ISLAMABAD: First woman judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Lubna Saleem Pervaiz was sworn in here on Friday.
The oath was administered by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. Pervaiz took an oath of office alongside two other judges _ Fiaz Anjum Jadran and Ghulam Azam Qambrani.
Pervaiz was earlier working as deputy attorney general at the Sindh High Court (SHC).
Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi had appointed these three additional judges for a period of one year, according to a notification from the Ministry of Law and Justice.
The three were earlier nominated by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) and later a parliamentary panel interviewed them and then approved their names.
Under Article 175-A of the Constitution, the initial appointment of an additional judge in the high court is made for one year.
After this term expires, the JCP may consider them for a permanent position, and the Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment will then consider the Commission’s recommendations.
On November 21, the JCP recommended Lubna Pervaiz, Jandran and Qambrani as additional judges and the nominations were unanimously confirmed by the parliamentary committee on December 4. With these appointments now the total number of judges at the IHC has risen to seven.
According to the Islamabad High Court Act 2010, the total strength of its judges is seven. Before these appointments, only four judges were working in the IHC where more than 18,000 cases are pending.
Besides the Chief Justice Minallah, the other three judges are Justice Aamir Farooq, who is the senior puisne judge of the IHC, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.
The Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Judges also conducted interviews of candidates for judicial posts in high courts.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) boycotted the oath-taking ceremony in protest against suspension of the licence of the Secretary of the Bar by Justice Minallah.
On Thursday, Bar Secretary Umari Baloch had tried to forcibly suspend the proceeding of the court when Justice Minallah was hearing a case.
He incited the lawyers not to appear before the court in solidarity with the lawyers community of Lahore. He had also exchanged harsh words with the court when Justice Minallah forbade him to do so.
As a result the court issued him a show-cause notice suspending his licence till the next date of hearing on December 19. The IHBA has announced to boycott Justice Minallah’s court till he withdraws his order.
Whisper Films has won the contract to produce England international cricket highlights for UK public broadcaster the BBC, it has been reported.
It will produce around 40 hours of highlights of test matches, one day internationals and T20 fixtures, according to the BroadcastNow website.
The contract runs to the end of 2021, with a three-year extension option.
It is claimed that Whisper fought off one other major sports producer to win the rights after a three-month bidding process.
The BBC acquired the cricket highlights rights in 2017 as part of a five-year deal with the English Cricket Board, running from 2020 to 2024. The rights also comprise non-exclusive live rights to 21 selected national team and domestic matches per year, as well as clips and radio rights
Under that deal, Whisper is expected to produce live coverage of the 2020 British Grand Prix for the channel, plus highlights of all 22 races through the F1 season. It is unclear whether the contract extends for the length of Channel 4’s new F1 sublicensing deal with pay-television broadcaster Sky, which runs for the three years from 2020 to 2022.
The production renewal is not a surprise given the close links between the pair: Channel 4 holds a 25-per-cent stake in Whisper, which is also part-owned by ex-F1 driver David Coulthard. The broadcaster’s F1 coverage is fronted by Coulthard.
Whisper also produced Channel 4’s coverage of the inaugural 2019 edition of W-Series, the women’s motorsport competition. Coulthard is a shareholder in W-Series and sits on its advisory board.
Pakistan’s first test match at home in over a decade is heading for a tame draw after rain and bad light wiped out almost the entire third day’s play against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi on Friday.
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LAHORE: Pakistan’s first test match at home in over a decade is heading for a tame draw after rain and bad light wiped out almost the entire third day’s play against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi on Friday.
The weather-hit opening test also had play curtailed on the first two days and not even one innings has been completed since Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat.
Only 5.2 overs of play was possible on Friday and Sri Lanka added 19 runs to their overnight score to reach 282 for six.
Dhananjaya de Silva resumed the day unbeaten on 72 and had added only 15 to his tally before the umpires decided the light was not sufficient for play to continue. Dilruwan Perera was not out on six at the other end.
The two-match series marks Pakistan’s first tests on home soil since a militant attack in 2009 on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Toby Davis)
Scotland have announced their 15-man squad for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020.
Scotland went undefeated at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Europe Qualifier earlier this year and are joined by Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Group C at the global tournament, which begins next month.
Gordon Drummond, the squad’s coach, said: “The squad is excited about the opportunity to take part in the upcoming U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.It’s a tough group but one that also presents a fantastic opportunity to take a few Full Member scalps which I know the boys are focused on achieving.
“Our squad has variety and a great team spirit which they displayed during the ICC U19s Europe Cricket World Cup Qualifier [in which Scotland finished top of the group]. They have trained hard all winter and are looking forward to the outdoor preparation in Dubai leading into the tournament.
“The players have set themselves some targets which if they play with the skill and belief, we know they can certainly achieve.”
Scotland’s campaign begins on 19 January against Pakistan. They will face Bangladesh two days later and then take on Zimbabwe on 25 January.
Squad: Angus Guy, Tom Mackintosh, Ben Davidson, Callum Grant, Charlie Pee, Daniel Cairns, Durness Mackay-Champion, Euan McBeth, Jamie Cairns, Jasper Davidson, Kess Sajjad, Liam Naylor, Rory Hanley, Sean Fischer-Keogh, Uzzair Shah
Shah spent about four hours at the head office of the force that is located in the CGO complex on Lodhi road here.
It was the Shah’s first visit to the headquarters of the country’s largest border guarding force after becoming home minister in the Modi government’s second term.
The minister recently could not attend the raising day of the force that was celebrated on December 1 here, owing to certain commitments.
Officials said after presenting a ceremonial guard of honour, the home minister was given a presentation on the BSF deployment and operations along the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The force guards over 2,290-km of the India-Pakistan border (international border and the Line of Control) and 4,096-km Indo-Bangla front.
The minister was also briefed about the smart gadgets deployed, and recent operations conducted by the force to fortify its defences along the Pakistan border to check infiltration and smuggling activities, they said.
Shah directed the officials to ensure a tight vigil and “enhance” the usage of smart technology tools to effectively secure the two frontiers, they said.
He was also informed about the BSF deployment in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and Odisha and the overall deployment and movement of its units across the country, they said.
Senior BSF officials, led by BSF Director General (DG) V K Johri, interacted with the home minister during the about four hours-long meeting, they said.
The BSF, raised in 1965, has a strength of over 2.5-lakh personnel.
The home minister had made a similar visit to the CRPF headquarters here last month.
MAZAIKEWALE, Pakistan: Sold by her family as a bride to a Chinese man, Samiya David spent only two months in China. When she returned to Pakistan, the once robust woman was nearly unrecognisable: malnourished, too weak to walk, her speech confused and disjointed.
“Don’t ask me about what happened to me there” was her only reply to her family’s questions, her cousin Pervaiz Masih said.
Within just a few weeks, she was dead.
David’s mysterious death adds to a growing body of evidence of mistreatment and abuses against mainly Christians women and girls who have been trafficked to China as brides.
Investigations have found that traffickers have increasingly targeted Pakistan’s impoverished Christian population over the past two years, paying desperate families to give their daughters and sisters, some of them teenagers, into marriage with Chinese men. Once in China, the women are often isolated, neglected, abused and sold into prostitution, frequently contacting home to plead to be brought back. Some women have told The Associated Press and activists that their husbands at times refused to feed them.
A list attained by the AP documented 629 Pakistani girls and women sold to China as brides in 2018 and up to early 2019. The list was compiled by Pakistani investigators working to break up the trafficking networks.
“These poor people have given their daughters for money, and [in China] they do whatever they want to do with them. No one is there to see what happens to the girls,” said David’s cousin, Masih. “This is the height of cruelty. We are poor people.”
David’s death, at the age of 37, shows the extremes of the cruelties trafficked women face. Other women have described being cut off without support, abused physically and mentally. Previously, the AP spoke to seven girls who were raped repeatedly when forced into prostitution. Activists say they have received reports of at least one trafficked bride killed in China but have been unable to confirm.
David now lies buried in an unmarked grave in a small Christian graveyard overgrown with weeds near her ancestral village of Mazaikewale in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province.
Before her marriage, she lived in a cramped two-room house with her brother Saber and her widowed mother in Francisabad Colony, a congested Christian neighbourhood of small cement and brick houses in a warren of narrow streets in the Punjab city of Gujranwala. Christians are among the poorest in Pakistan, a mostly Muslim nation of 220 million people.
Her brother took money from brokers to force her into marriage with a Chinese man, Masih said, though the brother denied doing so. The marriage certificate was signed by a local pastor who has since fled police seeking him on suspicion of working with traffickers in multiple cases. A few months after their marriage in late 2018, David and her husband left to China. “When she left for China she was healthy. She looked good and strong,” said Masih.
Her husband was from a relatively poor, rural part of eastern Shandong province. The conservative culture in such areas strongly favours male offspring, which under China’s strict population control policies meant that a great deal of little girls were never born, hence the demand for trafficked foreign wives. Overall, China has about 34 million more men than women.
After two months, her brother got a phone call telling him to pick his sister up at the airport in Lahore. He found David in a wheelchair, too weak to walk.
The AP met David in late April. Living again in the house in Francisabad Colony, she showed her wedding photos, taken six months earlier. In one, she was dressed in a white gown, smiling, looking robust, with long, flowing black hair.
David barely resembled the woman in the picture. Her cheeks were sunken, complexion sallow, her tiny frame emaciated and frail. She seemed confused, her speech incoherent. When asked about her wedding or time in China, she lost focus _ her words wandering _ and at one point suddenly stood to make tea, mumbling about the sugar. She paced, repeating, “I am OK. I am OK.” When asked why she looked so different in the wedding photos, she stared vacantly into space, finally saying, “There is nothing wrong with me.”
“She has the evil eye,” said her brother, who was present at the interview.
She died a few days later, on May 1.
DrMeet Khan Tareen treated David on her one visit to his clinic in Lahore.
“She was very malnourished and very weak,” with anaemia and jaundice, he said in an interview. Preliminary tests suggested several possible ailments, including organ failure, and he said he told her brother she needed to be hospitalised. “She was so malnourished … a very, very, very low weight,” he said.
Her death certificate listed cause of death as “natural”. David’s cousin said the family is hiding the truth because they sold her as a bride. “They have taken money. That is why they are hiding everything,” said Masih, who is a member of the town’s Union Council, which registers marriages and deaths.
Breaking a family’s silence is difficult, said a senior government official familiar with the investigations into the sale of brides.
“They might sell their daughters, and even if they discover that the marriage was bad or she is suffering, they would rather ignore it than lose face in front of friends and family,” he said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The trafficking networks are operated by Pakistani and Chinese brokers who cruise Christian areas willing to sell daughters and sisters. They are known to pay off pastors, particularly at small, evangelical churches, to encourage their flock to do so.
Christian activist Salim Iqbal, who was among the first to sound the alarm last November about bride trafficking, is in touch with a number of Pakistani women in China via groups on the messaging app WeChat. He said one girl recently told him her husband doesn’t give her food or medicine.
Another woman, Samia Yousaf, who was 24 when she was forced into marriage, told the AP of the abuses she suffered in China.
She and her husband went there after she became pregnant. When she arrived, nothing was as her husband had promised. He wasn’t well off. They lived in one room on the edge of a field, infested with spiders.
She gave birth by caesarean section. Her husband’s sister refused to let her hold her son after the birth and controlled when and for how long she could see the child during her six days in the hospital. “I started screaming at her one time when she took my baby,” Yousaf recalled.
Her husband refused to let her breastfeed her son until doctors implored him to allow her to, she said. Unable to walk without assistance, the doctors asked her husband to take her for a walk and he repeatedly let her fall, refusing to help her back up.
After she left the hospital, abuses continued. Her husband denied her food. “He was cruel. I thought he wanted to kill me,” she said.
Three weeks later, authorities threatened her with jail because her visa had expired. Her husband had kept her passport. Frightened and unwell, she pleaded with him to let her and her son go home to Pakistan.
But he refused to let her take the baby. She discovered her name was not on her son’s registration, only her husband’s.
The last time she saw her son was in September 2017, just before her return.
“Every day I think of my baby,” said Yousaf, who works as a nanny in Lahore. “I wonder what he looks like. My heart is always sad.”
HOLD FOR PAKISTAN-TRAFFICKED BRIDES-THE LIST BY KATHY GANNON. FILE – In this April 14, 2019 file photo, Pakistani Christian girl Mahek Liaqat, who married to a Chinese national, in tears while narrates her ordeal, in Gujranwala, Pakistan. Name after name, page after page, The Associated Press has obtained an official police investigation list identifying 629 girls and woman from across Pakistan who were sold as brides to Chinese men and taken to China. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary) Image Credit: AP
CAPE TOWN, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith is the ideal candidate for the role of director of cricket for the home series against England that starts later this month, according to acting Cricket South Africa (CAS) chief executive Jacques Faul.
CSA announced the interim appointment of Smith on Wednesday and he will stay in the role for a three-month period up until the Indian Premier League.
Faul has told Reuters in an exclusive interview that he believes the most successful captain in test history is the perfect man to move them forward on the pitch after a turbulent few months.
Smith, who publicly expressed reservations about taking the position amid governance concerns at CSA, will not commit on paper beyond the IPL, but Faul, who has been tasked with steadying the organisation, is confident he will stay on once the recent chaos that has engulfed CSA dissipates.
“You can’t blame him for feeling this way,” Faul said.
“There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, but the intention is definitely to go beyond the next few months. I think he wants to see the stability return (to CSA) first.
“He is someone who has a lot of credibility and an excellent reputation … but if he is happy then I think he will definitely be willing to give it a go longer-term.”
CSA has been beset with accusations of poor governance that led to the suspension of chief executive Thabang Moroe, the resignation of four independent board members and criticism from sponsors.
Faul said Smith, who captained South Africa in 108 tests, will drive the team’s on-field performance and ticks every box.
“What we need with Graeme is a hardened international cricketer to guide us. He is also a natural leader, people look up to him, he is decisive in decision-making, a credible person and is assertive.
“If you were to profile the ideal candidate to get the team back on the right road, it would be Graeme.”
Smith will seek in the new role to turn around the fortunes of an ailing side, who have lost their last five tests in a row to Sri Lanka and India, two of which were by an innings.
He will announce his coaching structure and support staff for the England tour on Saturday, ahead of the first of Four tests that starts on Dec. 26.
(Editing by Toby Davis)
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ISLAMABAD — U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad briefed Pakistani leaders on Friday on last week’s first official talks with the Taliban since President Donald Trump declared a near-certain peace deal with the insurgents dead in September.
Khalilzad met with Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who assured the American envoy that Islamabad will continue to press for a durable peace in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistani state-run media said Khalilzad praised Pakistan’s role in facilitating the ongoing peace process.
Last Saturday, Khalilzad met with Taliban representatives in Qatar, where the insurgents maintain a political office. It was his first such direct contact between the envoy and the militant group since Trump halted negotiations three months ago after a particularly deadly wave of Taliban attacks, including a Kabul suicide bombing that killed an American soldier.
The Qatar meeting focused on getting a Taliban promise to reduce violence, with a permanent cease-fire being the eventual goal.
Khalilzad is trying to lay the groundwork for negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the protracted conflict but the Taliban, who now control nearly half of Afghanistan, refuse to talk directly with Kabul government representatives.
PERTH: Marnus Labuschagne’s 143 set Australia up for a challenging total of 416 as they were all out on the stroke of tea against New Zealand in the day-night first Test on Friday (Dec 13).
In stifling heat, the home team kept the Kiwis in the field for just a few minutes shy of five full sessions, with the last wicket falling in the final over before the break on day two.
It was slow going for much of the session before tea, with just 26 runs in the first hour as Australia looked to punish New Zealand by keeping them in the field after winning the toss and electing to bat, with the intention of bowling at the visitors in the final session under lights.
Just when it seemed Australia were destined for to score around 500, New Zealand gained some welcome relief when they claimed the last three wickets for just eight runs, with pacemen Tim Southee and Neil Wagner each finishing with four wickets.
In blisteringly hot conditions, and down a fast bowler due to debutant Lockie Ferguson’s right calf injury, the visitors toiled away manfully as the mercury again climbed towards 40 degrees Celsius and a bushfire broke out adjacent to the ground.
The Australian innings was anchored by Labuschagne, who looked set for his third successive innings over 150 when he was bowled by the determined Wagner(4-92).
The 25-year-old hadn’t given a chance in reaching 143, but walked a little far across his stumps and the ball crashed into his leg stump to reward Wagner for a spirited spell.
Travis Head was looking to solidify his spot in the Australian side, but on 56 he hit a Southee (4-93) ball straight to Mitchell Santner at cover.
The fire started on the far side of the neighbouring Belmont racetrack about an hour before play, and smoke could be seen rising into the Perth sky.
It was quickly put out, but caused haze in the stadium for a short period – echoing the bushfire smoke that plagued last week’s Australian Open golf in Sydney.