Contradiction: Cricketing Perks and Misplaced Priorities

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final
LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 18: Pakistan lift the ICC Champions Trophy after beating India during ICC Champions Trophy Final between India and Pakistan at The Kia Oval on June 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Last week Pakistan Cricket team registered its maiden win of the Champions Trophy against its arch rival, India – defeating it with a huge margin of odd 180 runs. This magnificent win was destined to render the ambiance within Pakistan and the world over, wherever Pakistani diaspora resides, euphoric with jubilation and celebrations, with fans brimming with enthusiasm, exhilaration and enjoyment in every possible way!

Despite the fact, that cheering for your team that lightens up your country’s name should be done for the obvious reason of showing patriotism and expressing love for it, it nonetheless should be kept confined to a reasonable extent. Pakistani people are an emotional lot – Making and faking of heroes and zeroes, reverting the two more frequently than Pakistan cricket team play matches and little still wins.

So, after winning the trophy, the star players were showered with a variety of gifts and prizes. Everybody tried to jump on the band wagon, making their generosity count and showing it off in whichever way possible, for one reason or the other.

First of all, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s KP government announced the opening of a school that will be named after the Hero of Champions Trophy final – Fakhar Zaman, where he scored a magnificent knock and was given Man of the Match award.

One wonders at the logic of opening a school in the name of a cricketer, – He is not highly educated, hasn’t got any record of doing social work in the area of education, hasn’t got anything to his credit of efforts for its welfare at all. He has almost no philanthropic record. How come have the KP government made this decision, it betrays common sense and logic.

Secondly, the Chief of Army Staff announced Umrah for the winning team. One cannot digest the inherent absurdity of this announcement. Pakistan Army is a state institution which implies that it draws its funds from the Government of Pakistan which draws its revenues by taxing the people of Pakistan. So it means that Pakistan Army is using public funds or more precisely, people’s money, to expend over something which doesn’t come under their domain of operations. All this in a mere bid to be deemed as an honoring, caring and patriotic person (in case of COAS), or institution (Pakistan Army).

Thirdly, PM Nawaz Sharif has announced a sum of Rs. 10,000,000 for each and every player of playing XI and this is by comparison the most preposterous and disgusting show of all. One would have appreciated the concern, the love and the patriotism of the Premier if the money that was lavishly expended, was withdrawn from his personal bank accounts rather than at the expense of national exchequer. And besides, whats the point of raining a few people with such huge amounts  when they are all financially doing very well than most of the Pakistanis do. Moreover, this amount of money could have been used for many other purposes that could create a difference in the lives of ordinary Pakistanis. But nothing of the sort can happen, as its a mere exhibition like Kings in the old time for their is no feeling of heartache in wasting other people’s money.

It should be noted that this criticism is not aimed at giving prizes and gifts, per se, to people who have achieved great feats for their countries, bur rather at the gifts and prizes paid for at the expense of national exchequer.

Geo TV gifted the winning teams captain Sarfaraz Ahmad with a BMW car which is acceptable as it has been paid for from their own earnings and by the same token the plot of land announced by the CEO of Bahria Town for Fakhar Zaman and 1 million rupees for each player is also absolutely justified as it is not being paid at the cost of public money.

The above examples implicates the contradiction that our country has long been indulged in. As long as its not their money, public and government official should avoid doing it as its tantamount appropriation of nations’ tax money!

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