The Dawn Blog » Blog Archive » Freedom to insult?



Since the Pakistani media seems to be in the insulting mode these days, here is my own two-pence worth of the same aimed at those who have insulted my sense of being a Pakistani man: Veena Malik has become my icon, not of the celebrity variety, but as a woman who braved the insults hurled at her by two bigoted men, one of them bearded, on national TV the other night for being herself on a recently concluded reality TV show in India. It is such men and their lack of respect for women under different pretexts that defines exactly what has gone wrong with our society. That is why we will not have another Noorjehan, not even another Mehdi Hasan, in our midst for a long time to come, and that is why we will keep killing banning Basant celebrations, and not the killer twine. Instead, we’ll just have more of the same bigots manning our airwaves and pushing their obscurantist agenda, as if to honour the memory of Ziaul Haq and his ilk. And, of course, insulting women and minorities on public TV is not a subject that our courts will ever find worthy of taking notice of.

Two simple questions: why would TV anchors never ask the Meeras and Veenas and Reshams of our entertainment industry, for whatever the industry and they put together are worth, to sit in judgment on the conduct of those who defend the killers of Salman Taseer, or those who blow themselves up at Sufi shrines killing and maiming innocent men, women and children? Why is it always the mullah who must adjudicate affairs across the board amongst adherents of a faith that does not allow for priesthood in the first place? But that is how one-sided the discourse has become in the new, brave, independent media today. If it is media trials that we must hold, then why not hold one of the Lal Masjid cleric who escaped the bloodied compound in a burqa, and who should be held at least partly responsible for the many lives lost in the military action of 2007? That is, if that is how the media organs must see their new role, inflated as it is, in society, which is quite against the industry norms anywhere in the world. There are perhaps more hate-mongers, xenophobic anchors and preachers, on our TV screens on a given day today than all religious programmes put together that PTV broadcast during 11 years of Ziaul Haq’s rule.

The obsession with display of personal piety and religiosity, which often comes wrapped in layers of hypocrisy and self-righteousness, is just revolting. That the media should have such unbridled freedom to insult women (and minorities) is just very appalling, nay disgusting; which is the politest way of putting across the feeling of shame that I have as a Pakistani man.

Besides the views expressed on women, another glaring example of mixing up values is the media’s soft-peddling of terrorism-related issues, of which more Pakistanis have been ready victims than westerners or Indians in recent years. There is this slogan I read the other day in Karachi’s business district, advertising a recently launched Lahore-based, English-language newspaper, which says something to the effect: We treat our Aasias and Aafias alike (thank God Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden are not daughters of Pakistan). The sheer comparison is shocking but obviously equivocal. It works both ways: one is touted to be the victim of American hysteria about Islam, the other of Pakistanis’ growing bigotry in response to West’s provocation; or more dangerously, it aims to blur the line between a criminal and a sinner.

What is next, you may ask. Would the same newspaper say tomorrow that it treats Salman Taseer and Mumtaz Qadri equally, or indeed, equate Benazir Bhutto with Baituallah Mehsud, the purported mastermind behind her killing? Moosa-o-Firaun-o-Shabbir-o-Yazid/ Een do quwwat az hayaat aayed padeed (Moses and Pharaoh, Hussain and Yazid/ Are the two forces [good and evil] that shape life). If this is the vision of the newspaper concerned of what is Pakistan today, then let the poet Iqbal turn in his grave, whose ideology the paper claims to espouse.

Meanwhile, thank you, Veena Malik, for saying loud and clear that you represented our entertainment industry and yourself, and not Islam or Pakistan, on “Bigg Boss,” to which Pakistani viewers back home were just as riveted as their counterparts in India. I respect you for being yourself, and am insulted when you are.

Murtaza Razvi is the Editor, Magazines, at Dawn.

This article was published on The Dawn Blog.



The Dawn Blog » Blog Archive » Death becomes his

Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, was assassinated yesterday (January 4) by one of his security guards. The guard, who soon gave himself up to the police, proudly claimed that he killed the late Governor because Taseer had described the controversial blasphemy law as a ‘black law.’



Shocked? Well, about time. Governor Taseer’s murder is just a symptom of the creeping tyranny of religious hatred and demented self-righteousness each and every Pakistani has been living under for a number of years now.

Today, only a handful of Pakistanis are willing to stick out their chins and brace themselves for a possible beating for calling a spade a spade, and the late Governor was one of these brave souls.

There are very few vocal Pakistanis in this regard (in politics, media and cyberspace), who continue to face the music, tunes and threats of utter hatred thrown towards them not only from the usual faith-driven fascists who have taken it upon themselves to kill and harass in the fine name of Islam and God, but also from a rising (and strange) breed of ‘modernists’ who just cannot get their disfigured egos to admit that yes, Pakistan today has perhaps become one of the first examples of a fascist faith-based dystopia.

Never mind the animalistic murderers who in their pursuit to ‘safeguard faith’ have actually become a raving mockery of the whole concept of ashraful makhlukat (i.e. they have simply ceased being the humans that God created), but what about the educated ones, who too had a problem with Governor Taseer’s stand?

Since I would like to believe that there is still some essence of humanity left in them, there will be some who will be wishing and hoping that a theological justification is found behind such murders so they may acquit themselves of defending hatred in the name of faith and patriotism.

Alas! There is simply is no justification, theological or otherwise. Respected and deeply learned Islamic scholars like Javed Ahmed Ghamidi have repeatedly insisted that there is no historical or theological example or space in the workings of Islam for a law such as the blasphemy law.

But of course, what value or weight does reason and tolerance have in a country that is rapidly on a downward spiral towards a social and political abyss? It is a bottomless pit that many of us continue to insist is the reason why the founders created Pakistan.

This warped insistence that hell is actually heaven, comes cramped with a number of feeble arguments where renegade hate mongers, wily religious exploiters and their many animated soundboards in both print and electronic media try to whitewash their dark bile with chants against drone attacks and the blood of their ‘fellow countrymen’ who are being killed by the bullets of the Pakistan Army in the northwest.

Ordinary citizens are killed in our markets and mosques by the heroes and romanticised mujahids of these people. But instead of condemning such acts, they return to Aafia Siddiqui and the drones; politicians are assassinated for exercising their right to speak against injustices taking place in the name of faith, and they again return to Aafia and the drones; they and many of their children travel to the West for studies and business, and yet, they still talk about the drones.

It is as if drone attacks are the root cause of all evil, madness and bloodshed in this country. But aren’t the drones a more recent phenomenon, some four to five years old? The ignorance, intolerance and violence erupting in this holy dystopia of ours took lives long before the word ‘drone’ even entered our populist vocabulary, so what nonsense are these hate mongers on about?

Surely they can make a fool and a willing victim of a thoroughly disturbed and neurotic society with their lies, fake bombast and loud piety, but do they really think they can dodge their own conscience? These romanticised terrorists certainly can, because since they have stopped being humans, they have thus lost their conscience as well.

But all those politicians, preachers, columnists, TV anchors and their hung-over followers who, after Taseer’s statement against the blasphemy law, were beating the drums of hatred and passing judgments on matters over which only God alone has jurisdiction – what about them?

Are they happy? Do they feel triumphant? I doubt it. They will go back to doing what they do best: repress their guilt and the little humanity left in them by becoming even louder about their love of God and country and how angry they are because of, yes, you guessed it – the drone attacks.

I say, shame on you. I, as a Muslim, refuse to be categorised with cowards like you who have made a mockery of my country and my religion all over the world. Stop now before each one of you completely loses whatever little God’s greatest gifts are left in you: humanity, kindness, forgiveness and reason.

I say, renounce the hatred, the ignorance and bile you have been peddling as faith and justice. It is you who are God’s and this country’s greatest enemy, and may God alone have mercy on you.

This article was written by Nadeem F. Paracha and was published on the Dawn Blog.

We express our regrets & condolence to the friends & family of Salman Taseer, may his soul rest in peace.


Journalist`s book examines rise in extremism | DAWN.COM |

ISLAMABAD, Nov 13: In his second book launched on Saturday, journalist Zahid Hussain argues the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban, particularly the US drone strikes killing civilians, has spurred number of new recruits to the extremist cause.

“The war has come to Pakistani heartland with terrorists targeting cities with impunity. I think for Pakistan the turning point came with the Red Mosque siege when the military operation crushed radical movement right in the heart of the country`s capital,” he said at the launch of The Scorpion`s Tail – The Relentless Rise of Islamic Militants in Pakistan And How It Threatens America at Kuch Khaas . “The incident led to declaration of war by the militants from Swat and South Waziristan.”

For him, the militants were not stronger. “It was the weaker state unable to provide protection and justice to the people.” But he added it was a great turnaround when the government showed some resolution to fight back. “I saw how people got back to their lives immediately after the militants were flushed out. That showed a remarkable resilience in Pakistani people,” he said. The author explained that Pakistan could not be separated from war in Afghanistan and the US policy in the region. “It is a blowback of the war in Afghanistan. It is the longest war Pakistan has ever fought and it cannot be won.”

Admiring the author`s field experience, Khaled Ahmed, a journalist and writer, said the book attempted at understanding why Pakistan was moving towards extremist Islam. “It reminds of self correction and how otherwise the state would continue to gradually erode.”

Director Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) I. A. Rehman said the book asked the right kind of questions. “How are we in this mess? How it escalated and created facilities for rise of militants.” But he said the author was `generous` to Ayub Khan for demonising politicians that paved the way for extremists and how Cold War `knights` reconverted Pakistan into an extremist state.

The book has come at a pivotal moment, said Maliha Lodhi, former envoy to the US and the UK. “It comes just before the much anticipated US review of the Afghan war in December.” She said it has also come at a delicate moment for Pakistan`s counter militancy efforts when the crucial transition has to be made from `hold` to `transfer` to consolidate recent gains.

The book`s central thesis that killing senior leaders has little effect on their operations raised questions whether militarised approach dispersed the threat rather than neutralize it?

“Secondly, this is the first book that catalogues the blowback effects of what has become a weapon of choice for the Obama Administration, an approach that ignores lessons of history, inspires more attacks and unifies militant groups,” she said, describing the drone campaign a tactic and not a strategy.

Riaz Mohammad Khan, former foreign secretary, found the book meticulous. “It takes us through high marks since 9/11 – early uprisings, pursuit of al Qaeda leadership, break down of deals, and how they shaped our present shape,” said the former bureaucrat who thought the book allowed to grasp challenges with clarity.

This article was published in Dawn and was written by Jamal Shahid.

Scorpion’s Tail is available at all leading bookstores in Pakistan and can be ordered here.

DAWN.COM | Books & Authors | Down melody lane by Muhammad Salman

THERE are some individuals for whom epithets and hyperboles never seem to lose their usefulness. Mehdi Hasan is a legend. He is a class act; a master singer. Someone who has taught other vocalists how to sing the genre of ghazal in a manner that it merits, and without making it sound something which only has literary value.

We all know that Khan Sahib, as he is known amongst friends and family, hasn’t been well for quite a few years and can barely speak. Music lovers from all across the world are praying for his recovery.

It is sad that there aren’t many books that have captured or recounted either Mehdi Hasan’s art or his life. Those that are available in the market do not fully satiate the appetite that his fans (who are in large numbers) have for knowing his personal and professional journey thus far.

In that context journalist Asif Noorani has done a commendable job by coming out with the book Mehdi Hasan: The man and his music, which is a compilation of different articles and short pieces written especially for the book on the great man.

To boot, the book is accompanied by two CDs (EMI Pakistan partnered on the project) that contain some of the most memorable ghazals and songs sung by Khan Sahib. In his foreword to the book, Asif Noorani extends his gratitude to EMI for giving a new ‘look’ to some of the ‘old priceless recordings’.

It doesn’t happen very often that luminaries from the world of broadcast journalism, print medium and showbiz pen their personal or professional experience about an individual. Mehdi Hasan: The man and his music begins with Raza Ali Abidi’s account, titled ‘A Stickler For Perfection’, of the legendary singer in which he highlights not only his remarkable vocal ability but also the modesty that has almost become the middle name of the remarkable singer. Raza Ali Abidi, as we all know, is a known broadcaster who had been associated with the BBC Urdu Service for a long time.

Anwar Enayetullah’s tribute ‘Down Melody Lane’, originally published in the Urdu weekly Nigar in 1992, primarily discusses the technical mastery that the singer has over his art.

He argues that Mehdi Hasan never indulged in ‘guttural gymnastics’ because he had a ‘highly flexible voice’.

Journalist Raza Rumi’s piece ‘The Melodious Age of Mehdi Hasan’ discusses in reasonable detail the socio-cultural impact that Khan Sahib has had on Pakistani society.

Beginning from his birth (in the town of Luna in district Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan in 1927) he touches upon the early struggling phase of his life and then, in lyrical prose, talks about the society that he is a part of and how music in particular and the arts in general are looked upon.

He writes, ‘Our greatest artists, singers, poets and intellectuals have suffered at the hands of a conformist society and state captured by puritans especially since the late ’70s.

It is never too late for the intelligentsia of this country to mobilise public pressure on the state machinery so that it learns to respect cultural diversity and the imperative to nurture a creative, healthy and civilised society.’

Showering compliments on Khan Sahib, Raza Rumi rounds off his article by claiming, ‘Miyan Tansen must be proud of his new age prodigy.’

Sultan Arshad and Asif Noorani’s write-ups (‘Playback Singer Par Excellence’ and ‘Never a Discordant Note’) nicely entail some of the private (peppered with anecdotes) aspects of the legend’s life with useful background information on the origin of some of his greatest songs and ghazals.

While Rakhshanda Jalil’s tribute (‘Shola Sa Lapak Jaye Hai…’) aptly describes how Mehdi Hasan has been instrumental in popularising the genre of Urdu ghazal in India. Kishore Bhimani’s article on, and Rishad Mahmood’s interview of, the Shahanshah-i-Ghazal are also worth going through.

Those of you who are wondering what his colleagues and people belonging to showbiz have to say about the vocalist, there’s a chapter titled ‘Reminiscences’ in which comments of the glitterati from the realm of the arts like Javed Akhtar, Dilip Kumar, the late Naushad, the late Noor Jehan, Abida Parveen, Jagjit Singh, Runa Laila, Nayyara Noor, Lata Mangeshkar, Tina Sani, Robin Ghosh and Nadeem are included.

Another noteworthy feature of the book is the lovely pictures of Mehdi Hasan, solo as well as with many renowned names of showbiz. Taking a look at them brings back memories of the days when the world of showbiz had more substance than style.

Mehdi Hasan: The man and his music

Written and Edited by Asif Noorani
Liberty Books, Karachi
ISBN 978-969-950200-2
80pp. Rs695

DAWN.COM | Books & Authors | Sowing discord

The assertion that drug money is bankrolling the resurgent Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has found an echo chamber among European and American writers, retired generals and now more and more journalists. Gretchen Peters’ recently published Seeds of Terror has caught the eye of policymakers in America and is reinforcing the argument that war in Afghanistan is all about drugs, not Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Interestingly, Maria Ressa, a Filipina journalist, has written a bestseller with the same title but with a different theme: what role has fundraising played in Southeast Asia in the rise of Al Qaeda?

Peters, a Harvard graduate, is a journalist who has drawn on her 10-year-long experience of reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The intrepid author has documented in bewildering detail intelligence reports and hundreds of interviews involving boots on the ground, drug interdiction officers, both former and serving, and Afghans of all stripes. Indeed, she provides the reader a sweeping understanding of the nexus between drug lords and the Taliban. She sees a direct linkage between the growing insurgency and the $500 million-plus garnered from narcotics annually in Afghanistan.

She observes: ‘Eight years after 9/11, the single greatest failure in the war against terror is not that Osama bin Laden continues to elude capture, or that the Taliban has staged a comeback, or even that Al Qaeda is regrouping in Pakistan’s tribal areas and probably planning fresh attacks on the West. Rather it’s the spectacular incapacity of western law enforcement to disrupt the flow of money that is keeping their networks afloat.’

The same argument has been made by General James Jones, Nato’s American Supreme Commander in his book Afghanistan: On the brink (2004). The general was particularly enamoured of saying that Afghanistan’s main problem is drugs. The implication was that if you take care of this problem, the Taliban’s lifeline would snap. To the obvious question about whether Osama bin Laden and his cohorts are involved in the drug trade themselves, Peters at best provides circumstantial evidence. On cold analysis, however, some might think her line of reasoning to be less than convincing.

The author appears to be on the same page as American writer David B. Edwards who argued in his book Heroes of Age that Afghanistan’s problems come from the ‘moral incoherence’ of the country itself. For her the dichotomy between what the Taliban profess (a puritan version of religion) and do (reaping rich drug-related dividends) springs from the same moral incoherence. There are of course an increasing number of people in America who view Afghanistan through the same prism.

That said, the attractively written narrative walks the reader through the economics of poppy trading and the well-oiled network of drugs that has defied the most powerful military and intelligence machine on the planet. As Peters says, ‘it is what pays the bills and cements the loyalties, individually and for ethnic groups.’

This is how she frames her main thesis: the confluence of narco-traffickers, terrorist groups and the international criminal world is the new axis of evil. It does not stop at Afghanistan’s porous borders; it is a problem with global dimensions and so, too, must be the response. Pakistan’s ISI gets hammered throughout her book for its shadowy role in the drugs episode for much of the 1980s and ’90s.

As America ponders a face-saving exit strategy from Afghanistan, what does Peters offer to salvage the situation? She is proposing a multi-tier strategy to apply a chokehold on the insurgents’ supply of cash. How might this be done? She is pitching for punishing military strikes against drug lords, not against the poppy fields themselves as she believes that wiping out poppy fields would drive up poppy prices and put more money into the pockets of drug dealers and terrorists. It could also lead to a humanitarian disaster.

Therefore her strategy is this: go after the top and mid-level drug lords — kill them or arrest them. Second, she wants alternative livelihoods for poppy farmers. As for the Taliban, she suggests the United States make them irrelevant, not defeat them militarily. She is convinced that Taliban and the United States are involved in a zero-sum game in Afghanistan.

Alongside the process of neutering drug lords and smugglers, the author recommends that America throw its massive weight behind restoring regional peace. This means bringing India and Pakistan back to the table, as well as getting Iran to weigh in on the side of peace in Afghanistan. Both these recommendations are up against the hard rock of realpolitik. Peters is a fine hybrid of investigative journalist and scholar and she has pursued her research with a passion. Her book is not a page-turner, but it offers a lot to reflect upon.

This review was published in Dawn (Books and Authors) and is written by Syed Javed Nazir.

Seeds of Terror: How heroin is bankrolling the
Taliban and Al Qaeda

By Gretchen Peters
302pp. Rs995

Available with Liberty Books.

The Dawn Blog » Blog Archive » I delivered that no-ball by Ahmer Naqvi

The misfortune of Pakistan is that its tragedy appears as farce.

Over the past few years, our screens have been awash with images both gruesome and depressing in equal measures. And they have been punctually followed by television anchors and television politicians blaming India, Israel, CIA, NASA and any other bogeyman you can think of – as long as the perpetrators weren’t one of us.

Each time, amidst the despondency, I would find myself laughing at such incredulous claims. When, I would wonder, will such people face up to the brazen facts?

Over the past 48 hours, one of the greatest passions of my life has witnessed a sickening turn of events.

And since then, people have asked one of Pakistan’s largest religious communities – the cricket-fans – when will you face up to the facts?

After Bangalore 1996, Lord’s 1999, after the Qayyum Report and the player revolts, after everything that has happened, how could we still be shocked?

After all, for the most part, the players have always been corrupt, the board has always been dysfunctional, the system has been abused to the point where it is nothing but abusive – how did we not see this coming?

As I asked myself this question, I realised I was no better than those TV hosts and politicians I mocked – just like them I had always found someone else to blame.

It’s the unfair pay-cheques, the IPL bans, the lack of education, the War on Terror, the colonial prejudices.

So I decided to blame the greedy players, the short-sighted administrators, the extractive system.

But love has this way of denuding you and your rationalisations. And my love of cricket asked me – when will you blame yourself?

Myself? How am I to blame?

I whizz past red lights while forwarding a text about the laws broken by the government.

I feast myself silly on all-you-can-eat-buffets, and yet I cringe at the greed of those boys.

I glower at my sister’s slipping dupatta as I leave for a night out, and still its the hypocrisy of Amir’s sajda at Lord’s that rankles me.

I shame Hollywood celebrities for their apathy towards the floods, when no amount of disasters slices me as much as a bunch of young men dropping some catches.

I curse the bus-driver when his swerving makes me miss my turn for the mosque.

I am someone who is in denial of the wrongs I commit.

I must be someone who is the change I wish to see.

This article was published on The Dawn Blog.

DAWN.COM | Cricket | Ponting ponders in “The Captain’s Year”

COOLUM, Australia: Flipping through the pages of Ricky Ponting’s new book, there’s nowhere in a 10,000-word chapter devoted to the forthcoming Ashes series that the Australia captain predicts a 5-0 whitewash over England.

For good reason: Ponting says quotes attributed to him last week to that effect were a big stretch.

“Don’t believe everything that you read,” Ponting said, smiling, during the launch of “The Captain’s Year,” his eighth book. It came during a player camp at a five-star resort north of Brisbane that included all 25 contracted players and Cricket Australia personnel.

Ponting said he was asked last week whether another 5-0 series win was possible, a feat Australia achieved in 2006-07 when it regained the Ashes at home after losing the previous series in England in 2005.

“There are five games to play, so anything is possible,” Ponting said Monday. “If we play our best cricket for every minute of every Test match, then there is a possibility we could do that. But I never said we were going to win 5-nil.”

Ponting and the Australians are preparing for a two-Test, three limited-overs matches tour of India, a home series with Sri Lanka and then the five-Test Ashes before the World Cup next year.

“We’re expecting a very high level of performance for the next eight months,” Ponting said. “The expectations are that we will be ultra-competitive in every match we play.”

To do that, Ponting said the team will have to overcome a series of batting collapses that saw quick wickets fall and matches given away, first at Lord’s and then The Oval during last year’s series won 2-1 by England.

The Australians were also out for low scores against West Indies in Perth last year, then against Pakistan in Sydney in January and most recently at Headingley in England in July.

“Looking back at the Ashes series, it was probably the major reason we didn’t win that series,” Ponting said. “When England got on a roll with the ball we weren’t able to stop that.”

Ponting said the team has been more consistent since, and has more experience.

“We have been able to adapt and adjust to different game situations a lot quicker than we probably did last year,” Ponting said. “And if you look at the makeup of our team, we had quite a few reasonably inexperienced players in that side.

“Now, 12 months down the track, they have played another 10 or 12 Test matches, and they should be able to understand the situation a lot better.”

Ponting was careful to respond to a question about England’s players reportedly being banned from using Twitter and other social networking sites during the Ashes.

“I think the job of all international players these days is that if we can bring people closer to the game with that kind of information … bring people through the gates, then that’s good,” Ponting said.

“It’s the helmet-on, helmet-off, sort of stuff. Very few people around the world know what we’re like with the helmet off. I’m totally for that, as long as it’s done in the right way. You won’t see us banning our players.”

Ponting makes that point in his book, where he includes numerous Facebook entries he’s made during the last year. None of them are particularly earth-shattering, some of them are a plug for his sponsors, but every now and then he’ll talk about an injury or why he chose to bat first after winning a toss.

He also included a chapter entitled “The Best of the Best” – his highlight reel of players he’s faced in the past decade.

His top-order batsmen are Virender Sehwag of India and South Africans Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. The middle order is veteran stars Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.

The all-rounder is Andrew Flintoff of England, the pace bowlers Curtly Ambrose of West Indies, Wasim Akram of Pakistan and South Africa’s Shaun Pollock and the spin bowler all-time top Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan.

Ponting pays Flintoff a compliment, then takes it away.

“Freddie Flintoff was one of the most talented cricketers I saw during the past 10 years,” Ponting wrote. “However, I can’t help thinking he should have achieved more than what he did.”

The five-Test Ashes series begins on Nov. 25 in Brisbane, followed by matches starting Dec. 3 in Adelaide, Dec. 16 in Perth, Dec. 26 in Melbourne and Jan. 3 in Sydney.

Ponting lamented the fact that he’s been so busy with cricket business he hasn’t been able to play the championship Hyatt Regency golf course outside his door and which hosts the Australian PGA tournament each year.

The single handicap golfer said he hopes to get out on the final day of the team’s stay at Coolum, but realises why he’s here.

“It’s been mentioned that I’ve been the only captain in the history of Australian cricket to lose two Ashes series,” Ponting said.

“I’m going to do my absolute best to make sure that it’s not three.” —AP

This article was published in Dawn.

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