Has Pakistan forgotten its sense of humour?

Published: February 18, 2015

The South Africa match ad managed to highlight the weakness of the Indian cricket team without demoralising them. That’s quite a feat.

Pakistan lost against India in their opening World Cup match, but that did not affect the love I have for my team. My support does not depend on them winning or losing.

Having seen all the criticism directed at our team, I couldn’t help but wonder what the morale of our team must have been. I mean, realistically speaking, three of our key players, Saeed Ajmal, Muhammad Hafeez and Umar Gul aren’t playing. That will obviously affect the outcome of our team. That isn’t an excuse, the fact that until the very beginning of the World Cup, our team was relying on these players. It’s great that we are positive and hope our team wins but to expect that they will win, and then curse them when they don’t manage to do so, is unfair. Unfortunately, my opinion is not shared by the millions of other Pakistani cricket fans.

An example of this is the anger that ensued after the kab phorain ge advertisement was aired on Star Sports. Knowing full well that the ad was made in good humour, many Pakistanis requested that the video be taken down. To all those angry souls out there, let me tell you that we were eventually avenged.

The reaction of the Pakistani supporters went from angry to completely stark raving mad.

Photo: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

Just recently, Star Sports also aired an Indian ad regarding their match against South Africa. This time around, the joke was on India (even though it was an Indian production) given the fact that India has never defeated South Africa in a World Cup match. Statistics prove so.

And the general reaction of Indians on twitter:

Here again, a question comes to mind: Would Pakistan have done something like this? Do we have the capacity to laugh at ourselves?

After seeing this page, I feel the answer would be a no.

The new South Africa-India ad managed to highlight the weakness of the Indian cricket team without demoralising them. That’s quite a feat. Rather than our media, celebrities, and fans spurring hate towards our team, let’s learn to highlight their capabilities as well as their flaws in a more creative and respectful manner, rather than an attitude that screams “we hate you, you suck!”

So even though the advertisement against Pakistan glorified the Indian team, the advertisement regarding the South African team brought them back to earth. Their media agencies happened to strike a balance by giving them an ego boost as well as a reality check.

In Pakistan, an extreme opinion emerges towards our team – either we love them or hate them. In our quest of love for them, we place them on a pedestal and glorify their existence; but in our tirade of hate, we pummel them to the ground and don’t bother with them.

Have we not heard of the term “moderation”?

Mushal Zaman

Mushal Zaman

The author is a sub-editor at Tribune. She tweets as @MushalZ90 (twitter.com/MushalZ90)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Akhand Bharat

    India made a response video too for SA…. youtube. com/watch?v=OSP7o4lzIoQRecommend

  • Sarah Allawala

    A very balanced piece. Both the ads by Star sports are brilliant. I wish we could have come up with an intelligent answer about the Pakistsn one sigh. By the way the one that mentioned Essel world was beyond lame. Recommend

  • Spock

    Well for starter, Indians dont feel insecure about themselves and dont feel an urge to prove a point to the world.

    Their own prime minister highlights their problems in the world stage and no one points a finger at him.

    Pakistanis are a bit too much reactive about feelings.Recommend

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    Pakistan may have lost it’s humour but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the biggest jokes on the world map. At least we make the rest of the world laugh.Recommend

  • Sony_TV_manufactured_in_China

    I hope Pakistanis break their TV sets when Pakistan loses. We are ready to supply TV sets at short notice.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You seem to have oversimplified it…..when our team plays good cricket but loses, we do get disappointed but we still support the team. When our team plays shoddy cricket, we have the right not to accept that and make our feelings known.
    On the question of laughing at ourselves, in another blog on this site I said ‘ A nation’s intellect is measured by its ability to laugh at itself ‘……..and in this respect we have a long intellectual journey ahead of us.Recommend

  • Prashant

    There are more than enough Indians and Pakistanis who want to mock each other, unfortunately a section of the media is equally responsible, the reason the media can afford this is because there is considerable audience for this kind of nonsense.Recommend

  • deep

    There is a visceral hatred of India in pakistan – the reaction was not just about the ad – a similar ad about Pakistan vs s africa will not garner such a violent reaction from PakistanisRecommend

  • maharaja

    Well, I am an Indian and loved India vs south Africa ad. We should not loose our hair on an ad or a cricket match. There are far more important things in our life and serious issues faced by our country. Yes, we haven’t beaten south Africa in a world cup. Shouldn’t the better team win? Patriotism is not splitting hair and involving gods just to secure a win in a cricket match. Patriotism is doing the write things and working hard to achieve success. Same applies to cricket. If our team is better, we will win, or else my liking for our cricket team shouldn’t cloud my passion for watching a good game or better team winning.Recommend

  • maharaja

    Oops “right” should be used in place of “write”. My bad.Recommend

  • hrk

    What a useless piece and waste of time.Recommend

  • mariah farooq

    well said @Mushal ZamanRecommend