Maybe they forgot it wasn’t Pakistan…

Published: November 11, 2011
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A newspaper front page featuring coverage of Pakistani cricketers jailed in the UK over match-fixing, is displayed at a roadside stall in Islamabad on November 4, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

The conviction of Pakistani cricket players in a UK court is truly embarrassing for the nation in general and for cricket followers in particular. So what should we do next? Should we close the chapter and move on?

I think we should stop, step back a little and view the entire episode in the larger context. I see it as a symptom of a disease that has spread far and deep across the length and breadth of the country. When you keep on brushing filth under the carpet for too long, it sometimes finds its way out. The spot-fixing trio hails from a land where people get away with assassinations, kickbacks and tax evasion.

Had this trial been conducted at home, we would have found several excuses to hush it up. Look at what happened to the findings of the Justice Malik Qayyum inquiry commission. The recommendations were never implemented.

Perhaps the three players forgot that they were playing on foreign soil, where the law is taken seriously; unlike Pakistan, where law is flouted and accountability never carried out of those who violate the law. No wonder why the two largest political parties are fighting over the appointment of the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau.

This state of affairs reminds me of an incident that occurred in Lahore.

A colleague of mine told me jokingly that the police found a blind man among a gang of suspected thieves who they were interrogating after arrest. It was a curious case by any standard because a blind man is practically incapable of theft.  When asked why he was accompanying the thieves, the poor man said he thought that the stealing business would be a piece of cake. The reason, he said, for his belief was that the gang of thieves he was a part of were all young men from his neighborhood and that they often told him that it was very easy to carry out robberies.

Mohammad Amir is like this blind man, he was ‘blinded’ by the ease with which his colleagues were making money. But who corrupted Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif?  I leave the guessing business to the Pakistan Cricket Board.

faisal.shakeel

Faisal Shakeel

An Islamabad based correspondent for Express 24/7

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

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