Altaf Hussain simply explained human biology. What was so vulgar about it?

Once again, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supporters were quick to criticise Altaf Hussain’s recent speech – mostly on social media. The outburst obviously made me curious about the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief’s seemingly offensive words. I managed to find the speech in question from February 16, 2016, which he made to workers and office bearers at his party headquarter, famously known as Nine Zero.

At about 9:30 minutes into the video, he began speaking about reproduction by quoting verse 13 of chapter 49, which is ‘Surah Hujurat’, of the Holy Quran.

But what could be considered the most important part of his speech was deliberately ignored and his explanation of human biology was taken out of context.

Let it be known that before he even brought up the subject, he asked if participants were uncomfortable, and if so, he would change the topic. Only after getting nods of approval from the audience did he start the discussion.

He went to explain the fusion of sperm cell from a male with an egg cell from a female as a result of copulation in biological terms about. This process takes place due to human biology inside a female body, which is called fertilisation. After fertilisation, a single Zygote is formed, which after multiple divisions of cells start the process of embryogenesis.

He further elaborated that the process from fertilisation to Organogenesis (formation of human organs) is coded in genetic materials called Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) and Ribonucleic Acid (RNA).

He said that while a biology teacher could explain the topic, how many politicians or leaders in Pakistan could teach their workers and supporters such things? He was right.

I think a political leader should play a role in this regard and openly talk about every topic with his workers – with mutual consent, of course.

Altaf Hussain simply explained human biology. What was so vulgar about it? And what can be done about such narrow minds and mentality?

From grade nine to 11, our children, whether in segregated or co-education schools, study the reproductive system in detail. A perverted mind may get sexual gratification from a human anatomy atlas, but in actuality, it is a tool of education for medical students.

Throughout the sub-continent, especially Pakistan, most gynaecologists (medical specialists in female reproductive system) are female, as women are more comfortable discussing their issues with doctors of the same sex. Similarly, in Pakistan, most teachers of this subject are female as well. However, the subject isn’t just limited to female students and boys, too, are made to study this subject from the same teachers.

The MQM chief went on to question if everyone regardless of their class and ethnicity are a product of the same embryogenesis, why are they treated differently?

Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) stated that everyone is equal, regardless of their ethnic background in his last sermon.

The MQM chief simply inquired upon why, despite having common origins even in biological terms, muhajirs are being discriminated against, are faced with atrocities and are considered disdainful.

His speeches are always termed controversial by opponents or the establishment. They tried to control his speeches by establishing an unconstitutional media blackout and are now nit-picking his words and dispute him. But, in fact, he is the only one who has persistently raised his voice against extremism, the Taliban, oligarchies’ occupation on the system and the presence of the ISIS in Karachi. Some might find his reference to human biology controversial, but I don’t.

Kudos to him for bringing it up.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32643/altaf-hussain-simply-explained-human-biology-what-was-so-vulgar-about-it/

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Gods of Egypt – an empty CGI spectacle

Trailers do not do a good enough job of selling  movies properly these days. Most of the time the entire film is ruined for us in a space of three minutes, while in other cases, they try to mask their film’s mediocrity by showcasing a handful of good moments in the trailer. This is done in order to save the remaining mediocre movie for suckers who pay to watch it.

In the case of Gods of Egypt, at least the trailer sold the movie for what it is; a big-budget, whitewashed misappropriation of Egyptian culture and mythology with lots and lots of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).

The film is set in ancient Egypt and shows gods living among the mortals. The gods look just like the humans, only they’re much taller. A voiceover at the start of the film tells us that god Osiris has decided to crown his son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) the king, until suddenly, Osiris’s brother Set, also known as the god of darkness and played by Gerard Butler suddenly thinks he should be the king. Thus Set stabs his father  to death and pulls out Horus’s eyeballs (yup, they took that straight out of The Lion King(1994), except the eye-balls part) and starts babbling some made up mumbo-jumbo about the afterlife to his soon-to-be mortal slaves.

Gerard Butler.
Photo: Screenshot

The main hero of the story however, is Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a lowly mortal and thief who can best be described as a 99 cent version of Aladdin. Bek infiltrates Set’s treasure vault, gets his hands on Horus’s magic eyeballs, among other things and attempts to return them to the wounded Horus so he can fight back and retake the throne.

Photo: Screenshot

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Gods of Egypt is really, really bad. It’s badly made, it’s badly acted, and it has really bad special effects. It’s a movie that fails on nearly every level.

Photo: Screenshot

It’s quite obvious that nearly the entire $140 million budget was spent on special effects. And boy, do they feel horrendously artificial. I had trouble believing a single shot in this movie. That’s how overdone the CGI is. In some shots the actors aren’t even fully integrated into the background. Watching this movie is like watching someone playing a really terrible video-game.

The execution is drab, the action sequences are bloated and incredibly dull, lacking any imagination whatsoever and often bordering on silliness.

Photo: Screenshot

The film is directed by Alex Proyas, a director who made two extremely interesting films – The Crow (1994) and Dark City (1998) – at the start of his career before making a mediocre film I, Robot (2004) followed by an awful film, Knowing (2009). With Gods of Egypt, he has truly sunk to the bottom of the barrel in regards to his cinematic career. I actually think the studio could have saved themselves some money by getting the visual effects department to direct the movie instead. They could have directed it just as well.

The lazy writing consistently delves into the ‘so bad it’s hilarious’ category with its awkward humour and clunky dialogue. If the movie was just two hours of stupid camp, I actually could have appreciated it a little bit, but then the movie tries to establish some serious drama and it just does not work.

Gerard Butler.
Photo: Screenshot

The acting is mostly serviceable. There’s something to enjoy about Gerrard Butler’s crazy and over the top turn as Set. At times it’s unclear if he slips into his Scottish accent by accident or is just too lethargic in order to put in an effort to cover it up. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau tries his best with what he’s doing, while Brandon Thwaites comes across as too bland a character.

Photo: Screenshot

Gods of Egypt is an empty CGI spectacle at its very worst. It’s silly, it’s senseless and it’s boring. It actually feels like the filmmakers set out to make a video-game but ended up with this joke of a movie.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32621/gods-of-egypt-an-empty-cgi-spectacle/

America must decide between its people and guns

US politics has taken a nose dive. In the run up to the November 2016 presidential election, public opinion is going crazy. At a time when Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and are hell bent on safeguarding the dreadfully outdated Second Amendment to the US Constitution, we, as a society, are seemingly settled and resigned to our fate.

Beyond the 400 or so mass-shootings and over 2000 deaths and injuries just in 2015, the guns are still blazing and there’s no stopping the lunacy. Proponents of the dastardly arms trade say that guns only kill innocent people when they fall into the wrong hands. They also attribute mental illness as a reason for the rampant killing sprees. Proposals for deeper background checks are booed at when the government wants to make a move in the right direction.

All this is contributing toward undermining the image of the United States. When murderous acts are carried out on the streets, in schools, places of worship, family planning institutions and centres for the developmentally challenged; when educational institutions let students carry guns in classrooms and when laws of the country are slack enough to allow domestic terrorists fill up their homes with ammunition enough to kill large chunks of population, where do we stand as a nation? Shouldn’t we wake up to the reality and move on with the gun control measures? Obviously National Rifle Association (NRA) has its own axe to grind, helped by the far-right, blood thirsty Beltway leeches that would gun down even the vaguest effort to curb the supply and trade of arms.

It’s not just the politicians though. It’s the public at large in various parts of the country that is used to bearing arms and traditionally thinking that carrying guns would make them safe. The founding fathers enacted the right to bear arms into the constitution in the late 1700s to enable people to join the newly-independent nation’s army, suppress slave revolts and repel invasions. None of this holds true in today’s United States. We are not in a state of internal conflict and slavery was abolished about 150 years ago. The Second Amendment is completely obsolete.

Speaking of obsolete, our Republican friends on the campaign trail keep protesting that ‘Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world’ ‘What’s wrong with that?’ I ask. Is Obama committing a daylight murder if he’s trying to introduce some 21st century reforms in the society? Why build walls of resistance when it comes to gun control measures?

Constant massacres from Michigan to Kansas to San Bernardino have dragged our emotions to the lowest ebb. The irony is that politicians all over the presidential campaign landscape are desperate to score points and competing with each other to cosy in with the gun lobbyists and those afraid of a slave revolt.

This is the ‘Bible Belt’ population that suffers from economic problems and not educated much – folks who Donald Trump fondly refers to as the ‘poorly educated.’ Soundbytes favouring Second Amendment are belligerent and anyone opposing guns is either told to shut up or simply leave the country since such voices are considered unpatriotic.

They say, ‘don’t talk about it, be about it’. Americans must move past the hallucination that more guns make them safe. If restrictions on supply and sale of weapons are imposed and stricter checks are performed, fewer people will have access to arms and, therefore, there’ll be fewer killings.

We are continuously bombarded by the scare tactics of the likes of the Republicans and the right-wing media. We must not let our destiny be commandeered by the gun lobby that serves parochial interests. The ease of access to weapons is letting every lunatic use their Second Amendment ‘right’, shoot and kill. In a country where many believe that access to health care is not a basic human right, death by hostility is the answer to our health woes since a bullet costs far less than a visit to a doctor’s office.

There are no easy solutions. As desperation in the society grows, as patience and perseverance in life turn into unknown commodities, we are walking on thin ice on this issue. How many women, kids, office workers, bystanders and ordinary souls must sacrifice their lives before anything constructive can be done to curb this menace? While undoubtedly the constitution reigns supreme in the US, at times people feel that the Second Amendment, by virtue of its non-stop mention, is the constitution – a general perception that we get on account of the phenomenal importance attached to guns.

America is still an incredible country and, just like any other nation, is characterised by innumerable flaws and follies. Mental illness is a huge issue and lack of care is an ever-increasing problem that increases the risk factors. If someone is unhappy with the Planned Parenthood concept, they go and kill people in one of their facilities Colorado.

Influenced by ISIS and think America is the ‘great satan’? Buy weapons in bulk online and receive them at your doorstep.

The bottom-line is that anyone and everyone can get weapons from the most basic handgun to even the latest and the greatest rocket launchers.

As a proud American I feel appalled by the attitude of the powers that be, refusing and turning a blind eye to the chronic gun-crisis. Listening to the presidential debates, one experiences a complete failure to address the burning issues of the day. The clowns on the stage keep harping on the same old tune that they’ll protect the Second Amendment with their lives. I think they need psychiatric treatment themselves. Also, such fluff is super interesting for entertainment purposes but adds nothing new to the conversation.

Obstructionism doesn’t ever help. What may help is getting to the root of matter, i.e. work with the interest groups, curtail the monstrous, incessant supply of weapons to the market and incentivise states all over the country to work on mental illness related issues. Talk to the blue-collar and poorly educated that guns don’t help. Several luminaries and celebrities are already working against guns. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is at the forefront of this campaign and an active gun control supporter. There’s no reason to reinvent the playbook. We just need more of such people and less of the right-wing zealots.

Despite all its imperfections, America must live long and prosper. For many, it is much more than a country – this is our home. This is the time to act and eliminate gun violence. If not now, I’m afraid, it’ll be never.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32622/america-must-decide-between-guns-and-people/

Series 3 The Little Princess Part 1 Blushing with fear

Ammarah was 16 when her life took a swing. She was the youngest of four siblings. Since all her siblings were male, Ammarah enjoyed an endearing childhood as the only girl in the house. To her father and her brothers, she was, ‘Ameerah’, little princess.

As a girl living in the land of compromised security for the Muslims, especially those of the Shia sect, her mother didn’t think it would be wise to send her to school. But Ammarah wasn’t impaired or left behind in any way; her father, who was a professor, home-schooled her. She learnt history, arts, sciences and languages from her father. She had a knack for beautifying things like her mother. In leisure times, she and her mother would sit for hours knitting wall hangings, tea-cozies, table cloths and what not. Their home smelled of baked pies, flowers and yarn. The life at their house was that of a simplistic nature, void of troubles until September of 1982. One day, when the Lebanese party leader Bashir Gemayel was elected president, Ammarah’s life was turned upside down.

It was a cool September night, 16th to be exact as her 16th birthday had passed only a week ago. Her mother had baked a scrumptious strawberry cake with raspberry syrup. She and Abdul (the youngest brother), had fought over the last crumbs of the cake. Her father had played the flute, regaling them all with his own childhood memories. Ammarah smiled as she rubbed the plates clean, reliving last week’s birthday celebration. The smile was more due to the fascinating topic of her marriage that her mother had brought up that night.

“Well, you are 16 now, very appropriate for getting married. May God choose the best husband for you” her mother had whispered in her ear as she hugged her. “Can I choose myself?” she wondered to herself, reddening instantly at the very thought of it.

Just as she was imagining herself in a beautiful wedding dress, the doorbell rang shrilly. Her oldest brother went to check the door. He was seized and gagged instantly by the men in uniforms at the door. One of them strode right into the living room, his booming voice echoing in the house. Ammarah heard it all the way in the kitchen. Sometimes, she still hears that voice in her head.

“Everyone bring out their ID cards. All the men in the house line up outside in the street. Women stay behind and wait for orders.”

Just as she was about to go out, someone grabbed her from the arm. She let out a sharp squeal.

“Ssshhhh!! Ammarah hide quick!”

Her pounding heart calmed a little upon hearing her mother’s voice. They hid behind the kitchen cabinet. Trembling and hugging each other. She heard muffled sounds of struggle, distinct arguing noises of the men of their family and of her mother reciting surahs constantly under her breath. She started reciting them too. About a billion questions shot across her mind, gut wrenching fears tied her stomach into an uneasy knot. Breathing heavily, she tried to rise up to get a look from the window as the noises were becoming fainter. Her mother grabbed her back and motioned her to remain silent and still. She looked at her mother and saw unbound fear in her hazelnut eyes. She thought her mother would offer protection, she saw a sense of panic that she had never seen before. They sat crouched under the small cabinet for what seemed like an eternity. All noise had died out.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this two part series!

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32557/series-3-the-little-princess-part-1-blushing-with-fear/

Five anti-Pakistan Arnab Goswami moments that prove he needs to visit Pakistan first!

There is no doubt that he is flamboyant and aggressive to a fault. That is indeed what draws the viewers in. It’s not his fault. It is how the world of television news operates. He is merely the personification of ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ of news channels or perhaps the manifestation of television news at its best. For what else is news media about if not an indulgence in hyperbole, an engagement with trifle, and the desire to project whatever that is being shown as meaningful.

Many have fallen victim to the Arnab Goswami attack; a barrage of verbosity. When panellists sit on his show, their awry smiles or blank stares cannot hide the utter fear that lurks beneath. They wait hesitantly for their turn to the slaughterhouse. When the turn does come, they open their mouths but shut them as quickly, for Arnab doesn’t let anyone speak for longer than thirty seconds, except perhaps his favourite guests, Major General (retd) GD Bakshi and Maroof Raza. The others verily hold their tongues longing earnestly for a moment of redemption or for a right to be heard. But that right is never granted, for it would erode Arnab’s authority.

The man specialises in ridiculing and insulting his Pakistani guests on his show, The Newshour, a live debate anchored by him. Be it Major General (retd) Rashid Qureshi or Fawad Chaudhry, all have taken a beating from him and also given it back in some measure, but hardly any Pakistani guest has emerged unscathed from his attacks.

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was one of Goswami’s first Pakistani interviewees. He interviewed the gentleman in Pakistan’s Delhi Consulate right after the Samjhauta Express attack. The interview was forcibly terminated mid – session because Arnab was not giving the Pakistani Foreign Minister enough respect, whatever that means. That must have left him more than a little begrudged against Pakistan.

The hot-headed Qamar Zaman Kaira was also a guest on the highly rated show back in September, 2014. The whole time, he was endlessly defending his party chairman Bilawal’s hogwash rhetoric on Kashmir, pleading or rather scolding Goswami to ‘be patient and let him answer’. But of course, Goswami being Goswami would never let him finish. Kaira eventually walked out of the show.

One of the only times Arnab has been left speechless was when Zafar Hilaly was sitting on the other side. He asked the ambassador a few pointed questions about ISI’s funding of Dr Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai. Hilaly simply replied that it was a ‘great thing’, and he wished that ISI had financed Dr Fai even more. All Goswami could retort with was the usual,

“You haven’t answered my question.”

Arnab Goswami didn’t even spare Imran Khan’s ex-wife, Reham Khan. The topic, back in October 2014, was ceasefire violations. Hardly had she began speaking that he alleged that she was part of the military establishment and was narrating ISI’s point of view. Reham was obviously amused and bemoaned that he was showing lack of respect for a fellow journalist, which of course had no effect on Goswami. He ended the show by saying that Pakistan would be pulverised by India.

Arnab’s best Pakistani encounter came in January 2013, and perhaps the one that he would most like to forget. It would not be incorrect to say that General (retd) Pervez Musharraf bludgeoned him. The topic was Siachen beheadings, and while Goswami had the upper hand morally, he quickly squandered that by being belligerent as always. That got Musharraf all riled up, and he of course is an ex-commando; when he gets bellicose, all bets are off.

It may be that all these encounters solidified his morbidly anti-Pakistani views or perhaps the dislike has been ingrained in him from way before – his father after all was a colonel in the Indian Army.

How can we turn him around though?

The solution is simple.

He has to visit Pakistan.

Barkha Dutt, whom I met with last September, was a similar case. But she readily changed. She claimed on Hamid Mir’s show, Capital Talk that after visiting Pakistan, she had morphed from an anti-Pakistan hawk to a dove.

How beautiful!

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32511/five-anti-pakistan-arnab-goswamis-moments-that-prove-he-needs-to-visit-pakistan-first/

Why did PTI so strongly oppose the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill?

The Punjab Assembly unanimously approved the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill, calling for an end to all criminalities against women, such as, domestic violence, acid attack, rape, psychological and economic abuse, stalking, and cyber-crimes. The 31 clauses of the new bill provide an efficient system for complaint registration and penalties for offenders.

According to the clauses, a toll-free helpline (UAN number) will be launched to receive direct complaints. It also calls for the creation of protection centres and shelters homes, where conflicts and misunderstandings can be settled and help partners reach reconciliation.

Under the law, those convicted of life-threatening crimes against women will have to wear a GPS bracelet and any illegal meddling will be dealt with a GPS tracker that can result in one year imprisonment and a fine up to Rs200,000. The law further states,

“To protect life, dignity and reputation of the aggrieved, a woman protection officer may direct the defendant to move out of the house for 48 hours.”

Moreover, any unfair accusation and fabricated complaint can result in a three months imprisonment or a fine of Rs100,000. The bill also directs family courts to fix hearings within seven days of a complaint.

Overall, it is a historic bill to protect women against all evils and crimes. The well-organised implementation will definitely help females by guaranteeing that criminals will be held for their criminalities and a malevolent individual will not go unpunished. The new law emerges as a saving mechanism for prevention, combating and eradication of violence against women as well as for security, justice and reintegration of the mentally and physically tortured victims.

The bill has magnificently covered all the critical must-have consolidated statutes dealing with violence and crafted the complaint system easier than ever. It’s certainly a milestone towards women rights, empowerment and gender equality.

However, there is a section of society that strongly opposed the new protection bill and considered it an attempt to authorise secularism, deteriorate cultural values and vulgarity in the country.

Punjab government’s spokesman Zaeem Qadri stated that this bill collides with our social setup and involving man in such a way would affect the domestic lives.

Furthermore, a prominent cleric Mufti Muhammad Naeem also openly criticised the protection law by terming it against our culture and Islamic Sharia. He accused the Sharif brothers for promoting secularism and liberalism by following western values. Surprisingly, the party that opposed this bill the strongest was PTI.

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I failed to understand the hue and cry over a simple straightforward law for merely the protection of women. The people who think that curbing such violent acts would collide with our social setup and cultural values are actually the believers of patriarchal societal structure. Such criticisms are a way of reinforcing male supremacy, thus creating notions of religion, culture and traditions justifying the male domination and longing to control women lives. This sort of mind-set puts women in an extremely vulnerable situation.

The rate of violence against women throughout the country paints a very gloomy picture. There are instances where husbands have attacked their wives and cut their noseslips and ears after domestic disputes. Such incidents occurred in different cities such as Faisalabad, Abbottabad, Bahawalpur, Mansehra, Naushero Feroze and various parts of Balochistan.

In Pakistan, women are murdered merely for giving birth to girls, burnt in fake incidents of stove burning, suffer acid attacks, rapes, spousal abuse, forced abortions, forced prostitution, acute domestic violence and swapped for settlements. Unfortunately, most of these crimes go unreported due to lack of women independence, social acceptance and weak legal and justice framework. These dreadful instances highlight the sufferings of women in the name of cultural and religious norms that male dominated societies endorse.

In our society, women are considered secondary, so they must be obedient and subservient. This passive role is levied by the conformist society in so many different ways – via society’s traditional beliefs, ancestral customs and religious codes. Conventional traditions and attitudes fabricated on artificial rule-books of culture, religious and sociological doctrines make it extremely challenging for a woman to stand up against such practices.

Initiating a domestic violence law for the protection of women is not mental slavery of the west. Cutting off women’s facial features are not social values in any part of the world. No violent act is justified nor reinforced in the teachings of Islam. Likewise, such legislation cannot destroy the family system or domestic lives.

There is a huge difference between religious beliefs and man-made values. In this modern and technological age, women are subjected to various forms of gender-based violence, unscrupulous control, sexism and misogyny reinforced by patriarchal theories. Social custom is a euphemism for deep-rooted patriarchy that condones violence against women. Everything that stresses women’s respect and dignity is in fact an incipient provocation for strong patriarchal mind-set.

The rotation of shameless crimes won’t be interrupted till criminals are not penalised. All male members of society are not accountable for violence and crime against females, but they must use all means to cease it. Intensive campaigns that alter the significance to tackling men’s approach rather than women’s attitude are pivotal so that deep-rooted cultural change uplifts women’s status on the basis of humanitarianism and not on man-made biased social customs. This can only be possible if each and every law is enforced effectively with strong commitment.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32607/why-did-pti-so-strongly-oppose-the-protection-of-women-against-violence-bill/

Why was Danish Kaneria banned for life but Mohammad Amir restored?

When it comes to cricket, Pakistan has something or the other for everyone. Cricket is food for soul for a majority of Pakistanis, so it is understandable when the populace reacts to unjust happenings to cricketers who have held important places in not just the Pakistan cricket team but also in the hearts of thousands of Pakistani cricket fans.

On a similar note is the story of Danish Kaneria. The right-arm leg-spinner ranked fourth in most number of wickets taken in international matches following the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan, is currently living under the ban imposed upon him in 2012 due to allegations of spot-fixing.

Danish Kaneria, the second Hindu to be serving in the Pakistan cricket team, took forth the legacy of Pakistani leg-spin bowlers. His contributions to the team include taking the most number of wickets. With the right amount of height, he had the power to turn the ball according to his whim, effortlessly.

Photo: AFP

Kaneria, 35, was sentenced to a life ban by an English disciplinary panel for spot-fixing in June 2012 while playing a match for Essex. Danish Kaneria’s story erupted on to the stage when Mervyn Westfield, an Essex bowler was found guilty of spot-fixing and was suspended from cricket. While pleading for his case and to save his own neck, he accused Danish Kaneria of being the middleman in his corrupt activity of spot-fixing.

Now, as injustice has its way of destroying the innocent, upon Mervyn Westfield’s accusations, Danish Kaneria was banned for life from the one thing that he loved doing most; cricket. Not just from international cricket but also from domestic cricket, depriving not just the player but also his fans from experiencing the best of cricket.

Photo: AFP

Anything that we know for sure is that the allegations resulting in the life ban of Kaneria were never proven guilty. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had no hard or soft evidence to prove those allegations or base their punishment on. All they were relying on was a verdict of a convicted player. Besides that the local police did not find any illegal amount in his bank accounts nor did the judge ask the police to re-investigate the case.

As far as the allegations of Kaneria hooking up Westfield with a bookie is concerned, there is more to the story than what we were told by the media. Danish Kaneria was introduced to the bookie, Anu Butt by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) manager, Asad Mustafa during a 2005 West-Indies tour. Not only Kaneria but other well-known players were also introduced to him.

Danish Kaneria with his son.
Photo: AFP

Being an ardent cricket fan, what didn’t appeal to my rationality is the fact that three other Pakistani players were caught red-handed for spot-fixing and after completion of their respective punishments, they are now back on the playing field.

Why is this trio being allowed to play, despite being caught red-handed and spoiling the name of Pakistan? Is it because of pressure? Or because of their strong backgrounds? How can we forget their past especially when they denied their activities until proven guilty? My question is, why is Kaneria being kept off-ground? Is it because he belongs to a minority group? Especially when the allegations against him could not be proven. What makes for such a strong opposition case for Kaneria that his appeals against ECB’s decision were denied, not once but twice?

How they so easily separate a soul from a body and cricket fans from cricketers is beyond me.

I would want to question the media and especially PCB’s role in standing up for Kaneria. PCB took the main role in fighting for Mohammad Amir’s case and made sure that he returned to his due place in the field.

Why is the PCB not taking charge of handling Kaneria’s case?

Why is the PCB not forming a panel that can put Kaneria back into the field by talking about Kaneria’s version of the story?

Or is this another one of the many ‘prejudiced’ cases because the person in question does not belong to the ‘mainstream’ group so will automatically be subject to the discrimination that scars this country’s face?

Every story has two sides, but in Kaneria’s case we only know about the side that the media told us. We have yet to hear Kaneria’s version of the story.

Another interesting fact is that Kaneria being a Pakistani player was charged, tried and punished in England and who knows how fairly the events took place. Danish Kaneria, however, still has faith in the ECB and believes they will restore justice and save him from starving himself.

As much as PCB’s role is concerned, I think they can take measures to allow Kaneria to play domestic cricket, coach in academies, train young talent and earn enough to sustain his family instead of starving him out in the street considering the way he has been reduced to nothing in a tiny doubtful moment. I would request the higher authorities, especially the patron chief to look into the matter.

from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/32399/why-was-danish-kaneria-banned-for-life-but-mohammad-amir-restored/