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GB requests federal govt to delay reopening of China-Pakistan border – The Express Tribune

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 Two shippi­ng contai­ners from China denied entry throug­h Khunje­rab Pass, says spokes­person    

ABBOTTABAD: The outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China has set off a global frenzy.

The scare is more widespread in Pakistan – especially in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) – due to its geographical proximity with China, and frequent movement of people and goods between the two countries through the only border crossing located in the region.

Authorities in G-B have stopped two shipping containers carrying goods from entering Pakistan through Khunjerab Pass while requesting the federal government to delay the reopening of the border crossing for trade as a precautionary measure.

Tally of suspected China virus cases in Pakistan rises to five

Sited at over 4,600 metres above sea level, Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved border crossing in the world on the fabled Karakoram Highway which traders and travellers have to traverse to transit between Pakistan and China.

“We have denied entry to two shipping containers which arrived at the border crossing from China after the outbreak of the mysterious coronavirus,” Shams Mir, a spokesperson for the G-B government, told The Express Tribune. “The information has been shared with the federal authorities.”

On average 15 shipping containers loaded with goods cross into Pakistan every day, an official of Pakistan Customs said. Similarly, on average 10 passenger vehicles – including one bus of the G-B government – also cross the border daily, said the official who wished not to be named.

Trade and travel through Khunjerab Pass is suspended from November and February due to heavy snowfall in the region, but in special cases containers are allowed to enter Pakistan through this border crossing.

The spokesperson said authorities in the region fear that the mysterious virus could be transmitted through trade goods or even through air because G-B shares a border with China.

“We have requested the federal government to delay the reopening of the border crossing for trade and travel,” he added.

Meanwhile, the G-B government has directed the health department to put in place necessary safety protocols, including screening travellers from China, at the border crossing.

The spokesperson revealed that around 55 people are stuck in China as they are not allowed by the Chinese authorities to return to Pakistan following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“Approximately 75 people from G-B were visiting Kashgar city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. In the meantime, the mysterious virus broke out and these travellers were stranded as Chinese authorities put in place mass quarantine measures,” he said.

“The G-B government contacted Chinese authorities to evacuate the stranded people, but only 20 of them have been allowed to return, while the rest are still stuck,” he added.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry sought to allay fears on Sunday, saying that over 500 students and other community members in Wuhan, and in other parts of China, are safe. “There is no report of infection in any Pakistani community member thus far,” it added.

Wuhan in China’s Hubei province is said to be the epicenter of the viral outbreak. Authorities believe the virus might have spread into the human population from an infected animal at a wet market in Wuhan, the city of 11 million which has been quarantined, halting all public transportation, including city buses, trains, and ferries.

The order also prevents any buses or trains from coming into or leaving the city and grounds all planes at the Wuhan airport.

Meanwhile, a group of Pakistani students stuck in Wuhan have appealed to their government to evacuate them. A video clip shared on social media platforms shows the Pakistani students wearing surgical masks and making the impassioned appeal.

According to them, around 200 Pakistani students are stuck in an engineering university in Wuhan. They said they are living in fear and running out of food supplies as the city is in a complete lockdown.

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CMI urges workplaces to forbid cricket chat as it offers route to laddish behaviour – The Cricketer

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The Chartered Management Institute says sports conversations exclude men and women and firms should do a better job to include everyone

crickettalk270101-min

Conversations about sport, including cricket, should be prohibited by firms because they promote  “laddish” behaviour and culture.

That is the view of the Chartered Management Institute, who are urging companies to pay closer attention to the subjects its workers engage in.

Research carried out by CMI says both men and women are alienated by chats regarding sports such as football and cricket.

Chief-executive Ann Francke OBE also insists that these topics are a pathway into more chauvinistic behaviour, including boasting about one’s love life.

“I have nothing against sport enthusiasts and cricket fans, that’s great,” Francke said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “But the major issue is many people aren’t cricket fans. 

“It is more about you as a team leader or a leader of an organisation if you permit that kind of banter you are excluding people and your job as a leader is to include them.

“A lot of women, in particular, feel left out. They don’t follow those sports and they don’t like being forced to talk about them or not being included in the conversation.

“This place is like heaven for us” – Cricket’s oasis in the Pakistan wilderness

“It is a gateway to more laddish behaviour and if it goes unchecked it’s a signal of more laddish culture. It is easy for it to escalate from the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) talk and chat to slapping each other on the back and talking about their conquests at the weekend. 

“My point is this shouldn’t be banned. My point is if you’re a leader of an organisation or a team, part of your job as a good leader is to be inclusive and that everyone feels comfortable. 

“I bet if you go around and ask people who are subjected to this whether or not they feel comfortable or included they are going to tell you that they do not.

“Good colleagues and good leaders notice when people are feeling uncomfortable but the harsh reality is CMI’s research says four out of five women and men notice this kind of behaviour that hold women back at work.

“Many organisations or men do not react by being a good human.”



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Pakistan protest leader Manzoor Pashteen arrested on conspiracy charges – The Telegraph

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A civil rights campaigner who has challenged Pakistan’s powerful military by raising a protest movement against alleged army abuses has been arrested.

Manzoor Pashteen was held in the early hours of Monday, with police saying he was wanted on charges including sedition, hate speech, incitement against the state, and criminal conspiracy.

His arrest was condemned by supporters, while his fellow leaders of the Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) appealed for calm.

The movement has rattled the military since it arose two years ago with calls to end alleged abuses against the Pashtun ethnic group in the tribal border region with Afghanistan. The region has been the centre of a bloody fight against militant groups for more than a decade.

Security has improved dramatically after a series of military offensives, and the campaigns have been credited with a nationwide reduction in militant violence. Yet the PTM has accused the security forces of being implicated in extrajudicial killings and disappearances during the lengthy campaigns, and continuing a heavy-handed presence in the area. Large crowds have attended rallies since the movement began in 2018.

The army, which suffered heavy casualties during the offensives, at first made concessions to the protest movement, but has since appeared to harden its stance. Generals have accused the media of exaggerating the scale of the PTM and accused its leaders of being pawns of India and Afghanistan.

“This is our punishment for demanding our rights in a peaceful and democratic manner,” said Mohsin Dawar, another PTM leader. “But Manzoor’s arrest will only strengthen our resolve.”

Elizabeth Threlkeld, deputy director of the South Asia program at the Stimson Centre think tank, said the arrest was “a short-sighted and highly inflammatory move by Pakistan’s authorities”.

“ Arresting Pashteen risks further fanning the flames in North and South Waziristan and does nothing to address protesters’ legitimate grievances,” she said.

Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, said he was troubled by Mr Pashteen’s arrest and called for his immediate release.

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Scotland’s bowl model: Hamza Tahir on mission to make cricket mainstream – The National

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“I got stopped by the police a few months ago,” says Hamza Tahir, rather intriguingly teeing up the start of an anecdote. This one, though, revolves around cricket rather than crime.

“He asked me what I did and I told him I played cricket for Scotland. And he replied, “well, I hope you beat the English one day”.

“Of course, I had to tell them we already had, just a year or so earlier. He seemed surprised. So it just shows you that even a massive win like that still isn’t all that well-known by a lot of people in this country. But we have to keep trying to get cricket out there.”

That victory over the best one-day side in the world in Edinburgh in the summer of 2018 was the undoubted pinnacle of Scottish cricket’s recent renaissance period. Frustratingly for those involved, however, it did not lead to the wished-for surge in wider interest in the game, with football continuing to dominate the Scottish sporting landscape at the expense of everything else.

Opportunity, however, knocks again this summer with both Australia and New Zealand booked to appear at the Grange for a total of three matches. Tahir hopes welcoming that calibre of opponent to Scotland will place cricket back in the spotlight again.

“I watched that England game from the stands and the atmosphere was incredible,” he recalls. “It was a beautiful day and the place was buzzing. So if we can get something like that again this summer it would be amazing.

“Australia and New Zealand are two of the biggest names in world cricket so hopefully the rain stays away, we sell out the Grange for all three matches and maybe cause another upset or two. It’s going to be hard to push cricket more into the mainstream but we have to do all we can to create more of a buzz around the game in Scotland.”

The National:

Every sport needs role models to inspire the next generation and the eclectic nature of the Scotland cricket squad includes players from a number of diverse backgrounds.

The lack of Scots-Asians making the breakthrough in other sports – especially football – has been striking, although Tahir believes that often comes down to cultural pressures rather than anything more sinister.

“I think there are fewer opportunities for Scots from Asian backgrounds,” he says. “But I think that’s down to family issues. I’ve certainly never found racism as a barrier to me trying to progress in cricket.

“Asian families often want their kids to go into a proper career and not focus too much on sport. They want you to go to university and get your degree and then do something on the back of that. It was something I went through, too. I was encouraged to go to uni and I did a civil engineering degree.

“But cricket was what I wanted to do. And when I got my involved my family were supportive and that’s all you can ask for.

“You see how well Kash Farooq is doing and is becoming a role model for Scots-Asian kids wanting to get into boxing. If I could do that for cricket one day then that would be brilliant. You just want to show the young ones what can be achieved if they stick at it, no matter their background.”

Last year was a breakthrough one for Tahir, the spinner who still lives in the family home in Paisley on an estate called, coincidentally, The Wickets.

Having taken his first five-wicket haul against Oman in August, the 24 year-old is eager to be involved in a busy schedule that will conclude this year with the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“I think I finished second-top wicket taker for us in 2019. So I definitely feel more comfortable now at this level. I always felt like I belonged there but it was just about trying to be more consistent with my performances. I’m still looking to improve in every game but it’s getting there.”

– Tickets for the matches against Australia and New Zealand go on sale to the general public on February 3. See www.cricketscotland.com/2020-international-cricket for details

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Scotland’s bowl model: Hamza Tahir on mission to make cricket mainstream – HeraldScotland

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“I got stopped by the police a few months ago,” says Hamza Tahir, rather intriguingly teeing up the start of an anecdote. This one, though, revolves around cricket rather than crime.

“He asked me what I did and I told him I played cricket for Scotland. And he replied, “well, I hope you beat the English one day”.

“Of course, I had to tell them we already had, just a year or so earlier. He seemed surprised. So it just shows you that even a massive win like that still isn’t all that well-known by a lot of people in this country. But we have to keep trying to get cricket out there.”

That victory over the best one-day side in the world in Edinburgh in the summer of 2018 was the undoubted pinnacle of Scottish cricket’s recent renaissance period. Frustratingly for those involved, however, it did not lead to the wished-for surge in wider interest in the game, with football continuing to dominate the Scottish sporting landscape at the expense of everything else.

Opportunity, however, knocks again this summer with both Australia and New Zealand booked to appear at the Grange for a total of three matches. Tahir hopes welcoming that calibre of opponent to Scotland will place cricket back in the spotlight again.

“I watched that England game from the stands and the atmosphere was incredible,” he recalls. “It was a beautiful day and the place was buzzing. So if we can get something like that again this summer it would be amazing.

“Australia and New Zealand are two of the biggest names in world cricket so hopefully the rain stays away, we sell out the Grange for all three matches and maybe cause another upset or two. It’s going to be hard to push cricket more into the mainstream but we have to do all we can to create more of a buzz around the game in Scotland.”

HeraldScotland:

Every sport needs role models to inspire the next generation and the eclectic nature of the Scotland cricket squad includes players from a number of diverse backgrounds.

The lack of Scots-Asians making the breakthrough in other sports – especially football – has been striking, although Tahir believes that often comes down to cultural pressures rather than anything more sinister.

“I think there are fewer opportunities for Scots from Asian backgrounds,” he says. “But I think that’s down to family issues. I’ve certainly never found racism as a barrier to me trying to progress in cricket.

“Asian families often want their kids to go into a proper career and not focus too much on sport. They want you to go to university and get your degree and then do something on the back of that. It was something I went through, too. I was encouraged to go to uni and I did a civil engineering degree.

“But cricket was what I wanted to do. And when I got my involved my family were supportive and that’s all you can ask for.

“You see how well Kash Farooq is doing and is becoming a role model for Scots-Asian kids wanting to get into boxing. If I could do that for cricket one day then that would be brilliant. You just want to show the young ones what can be achieved if they stick at it, no matter their background.”

Last year was a breakthrough one for Tahir, the spinner who still lives in the family home in Paisley on an estate called, coincidentally, The Wickets.

Having taken his first five-wicket haul against Oman in August, the 24 year-old is eager to be involved in a busy schedule that will conclude this year with the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“I think I finished second-top wicket taker for us in 2019. So I definitely feel more comfortable now at this level. I always felt like I belonged there but it was just about trying to be more consistent with my performances. I’m still looking to improve in every game but it’s getting there.”

– Tickets for the matches against Australia and New Zealand go on sale to the general public on February 3. See www.cricketscotland.com/2020-international-cricket for details

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Pakistan Economy Watch lauds Pak’s stance over CPEC – Gulf Today

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Gwadar-port

A general view of the Gwadar port in Pakistan. Reuters

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) lauded the stance of the government over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) after the US criticism terming it encouraging and according to the national interests.

The US should understand that Pakistan cannot abandon this most important regional project which has potential to turnaround our troubled economy, it said.

The American opposition to the CPEC will not remain confined to statements and she would do everything to reverse it for which Pakistan and China must be prepared, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that the latest US statement against CPEC has come at a time when President Trump was claiming that his country and Pakistan had never been so close as now that exposes duplicity in policies.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan can never ditch China to please the US as both countries have a long history of helping each other in difficult times while handing over Gwadar Port to the US is out of question.

He added that CPEC will benefit Pakistani economy while China’s international trade will be facilitated which will add to the global influence of Beijing which is not acceptable to the US.

For the same reason handle like FATF is being used against Pakistan as it is an open secret that most of the dirty money finds refuge in the US and UK but FATF will never raise any objection about it, he observed.

Most of the dollars received through the US in the shape of grants and loans find their way back to the US leaving Pakistan in debt but China has never resorted to such expliotation, he said, adding that Chinese support to infrastructure projects in Pakisan are visible to everyone.

Pakistani and Chinese experts have agreed to develop a textile cooperation framework under China Pakistan Economic Cooperation (CPEC) by focusing on readymade garment exports and textile skill training. It was expressed in a one-day workshop organised by the Board of Investment (BOI) to deliberate on adiagnostic study on Pakistan’s textile sector, conducted by the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) of China and China International Engineering Consulting Corporation (CIECC).

The Textile Diagnostic report provided the Chinese viewpoints on the potentials and barriers of large-scale Textile Mills in Pakistan.

The report was also one of the deliverables of the 9th JCC held in 2019 and is a precursor to a more detailed work on the Textile Sector of Pakistan.

The workshop was attended by Executive Director General (EDG) of BOI, Qasim Raza Khan, Project Director of the Project Management Unit (PMU) BoI, Asim Ayub, Director SEZs BOI, Abdul Samie, Executive Director APTMA, Sattar Shahid, Director Textile Industry Division, Kanwar Usman, Chairman PRAGMEA, Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq, Head of Pak-China Investment Company, Tariq Masood and representatives from line ministries, private sector and academia

EDG BOI, Qasim Raza Khan informed the participants that CPEC has now entered into the pragmatic phase of Industrial cooperation, and it is the right time to take Pakistan forward on the path of industrialisation.  

It has been agreed that the Chinese side will continue to provide intellectual and technical support to accelerate Pakistan’s priority sectors especially through the 9 SEZs of Pakistan under CPEC wherein 03 SEZs have been prioritised and are now at an advanced stage of development, he added.

“The government is focused on bringing improvement in the key sector growth through inclusive growth in agriculture, industrial and services sectors,” said a statement by the Finance Division in response to certain news reports carried in a section of the regarding downward revision of growth by the World Bank.

Agencies

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Concussion substitutes, all-star game: IPL 2020 to feature new additions – Hindustan Times

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The title clash of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in Mumbai on May 24 and the night matches will have usual 8pm start as the Governing Council decided against changing the timings, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly announced on Monday. “There will be no change in the timing of IPL night games. It will start from 8 pm like earlier years,” Ganguly told reporters after the IPL Governing Council meeting.

“We will have only five double headers (4pm and 8 pm) this time. We have decided to reduce the number of double headers,” Ganguly said adding that the “final will be held in Mumbai.”In a first, concussion substitute and ‘third umpire no ball’ will also be introduced in the upcoming edition of the popular T20 league, the former India captain informed.

Also read: ‘What is name of that bowler’: Jadeja, Manjrekar in another Twitter banter

“The concussion substitute and the no ball rule are new additions for the season,” he said. Players’ safety has assumed significance of late with incidents of cricketers getting injured while batting increasing.

New concussion rules were introduced in Test format as well last year. Australian batsman Steve Smith was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne on Day 5 of the second Ashes 2019 Test at the Lord’s under the rules.Recently young Indian batsman Rishabh Pant also suffered from concussion after being hit on his helmet by pat Cummins during the first ODI between India and Australia on January 14. KL Raul had kept wickets in place of Pant.

The third umpire will now make the exclusive ‘no ball’ call instead of the on-field umpires. It was trialled during the recent India and West Indies ODI seriesIn a noble gesture, the BCCI will have an ‘All Stars Game’ between all top international players before start of the IPL on March 29 for a charitable cause.

Also read: ‘Out to karna hi hai, ab inko maaro bhi’: Akhtar on India pacers’ attitude

The venue for the game, though, has not been decided as yet. Ganguly said the BCCI will handover the proceeds to an appropriate forum.

“It will be an IPL All Stars Game three days before start of IPL. The venue is not Ahmedabad as it is still not match ready. We have not decided on where we will make the donation,” the BCCI president said. Asked about the meeting with National Cricket Academy chief Rahul Dravid, Ganguly said that there have been extensive discussions about revamping the facility, which has been under the scanner of late. “As it has already been reported, we will have a nutritionist and biomechanics bowling coach at the NCA,” he added.

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Pakistan Health Official Denies Report of Coronavirus Infection – Caixin Global

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Pakistan Health Official Denies Report of Coronavirus Infection

By Bloomberg / Jan 27, 2020 02:25 PM / World

A top Pakistan health official said there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country after reports on Saturday of an infection.

A patient kept in isolation in a hospital is improving and has no signs of a severe acute respiratory infection, State Minister of Health Zafar Mirza said in a post on Twitter on Saturday. He was earlier reported as saying that Pakistan “lacks the facility” to detect the virus.

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Benfleet Cricket Club broken into by thieves who steal till and charity money – Southend Standard

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THIEVES smashed their way into a sports clubhouse, emptied the till and stole cash destined for charity.

Benfleet Cricket Club, in Woodside Park, Manor Road, Thundersley, was targeted by the thieves during the early hours of last Thursday morning.

Club bosses say they are committed to staying open, but are facing a clean-up operation.

Andy Jarrett, 55, club house manager and club captain, said: “The alarm firm contacted us and Essex Police.

“I went down there and found they had taken out a glass window and also gone through a steel shutter.

“The biggest loss to us is the cash taken.

“We’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do now.

“They also took a charity tin with money we were raising for Oddballs, the Testicular Cancer charity.

“It is clearly a targeted incident and is annoying for us.

“The fact they stole the charity money shows the type of people we are dealing with here.”

He said they also seemed to have avoided the CCTV cameras in the clubhouse.

He added: “We are angry and had to spend a lot of time on the phone dealing with this.

“There is stuff we’ve got to replace after the break-in and this time of year is quiet for us.

“We are planning for the season with what money we have and this hasn’t helped.”

The club bosses found the thieves left a mess behind with broken glass and bar equipment thrown around the building.

The sports club also took to Twitter to let players and fans know about the break-in.

A spokesman tweeted: “You never think it will happen to your club, but unfortunately ‘The Home of Good Cricket’ was broken into.

“Wildly frustrating, especially with the club’s charity jars being stolen.

“We battle on, and we aim to have the club back in shape as soon as possible.”

Other sports clubs sent well wishes of support.

A spokesman for Upminster Vets FC said: “Sad times.

“Lovely community club.

“Hope you are up and running very soon.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

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Benfleet Cricket Club broken into by thieves who steal till and charity money – Echo

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THIEVES smashed their way into a sports clubhouse, emptied the till and stole cash destined for charity.

Benfleet Cricket Club, in Woodside Park, Manor Road, Thundersley, was targeted by the thieves during the early hours of last Thursday morning.

Club bosses say they are committed to staying open, but are facing a clean-up operation.

Andy Jarrett, 55, club house manager and club captain, said: “The alarm firm contacted us and Essex Police.

“I went down there and found they had taken out a glass window and also gone through a steel shutter.

“The biggest loss to us is the cash taken.

“We’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do now.

“They also took a charity tin with money we were raising for Oddballs, the Testicular Cancer charity.

“It is clearly a targeted incident and is annoying for us.

“The fact they stole the charity money shows the type of people we are dealing with here.”

He said they also seemed to have avoided the CCTV cameras in the clubhouse.

He added: “We are angry and had to spend a lot of time on the phone dealing with this.

“There is stuff we’ve got to replace after the break-in and this time of year is quiet for us.

“We are planning for the season with what money we have and this hasn’t helped.”

The club bosses found the thieves left a mess behind with broken glass and bar equipment thrown around the building.

The sports club also took to Twitter to let players and fans know about the break-in.

A spokesman tweeted: “You never think it will happen to your club, but unfortunately ‘The Home of Good Cricket’ was broken into.

“Wildly frustrating, especially with the club’s charity jars being stolen.

“We battle on, and we aim to have the club back in shape as soon as possible.”

Other sports clubs sent well wishes of support.

A spokesman for Upminster Vets FC said: “Sad times.

“Lovely community club.

“Hope you are up and running very soon.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

Source

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