Of Rehman Malik and Veena Malik
Who says we, the Pakistanis, are not consistent? We certainly are. Look at our national cricket team. It is consistently inconsistent. It never fails to surprise you.
Take Rehman Malik (no relation of Veena Malik, I hope – for her sake, of course). He consistently issues the same statement after each bomb blast: “We will not tolerate any act of terrorism
”. Give the Interior Minister more than full marks, if you can, for his level of tolerance has reached dizzying heights. The awkward fact remains that he tolerates terrorism, not out of choice though.
By the way, Veena Malik’s rare appearances on television can hardly be compared with the frequency with which her sur-namesake is seen on the idiot box. She was, however, in the news when she was hurling bouncers at the fast bowler
with whom I share my first name. Nothing else, mercifully enough.
Back to our national characteristics – we also suffer from foot-in-the-mouth disease. We do think and ponder but only after we have played the shot. While on shots, I am reminded of the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt, who invited the Sri Lankan cricket team to tour his country, despite a series of bomb blasts. What is more the invitation was sent the very day the CID office in Peshawar was reduced to rubble
and the star Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan had announced his refusal to tour Pakistan
Who will protect the Sri Lankans if they out of foolhardiness accept Mr Butt’s invitation? Certainly not the police because they can’t protect themselves. No cricket ground would be safe. However, on second thoughts, I add that the safest place in the country, would be Bilawal House for it is heavily fortified
. But surely Sri Lankans (and the Pakistani cricketers too) would like to have more than a one man-spectator. During the summer vacations, the three kids of the lord and master of Bilawal House can join him, but even if you add the battalion of servants in the mansion the number of spectators would be woefully small.
While on cricket, one agreed with Doom Doom Shahid Afridi
that Shoaib Akhtar should not have announced his retirement
while the World Cup matches were in progress. But then if you ask the former fastest bowler in the world to comment on the statement, he is most likely to say Afridi should not have announced his retirement from Test cricket last year at Lords after he played an injudicious shot and lost his wicket. Afridi declared that temperamentally he was not cut out for Test cricket. But after seeing him play the same kind of shots in the shorter forms of the game in recent months one would have expected him to confess that he is not cut out for cricket. Period.
Another cricketer one is tempted to talk about is Imran Khan. For the last few years he has been into politics. These days he is as often on the telly as our friend Rehman Malik happens to be. Last week in a fit of anger (as he is so often these days), Imran Khan proved that he is no animal lover. When a TV host asked him to give his views on the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the great Khan referred to him as ‘Amreeki
’. To the best of my knowledge there is no canine pedigree which traces its origin to the other side of the Atlantic.
But then, let’s be fair, we can’t discuss Imran Khan along with Shahid Afridi or Rehman Malik in the same breath. He has done a great job by building a cancer hospital in Lahore and his team is working on another to be built in Peshawar. One hopes Imran’s contribution to education will be second only to his services in the health sector. So what if some people think (not very loudly, though) that he lacks in political acumen. Surely, no one is perfect.
Don’t compare his political career with his cricketing days. In those days, he led his team by example but now one can’t see a team which can be led by example. It’s a one man demolition squad. Isn’t it?
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