Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has one run in first class cricket to his credit, is an avid follower of the game.
Today, however, his ire was not something to do with the conduct of the game but the way credit was being given for Pakistan’s celebrated victory over India at the Oval in London June 18 to clinch the Champions Trophy.
Understandably, he had summoned Maryam Aurangzeb, the State Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
“Maryam, I don’t look at you differently than I look at my own daughter Maryam, but I am disappointed that no one is giving me any credit for the victory over India.
“While all agree that it was more than one miracle that helped our team to success but still none of the media even tried to look beyond the excitement.
“It is important for 180 million Pakistanis to know that the real architect of this victory is Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, the third time Prime Minister of Pakistan.
“First, I appointed Najam Sethi as Pakistan Cricket Board chairman. Everyone, especially Imran Khan, was saying that I am rewarding him for helping me in the 2013 elections. So if someone does you a favor, you forget him? But I just shut my ears to everyone and see today we won the trophy.
“Maryam, may be you do not understand that much of cricket, but let me tell you that I used to bat against Imran Khan when he was at his best, and that too without wearing a helmet.
“You know our beloved President Mamnoon Hussain does not talk. This is why I selected him and appointed him the President of Pakistan. So while the respected Sethi Sahib was preparing the team for the Trophy, I alerted President Sahib to go for Umra and pray there for Pakistan’s victory.
President Mamnoon is a very simple person. When I noticed that he had asked for only one plane from PIA for his visit, I called him that he should at least two or three planes. He told that because PIA is already going in loss, so he pruned his list of relatives to third cousins and their families only. What a patriot Mamnoon Hussain!
“He was on a state mission, he could have taken the entire PIA fleet. I had assigned him to go for Umra to pray for Pakistan’s victory.
“So being the president, President Mamnoon was invited by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for iftar. Now our President is not fond of talking, so he took his tasbih, they call it rosary in English. He kept on reading his tasbih. His Majesty King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, told him that what he was reading on his rosary, and our President kept quite because his eyes were on the gifts His Majesty was giving to the guests.
“Yes, our President also got a gift. His Majesty King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is a very generous person. Our President quietly took the gift but he was so excited to find out what he had gotten that on the way back to his hotel, he peaked into the box. It was Umrah clothing. Yes, Umrah clothing from His Majesty King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Indeed a blessed gift.
“So Maryam, this is another of mine contribution to this historic victory!
“And of course when match day came really close, I took my family and friends for Umrah. All of them and the third time Prime Minister were rendering a national duty.
“And I am praying and praying for Pakistan’s victory. When His Majesty King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, invited me for iftari, I also asked him to pray for Pakistan’s victory. Of course he could not understand this cricket thing but the Saudi royal family being great benefactors of the Sharif family, His Majesty King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also raised his hands and prayed for our victory. Later I saw someone whisper in his ear, and he commanded that his prayer should not reported in the media because our common friend Narinder Modi, Prime Minister of India, will not take it gently.
“So, Maryam, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of Pakistan, who is really responsible for this magnificent victory? Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, the third time Prime Minister of Pakistan.
“But now I am seeing that no mention of Nawaz Sharif but Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz Hussain and CEO Ahmed Ali giving one-kanal plot to opener Fakhar Zaman and Rs. one million each to all the players who played at the Oval.
“You know this plot is worth Rs. one crore … ten million rupees … about $100,000. There is a Farsi saying qatra qatra darya shavad … drops drops make a river! $100,000 extra in Nawaz Sharif pocket is only small but drops count.
“And imagine, the same Malik Riaz gave Rs. 500 million Bilawal House in Lahore to Asif Zardari when Asif Zardari is always claiming that he has more money than Nawaz Sharif.
“Now Maryam, it is your ministry’s responsibility to tell Pakistanis the real force and reason responsible for great victory at the Oval. Perhaps this will open the eyes of Malik Riaz too! Tell me which match did Asif Zardatri win? He has no idea of cricket. Only once upon a time he used to play polo.
“Maryam, your mission is to awaken Malik Riaz to the reality!”