Indian hand in PCB’s troubles


Pakistani authorities are not surprised at all that the email which allegedly led to the New Zealand cricket team pulling the plug on the Pakistan tour just minutes before the start of the first match came from India. As Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry disclosed the details in a press conference, it seemed that the time had come for PCB to take this matter up legally and press for a very urgent investigation with the ICC (International Cricket Council). There are also growing concerns, and have been since the controversy erupted a few days ago, that India’s leverage with the ICC might prevent a fair investigation. That is all the more reason to raise this matter in an appropriate international legal setting as well; so the ICC, too, is pressed to undertake a transparent investigation.
Islamabad is also pretty sure that this investigation is going to unearth the link between Indian intelligence services and the TTP (Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan) since an Indian journalist known to cozy up to former Afghan intelligence chief and vice president Amrullah Saleh went to town with this security threat; which was initially based on a Facebook post by a former TTP spokesman. This, as the information minister very rightly explained, is what fifth-generation warfare looks like. And it’s no secret that India has indulged in such tactics for a long time because its national security advisor has built something of a youtube following by explaining just how Delhi’s been hurting Pakistan in this way.
This also means that the time has come for ICC to finally lay down Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that will govern every facet of international tours. The English cricket board should also be held accountable for cancelling its team’s outing to Pakistan, especially since the British home office distanced itself from that move very quickly. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry should also have explained that after PM Imran Khan called his New Zaland counterpart, and initiated government-to-government and board-to-board interaction on the matter, the New Zealand side still did not elaborate on the nature of the threat – where exactly it came from, at which level they investigated it, what the implications are, etc. They simply, and unilaterally, decided to leave. It should also be explained why the embassies of countries that cancelled tours due to alleged security threats failed to indulge in Q&A sessions with Pakistan about those threats. A lot will become clear very soon now that Pakistan is considering taking some actions of its own.