I’ve just watched the sad last rites of what should have been a great match of cricket, conscious that what ever has happened on the pitch is as nothing to the damage going on to Pakistan’s reputation as a cricketing nation and that that’s as nothing to the suffering going on in a country of which I know little but is populated by people who feel physical and emotional pain as I do.
I live in West London, a part of the country with strong connections to the sub-continent. Many of my neighbours are Pakistani and there as many people who attend local mosques as churches. Our lives here are inter-twined with Pakistan in many ways.
Earlier this month, Pakistan’s premier was in this country. For many, including me, he disgraced himself by putting family issues before those of his people. What can the displaced millions be thinking as they suffer? What can those who access to media coverage be thinking as they see their crickets pile off their bus into the Marriott Hotel or their Premier stay at Claridges?
What can I do? I have no truck with terrorism or with the outrages of Sharia extremism. I am revolted by the concept of Jihad, deplore the intolerance displayed to the Taliban. I hate what is going on to the game of cricket. In many ways I want to express my revulsion at the Pakistani governmental system.
Yet the Pakistanis that I know are devout and caring people. I feel for the millions I do not know who
These contradictions trouble me. You may share with me the dilemma of how to translate sympathy into constructive support. We may also share the concerns of our leaders as to how to constructively engage with a troublesome political regime.
My conclusion is that people matter more than politics and the problems associated with cricket but more worryingly with terrorism and religious extremism are as nothing to the plight of the people of Pakistan who we should support financially in every way we can.