Zulqarnain Haider

This is interesting:

Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider seeking asylum in Britain after fleeing Dubai
Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider plans to seek political asylum in Britain after fleeing the team amid alleged threats for defying a match-fixing conspiracy.

I\’m not entirely sure that the political asylum rules are quite flexible enough to protect someone who defied the bookies\’ thugs. But perhaps they ought to be?

\”I understand there is rule in Britain that if you are on right and if you are not a criminal, then they always protect you,\” Haider said.

I\’m not sure (sadly) that we\’re quite that Palmerstonian any more but perhaps we ought to be.

The alleged threats came after he scored the winning run in the fourth one-day international against South Africa on Friday to clinch a one-wicket victory for Pakistan, thereby foiling an alleged plan to allow South Africa to win the game.

\”The country is like a mother and any one who sells it cannot get anything in life,\” Haider said. \”I did not want to sell my mother, I did not want to sell my country and I did what I thought was better.\”

There\’s no evidence that Grantland Rice was talking exclusively about a Christian note taker here:

For when the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks-not that you won or lost-
But how you played the game.

And while he wasn\’t talking about cricket at all, that is the game to which we English always attribute the point. He wasn\’t even talking about the English or even the British, although again we\’ve rather adopted it as one of those definitional statements about how we like to see ourselves (rather than the scheming and at times incredibly vicious thugs we\’ve actually been).

Me? I\’d say he\’s just done what, in that fantasy land where the \”national character\” is defined, we say is definitionally British. It\’s therefore not so much do we let him in, do we protect him, but how could we not?

11 thoughts on “Zulqarnain Haider”

  1. Because sentimentality and our image abroad are nice things to indulge, but we can’t take in any and all waifs and strays from around the world. We just can’t…

  2. Very well put Tim, clearly the rest of the world is completely incompetent at managing their countries!

    Superior and moral Britain is just so much better at running nations, and despite being an atomic power, the Pakistanis can’t even protect an honest cricket player — in fact, it is inhumane that we let them carry on in government!

    The Queen should immediately dispatch the Royal Navy take Pakistan over — then everyone, cricket players, atomic weapons and the local biodiversity would be safe.

    Am Britischen Wesen soll die Welt genesen!

  3. I would check his views on e.g. whether apostates should be killed before giving him asylum, wife beating etc.
    We should only give asylum to people who do not support violence against people exercising their human rights.

  4. On a pragmatic note, Haider is only 24 and seems a decent keeper who’d be well worth a punt for a county side.

    If he were to naturalise, he could meet the ICC eligibility requirement for Test Cricket by 2015 and could qualify sooner than that to play for Scotland in ODIs.

    The simplest solution here would seem to be that of giving him a chance to pick up a county cricket contract and, if he can manage that, then give him a work permit.

    He’ll at least be able to support himself financially.

  5. The person you’re talking about is a very rich man in comparison to the rest of Pakistan, and the freedom that he seeks by asking for asylum is the right to play cricket.

    Pakistan has over 160 million people. If we offer everyone who is not properly protected by their police force asylum, where will we put them all up?

    Or, is it only cricket players that you’re after?

  6. Sadly for Mr Haider, English cricket has plenty of South African wicket-keeper batsmen at the moment, plus a few home grown talents (Steven Davies and Jos Butler) on the up and coming list, so we’ll have to pass this time. If there’s a decent middle order batsmen or two that fancy claiming asylum tho, I’m sure the ECB wouldn’t say no………………..

  7. What Hexe said.

    I am proud that we give asylum to those who are felling state oppression and in the grand scheme of things the cost is negligible.

    We really can’t extend that to those who need protection from thugs and organised crime, much as we may wish to, that is for their home country.

    And if he is that good a cricketer I noticed recently that the Aussies are in need of some help.

  8. I suppose it depends how deep the tentacles of the thugs have spread. If the State is infected and police forces open to turn a blind eye, well, his application should not be dismissed out of hand.

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