Stories about controversy

Butt, where is the shame?

“I am not playing in the event, I thought it was worth participating as an expert,” said Salman Butt when he was asked to comment on his recent decision to appear as a cricket commentator for the World Cup on a local news channel. I am outraged at his decision, and my anger is the result of a bruised cricket-loving ego. Salman Butt lost the right to associate himself with cricket the day the ICC proved him a liar and cheater. His cockiness regarding the matter is appalling; it’s almost like he’s telling the world “they were just no-balls, it’s not a big ...

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Tainted trio: The glass is half full

So what if Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned by the International Cricket Council and indicted on corruption charges by British prosecutors? Everyone knew it was going to happen but were avoiding it like an ex. Our thinking needs to be changed, and instead of being disappointed we need to see things in a positive way. We need to see the events that preceded the much-predicted verdict. Just as the verdict approached, Pakistan won their first Test series in over four years, their last victory was against the West Indies. And soon after that Pakistan also won ...

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Can we have more intelligent cricket stories, please?

For someone who loves the game of cricket, irrespective of which teams play, I must concede that covering cricket matches almost became an untenable career option for me. I joined journalism to be involved with the game I loved. Of course, like most aspiring cricket writers, I made a cardinal mistake about the way sports coverage functions – I assumed what I wrote would change the way things are perceived. However, that is not the reality. My initial perception of ‘changing the system’ with my work was soon shattered; I learned that it’s not just the content but how this content ...

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Dan Brown: A disappointing one-hit wonder

“The Da Vinci Code” hit book shelves in 2003, and went on to become the best-selling English language novel of the 21st century. Very few books dig down into the roots of history, challenge your beliefs and provide food for thought; this one did. Besides igniting some ferocious controversies and becoming a global phenomenon, the book established its author, Dan Brown, as a talent to watch. However, Brown’s next books have failed to live up to the standards that he himself modeled. There’s a blatant sense of repetition and a tone of monotony easily palpable in his novels that followed. Take ...

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Agha Hasan Abedi: the man who dared to dream big

Agha Hasan Abedi was one of the finest minds this country has ever produced. He was an exemplary patriot and a legendary banker. In the mess that exists today, the youth of Pakistan desperately needs inspiring personalities to look up to. I cannot think of a better person to quote. He proved that politics is not the only form of service to the nation. He suffered through various scandals towards the end of his life, but no one can deny his contributions towards building a stronger Pakistan. It is a shame we let our youth forget a man like Agha Hasan ...

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Younus Khan is back

PCB finally took a U-turn on a decision which it shouldn’t have made in the first place. The inclusion of former test skipper Younis Khan in the Pakistan side for the series against South Africa is good news for a team that is surrounded by controversy. I never thought of Younis Khan as a legendary batsman who graced the game with his presence on the crease. Yet I have always admired the man for his passion for the game and his honesty.  Maybe that’s the only reason he has faced problems, because the system is corrupt to the core. Nevertheless, his ...

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Pakistan’s ‘Johnny Bravo’ returns

Pervez Musharraf recently announced his intention to return to Pakistan and actively take part in politics. He still seems to enjoy strong support among the Pakistani elite and urban middle class, business community and some political stakeholders. There are expectations that he will bring back the policies of his era which will lead to peace and economic prosperity. The following is intended as an analysis of his policies and reforms and the regions they benefited most. Economy Pakistan’s significant economic gains since 2002, which the Musharraf government takes credit for, were due to the impact of international post 9/11 developments. After 9/11, Pakistan was granted ...

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Love, donkeys and Pakistani cricket

Following the accusations of suspected match-fixing hurled at Pakistan’s cricket team, a plethora of explanatory theories have been put forth. Some, like the Pakistan Team Manager Yawar Saeed, discount the view that the cricket team is ‘institutionally corrupt’ whilst the more diehard of enthusiasts have instantly suggested that it is merely an Indian-manufactured conspiracy. Furthermore, some – who have been disillusioned by the team’s objectionable conduct – have resorted to leading a procession of donkeys through the streets of Lahore and pelting them with shoes. Of course, there are some, like Veena Malik (Mohammad Asif’s ex-girlfriend) who have capitalized on ...

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Cricket scandal: Out or not out?

While the immediate reaction to our cricket team’s recently discovered shenanigans is of hate and shame, there are many Pakistanis who believe that it is too soon to judge. To control one’s emotions and wait for more compelling evidence is both admirable and astute. However, what this evidence will be remains to be seen. Everything that has come to light so far may be convincing, but none of it sounds like damning proof that could stick in a court of law. Phones have been confiscated. Mazhar Majeed was an agent and was well within his rights to be calling Pakistani players. In ...

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State of the nation

I am a journalist, and I love being a Pakistani journalist. While taking pride in being Pakistani can be difficult at times, there is no denying that it’s an ideal place for reporting thanks to the myriad issues we face. We have poverty, war, fashion, controversy, tragedy, natural disasters, alliances, personalities, economic downturn and shaky governments. In short, a reporter’s paradise. If nothing else, journalists can build a really good CV in this country. I remember having a conversation with an American about the Fulbright scholarship requirement that students return to their homeland at the end of their courses. And I ...

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