From diaries of an expat
After living about Nine years abroad, I recently finished yet another annual visit to Pakistan and as usual it left many impressions.
Meeting a Stranger, route to Karachi
I landed in Lahore from Doha and right away my next destination was Sargodha. In Daewoo Bus, a man sitting next to me gave me his British visa rejection letter (written in English) to tell him translation. The main highlights of that letter were:
• The man was declared a Lawyer with a certain monthly income in his visa application but his bank account transactions record was a bit suspicious for British embassy.
• British embassy was doubtful about how he would mange his living during his stay and showed their concern that he would slip inside UK as illegal immigrant.
• Any future visa application with similar application was most likely to be rejected.
I explained him about the idea of letter and he nodded his head in reply. He was termed Lawyer in the letter, so l was thinking why a qualified person would ask anyone for translation of a letter. Soon I found out that the document processor only showed him as lawyer which he was not in reality. By conversation I found out that, he was Desperate to get out of country by hook or by crook. He gave examples of his brother and other acquaintances who made impressive progress after getting abroad. I said “ What wonders a person would do abroad if he could not anything here in Pakistan”. He replied “A man would do anything abroad, we all have dreams for our children”. He was repeating that “There must be some wisdom from Allah(S.W.T) and I will find my way outside as I am trying my best” but the amazing aspect was that he was not concerned about the deception/fudging in papers at all. To avoid guilt afterwards, I conveyed the importance of avoiding foul play but with very less use. Fraud and Tawakkul side by side, Ahhh. He went on his own way and me on my own at the Bus station…
From Sargodha, I went to Faisalabad for a 1 day brief stay. I found unusual support for the ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif who was on roads during that time. I was so surprised to see a complete difference in opinion where all issues related to him & his rally were somehow given favored shape by his supporters.
I had booked my tickets via Pakistan railways mobile application few weeks back, a good facility for train travelers. Journey from Faisalabad to Karachi through Karakoram Express was as smooth as a whistle. Hat’s off to railways management, keep doing good work.
Winning a Lucky Draw
Only after few days of stay in Karachi I received a phone call in which a person verified me my full name with NIC and mobile number and gave me good news of winning a Toyota 2017 GLi model. This was due to purchase of Sundar foods item during last year and filling a lucky draw form, back of the mind I was thinking I never filled such form. Anyhow, he further explained their presence in Pakistan forwarded me an sms asking to contact their manager within 3 days to claim my car. I never contacted them and they never came back thereafter. Why an Organization giving away such an expansive prize was unable to deliver it at my doorstep, a definite scam attempt spot-on exactly during my Pakistan visit.
Karachi, city of Garbage
City of lights is now city of Garbage. I was most of time roaming around in Landhi-Korangi area. Most roads and streets were flooded with Sewage water, which become worst during raintimes; everywhere on the outskirts, garbage was present. The shortest journey of 1.5 kms from my home to Babaer market was occupied with two dangerous ditches filled with sewerage water, vehicles had to slow down and proceed through the notched area and Motorcyclists were almost sure to get some dirt on their clothes.
Me and my wife somehow managed to survive and passed through reasonable health condition but Kids were severely effected due to all the filth around. I had to make at least 10 visits to nearby Awadh Hospital. Awadh’s staff was also amazed at our situation and frequent visits/issues.
System is not working I Karachi. Governments sweepers and Garbage is scarce. Most areas are having privately managed garbage pickers. Even they get absent very often stopped by Party walay. What would Kachra Politics give to smart politicians?? ”Party Walay and Establishment” are two strange terms I am unable to fully understand since my childhood.
I saw perhaps the biggest Lightening and Thunderstorm during this visit. It was a contrast situation when it was raining. The residents of new houses were enjoying inside their cozy setups while the inmates of low levels houses were throwing water out with the help of buckets. There was no issues inside my new house but this difference of situation hit me quite deep down as I recalled my school days when me and my family had to do the same to throw water out of our home to save out appliances and other households. Above all cruel realities, innocent children were running from here to there in the street making a lot of fun and enjoying the rain time.
A night before EID when it was last heaviest rainfall of the stretch, I was in the Babar market for monthly shopping with family. It started raining when we were in the middle of the market. As we made our way out, water was flowing like a river. No Rickshaw or Taxi was ready to drop us, there were dozens people sorting out how to escape this situation. At last, I decided to move on my bike. I was quite confident on my Super Power 70 CC bike which once saved my in a similar situation from Defence to Landhi; but that time I was alone…I managed to start my bike but biggest problem was ponded water on road under which the uneven road and open manholes were hidden and you never knew what’s going to happened next. I switched ON all of my senses and followed the wheel path of vehicles ahead of me. Occasional thunder , heavy rain, haphazard traffic, wife and 2 kids doing their own things and above all all unseen and unexpected hazards ahead; it was one of scariest ride. At last we reached our home crossing all dangerous waters and/or rain mixed with sewage water with a fear factor of some broken live electricity wire…
In our area, scheduled load shedding is being practiced but during my visit K-electric showed all its hidden talent to us. Some days were normal load shedding, some days unexpected breakdown. A day was amazingly free of load shedding. There were shocks of 2-3 brief switch-offs on Eid’s 2nd day. Our old house which is vacant these days was labeled as “ Kunda Use along meter” on the Bill and I cannot explain amount of pain felt due to this thing as we have never done such a thing. Whose problem is to make fully recovery and avoid losses? What about those honest users who never steal electricity but face load shedding due to losses in their area? Such discriminant behavior must end soon!
I decided to only go to Mandi one day before EID and so was materialized when we moved from our home to Bhains Colony for Jaanwar Purchase. We were 7 people and got onto a messed up open to sky Suzuki. Cloudy weather and uneven roads made it like an adventurous Safari ride. Market rates were down due to rainfalls and we manged to purchase escape goats on reasonable prices. Qurbani was smooth, we cousins and family did justice with numerous goats on the day upto 2:00 pm before getting too tired. Area was free from any fear of snatching animal skin. Relevant people were gathering remains of animals. The painful thing was to do Qurbani in between sewage waters as gutters were overflowing everywhere. Young boys spent a lot of time in visiting Mandi, puchasing animals and taking care of them right till the end. They had to provide security Guard services too for the animals at night.
Government must make big slaughter houses to avoid hygienic issues emerging after the Qurbani. The Festivity, activities and mess Qurbani practiced in Pakistan is perhaps the one of its kind in the whole world. You can not imagine anyone doing private Qurbani at their homes elsewhere…
End of Trip
On last day, we attended a decent ceremony of Bismillah and Ameen of kids arranged by our cousin and his family. Similar to all passed years, I was once again saying good bye to loved ones with some cheerful memories sensing some unsaid words in their eyes, leaving some undone tasks; leaving my beloved country…
Whether I am back to reality or have I left reality; I do not know at this stage. Pakistan Zindabad, Hamehsa!
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An account of a famous win and way forward…
Pakistanis were so jubilant and swamped with the occasion that none of us wanted end of victorious mood; just fancy this fervor continues for ever… Everyone had a story to tell about celebrations of this victory over India. The same night, we (here in Doha-Qatar) also went for Sehri Treat in a Pakistani restaurant named Punjab restaurant and witnessed an awesome atmosphere. Big screen was showing Pakistani channels presenting stats of final match and you could well hear commentary from each table. A large group of about 30-35 people were especially out there having party time. Giggles, itching here and there poking each other with some meaningful jokes enjoying Pakistan’s victory. Smiling for no reason! We could well see that people belonging to almost all provinces were present there united under the cause of cricket. This is a very special thing related with sport of cricket. It’s a rare sight seen after the Pakistan’s triumph of World T20 in 2009.
When our team started playing as a unit, you could easily see the unseen forces working in our favor. Rain rescued our weak batting lineup against South-Africa. Sarfaraz survived 2 dropped catches in a must win against Sri-Lanka where it was almost over for our team. Famous NO ball by Bumrah and Fakhar Zaman got a new life to post a maiden TON. Then Muhammad Hafeez’s stumps got in tact despite being hit by the ball. Allah (SWT) helped when team got united and put all their efforts for winning matches in holy month of Ramzan. And they were humble enough to recognize this unseen phenomenon thanking first Almighty Allah and then explaining all formal tactics and strategies behind their performances. What a sight it was for Pakistani fans and cricket lovers all over the world to see unpredictable team Pakistan, emerging from lowest ranking and shaking confidence of best teams of the world.
A very unique aspect of this young Pakistani team is the simplicity and innocence displayed by players including the captain. No attitude, no arrogance! Short interesting videos started erupting from the very next day and still continuing. They respectfully entertained all the spectators greeting them at all places and were seen with their old friends. Captain came out of his home to gift his cricket shirt to a blind special child, we saw his simple wear and Ulti Topi. Sarfaraz kept on praising his boys wherever he went, that’s a sign of a true leader. Rumman Raees was spotted assisting common people on a street Iftari organized in some old area of Karachi. Hassan Ali celebrating with people of Gujranwala, land of Pehalwans now introduced as hometown of a hardworking fast bowler. Fakhar Zaman enjoying a causual full dressed Shalwar Qameez bath in a canal with his friends. Shadab Khan hugged by a random passionate fan at a petrol station and this boy respected elder person giving all due time to speak whatever he wanted to say. All of this is in itself a big delight to watch. Hoping that such attention and fame shall not get on to their minds and they do not get too much carried away. I wish they all remain the same even after gathering more success in future.
Our Amir is Back!
A day before Final match, just randomly I was thinking who could be a match winner for Pakistan in this match. Muhammad Amir was the one name which came into my mind and I tweeted as:
And what an amazing day he had, picking up 3 big players of India. This effort and his excellent batting effort in the game against Sri-Lanka may well be regarded as his complete return to international cricket. He is one of lucky people who played crucial roles in Pakistan’s win in World T20, 2009 and Champions Trophy, 2017. Best wishes to Muhammad Amir from this point, may you have a long, clean and successful career for Pakistan.
Amir, Junaid Khan, Hafeez, Babar Azam and others should also get attention of people and media for their efforts.
Merit, Merit & just Merit
After the first lost against India, it was an amazing turnaround for Pakistan team especially in the fielding department. The way all players were backing up each other and marshaled by Sarfaraz was just awesome. It was a rare sight for an ever suffering Pakistani supporter. Runs they stopped and amazing catches they took were exciting for spectators around the world. They played as a unit! You can not have this thing when there are issues within the team or when some villain is doing his own politics. Within 3 days gap to final, Amir Sohail’s viral statement shocked all of us. Whether we accept it or not, the useless Karachi-Lahore or Karachi-Punjab divide is often seen in Pakistan’s cricket. But the good thing was that Ex-players like Wasim Akram & Basit Ali came to rescue our boys with their positive messages. The special thing in this Champions trophy is the overwhelming response from all corners. Whole Pakistan owned this team throughout series of events.
Good cricketing facilities should be provided all over the country and Deserving talented players to be given fair chance because if you do not give them chance, favoritism will doom everything because there is no replacement for merit. I would request that anything that happened in past should be buried and national team to be selected on merit and supported from all cricketers regardless of their belonging to any city or region. That’s the only way forward!
Role of Pakistan Super League
To be honest, one should give due credit to all people who were involved in organizing Pakistan Super League (PSL) from which we got some exciting players. PSL franchise owners also seem to be passionate about the cause. Like Karachi Kings, other teams should also arrange Talent hunt camps within their regions and present talented players at PSL stage. I suggest few more teams like Hyderabad, Faisalabad & Sialkot etc should be added to PSL. A final topping to PSL; Cricket team named ‘Kashmir’ representing whole Kashmir valley must be added in PSL.
There is no doubt that India has played a big role in bringing our cricket down. We can also not forget how Pakistani players were humiliated during action in the initial versions of Indian Premier League (IPL). That later led to formation of PSL and now we got talented players who beat India in the Champions trophy final. I would strongly suggest, Pakistani cricketers should never be permitted from our side to play in IPL and we must strive to make PSL a world’s leading cricket league with innovations and Pakistani talent in action.
Winning the Champions trophy is not the end of achievements, it’s just a beginning. Lot of things needs to be fixed within our cricketing system. PCB should not be running under government ruling, it needs to be an autonomous body. Reforms should be made to Domestic structure, sponsors should be invited and attractive atmosphere to be created for public viewing. School and college cricket should be revived as a campaign enticing our young generation to spend more time on ground activities rather to be engaged to social media all the time. We always had a weak and vulnerable batting lineup. I am of a belief that it is due to lack of big play grounds, children play in streets and constrained environment with local rules of street cricket so batsmen cannot play their shots freely. Another reason is expansive kit for batsmen and majority of us are happy in bowling rather than exploring our batting skills. So, some serious measures need to be taken to produce quality batsmen with good techniques, power hitters in particular.
It was so romantic to see Pakistan team overcoming their fears and play like Tigers. I hope all of us are mature enough to capitalize on success from this point onwards. Thank you team Pakistan for giving us MOKA MOKA & providing unforgettable moments of joy…
Article No. 58
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Reviewing India’s fake propaganda history and TO DO’s for Pakistan!
On 18th September, 2016; four gunmen attacked an Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri, near the Line of Control. 17 Indian army personnel were killed in the attack. As expected, Indian media and security officials put the blame on Pakistan. Like each terrorist event in past, Indian media heated the beat and linked it to Pakistan minutes after the event occurred without any solid evidence. Nevertheless lately, the world yet again saw India’s baseless allegations against Pakistan proved to be wrong after Indian NIA cleared the alleged duo Faizal Hussain Awan and his friend Yasin Khurshid, inhabitants of Azad Kashmir as no evidence was found against them. But much damage was done as India took advantage of these attacks into the last year’s UNGA terming Pakistan as a terrorist state. The idea was to defame and ‘isolate’ Pakistan on a global scale and divert the world’s attention from the continuous human rights violation by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.
This isn’t the first instance of manipulation of evidence by Indian security officials. Indian security agencies have also been blamed for staging terror attacks within the country which have also caused the casualties of Indian civilians. Almost all of Indian false flag have been accepted as inside jobs by their own officials time to time. (Quoted from external source)
India faced a global humiliation upon their claimed surgical strikes along the LOC last year after the Uri attacks. Again, Indian media created a supersonic hype against Pakistan followed by their celebrities tweeting with proud backing to so-called brave attempt. All of this perception was soon dissolved in thick air after detailed briefing from ISPR (Pakistan Army) to the media alongside L.O.C. But still no sign of any regret or acceptance from India!
Pathankot attacks were also of similar nature and metal in which Indian media started blaming Pakistan right from the word go but later findings pointed some doubtful proceedings leaving it as another inside job.
The arrest of notorious Ajmal Kasab claimed linkage with 2008 Mumbai attacks by Indian security officials is also doubtful and does not hold much credibility. The foremost evidence is the language pronunciation of Kassab during his aired interview; his words and delivery style does not even fall anywhere near to the type of Urdu spoken in Pakistan. Former Indian inspector-general S M Mushrif had claimed in his book ‘Who killed Karkare?’ that AjmalKasab was arrested before 2006 from Kathmandu by the Indian agency RAW with the help of Nepalese forces. The book summarizes that Ajmal was arrested for the purpose to be presented as a substantial ‘evidence’ for ‘terror attacks’ even before they took place. The former IGP went on to say that it is a common practice in India to apprehend innocent folks from Kathmandu and other parts and present them as terrorists after undue detention. (Quoted from external source)
The list of Indian lies and false flags is long and tedious which includes Malegaon attacks alleging Lashkar-e-taiba & Jaish-e-Muhammad or attacks on Samjhota express burning 70 odd Pakistanis to ashes; they first blamed Lashkar-e-taiba but later here were signs if involvement of Indian nationalist group. Notably the 2008 Mumbai attacks and 2001 Indian parliament attacked were orchestrated as revealed by RVS Mani a former secretary in Indian home ministry. Similarly aircraft Ganga was a plotted hijack aimed to cut of air ties between then East and West Pakistan.
India works on the ideology of Chankiya dreaming of making Akhand Bharat in which Pakistan remains the sole obstacle. They use their media as a weapon to spread lies in such a way that it seems a reality. By the grace of Allah, all these plots and games were exposed by their own people with the passage of time. There case is so weak that they cannot face us if we stand strong on our grounds but ironically we fall short due to lack of statesmanship. Unfortunately we do not have a strong foreign office to face such tricks of India and other enemies at large; even a foreign minister is not there for unknown reasons. The need is to built up our case against Indian narrative and tell the world about their history of deception. Strong proofs of Indian involvement in Baluchistan and Karachi need to be shown to the world; Kalboshan Yadev needs to be used a tool of exposing dirty politics of India in the region. It’s about time to engage Afghanistan and Iran which are being used by India to do crimes against our Pak-Sarzameen.
Government/establishment alone cannot cope up with the propaganda war laid by India. Despite of doing a good job in their capacity, our electronic media has to rise up to obey their national duty of defending motherland at all costs in the footsteps of patriotic social media sections. Such news Channels who even found out the house of Ajmal Kassab inside Pakistan should be made accountable for their acts. Pakistan’s condition and facts & figures are far better than India and many other countries but we fall short in showing the real face of Pakistan and creating a positive perspective which could wash our negative image for good.
Even after seeing everything that has happened to us in past years, still countries like China and Turkey are standing with us as brothers; Russia looking forward to a strong future relationship with Pakistan sensing some serious progress in the form of CPEC and beyond. Just imagine what the situation could have been if our foreign office was working properly presenting our case to the world with the support of electronic media and public. Allah has always supported us, let’s start supporting ourselves.
Article No. 57
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I can certainly recall that during my childhood days’, divorce was never too often discussed within sections of society but with the passage of time and influence of abundantly produced dramas; Divorce has become a very common topic. Remember this is most unlikeable Halal act in Islam. We can see the impacts of showing/discussing this topic as the lives of many media celebrities are very unstable and also the rate of divorce is rising within society. Young innocent minds are definitely catching up this and can practice it very well in their practical life without realizing the real consequences. The environment in which you live your life counts a lot for you and watching such topics certainly makes their place in sub-conscious of mind and can get you in such a situation where a minor conflict can result in fatal event of Divorce.
We have to be responsible in protecting this noble institution of marriage by influencing positive topics to flourish this relationship. Instead of complicated Husband-Wife relationships, why can’t we cover strong bond and examples of how they supported each other during times of financial crisis or in case of severe health problems? Every other day, we can see highlights of many brilliant stories of common Pakistanis on various social media platforms like “Humans of Pakistan”; we can make many dramas out of them. I cannot forget fantastic pictures/stories covered by Brandon Stenton of “Humans of New York” while he visited Pakistan back in 2015. Why not glorify our enthusiastic and most resilient people instead of showing cunning stories of disgrace and betrayal between them?
Read More: HONY in Pakistan
Article No. 56:
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“Despite of doing justice with work &caring for quality of service,often certain workers solely work for fetching extra money from clients”…
There is trend in Qatar for giving away amounts of money to people involved with low paid jobs like taxi drivers,waiters, cleaners and barbers etc at the end of receiving their service. Usually these people do not ask their clients; they provide adequate service and its up to the customer to either give something additional or just go away.I have bad experienceat Barber shops where there is visible pressure of giving some TIP amount. After hair cutting or shave, they start to give un-necessary elongated final touches and also starts massage without asking. The customer usually getscompelled with this and gives some TIP thereafter. After roaming around and seeing lot of disturbing people, I settled with one barber who had just one bad habit i.e rather than deducting amount as per charge rate; he used to return change for the money note given by the customer asking them to give amount oftheir own will. Anyhow, I managed togo along with him after taking promise that he will deduct exact price of service and giving TIP would solely be on my discretion and I just forbid them to carry out massage after hair cut…
In 2014, we found a very gentle and seemingly holy lift operator on the Lahore Airport who started giving a lot of prayers and well wishes to me and my family. His style & voice were so touching and it seemed that his prayers were something special of us; I peculiarly gave him Rs.100. “What a nice man, I feel personally connected with him” I told my wife. Interesting after having lunch, we were returning close to the same lift again when we saw that same man blessing another family in a similar tone and affection. “Ahh so this was a professional thing not anything personal” we thought!
A recent journey enticed me to write this article. I had a chance of extensive traveling from Qatar to Pakistan and then back within about 30 hours and observed many faces of this forced TIP thing. Airport taxi service was having a tight schedule the day I reached Karachi and I had to take a yellow cab who overcharged by taking Rs. 950 and I had to go in a very bad conditioned taxi; so there was no question of any TIP. On the same day I went to Lahore and took a taxi from airport to Daewoo Bus stop. Driver was a sleepy,fat,seemingly lazy but witty character who recounted types of services he could provide including private travel between the cities of Punjab. At the end of journey, further to telling Rs100 extra (which ultimately was rectified by me) with respect to mileage he refused to accept Rs.50 TIP, he insisted on Rs.100 as according to him was a usual and must thing. I somehow managed to get rid of him giving away Rs.100.I had around 1 hour of waiting time at Daewoo stop’s waiting area; whenI used washroom, cleaner there was doing the similar duty i.e. offering toprovide special care to customers enticing for as much TIP as possible. As I left washroom/ablution place, he presented Tissue Paper box like waiter style and honored me with a attentive army styled salute and obtained well deserved Rs.20. Daewoo travel from Lahore to Sargodha was a great one indeed commanded by a fine hostess who was in total control of proceedings and carried out a wonderful job; I specially thanked her for great effort. I again had to travel back within 2 hours but performance of the hostess this time was nowhere near to the former one. “Doing justice with your duty is really scarce” I thought! Then I went to Lahore airport for finally traveling to Doha-Qatar; 2 converse examples were waiting for me there. After our baggage screening, while we went to the officer doing baggage inquiry. He asked about amount of money we had in our pockets to keep by Pakistani rule of maximum amount of money while on the move. “ I hardly have Rs. 1000-1200 and wife likewise”. “Alright open thatbag” he asked and while I was about to bring my bag he said “Why would you take so much headache,leave it Sir jee give us Rs.400-500 and go ahead”. This was something unexpected for me but I insisted to him to do his work and said” I am already short of cash and can not give you money”. “Alright then open your bag” he remarked and as I carried my bag down, he left us without checking. As we moved towards the Check-in counter, my wife saw him doing similar things with other customers as well. Authorities must check such black sheeps who do not obey their duties and leave the baggage without checking for Rs. 500 only or so. We can very well judge the opposite situation at foreign good airports where they treat families as preference and do not keep an eye on their pockets like this. Thereafter, when we went to the Polio Vaccination counter, we found a very nicely behaved gentleman who gave me a good advice as per his past experience to make vaccination certificate for myself despite of not staying for a month or more in Pakistan.
As per my experience/understanding, people would still continue giveaways to people involved with such jobs as we have majority of kind hearted customers understanding financial constraints involved with low-paid class. But having such behavior of fetching maximum out of the customer’s pocket and treating client as per expected amount of TIP wastes whole effort and ultimately loose goodwill of clients. Instead of pleasing the customer, such people become a headache for them and ultimately earning disrespect for their profession.
One of the main thing to curtail such behavior is that companies should take care of their employees maintaining rational wage standards and government must also take some measures to flourish balance in society. Various job related training programs can be arranged and moral training for on job behavior should be arranged for a pleasant dealing with customers. A well trained individual deserves to charge as per his/her standard and would certainly not be interested to pump extra payment. People complaining about bad reputation of particular professions should take a note of such teasing behavior which infiltrates earnings with dubiety.
Article No. 55:
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This further jubilated the nation who felt more proud and connected with armed forces who showed their metal turning over a losing squad into winning; very much evident from the social media posts/speech during that time. Lovely moments of team Pakistan doing celebratory pushups; everybody was so happy, emotions of nation just cannot be explained in words. I myself replayed those pushups many times to pump myself!
Until last week when the National Assembly standing committee objected to press-ups performed by the Pakistan team players after victory and even asked ‘whom did the players were giving message with those push-ups.”
Rana Muhammad Afzal of the NA committee raised quite an unusual objection, saying players did push-ups after the triumph and remained silent after the defeat. “What’s actually the matter,” he asked.
Whether it was directly ordered from somewhere OR the minister tried to become ‘Shah se ziada Shah ka wafadar’ the whole episode just bring another chapter of disgrace to the government. Mr. Nawaz Sharif should keep a close check on such people. There are so lean chances of happiness left in our lives, why do you want to steal them too? Why are you so insecure? Doing #pushups does not mean anybody is trying to sack Jamhooriyat and bring dictatorship. We want to see them play and raise the flag, we want to dance with them; please do not kill our inner child, please!!!
I hope that team Pakistan will continue to win more, cheer up the grounds much more and such useless objections will do nothing but glorify the Green boys and their #pushups!
References: Quoted statements from various web links.