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March 9, 2009

Ethics and morality

An atrocity without answers

Kamran Abbasi



A week after the Lahore atrocity we are left without answers. Who were these attackers? How did they manage to annihilate the "security" forces? How did they all manage to escape unscathed? Instead of answers, we have witnessed unseemly and offensive posturing from the Pakistan Cricket Board and a perplexing silence from the President of Pakistan, who also happens to be the Patron of the PCB.

Apart from establishing the cause and the identity of the attackers, the main objective must be to dream up a formula that avoids the isolation of Pakistan cricket and nurtures an environment that facilitates the return of international teams. It is hard to understand how the approach of the PCB chairman, Ijaz Butt, is enabling any of those desirable outcomes? The tragedy of the Lahore attacks is followed by a frightening realisation that the salvation of Pakistan cricket lies in the hands of Butt.

Aakash Chopra's recent blog explained what presidential level security really is. It highlighted the complaints of match officials and the evidence of our own eyes that security was woefully inadequate. Instead Butt defended the security presence. Policemen died, is his limp argument. Nor will he accept any responsibility for the security arrangements, choosing to pass the buck to the Pakistan government. Yet he expects international cricket to return to Pakistan in six to nine months. How?

With all this nonsensical chest-thumping, Butt simply exposes his own inadequacies in heading an organisation of immense national importance. Frankly, no cricket board could contemplate sending a team to Pakistan while the PCB is under Butt's self-deluded leadership. Butt and Javed Miandad are confusing patriotism with insult. There is no pride in defending incompetent security arrangements and berating victims of a terrorist attack.

The only clear answer we have had this week is that the current PCB management and the Pakistan government are, surprise surprise, ill equipped to deal with this calamity. Not even a single official has offered to resign despite the catastrophic failings. How will these organisations inspire the confidence of a sceptical international cricket community when they can't even convince supporters of Pakistan cricket? How hard can it be to find a few good men of competence and common sense to shepherd Pakistan cricket back from the wilderness?

As with much of this decade of Pakistan cricket, it only ever gets worse.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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Posted by Fahad on (April 18, 2009, 6:14 GMT)

Tragedy of Pakistan, Pakistan is a country where only a few people have common sense. Ironically, those people are considered fool. You are one of those people who has that sense, Good article Kamran.

Posted by mani on (March 25, 2009, 7:01 GMT)

how come, Mr. Abbasi, for a change, you wrote truth - only truth?

Posted by Kibster on (March 13, 2009, 8:47 GMT)

I think Chris Broad should have thought a bit before coming out with such a statement in the media. A lot is being said about the security lapses and the arrangements. Thats fine. But not a single one has openly hailed the policeman who saved so many lives. Does anyone know their names??Broad said this , taufel said that murali said something.. are the headlines. What about the soldiers who laid down their lives Moreover, I request ICC not to act hastily and jump to conclusions yet over the hosting of world cup . Its still 2 years away. Things could change for the good.Pakistan should first aim for political stability and then think of cricket here. Take one thing at a time

Posted by Altaf on (March 12, 2009, 23:40 GMT)

Way to go PakLover. That way for you is down - down - down. The way our country and our cricket is going. I am sure it is people like you who are taking Pakistan down. It is people like Kamran - immigrant or not,who are making the difference neede for change in Pakistan. A small voice like his in a blog in Cric-info, whether it will ampact at all or not I dont know, but the fact that there are people with a moderate voice, people who will see and understand without bias,even if it is their own country and countrymen and saying so in the true spirit of democracy is what is keeping us going. All is not well with Pakistan. No 2 ways about it. From cricket to internal security to our very own freedom. Everything is on the verge of collapse and all I need for stupid people like PakLover is talk about PRIDE. Wake up pal and smell and taste the coffee. I hope you can write something sensible b cause there might not be a chance for you to write in the near future.

Posted by PakistanLover on (March 12, 2009, 13:21 GMT)

Why are you disrespecting a Pakistan official? So that you can look good with your foreign friends especially Indians? That is the majority of the problem with immigrant Pakistanis. They are no longer Pakistanis any more.

Butt is doing what ever normal Pakistan man or woman would do. It was sad that a bunch of our policemen are trying to protect people like Chris Broad. He doesn't respect that they gave their lives to protect him.

Frankly, I don't care if no one tours Pakistan anyway, we can always hold international matches in other places. More importantly we need to show pride rather than trying to get into the good books of foreigners.

Posted by Done on (March 12, 2009, 4:47 GMT)

pakistan wasnt doing much for world cricket anyways, worst test tracks in the world, especially lahore. current talent is pretty much up there with zimbabwa, bangladesh and holland.

Posted by khalil on (March 11, 2009, 23:29 GMT)

The setback our cricket has suffered will take quite sometime to reverse.Heads were expected to roll if someone was not willing to leave.Whatever we say,it will add to our agony because nobody is in a mood to listen in these circumstances.Its better to do our soul searching and find the missing link,where we have gone wrong. This is required because unless we do this ,we can not restore our confidence as well as of the cricketing world.The ICC chief statment in AUS will not change the ground reality much.

Posted by Matt on (March 11, 2009, 21:18 GMT)

I believe Kamran reflects what is on the mind of average Pakistani but I am confused to read anti-pakistanis comments from fellow Indians. Is India immune from terrorism. Why Indians are celebrating these attack. It is really sick. The Pakistani people (not politicians or generals) have a soft corner for Indians (not your corrupt politicians or opperssor army). Pak people love Indians and hope these comments reflect a small minority.

Posted by Swapna on (March 11, 2009, 13:28 GMT)

Rather than hitting at Mr. Broad, Mr Butt should accept the responsibility for the unfortunate incident and resign from his post immediately. I think this is the only way to show the world that Pakistan is serious about the security thing and most importantly, its cricket.

Posted by Faisal Jafri on (March 11, 2009, 8:28 GMT)

Pakistanis and Pakistan cricket continues to be embarrassed at the hands of the establishment. The incompetence of the Board of Cricket’s administrators has been indicated by events much smaller in comparison to the terrorist attacks in Lahore. It seems that there is a total lack of comprehension that words and statements have meaning, especially when given by people ostensibly in control. The more Mr. Butt and his cronies speak the stupider they look. Fire Broad? To serve what purpose? The security was inadequate the media made that clear. The culprits are yet to be apprehended. The only thing in all of this is that the people actually responsible for providing security have not been taken to task and are making a fool of themselves by defending security arrangements. Please stop embarrassing Pakistan. Learn to do the job or resign. If the President really had his thinking cap on quite a few people would be dusting their CV’s by now having been fired from their previous positions.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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