An Australian identified as a white supremacist went on a shooting rampage in New Zealand, killing 50 people, 42 at one mosque, eight at another. Obviously, the people he killed were migrants, nine of them Pakistanis. One of the mosques was supposed to host the Bangladesh cricket team, which had actually almost arrived at the Friday prayer, but which had a narrow escape after its members saw the shootings from their van as they approached.
Their tour was cancelled. It was not much of a disappointment for cricket fans, because it had been lopsidedly onesided, the first two Tests have ended in innings defeats for the tourists. There is no reason to think that the Christchurch Test, if it had been held, would have ended any differently. New Zealand’s innings in each Test had been based on a double century by one of its batsmen.
The Bangladesh team has faced terror before at the hands of an Australian, when Jason Gillespie, better known as a pace bowler, scored 200 not out in the 2nd Test at Chittagong (now Chattogram) in 2006, in what was his first first-class century. He had come in to bat at one-down, as a night watchman. He retired after that match, thus becoming the only person to have scored a double hundred in his last match. He also has the lowest batting average of anyone scoring a double hundred. I suppose the Bangladesh team wasn’t really ready, because none of those who went through Gillespie’s innings was in Christchurch.
I suppose cricket may have stopped in Christchurch, but not in Karachi. The PSL must go on, even though the attacker apparently decided that Bangladesh team was not worth waiting for. Lahore was the site where the Sri Lankan team faced a militant attack in 2009. There hasn’t been any Test cricket here since then. Let’s see how long New Zealand has to host its home Tests in another country. The big difference between Pakistan and New Zealand is that they are white, we are not. I would have expected a white supremacist to care about that, but I wouldn’t expect any but the most limpwristed Aussie to care much about what happened to New Zealanders. After all, it was an Aussie who said that “New Zealand is inhabited by 32 million sheep. Two million think they’re people.”
Well, PPP chief Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur also thought they were people, but their case has been transferred to the accountability court in Rawalpindi. I suppose Zardari doesn’t mind his own case so much as the one against his sister. And I suspect that Zardari would probably be more concerned with his brother-in-law’s reaction than anything else. Though the bail given to Asif and his sister by the Karachi banking court has been automatically cancelled, no none is arresting them. Probably because they’ll get bail from the trial court, so it isn’t worth the trouble. Zardari at least should get a long black kurta made, and wear a dhoti, so that he can tell the people back home that he went to court for bail. He needn’t lie, but let it be understood that the charge is a bit more interesting than white-collar crime. Murder, attempted murder and buffalo theft are not respectable, but at least they do not lower one in the eyes of fellow villagers.
Perhaps it’s symptomatic that while there has been a lot of speculation about Zardari and Mrs Talpur, not to mention the hot air generated by talk, there hasn’t been any such speculation about the Aurat March participants, who have come in for a lot of flak for the language used on some of their placards. Well, some of the slogans cannot be printed in a family newspaper like this. But the real test is whether a case is registered and a prosecution launched. Unless that is done, criticism will just be so much hot air.