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A Year of Bad-Mouthing – Newsweek Pakistan

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Aamir Qureshi—AFP

The PTI-led government should mark the new year by reaching out to the opposition—and restraining its foul-mouthed lawmakers

Prime Minister Imran Khan, following his election in 2018, was able to mold his ministers in his image. In the provinces and the center, all of them became rough in their discourse and adopted vituperation as their style. The reference was always the past decade and how bad it was when Khan was struggling politically and couldn’t do much to clear the miasma of corruption let loose by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government at the center and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Sindh. His handmaiden National Accountability Bureau (NAB), headed by a man suffering from personality disorder, carried out its mayhem as proof of what the oracle of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had pronounced.

One year of bad communication was bequeathed to Pakistan while the country needed a lot of cooperation in Parliament to salvage a belly-up economy. Khan carried his worry-beads around—aped less attractively by his Interior Minister Ijaz Shah—as he announced how he would construct hundreds of thousands of houses for Pakistan’s poor, and plant a billion trees to restore the dwindling oxygen-count, and open free kitchens for people going hungry in the cities and—as if in moral compensation—throw his political opponents in jail till they disgorged the big money they had extracted from the state exchequer. The year 2019 was of non-communication and verbal abuse, in which politicians competed and the common man became imitatively debased in character.

Khan appeared adroit in handling a rather wild India under Narendra Modi and his BJP, and joined his Army chief to promote the Kartarpur Corridor. This appeared out-of-character to observers who expected Pakistan to chart its predictable course of empty, anti-India rhetoric that unites Pakistanis but ruins Pakistan’s image internationally. The world meanwhile hates Pakistan’s revisionism vis-à-vis India after nuclearization froze the status quo and points only to normalization. Unlike non-nuclear Bangladesh that endures the Hindutva vagaries on the eastern edge of South Asia and yet has foreign reserves of $30 billion, Pakistan with its $10 billion has succumbed to the challenge of Article 370 of the Constitution annexing India-held Kashmir.

The year 2020 will be martyr to the revisionist nationalism of Pakistani textbooks. There is not much distance between the worry beads of Imran Khan and what is called Ghazwa-e-Hind in Pakistan.

If the world is succumbing to populism, Pakistan has tilted in favor of Khan’s worldview of Islamism, telling the western world how it offends through Islamophobia. Inside Pakistan, non-Muslims are suffering from an opposite phobia that the Muslims of the world have not sorted out. Shockingly, the kidnapping-through-marriage of Hindu girls has not ceased in Sindh while 800 Hindu children have died of starvation in 2019 in Tharparkar, Sindh. Unable to call on India for help, given the strained relations, Pakistan has chosen to ignore the crisis like it has ignored the growing trend across the country of kidnapping and raping small children, a lot of it happening in the madrassas that Khan can’t touch with a bargepole. He’d rather give billions of rupees to keep them off his back as he did when his party was ruling only in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Some of the human rights issues vis-à-vis the non-Muslims of Pakistan can’t be handled because the Islamic Constitution gets in the way. One should be thankful that Khan would not declare them “zimmi” and collect “jiziya” from them.

The other communication problem faced by a bad-mouthing government is in regions where the writ of the state is weak, like Afghanistan, and the populations are alienated. The biggest province Balochistan, where most of the cities are “B” class—meaning there is no normal administration—suffers from “disappearances”; and they run into thousands. Tragically those who speak up about these “disappearances” themselves tend to “disappear” as happened with an honest retired colonel of the Army in Islamabad for his advocacy of the “disappeared” of Balochistan.

Add to the “vacuum” of Balochistan the badlands of the Northern Areas now included in the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. This is where a 30-year war was fought which changed Pakistan forever. The local population was ignored and allowed to be savaged by the Islamist warriors that Pakistan imported and admired till the infection came down to South Punjab and terrorism was absorbed into the guts of the state. The people of the tribal areas have to be assuaged and their rage endured if Pakistan has to survive. If you include interior Sindh, South Punjab, Balochistan, and the tribal areas, you have almost 60 percent of the territory of Pakistan where the writ of the state is weak. Pakistan’s population has grown to a level where Islamabad can no longer support it. It is increasingly fleeing the weak-writ areas and crowding the already overladen cities.

The PTI government has to do a lot of heavy lifting while keeping its excessively foul mouth shut. It should seek non-traditional relations with India after seeing and digesting that the world, including the Islamic world—barring Turkey and Malaysia—leans in favor of India and thinks Pakistan is economically too fragile and too internally insecure to support. India faces a similar equation with China: it nurses territorial revisionism against it just like Pakistan vis-a-vis India, but trades with it, its two-way volume expected to reach $100 billion this year, thus making China India’s largest trading partner.

Pakistan enjoys great support from “all weather” friend China; unfortunately those ties still aren’t enough to overcome the trade gap when compared to India. The total trade volume between Beijing and Islamabad is $15 billion; $13 billion of that sum is Chinese exports to Pakistan.

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‘Shouldn’t be demoted’: Pakistan U-19 cricket team coach has his say on Naseem Shah’s exclusion – Hindustan Times

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Ijaz Ahmed, head coach of the Pakistan U-19 team, has said that the decision to withdraw Naseem Shah from the upcoming World Cup did not hurt him, insisting that the right-arm pacer is now a member of the senior team and should not be demoted.

Shah has been withdrawn from the World Cup scheduled to be played in South Africa from January 17 to February 9. In an official statement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that Mohammad Wasim Jnr has been named as Shah’s replacement.

“The decision of pulling out Naseem (from the U-19 squad) did not hurt me. I had a productive discussion on this subject with senior team’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis,” Ijaz was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

READ: Full schedule of Team India in 2020: Challenging year for Kohli & company

Shah, who made his international debut for Pakistan’s senior team in Australia in November last year, recently became the youngest fast bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He registered his maiden five-wicket haul in the second innings of the Karachi Test against Sri Lanka which Pakistan won by 263 runs at the National Stadium in Karachi.

“The main purpose of (raising) a strong national junior squad is to provide good talent to the senior team. Naseem has found his place in Pakistan (senior) team quite fast as he first went to Australia for the Test series and later also played the (recently-held) home Test series against Sri Lanka.

“Considering all this, we feel that he is now a member of the senior team, and therefore should not be demoted to the junior level,” Ijaz, who played 60 Tests and 250 ODIs for Pakistan from 1986 to 2001, added.

READ: ‘I’m a traditionalist,’ Aus legend’s clear answer on 4-Day Test proposal

Shah has so far played three Tests for Pakistan in which he has taken eight wickets.

Pakistan, the 2004 and 2006 champions and three-time runners-up of the U19 World Cup, are placed in Group C of the 16-team event and will play Scotland in their opening match on January 19.

Pakistan’s second match will be against Zimbabwe at the Witrand Oval on January 22, while their third and final group match will be on January 24 against Bangladesh.

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Naseem Shah should not be demoted to junior level: Pakistan U-19 coach Ijaz Ahmed – India Today

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Ijaz Ahmed, head coach of the Pakistan U-19 team, has said that the decision to withdraw Naseem Shah from the upcoming World Cup did not hurt him, insisting that the right-arm pacer is now a member of the senior team and should not be demoted.

Shah has been withdrawn from the World Cup scheduled to be played in South Africa from January 17 to February 9. In an official statement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that Mohammad Wasim Jnr has been named as Shah’s replacement.

“The decision of pulling out Naseem (from the U-19 squad) did not hurt me. I had a productive discussion on this subject with senior team’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis,” Ijaz was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

Shah, who made his international debut for Pakistan’s senior team in Australia in November last year, recently became the youngest fast bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He registered his maiden five-wicket haul in the second innings of the Karachi Test against Sri Lanka which Pakistan won by 263 runs at the National Stadium in Karachi.

“The main purpose of (raising) a strong national junior squad is to provide good talent to the senior team. Naseem has found his place in Pakistan (senior) team quite fast as he first went to Australia for the Test series and later also played the (recently-held) home Test series against Sri Lanka.

“Considering all this, we feel that he is now a member of the senior team, and therefore should not be demoted to the junior level,” Ijaz, who played 60 Tests and 250 ODIs for Pakistan from 1986 to 2001, added.

Shah has so far played three Tests for Pakistan in which he has taken eight wickets.

Pakistan, the 2004 and 2006 champions and three-time runners-up of the U19 World Cup, are placed in Group C of the 16-team event and will play Scotland in their opening match on January 19.

Pakistan’s second match will be against Zimbabwe at the Witrand Oval on January 22, while their third and final group match will be on January 24 against Bangladesh.

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Four Pakistan cities to host PSL cricket tournament starting Feb 20 – Business Standard

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The Cricket Board has taken another step in its bid to convince foreign teams that it’s safe to play in the country.

For the first time, all the matches in Pakistan’s premier domestic Twenty20 tournament will be held in the country, across four major cities.

The PCB announced Wednesday that Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan will host the 34 Super League (PSL) games, starting Feb. 20. Lahore has 14 matches, including the final on March 22.

The entire first edition of the PSL in 2016 was staged in the United Arab Emirates before the PCB held the 2017 final at Lahore. In 2018, four matches were organized at Lahore and Karachi – with the rest in the UAE – while last year Karachi hosted eight matches.

A total of 36 foreign players will play this year for six local franchises – Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United, Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi. Those players include batsman Jason Roy of England, South African pacer Dale Steyn and West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons.

has long been trying to win back the confidence of foreign countries. The doors of international cricket were shut on Pakistan after an attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team’s bus at Lahore in 2009. The ambush left eight people dead and several Sri Lanka players and team officials injured.

Over the years Pakistan has hosted Zimbabwe, West Indies, a World XI and Sri Lanka in limited-overs matches before successfully organizing a two-test series against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi and Karachi last month.

“After bringing test cricket back to Pakistan, hosting of the entire Pakistan Super League is our other major achievement,” PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement.

“I never had any doubts it was Pakistan’s league and should be played in front of home crowds.”

Nine matches will be organized in Karachi, including the opener between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United. Rawalpindi, which hosted its first test match last month since 2004, has eight games and Multan three.

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England cricket team’s Barmy Army helps boost Mother City tourist fortunes | Cape Argus – Independent Online

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File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Ahead of the second cricket Test match, England’s travelling supporters, known worldwide as the Barmy Army, have seemingly boosted the fortunes of Cape Town’s hotels and other tourist businesses.

Members of the Barmy Army, who are known for their enjoyment of beer and rapturous singing, are believed to have made a significant number of bookings at Cape Town hotels and Airbnb and other guest houses, running from the end of December to the first week of January this year.

The V&A Waterfront has also scored with the visiting cricket fans – many members of the Barmy Army gathered there on Tuesday night to ring in the new year, as seen on the Barmy Army’s social media pages.

Chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA, Jeff Rosenberg, said: “The cricket has definitely given the number of bookings a bump.

“With the Proteas winning in Pretoria, there is bound to be interest from local supporters and, of course, the very many England supporters who travel everywhere with their team.

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Home Ministry Stalls Visit of Pakistan-born Man With Goan Roots – News18

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Panaji: The visit of a Karachi-born Australian national, who has roots in Goa, has been stalled, pending security clearance from the Union Home Ministry, the State Commission for NRI Affairs said on Thursday.

Pakistan-born Marco Monteiro (21) is one of the eight students who are slated to attend the 12th ‘Know Goa Program’ organised by the commission, NRI Affairs director Anthony D’Souza said.

“However, the Union Ministry for Home Affairs is yet to give security clearance to Marco for his visit to India. The ministry has been very sensitive about national security,” D’Souza said.

Marco was born on October 3, 1998 in Karachi and later moved to Australia with his mother, the official said, adding that he now holds an Australian citizenship.

The Know Goa Program has been organised for youth belonging to Goan diaspora, who are born abroad and are foreign nationals, but whose parents or ancestors are of Goan origin, the official said.

This year, eight students from Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and Portugal are slated to visit Goa, Delhi and Agra for the programme, which is scheduled to be held from January 4 to 18, he said.

Marco’s grandfather Jose Monteiro was born at Taleigao town in Panaji on March 13, 1885 and died in 1921, D’Souza added.

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Mohamed Bin Zayed arrives in Pakistan on a one-day visit – Gulf News

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MBZ Imran
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan receives Mohammad Bin Zayed at Nur Khan base in Islamabad. Image Credit: Social media

Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces has arrived in Pakistan on Thursday on a one-day visit.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan received Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed at the Nur Khan Base with guard of honour.

According to a statement issued by Pakistan Foreign Office, Sheikh Mohamed is visiting Islamabad accompanied by a high-level delegation. He last visited Pakistan in January 2019.

During the visit, Sheikh Mohamed will have a one-on-one meeting with Imran Khan. This will be followed by a luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister.

The exchange of views between the two leaders will cover bilateral matters and regional and international issues of common interest.

“Frequent exchange of high-level visits between Pakistan and the UAE is reflective of the importance that the two countries attach to their fraternal ties. The visit illustrates the strength and substance of the Pakistan-UAE special relationship, based on commonalities of faith, cultural affinities, and a shared resolve to take mutual cooperation to a new level,” says the Foreign Office statement.

The UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments. The UAE is also among Pakistan’s prime development partners in education, health and energy sectors. It hosts more than 1.6 million expatriate Pakistani community, which contributes remittances of around $4.5 billion annually to the GDP.

The visit of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, the statement added, would contribute to further enhancement of multi-faceted collaboration between Pakistan and the UAE.

During his meeting with Mohamed Bin Zayed and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed bilateral relations and ways to take them further in the best interests of the two countries and peoples.

The talks touched upon the overall situation in the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and the entire Muslim world. The two leaders exchanged views on the regional and international issues of common concern.

Shaikh Mohammad congratulated Khan and the Pakistani people on the occasion of the New Year, wishing that 2020 will be a year of good, peace and development in Pakistan and the whole world. He highlighted the depth of UAE-Pakistan relations and ties of friendship binding the two countries .

Strategic partnership

Shaikh Mohammad underlined Pakistan’s strategic political weight with regard to regional security and peace, in addition to being a strategic depth for the Arabian Gulf region, especially in light of the deep historical, cultural, geographical and social ties bind the two sides for hundreds of years.

He reiterated the UAE’s firm position in supporting peace, stability and dialogue in the Indian subcontinent for the benefit of its people, adding that this region is of great strategic importance to security in Asia, the GCC region and the world as well. Shaikh Mohammad pointed out that Pakistan is an essential pillar of joint action within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC(, stressing the UAE’s support for OIC and the important role it plays to serve the Islamic world’s causes.

Pakistan’s efforts praised

He praised Pakistan’s position and its keenness on the unity of OIC) as the institutional framework for Islamic countries around the world, a position that exemplifies Islamic values that call for cooperation, peace, acquaintance and rejection of hate, extremism and violence, whatever their source.

The Pakistani premier welcomed Shaikh Mohammad and his delegation and wished the UAE and its people greater progress and prosperity during 2020 and reaffirmed the strength of his country’s ties with the UAE

Khan voiced his great appreciation of the UAE’s support for Pakistan’s economy and development. He thanked Shaikh Mohammad for his keen interest in strengthening bilateral relations and pushing them forward, referring to his crucial role in supporting development and peace in the regional and international arenas.

With inputs by WAM

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BCCI To Set Up Medical Panel, Hire Various Professionals To Revamp National Cricket Academy – NDTV Sports

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The National Cricket Academy, which has often been criticised for its handling of players’ injuries, is set to get the help of a BCCI medical panel and a dedicated social media department as part of its overall revamp plan. The need for a medical panel was discussed at the NCA’s recent meeting which was attended by all the BCCI-officer bearers, including president Sourav Ganguly and NCA cricket head Rahul Dravid. The development comes after the criticism the NCA drew for the injury management of leading India players, including Wriddhiman Saha and more recently Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya and premium pacer Jasprit Bumrah added to the NCA’s woes by choosing personal rehabilitation over recovering in Bengaluru.

“The BCCI will consult a London-based clinic, Fortius, for setting up its medical panel,” a top BCCI official told PTI.

Head of fast bowling, a position which has been lying vacant for a long time, will also be filled soon. That person will be in charge of setting up a fast bowling program at the NCA.

The board will also hire a nutrition head for the Bengaluru-based facility. The NCA has mainly been in the news for all the wrong seasons and there is no official communication coming out of it.

A social media manager will come on board to provide regular updates on the happenings inside the facility. The move could also go a long way in repairing NCA’s reputation, the Board official added.

The NCA had failed to detect Bhuvneshwar’s sports hernia and was also at the receiving end of criticism when it came to light that Bumrah and Hardik were taking outside help for their recovery rather relying on the NCA staff.

Going forward, Ganguly has already made it clear that NCA will be the primary centre for cricketing development programs in the country and all India players will have to go to Bengaulru for rehabilitation. He also expects the new NCA facility to be ready in 18 months’ time.

The other recruitment, which will be done soon, is the head of data analytics.

The NCA will also be conducting Level 2 and Level 3 coaching courses at its premises with state associations footing the bill for their respectively coaches.

“Coach development consultants” will also be hired on requirement basis.

Utmost caution will be taken while issuing medical updates on the Indian players with vetting of the information done by the team management as well as the NCA.

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Video: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed arrives in Pakistan – Khaleej Times

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His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces was received on Thursday afternoon by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Nur Khan Airbase, where an official reception ceremony was held.

LIVE: #APPNews #PMImranKhan Gives Warm Welcome to Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Nur Khan Airbase, on a day-long official visit to #Pakistan #UAE @MohamedBinZayed @uaeembassyisb @UAEmGov @ImranKhanPTI @ForeignOfficePk https://t.co/qR1ZYL462I

During the one-day visit, Sheikh Mohamed will discuss with Imran Khan mainly on bilateral ties and ways to enhance cooperation.

 

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