Sourav Ganguly declared Pakistan safe and secure for international sport events after clinching historic Test series on Friday. “Pakistan is definitely safe and secure for international sports,” Ganguly said addressing the post-match press conference at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. Ganguly termed his stay in Pakistan as wonderful. “We are amazed with the hospitality we received throughout the tour. It was really a fantastic tour.”[Daily Times]
In fact, cricket proved to be that very diplomatic miracle. During the course of three five-day test matches – which India won 2-1 – and five one-day events – which India also won, 3-2 – the sheer exuberance generated among the teeming millions of both nations was so extensive that only the most curmudgeonly dared recall that India and Pakistan had also fought three wars with each other since independence in 1947.[Pranay Gupte/The Straits Times]
Pranay Gupte’s article is the typical attempt to project a balanced view, trying to sound even handed by ignoring Pakistan’s sins of commission.
India may have won a great cricket series – great show by the Indian cricket team – but has handed the world’s biggest diplomatic walkover to Pakistan. Pakistan has earned tremendous goodwill which have helped whitewash its most recent sins: Pakistan-sponsored terrorism continues in Kashmir, Musharraf broke his promise to step down as army chief, Zawahiri was allowed to escape yet again, an elected politician was locked up for 23 years after a closed trial, education reforms were scuttled and democracy was throttled with the army’s role enshrined in the form of a national security council.
All these are ominous trends which suggest that all Bush and Vajpayee have managed to do is to postpone the inevitable until after their elections. It is yet too early to take the pressure of Musharraf. The cricket series gave a warm fuzzy feeling to the Indian people (and statisticians a lot of work), but that’s about all it did.
Hashmi’s sham trial: In one of the strongest reactions, Pakistan on Friday told the government of the United States that it would not tolerate any interference in its internal affairs as well as the country’s judicial process.[The News/Jang]
There we go.