At last Zulqarnain returns home
April 29, 2011
After six months escape to United Kingdom (UK) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to leaving Pakistan Cricket squad Zulqarnain Haider, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper, at last returned home with the security assurance from the government top officials including Federal Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik about his safety and that of his family.
Zulqarnain, a 25 years old guy having a good looking and smart personality showing landed at Islamabad International Airport on the morning of April 25th and was swiftly escorted by security personnel shown the commitment and understanding between Rehman Malik and Pakistani wicket keeper which met in London last week and decided to no need for him to continue with his asylum application and revoke his application for asylum in the United Kingdom and return to Pakistan and resume his playing career.
"I had a potentially growing career with the Pakistan team when I took the decision’, said Zulqairnain adding that no sensible person would sacrifice his career like this without any reason. He made it clear that he has not yet withdrawn decision of retirement.
Zulqarnain said that I had my reasons for doing what I did and I have conveyed my issues to the government now. He insisted that he decided to return from London and withdraw his application for asylum because of assurances given by Rehman Malik.
"I came back after the minister assured me about the security and safety of myself and my family," he stated. Haider had fled the team hotel last November during a one-day series against South Africa and on reaching London claimed that he had got death threats for refusing to take part in match fixing.
He claimed having got two more death threats while he was preparing to return to Pakistan last week. "When I landed at the airport everything was superb. They have given me superb accommodation and have lived up to their promise.
The 25-year old keeper said he was keen to resume his cricket career and hoped that the Pakistan Cricket Board would allow him to do this.
"I will be meeting with the Chairman of the board soon to resolve this issue and convey my point of view," he said. Haider said he was reassured about his security after meeting with the minister.
The keeper was not allowed to speak to the media as he returned home this morning and was whisked away by security personnel in a waiting car. Malik told reporters that he had advised Haider to get in touch with the Pakistan Cricket Board and sort out his issues with them.
Talking to this correspondent Zulqarnain’s wife Shazia Haider has thanked the government especially Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik for safe return of her husband to homeland and giving security assurance to him.
She said that the verdict of Zulaqrnain for returning Pakistan was absolutely correct as life and death is in total control of Almighty Allah.
She said that Zulqarnain would decide his fate in few days that whether he should come back towards cricket or not. “Neither I nor my husband are not afraid of life threats, that he received during stay in London and Dubai”, she added.
Shaiza told that that she as well as her children were bit emotional at Zulqarnain’s arrival, as the family was reunited after many months. Now he will spend some time with his children after that he would decide what to do. “Zulqarnain had spent the time in UK was the most difficult time not only for him but also for his entire family members’, she added.
Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik, who is very famous as Rehman Baba in the political circle also play their positive role to solve the this dispute as he was looking so emotional when he had a meeting with returned home boy Zulqarnain Haider and his family including wife Shahzia Haider and two daughters Fiza Haider and Zahra Haider. During the meeting Rehman Malik again instructed the security officials to ensure the security of Zulqarnain Haider’s family.
During the meeting threats to him, his visit to London without information and his security came under discussion. On this juncture Federal Minister for Sports Engineer Shaukat Ullah accompanied him.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that no compromise would be made on his security but Pakistan Cricket Board would make decision about his come back in cricket.
"I have told him we will take care of his security but he must focus on resolving his issues with the board so that he can resume playing cricket again," Malik said.
In the aftermath of his flight, Haider announced his international retirement and his contract with the PCB was suspended. A fact-finding committee subsequently set-up by the PCB to look into the affair failed to find any clear motives behind his actions.
At last I again just want to say him well come back at home, be brave and face the situations which are a common threat to whole nation. National cricket team still needs a good wicket keeper like you and I hope that you will appear very soon in front of Pakistan Cricket Board and brief them with honesty.