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CITY NOTES: Staying away from Pakistan

I’m surprised at England’s decision not to come to Pakistan. It was only to be expected after New Zealand decided to abandon its tour, but nobody seems willing to own the ECB decision. British PM Boris Johnson said his government had not issued a threat warning, and the British High Commissioner to Islamabad, Christian Turner, said it wasn’t him either. Even the Players’ Association, said it hadn’t been asked (even though the ECB said that it had been consulted).

I wouldn’t be surprised if the ECB turned around and said that it hadn’t cancelled the tour after all. But then, the ECB’s security consulting firm is the same as Cricket New Zealand uses. They are carefully keeping quiet, and are probably saying that since New Zealand oiled out, England should do the same.

Just wait though. Australia will have to decide too. That’s when Fawad Chaudhry will probably be proved true. His reaction

to the English decision was that it was the price of saying, “No more.” Imran Khan said it, when the USA wanted us to do more, it seems, and we didn’t.

The information of the terrorist threat is supposed to have come from a New Zealander’s wife, who got an email from someone who said he was planning to attack her husband.

Of course, the mail came too late to be included in the dossier that is doing the rounds of world capitals, but then our agencies got proof that the mail had actually been sent from Mumbai.

Then there’s the report that says that the person supposed to have sent the mail was actually some musician and Tiktokker. Mmmm… Sounds as if Arnab Goswami, the veteran telejournlist who got caught with his pants down, is getting his revenge. Remember, he’s the guy who said that there were Pakistani Army officers on the fifth floor of the Serena in Kabul. Only the Serena there doesn’t have a fifth floor. He was obviously told so by highly reliable sources. Well, those highly unreliable sources fooled our own highly unreliable sources with a Tiktokker.

Of course, someone might remind Fawad Chaudhry that when one refuses to ‘do more’, then cricket tours aren’t cancelled; people are made horrible examples of. Like Bhutto. Or Indira Gandhi. Or Zia. Or Ziaur Rehman of Bangladesh. The last is interesting. The USA didn’t really have a motive,

but |India did: he wasn’t doing more. But no tours were cancelled. Bangladesh wasn’t even denied Test status. So maybe those highly unreliable sources helped along the coup that saw him killed. It took some doing, but the highly unreliable sources got a friendly government installed in Dhaka. It didn’t help, as the Bangladeshi government has got problems with the Indian government on a number of issues, starting with the Rojingyas.

Our highly unreliable sources have got a friendly government installed in Kabul, but they are beginning to have issues. The moral is that certain problems go with borders, and no matter how friendly the government, it can’t help behaving like a government.

Meanwhile, Imran has advised the players to take out their anger at New Zealand on the cricket field. That sounds like a formula for getting dropped. How often have we heard of someone dismissed because of a ‘rush of blood’? Of course, he’s being optimistic to assume that they will be playing. Well, they probably won’t be playing at home.

And while New Zealand got a threat and pulled out, who threatened England? The same Tiktokker or a different one? Frankly, I suspect Boris Johnson. Just look at him. Doesn’t he have the face of a natural-born prankster? I realize we as a country have lost the right since 2018 (and some would say 1990) to point fingers at other country’s Prime Ministers, but still…

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