Posts Tagged ‘ Pakistani Cricketers ’

Pakistan Cricketer Mohammad Asif Freed After Fixing Scam Sentence

As Reported by The BBC

Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Asif, one of three jailed for a fixing scam, has been released after serving half of a 12-month sentence, his lawyer says.

Asif, 29, the former world number two Test bowler, was freed from Canterbury Prison in Kent on Thursday morning.

In November, Asif and team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir were jailed for a plot to bowl deliberate no balls in a Test match against England in 2010.

All three players were also given five-year playing bans.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said it did not comment on individuals.

“Foreign national offenders released from prison on licence will be supervised by probation for as long as they remain in this country,” he said.

Undercover reporter
The fixing scandal came to light when an undercover News of the World reporter approached sports agent Mazhar Majeed, who was also jailed for his role, pretending to be a wealthy Indian businessman seeking players for a tournament.

Majeed promised him that Asif and Amir would deliver three no-balls at specific points during the Test between Pakistan and England at Lord’s on 26-29 August 2010, and claimed to have been fixing games for over two years, with seven Pakistan players working for him.

At Southwark Crown Court in November, ex-Test captain Salman Butt, 27, was jailed for two-and-a-half years for his role as the “orchestrator” of the plot.

Explaining why he had bowled a no-ball when Majeed said he would, Asif alleged that Butt had told him to “run faster” moments before his delivery.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Cooke, said there was no evidence that Asif had taken part in fixing before the Lord’s match but added: “It is hard to see how this could be an isolated occurrence for you.”

Asif took his 100th Test wicket during Pakistan’s 2010 series in England.

He had run into controversy before. He twice tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug nandrolone and was held in Dubai for 19 days in 2008 after opium was found in his wallet.

Mohammad Amir was released from jail in February.


Pakistan and India- The Love-Hate Relationship of Two Brothers

By Manzer Munir for Pakistanis for Peace

Since the bitter partition that resulted in the creation of Pakistan and India in 1947, and three subsequent wars with each other, not to mention countless near incidents, the two neighbors have not had an easy relationship, to say the least.

However, mixed in with fear and hatred towards each other is a fascination and affinity to the arch rival on the other side of the Line of Control. In fact, one could say that the two have a love-hate relationship with each other. The recent wedding of Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik to Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza is an indication to the amount of interest and hype given to the couple in media from both sides of the border, making them instantly one of the hottest and most talked about young couples in this Bollywood and glamour obsessed culture.

In Pakistani schools, children are taught very little if anything at all about Pakistan’s pre-Islamic history. Instead the children are told of the glories of the Muslim Caliphate from the time of the prophet Mohammed and then the grand rule of the Moguls of India with the construction of immortal buildings like the Taj Mahal in Agra, or the Badshahi Masjid and the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, all three built on the Islamic style of architecture. Not very much emphasis is given to the great contributions that the people of present day Pakistan made as Hindus for centuries prior to the arrival of Islam in the subcontinent.

Criticisms abound by Muslims that in India, Muslim contributions to modern India are down played or not explored in the manner they are deserved. However, In Pakistan it is well documented those Pakistani textbooks not only do not teach about Hindu history and achievements, they actually teach hatred against India and Hindus. There is an underlying culture of hate and inequality based on religious grounds that permeates in the society despite Islam teaching respect for all religions and faiths. It’s as if thinking of someone as a polytheist makes them less equal as a human.

The mindset becomes that these non believers are infidels and this somehow makes it easy to dehumanize them or in some way think them to be inferior to you as a human being. Even the current terrorism situation in Pakistan has its roots in this culture of hate and to some level a dehumanization of people of other faiths, especially non-Abrahamic like Hinduism or Buddhism. To not recognize that ancient Indian/Hindu history is also the history of Pakistan does a great injustice to the shared history of one of the most ancient of cultures.

The natural history of this region shows that the origins of the Indian/Pakistani civilization go back to the end of the last Ice Age, more than 10,000 years ago, making this one of the oldest civilizations of the ancient world. This area of the world is a place which gave the world not only Hinduism, but also Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and other religions and has been a source of spiritual inspiration since the earliest of times. But maybe even more important than the contributions in the field of religion are the ancient civilization’s gifts to science and medicine.

Albert Einstein once said “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.” Indeed, Indian civilization is credited with the creation of the decimal number system, the binary numbering system, negative number, the origins of algebra, and even the all important concept mathematically of zero came from ancient Indian mathematicians.

Archaeologically, India has the most extensive and continuous record of all ancient civilizations, much more than Egypt, Sumeria or Mesopotamia of the same time periods. The ruins in Mohenjo-Daro and Taxila in modern day Pakistan point to the fact that there was a very advanced civilization present here and even the beginnings of one of the early urban settlements of the ancient world as they were remarkably constructed, considering its antiquity. Taxila is also the site of what is believed to be the first university or school of higher learning in the ancient world.

Also the ancient Vedic literature is the largest in the ancient world and contains thousands upon thousands of pages dwarfing what little has been successfully preserved by the rest of the world. This literature contains profound spiritual concepts, skills in mathematics, astronomy and medicine. Sanskrit is the mother of all European languages and Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to man.

Indian culture not only gave the world the game of chess, but was also was a place where some of the earliest innovations in the fields of surgery and advanced dentistry were developed as there is evidence of complex dental procedures being performed in the Indus valley some 8,000 years ago!

The celebrated American author Mark Twain once famously said of India that “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” And not so long ago, in a statement made by China’s former ambassador to the US, Hu Shih stated that “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.” This is further validated by the fact that the Indian civilization is considered unique in that it never invaded any country in the last 10,000 years of its history!

By denying its centuries old Hindu/Indian ancestry and history, modern day Pakistan is willfully abandoning its participation and hand in some of the greatest contributions made by one civilization to mankind. Not teaching children the importance of the pre-Islamic history and beginnings of what is now Pakistan is actually a disservice to its people. Also, since the ancestors of all Pakistanis were at some point or another Indian Hindus, disrespecting Hinduism and pre-Islamic Indian culture in essence disrespects one’s own ancestors!

Pakistan can learn a great deal from its ancient brother in the fields of democracy, constitutional freedoms, economic empowerment and technological advancements. A culture of hate has only bred more hate that has now begun to consume internally a nation that has for too long wearily looked outside to its larger neighbor as its chief enemy, instead of as a brother.

The Snub of Pakistani Cricketers by the Indian Premier League Should Come As No Surprise

By Manzer Munir

New Delhi, India- Events at an auction held earlier this month by India’s wildly popular Indian Premier League (IPL), consisting of professional cricket teams and franchises, has caused outrage amongst the cricket crazed Pakistani population. Up to seventeen top Pakistani cricketers were anticipated to be selected as top picks in the auction between the teams that saw none of the Pakistani players being selected.

Indian Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said that the “decision of the franchisees not to select any of the 17 Pakistani cricketers, who had been given Indian visas for participation in the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), was a disservice to the game of cricket.” Speaking in an interview to a television channel, Chidambaram said that the “IPL issue could have been handled in a better way” and expressed disappointment over the non-selection of the Pakistani cricketers as individuals.

He said these players were 20-20 World Champions and did not deserve to be treated this way. He said that any suggestion that the Indian Government had “nudged” the IPL not to select Pakistani players was not true and had no foundation.

The Pakistani press also had a field day with this turn of events calling for a boycott by the hockey team that is scheduled to visit India next month for Hockey’s World Cup being held in India where Pakistan is scheduled to participate.

Pakistan’s sports minister has demanded the Indian government carry out an inquiry into the snubbing of Pakistan cricketers in the Indian Premier League player auction. “We want the government of India to intervene in this issue and let us know who were responsible in keeping Pakistan cricketers away from the IPL,” Ijaz Jhakrani said Tuesday. “From day one our stance is that the IPL decision was an influenced one.”

The sports ministry has also put on hold its granting its permission for the Pakistan golf team to tour India next month. In addition, Speaker of Pakistan parliament’s lower house, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, stopped a parliamentary delegation’s proposed tour of India in protest. “We have asked both our foreign and interior ministries to let us know about the golf team’s tour to India,” sports ministry spokesman Faik Ali told the Associated Press. “We will decide on golf team’s tour to India after receiving inputs from both ministries”, she said.

Even Bollywood superstar actor Shah Rukh Khan, an owner of one of the IPL teams, the Kolkata Knight Riders, weighed on the issue saying it was “humiliating” to see none of the Pakistani players being picked and that the issue could have been handled better.

The tensions between India and Pakistan are seen as the main reason why the teams stayed away from picking the top Pakistani cricketers. There is a fear amongst the owners of the teams that should the animosities between India and Pakistan escalate, then the teams would suffer as their Pakistani players would be unable to travel or participate in games due to conflict between the two long time enemies. So in a sense it is a business reason that may have precipitated the action by the IPL. There is also a belief by many in Pakistan that perhaps the Indian government influenced the IPL into not accepting Pakistani cricketers as a way to reprimand Pakistan and punish it and its citizens for the Mumbai attacks of 2008, which is still fresh in everyone’s minds. India feels Pakistan has not done enough to rein the terrorist groups blamed for the attacks.

Nonetheless, the upset Pakistani cricket fans should also realize that there is a persistent uneasiness and suspicion on the part of India as Pakistan continues to be seen as the major threat to India’s sovereignty and security. To many in India, allowing Pakistani cricketers to play in India’s IPL would be seen as a way of rewarding a country and its citizens whom you detest and view with deep suspicion and enmity. So in a region of the world where so much tension and conflict already exists between the two neighbors and has simmered for over 60 years, one must not assume everything is peachy and just play ball!

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