Where can you always find money? The best answer is: in the dictionary!
But Pakistan is one country where there is money in abundance. One comedian reckoned that Pakistan is the richest country in the world! Why? Because money is in abundance and everyone is looting it at will and it never finishes!
How public money is being plundered was evident on Tuesday. The sacred place was the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. All the 16 members (15 plus Wahab Riaz, who had to be withdrawn over injury after only one match) of the Champions trophy winning squad were rewarded with ten million rupees each while some of the team personnel were handed five million and some 2.5 million.
While there is no denying the fact that the national team brought unexpected laurels by lifting the trophy in England but this is also a fact that Pakistan is a country where people lack basic facilities of health, education and food.
It was very rightly pointed out in the media that the victims of Bahawalpur oil tanker blitz only received two million rupees, twenty20 percent of what cricket players pocketed.
Should not the PM rewarded less money to the cricketers who are already getting 2.2 million dollars in prize money plus one million each from the Pakistan Cricket Board. That would have allowed the government to set up a BURNS CENTRE in Bahawalpur, the absence of which led to fatalities.
Besides the cash prizes all the players good amount in central contracts, match fees and from PSL contracts. “A” category players get Rs. 540,000 per month in salary, “B” gets 390,000 while those placed in “C” get 236,000 – more than highly educated professionals.
Amazingly, the social media manager Aun Zaidi, allegedly a relative of Najam Sethi’s wife, was also blessed with 2.5 million rupees. His job is to roam around the team and their luxurious hotels, look busy and do nothing. There is an army of social media people in the PCB headquarters but their input is not even ten percent of what is required.
Similarly it was shocking to see director media Amjad Bhatti, who is not even worth his position in the PCB, and Usman Wahla, GM International Cricket, getting one million rupees despite not being part of the contingent. It is learnt that Wahla was on holidays and found money.
Interestingly, he will not be the only one who will “laugh all the way to the bank,” Bhatti will also be in company.
That leads us to a question, wasn’t the PM secretariat informed about: who was part of the contingent and who wasn’t? But it was PCB Executive committee head and chairman anxiously-in- waiting, Najam Sethi who included some name so that they remain his faithful when he takes over.
Other interesting beneficiaries are the four selectors, chiefly the chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq. Where on earth the selection committee is rewarded on team’s win? What will happen when Pakistan starts to lose matches?
Will they be asked to return the rewards? It is amazing that the chief selector got double the amount which the head coach Mickey Arthur, who did all the donkey work, got!
Inzamam had allegedly bargained on his international retirement in 2007 when he secretly pocketed ten million rupees to quit.
As if the PM has money to burn, three other selectors – Tauseef Ahmed, Wasim Haider and Wajahatullah Wasti – were handed one million each.
They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but PM house will reply, “then why do banks have branches? At least PM will get votes from all the cricketers and officials.