IN recent days there has been a massive coverage related to cancellation of cricket tours to the country, which has its own news value, and all sorts of people from the very top to the man on the street have something to say on the matter, which, again, is fair enough. I do wonder, however, if cricket is our only priority. There is life beyond cricket, I guess.
A few days ago, the finance and health minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa proudly shared pictures on his Twitter account of Regi Sports City, which, according to the tweet, is a multi-purpose international standard sports complex in Regi Model Town in Peshawar.
Apart from a football stadium, an athletics track and an aquatic centre, the sports complex is to have a cricket academy as well. Besides, Hayatabad Cricket Stadium and the Arbab Niaz Stadium, both in Peshawar, have undergone renovation and upgradation for which a couple of billions were earmarked. Considering the fact that the last international match played in Peshawar was in 2006, such spending failed to make much sense; especially when even Peshawar Zalmi, the local franchise, has never hosted a home game in the city.
On the other hand, Hazara division, according to the 2017 census, has a population of almost 5.3 million people who have to make do with just one tertiary care hospital which does not even have a single working computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging machine.
Not only that, we are constantly facing the issue of rainwater inundating the hospital every time we are blessed with a little too much rain. It is baffling to imagine where the priorities of the government happen to be.
Dr Juwayriyah Qazi
Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2021