI or even a private citizen who dares to be patriotic is classifed as a terrorist. What do you expect to happen when thousands of civillians are "missiled" to death or displaced? The West has bough this problem to Pakistan and the likes of you know better. It is not an India/Pakistan thing anymore. It can very well involve India as well. So lets call the hypocrisy of the West as hypocrisy.

  • Prashant on September 23, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    Haven't even read the full blog. But one thing's for sure, India is most definitely NOT Pakistan. Generally peace loving folks in here.

  • Shafiq on September 23, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    Mr. INTELLIGENT CHOPRA! well, 7 bombs in few minutes killing 20+ in INDIAN CAPITAL get almost no coverage in USA but 1 bomb killing 30+ in Islamabad gets all the coverage of the universe----! You have yourself mentioned hypocracy and double standards. This is how media portrays the world. And btw we pakistanis are sure USA, UK, AUSTARIA are behind this voilence in pakistan----so probably it was in plan of Australian agencies to blast Islamabad VIP hotel --- so they ordered their team to not travel pakistan (btw no match was planned around 400KM of Islamabad) Understand?

  • Sammy on September 23, 2008, 6:31 GMT

    I am sorry what was the point of this article? You haven't added anything new to the debate. You have just highlighted to the readers that your views are myopic and unoriginal. All you have done is shown that the American media is incredibly islamicphobic, anti-Pakistani and Pro-indian. I would never ever expect that from some one with Indian Roots...

  • Uday on September 23, 2008, 5:52 GMT

    I think this kind of reasoning merely reinforces myths and lies spread in the Western media about India and Pakistan. For bigots in the US and UK, India is the next superpower, Pakistan is the home of terrorists. Which of these idiots cares to learn anything about these countries, their people and cultures? There is virtually no difference between everyday life in the two countries. I live in the Delhi NCR region, and I can tell you, Samir, that the vulnerability felt by ordinary people who go to shop in busy malls and bazaars cannot be dismissed so easily. There's every likelihood of the Delhi blasts being repeated again. It doesn't matter to us in the subcontinent about what some self-declared media pundits in the West think of the security situation here. As for Australian cricketers, there's a real case of double standards. Did they cancel the 2005 Ashes tour after the London blasts? Did Shane Warne and Co. pull out of the IPL after the Jaipur blasts in May? That's hypocrisy.

  • KJH on September 23, 2008, 5:51 GMT

    A well written piece Mr Chopra. Regardless of political motivation, it stands that at this time Pakistan is considered a more dangerous place to travel than India. The Australian Dept. Foreign Affairs & Trade regularly updates travel advice on overseas destinations for Australian citizens with 5 levels of caution. As of today Pakistan is listed at the second highest level of caution, with citizens advised to reconsider travel, and India is at the third highest level (high degree of caution). The ACB can not possibly in good conscience allow the Aus cricket team to travel to a destination advised against by their government. Anyone criticising the Australian team for being money hungry is being naive, ignorant, and foolish. I truly feel sorry for the Pakistan people and cricket lovers forced to endure this situation.

  • Naseer on September 23, 2008, 5:25 GMT

    Mr. Chopra, you have demonstrated the real bone of contention unconsciously which is misperception of Pakistan,s political situation developed by western media. While living in in US in trying to pass judgment on political situation of this region (Afg, Pak) based on input received through media is ridiculous. When u say that bombing of Delhi has been given no space in US media, and Islamabad's bombing highlighted the headlines, this shows utter and clear hierocracy of media over there, this is not the single ancient, it is just drop from the bucket, whenever an ancient took place in Pak, has been enormously highlighted in western media, and great significance and interest shown towards it, whereas incidents of same kind in other parts of the world, have not been even reported on the 2nd or 3rd page of the newspapers, nor are telecasted constantly, this hypocrisy by media has contributed greatly in developing misperception about the countries political situation in west, this is why even tourists are now a days reluctant to visit the country, so the damage done by media in the region is probably bigger than devastation made by US and NATO forces, because the media has socially completely destroyed the image of the country, whereas the forces can be blamed for only physical destruction.

  • Daniel Shamsi on September 23, 2008, 5:23 GMT

    I'm a Pakistani by heart. Born and raised in the U.S,and i couldn't agree with you more. It's the truth and theres no shying away from it. India regardless of the Delhi bombings is still a stable democracy and has a perception about it that doesn't fear a foreigner. It has a larger Muslim population than Pakistan itself. But the Literacy rate among other positives are significantly higher. Pakistan is a Country that has never taken the right step forward in it's 61 year history. And of late just seems to be falling behind in every developmental component. As you wrote above, a truck carrying hundreds of pounds of explosives was roaming around in the heart of the County's capital, and the so called Intelligence agency having no substantial insight on a high level security breach is a joke, quite frankly. How can we expect anyone for that matter to even visit the country, much less play a game of cricket, which requires a touring team to stay in a HOTEL if i might add!

  • Ashar on September 23, 2008, 5:09 GMT

    On paper world: Whatever you say may be right and perhaps that's why you give so much importance to newspapers in your article

    In real world: Even you know that your own Indian team has not only announced the schedule of Pakistan tour but will also be going to visit Pakistan!, come what may!!

    Moral of the story: Either your perception about Pakistan is not shared by your own people or they just are not fortunate enough to read so many foreign newspapers like you and hence embrace a "videshi" perception about Pakistan like you, something that you want them to embrace almost religiously ;)

  • farhan khan on September 23, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    Obviously, the power of greenbacks makes Delhi bombing look insignificant. What a shame. Mr. Chopra is completely oblivious of the fact that there is much more to life than a petty visit by the Australians to Pakistan and making pointless comparisons. This article is so shallow that it should not have deserved a place on the cricinfo website. Let's just spare a thought for the numerous dead and even more injured. Surely, India is and can never be Pakistan.

  • Homer on September 23, 2008, 4:44 GMT

    And yet Samir, the fact remains that it is Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly who have been publicly named as targets by the jihadis. And that has not prevented India ( or SRT, RD and SG) from playing Pakistan, home and away since that seminal series in 2003.

    And the fact remains that, when India toured Australia in 2003 and 2007, there have been numerous documented instances, in Australian newspapers, of physical assaults on Indian nationals and people of Indian origin, both within the grounds and outside.

    I have yet to read of similar incidents - of supporters of the opposing team being physically assaulted by the home fans, in Pakistan.

    Cheers,

  • Ali Rathore on September 23, 2008, 4:43 GMT

    Dear Aakash,

    Reading your article, unfortunately, only highlights the hypocrisy of writers such as yourself. If people were to use your train of thought, then I guess the Iraq war is justifiable, Africa's population extinction is inevitable and the world might as well just resign itself to a cynical "let it be" form of thinking and approach.

    Think before you write.

    Otherwise, you're probably better off covering the American Election sitting in the US rather than passing comment on South Asian issues.

  • Patrick on September 23, 2008, 4:43 GMT

    Not to mention that India is far more financially viable than Pakistan!! not to forget the worldly luxries of alcohol, women, etc etc. Even if we do risk losing a limb, we'd rather do it for more money! Think outside the "terrorism" square. Indian players would be under the same threat (if not more serious) as would westerners, so why did India agree to play in Pakistan? You are right about the media interest in Pakistan etc, but that still doesn't disprove of Aussies being hypocrits!

  • Ehsan on September 23, 2008, 4:19 GMT

    I agree with you on this that West high light Pakistan and every incident happens in pakistan but You also have to think about this in a very political way. How come such a big inceident happened. Ofcourse government was involved in this. 90% of Pakistanis want to get out of this so called war against terror but West and America want to continue to this because of their own personel reasons. And sports wise when was the last time when any sportsman was attacked in Pakistan. I am not aware of anything. Srilankans were terrorised in Australia Pakistanis were robbed and beaten up in South Africa but they continued their tour. And yes teams like Australia and New zeland are hypocrates because they tour India because of money and alot of money. there are so many sponsors in India who don't offer $$$ but throw at them and they just want to make their living of life time. India is safer than Pakistan but there is still threat which one can ignore because of Money. this is being Hypocrate.

  • raghav on September 23, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    you have echoed the sentiments that i had right when the pakistan cricket board started making noise about australia's decision to tour india and not pakistan. it is very sad that innocent people die in india and pakistan while the US seeks its own motive, however, pakistan has been unstable for a long time. they couldn't even protect their leader in the making, benazir bhutto. how do they expect westerners to come and stay in the hotels that are getting blown up just for the purpose of maiming a few foreigners and thinking the US is going to care.

  • Adnan Ahmad Khan on September 23, 2008, 4:03 GMT

    I do not agree with the Writer. Bomb Blast is a Bomb Blast, it kills people! The point is that the teams which have toured Pakistan even in these difficult times have not been attacked, which shows that they are obviously not the target for the attacks. And the writer is taking the discussion too far by taking it to Russian invasion in Afghanistan days. This could lead to discussion on the many turbulent times on the other side of the border. The World Community should realize that Pakistan can not be cornered this is a phenomena around the World. Cricket should be Played in Pakistan. I have no doubt about that! And giving security reasons is not enough and frequent traveller to Pakistan can tell that these attacks are not directed towards everyone.

  • Aniruddha on September 23, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    Thank you, excellent article. The icing on the cake will be if the 2011 WC is moved too.

  • Alok on September 23, 2008, 3:57 GMT

    Misses the point Samir.

    Pakistan is not denying that it is in the grip of a prolonged war against terrorists, like India. All that is being said, is that like India, cricketers will be provided the kind of security heads of state visiting Pakistan get, and no expense will be spared in making the cricketers feel safe. Also international cricket having been played in Pakistan, and no obvious attempt being made to target cricketers, the "threat perception" is way off target.

    If the fear is being blown up in a road-side bomb, the chances of being caught in one in Pakistan are as good as those in India.

    The simple and obvious reason for the discrimination against Pakistan, pointed out be numerous people, is that Pakistan is not a place where there's much to do for fun, and good performances won't lead to endorsement deals or Bollywood musical numbers.

  • Shoaib on September 23, 2008, 3:54 GMT

    This article is utter rubbish. An attempt to make superficial things look reality. I really don’t consider this article worth reading. Intend of the author is very much clear and would have been better if the author had focused on ground realities instead of trying to be philosophical. Does it really matter for safety of Players how big news you make on news paper? The reality is that an explosion during IPL was very close to the hotel accommodated by some Australian Players, but did they give it a wink. An explosion in Islamabad can be as dangerous as one in Jaipur regardless of how big one can make on newspapers. Secondly I completely disagree that explosions in Pakistan have always to do with the foreigners and in India it is otherwise. Terrorist organizations in India are also Islamic and have same grudge for westerners as that of any other Terrorist organization in Pakistan. How could cricinfo let publish an article devoid of facts? This is not an artifical intelligence world.

  • AZ on September 23, 2008, 3:09 GMT

    There is nothing that can justify Australia's hypocricy & ignorant arrogance. What was the issue with Aus visiting SL in 1996? SL is not in western news? Violence is violence whether it is sporadic or systemic. You should count the number of casulaties to violence in India and Pakistan, and I can bet the number in India will be higher (3000 people dies in Gujrat alone in 2002).It is a fact since 9/11 all the Test playing countries except Australia have visited Pakistan without any issues. In fact Australia A toured Pakistan incident free in Sept 2007. On your last point as to what gurantees PCB can give well 1st of all the gurantees was from Interior Ministry that promised state level security. No one can guarantee anything in today's world- if the security can be breached in Manhattan, Pentagon & London who have the luxury of democracy & sophiticated "intelligence" at their disposal then it can be breached any where. This is something Australia should realize and come to terms with.

  • SK on September 23, 2008, 2:39 GMT

    Good read. The key thing to remember, as you correctly mentioned, is perception.The only time Pakistan makes the news is when there's some faith-based violence.With India,you get the IT success stories,the comparisons with China etc.The media in both countries have something to do with this.The Pak media needs to start building a positive image of the country.

  • Majid Khan on September 23, 2008, 2:23 GMT

    Sorry to say this but your Indian bias is showing up in the article. Australia not touring Pakistan has nothing to do with current Islamabad incident. They haven't toured the country in the last decade, during the same time many memorable series have been played without any issues. Main problem is that western players don't like touring Pakistan for the low monetary value and perception of uncomfortable travel arrangements. They will keep coming up with excuses as long as their boards support them.

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  • Majid Khan on September 23, 2008, 2:23 GMT

    Sorry to say this but your Indian bias is showing up in the article. Australia not touring Pakistan has nothing to do with current Islamabad incident. They haven't toured the country in the last decade, during the same time many memorable series have been played without any issues. Main problem is that western players don't like touring Pakistan for the low monetary value and perception of uncomfortable travel arrangements. They will keep coming up with excuses as long as their boards support them.

  • SK on September 23, 2008, 2:39 GMT

    Good read. The key thing to remember, as you correctly mentioned, is perception.The only time Pakistan makes the news is when there's some faith-based violence.With India,you get the IT success stories,the comparisons with China etc.The media in both countries have something to do with this.The Pak media needs to start building a positive image of the country.

  • AZ on September 23, 2008, 3:09 GMT

    There is nothing that can justify Australia's hypocricy & ignorant arrogance. What was the issue with Aus visiting SL in 1996? SL is not in western news? Violence is violence whether it is sporadic or systemic. You should count the number of casulaties to violence in India and Pakistan, and I can bet the number in India will be higher (3000 people dies in Gujrat alone in 2002).It is a fact since 9/11 all the Test playing countries except Australia have visited Pakistan without any issues. In fact Australia A toured Pakistan incident free in Sept 2007. On your last point as to what gurantees PCB can give well 1st of all the gurantees was from Interior Ministry that promised state level security. No one can guarantee anything in today's world- if the security can be breached in Manhattan, Pentagon & London who have the luxury of democracy & sophiticated "intelligence" at their disposal then it can be breached any where. This is something Australia should realize and come to terms with.

  • Shoaib on September 23, 2008, 3:54 GMT

    This article is utter rubbish. An attempt to make superficial things look reality. I really don’t consider this article worth reading. Intend of the author is very much clear and would have been better if the author had focused on ground realities instead of trying to be philosophical. Does it really matter for safety of Players how big news you make on news paper? The reality is that an explosion during IPL was very close to the hotel accommodated by some Australian Players, but did they give it a wink. An explosion in Islamabad can be as dangerous as one in Jaipur regardless of how big one can make on newspapers. Secondly I completely disagree that explosions in Pakistan have always to do with the foreigners and in India it is otherwise. Terrorist organizations in India are also Islamic and have same grudge for westerners as that of any other Terrorist organization in Pakistan. How could cricinfo let publish an article devoid of facts? This is not an artifical intelligence world.

  • Alok on September 23, 2008, 3:57 GMT

    Misses the point Samir.

    Pakistan is not denying that it is in the grip of a prolonged war against terrorists, like India. All that is being said, is that like India, cricketers will be provided the kind of security heads of state visiting Pakistan get, and no expense will be spared in making the cricketers feel safe. Also international cricket having been played in Pakistan, and no obvious attempt being made to target cricketers, the "threat perception" is way off target.

    If the fear is being blown up in a road-side bomb, the chances of being caught in one in Pakistan are as good as those in India.

    The simple and obvious reason for the discrimination against Pakistan, pointed out be numerous people, is that Pakistan is not a place where there's much to do for fun, and good performances won't lead to endorsement deals or Bollywood musical numbers.

  • Aniruddha on September 23, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    Thank you, excellent article. The icing on the cake will be if the 2011 WC is moved too.

  • Adnan Ahmad Khan on September 23, 2008, 4:03 GMT

    I do not agree with the Writer. Bomb Blast is a Bomb Blast, it kills people! The point is that the teams which have toured Pakistan even in these difficult times have not been attacked, which shows that they are obviously not the target for the attacks. And the writer is taking the discussion too far by taking it to Russian invasion in Afghanistan days. This could lead to discussion on the many turbulent times on the other side of the border. The World Community should realize that Pakistan can not be cornered this is a phenomena around the World. Cricket should be Played in Pakistan. I have no doubt about that! And giving security reasons is not enough and frequent traveller to Pakistan can tell that these attacks are not directed towards everyone.

  • raghav on September 23, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    you have echoed the sentiments that i had right when the pakistan cricket board started making noise about australia's decision to tour india and not pakistan. it is very sad that innocent people die in india and pakistan while the US seeks its own motive, however, pakistan has been unstable for a long time. they couldn't even protect their leader in the making, benazir bhutto. how do they expect westerners to come and stay in the hotels that are getting blown up just for the purpose of maiming a few foreigners and thinking the US is going to care.

  • Ehsan on September 23, 2008, 4:19 GMT

    I agree with you on this that West high light Pakistan and every incident happens in pakistan but You also have to think about this in a very political way. How come such a big inceident happened. Ofcourse government was involved in this. 90% of Pakistanis want to get out of this so called war against terror but West and America want to continue to this because of their own personel reasons. And sports wise when was the last time when any sportsman was attacked in Pakistan. I am not aware of anything. Srilankans were terrorised in Australia Pakistanis were robbed and beaten up in South Africa but they continued their tour. And yes teams like Australia and New zeland are hypocrates because they tour India because of money and alot of money. there are so many sponsors in India who don't offer $$$ but throw at them and they just want to make their living of life time. India is safer than Pakistan but there is still threat which one can ignore because of Money. this is being Hypocrate.

  • Patrick on September 23, 2008, 4:43 GMT

    Not to mention that India is far more financially viable than Pakistan!! not to forget the worldly luxries of alcohol, women, etc etc. Even if we do risk losing a limb, we'd rather do it for more money! Think outside the "terrorism" square. Indian players would be under the same threat (if not more serious) as would westerners, so why did India agree to play in Pakistan? You are right about the media interest in Pakistan etc, but that still doesn't disprove of Aussies being hypocrits!