Thursday, December 18, 2008

A No Brainer

The Ministry of External Affairs' decision not to allow the BCCI to send players for the 2009 India-Pakistan Cricket Series is wise and well-timed. The very idea of a 'business as usual' atmosphere between Pakistan and India after 26/11 is disgusting and reprehensible.

I do not doubt President Asif Zardari's sincerity. He seems like a hard-working person who wants a safer Pakistan and South Asia. But the continued flip-slip from Pakistan - sending the ISI Chief, Amir Ajmal's nationality, airspace violations etc. - indicate that he does not call all the shots. The military is involved here, no doubt.

From my point of view, the military is in total control of Indo-Pak policies. While the civilian government is left to control the (crumbling) economy, they are out to alleviate American pressure in the NWFP and FATA. This is an existential danger for Pakistan, and a major security threat to India.

India is not the first country to cancel a cricket tour to Pakistan this year, and it certainly won't be the last. But unless the Government 'settles down' (it seems to be taking forever to do that) and crushes the political side of the military, cricket tours will be the last thing Pakistan will have to worry about.

I think Pakistan's GEO TV deserves special praise for its coverage. GEO has come to signify Pakistan's new democracy abroad. Good job!

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