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PCB makes domestic participation mandatory for foreign league NOCs

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): The Pakistan Cricket Board has made it clear that centrally contracted players would only be issued No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to play in foreign T20 leagues if they agree to participate in the National T20 Cup.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the PCB said it is compulsory for all the centrally contracted players to participate in the domestic T20 tournament, which is scheduled to be held from November 7 to 23, 2017 in Multan and Faisalabad.

“PCB has decided that all the centrally contracted players, who are not facing any other restrictions, must also participate in PCB’s T20 tournament to strengthen our domestic cricket, as per international best practices,” the release stated.

“In order to facilitate our players and also keeping in view good relationship with Bangladesh and South Africa cricket boards, NOCs would be issued to all centrally contracted players to play BPL and Global T20 leagues, subject to the condition that they must play PCB’s T20 tournament from November 7 to 17, 2017,” the board added.

The National T20 Cup was rescheduled due to the recently held World XI tour to Pakistan. BPL and Global T20 League in South Africa have also been scheduled in the same period by the respective cricket boards/organisers.

A number of current Pakistan players have been contracted to play in the BPL and Global T20 League. However, retired players like Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan along with players like Mohammad Sami and Sohail Tanvir, who are not centrally contracted, will be issued NOCs from the start, the PCB added.

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Govt to give better future prospects to teachers: Chief Minister KP

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has assured his government would give better future prospects to the teachers linking their promotion to their performance.

This he said while presiding over a high level meeting to discuss the recruitment of teachers and their postings in schools, the new structure of promotion, the regularization of teachers and the amendment of rules required, the time scale issue and the related issues of education department at Chief Minister House Peshawar.

The Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that his government was committed to regularize the newly inducted brains to the system of education who were recruited through NTS and other such forums. Provincial Minister for Education, Muhammad Atif, Head of Strategic Unit Sahibzada Saeed and other relevant high ranking officials attended. The Chief Minister categorically stated that his government would never allow any drama to influence the decision making for the standardization and quality education in the province.

He formed a committee to submit him comprehensive report and viable recommendations to undertake the task within the shortest period of time. The committee would be headed by Sahibzada Saeed, Head of Strategic Support Unit. The committee would see to the different dimensions of the existing service structure replacing it with the new one to give maximum benefits and promotion avenues within the schools, the teacher after posting to get promotion within the same school.

The recommendations would be brought and decided at the forum of provincial cabinet and the rights of all teachers would be protected. The committee will also firm up recommendations for the recruitment of teachers, the required amendments and the time scale issues of the teachers in order to solve them once for all.

The Chief Minister said that he had made up his mind for the regularization of newly recruited 40 thousands teachers who were inducted in the system of education and who were recruited under a merit based policy in order to ensure quality education in the province.

His government would make necessary legislations for the strengthening of education system, getting it free from the clutches of influential elite, he said, adding, government would even make special rules if necessary as his government could not compromise the future of youth.

Pervez Khattak said that reforming the system was a noble intension and should not be politicized. Unfortunately, people with bad intensions do politics to delude the people through disinformation to make political gains. Such elements had never been sincere to the cause of the people and therefore wanted to set the agenda against the government and bring the people friendly policies of the government into disrepute.

He assured he would resist the negative propaganda of the enemy of the people who politicize everything but this time it was totally a different bat ball game as it was the issue of the future of our kids that could never be politicized, he added.

The Chief Minister said that the standardization of education system and the improvement of schooling was his government agenda that stands for providing an equal playing field to the kids of rich and poor alike that will not only mainstream them to the one system of education but would give them the opportunity to compete and discover their own world in the existing world of competition.

Pervez Khattak asked when the people will realize that the existing education system leads to nowhere but it leads to annihilation. “Nations sometime somewhere stand up, look at their conditions and then make a right decision. We have reached that point and we have made up our mind to get the better route,” he further added.

Pervez Khattak said that the education system of the past was a total banned that restricted the chances of development and the system was so politicized that all transfers and postings were made on political consideration therefore his government had decided to get the education free from the influence of political elite.

The Chief Minister also asked the committee to look to the issues of higher education as his government wanted to start BS classes in the public sector institutions through up-gradation of existing schooling and institutions.

He said the old BA and MA system was obsolete and the BS was the internationally recognized degree. The former was a rote memorization but the letter was assignment and research based system of education that was creative and required for the mental building of the people, he opined.

“We have to be prepared for the upgraded schooling system and the committee should also get recommendations so that the system could be launched throughout the province,” he asserted.

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JUI-F setup body to consult on Election Alliance with different parties

F.P. Report

MALAKAND: Central Leader and Senator JUI-F Mualana Atta-ur-Rehman on Saturday said that the alliance of JUI-F with PML-N for NA-120 and NA-4 was actually based on current prevailing situation and dispelled the impression that JUI-F decided any alliance with any of the political party for election in 2018.

Talking to media men at Hujra Faqir Baz Khan in Sakhakot, Senator JUI-F Mualana Atta-ur-Rehman said that they have constituted a committee to consult all parties including religious parties before finalizing any political alliance for the coming election.

He said JUI-F with its broader political vision got importance among the people and that the why every political party eyeing on JUI-F for election alliance in 2018 election. He said it was surprising that PTI thinks for the betterment of Ulemas and announced to give salaries to the Khateeb of Masajids.

“It was a bit surprise from where PTI got the money to give to all Khateeb of Masajids,” he questioned. He alleged that PTI first leveled allegation against political and religious leaders of various parties and then asked for alliance to bring joint opposition leader.

He suggested Shah Mehmood Qurashi to make things in order in your own party before asking for vote for the election of opposition leaders. He asked Shah Mehmood Qurashi to tell how many MNA are with you and supporting you for the post of opposition leader.

He dispelled the impression that JUI-F has decided to go with any of the party in alliance for the forthcoming general election. He said there is no difference in JUI-F rank and it would take the decision when the committee complete their work of consultation with all political parties including religious parties.

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15 Indians’ death sentence commuted to life term by Kuwaiti Emir: Sushma Swaraj

NEW DELHI (AFP): Death sentences handed down to 15 Indians lodged in a Kuwaiti jail have been commuted to life imprisonment by the Emir of Kuwait, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Saturday.

Swaraj said the Emir has also directed that the sentences of 119 Indian nationals be reduced.

“The Emir of Kuwait has been pleased to commute the sentence of 15 Indian nationals from death to life imprisonment,” she tweeted.

Swaraj thanked the Emir of Kuwait for his “kind” gesture and said the Indian Embassy in that country will extend assistance to the Indian nationals who will be released from jails.

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Govt to benefit from disunited opposition: Khursheed Shah

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Saturday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has divided the united opposition.

Talking to media persons, he said that the PTI has caused a ‘major breach’ in the opposition benches of lower house of the parliament.

“I would have sacrificed my position to safeguard the opposition under one leader, rather pursuing such a desire, causing immense damage to the united opposition,” Shah remarked.

“If PTI had approached me, I would have helped them to pursue their earnest wish,” he added.

Taking a dig at Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Shah said it is beyond his understanding either to count the party as a coalition partner of PML-N or an opposition party.

“I do not know whether MQM-P is ‘he or she’,” he further said.

The Opposition Leader said the government would definitely benefit from the situation as the opposition parties are disunited, adding that just two months ago, MQM was a coalition partner of the ruling party.

Shah said that decisions of all the important matters were taken after consultation with PTI. He stated Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim was appointed as Chief Election Commissioner in 2013 on the demand of PTI.

He further claimed that all the opposition parties except PTI and Muttahida Qaumi Movement j(MQM) are standing with him.

It is worth mentioning here that a joint move by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-P (MQM-P) is underway to replace Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah with a PTI candidate.

The move has been spearheaded by Dr. Farooq Sattar led MQM-P which is said to be quite ‘annoyed’ with the PPP over non-devolution of powers, particularly in Karachi.

However, PTI had suffered a major setback when PML-Q withdrew its support for the move.

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9th Muharram observed with religious fervor amid stringent security

F.P. Report

LAHORE/KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Mourners took out out mourning processions across the country today, Saturday, the ninth of Muharram, to pay homage to the martyrs of Karbala.

In Karachi, the main procession was taken out from Nishtar Park, while in Lahore the procession began from Pando Street. In Islamabad, the procession was taken out from Asna Ashri Bargah G-6/2 which was participated by large number of mourners. The main procession in Islamabad is taken out on the 9th of Muharram.

The annual Zuljinah processions were taken out from almost all the cities and towns across the country and Majalis (gatherings) held held. In Karachi, police, Rangers, ladies and gents scouts were deployed at the route of the main procession.

Sabeels (stalls for refreshment drinks) were setup as per old tradition. In Karachi’s Pan Mandi, the 50-year-old tradition of Sabeel was kept alive this time too. In Multan, a Sabeel of tea and milk was also setup, whereas, the 500-year-old traditional pot Sabeel also attracted throngs of mourners.

The metro service will remain suspended in Islamabad and Rawalpindi today and on the 10th of Muharram. In Peshawar, people gathered at Hussainia Hall in Sadar from where the central procession emerged. The security officers had earlier cleared the area after thorough inspection. In Peshawar and Quetta, for three-days a ban has been placed on pillion-riding.

Ulema and Zakireen shed light on the bright and candid teachings of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and his great companions. In Lahore, Parachinar, and Thar, mourners donated blood to commemorate the great sacrifices given in the Karbala tragedy.

The 10th of Muharraum, Youm-e-Ashur, will be observed with great reverence on Sunday. In order to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the roads of Karachi, traffic police has given an alternate route plan for the public.

Ashura, on the 10th day of the month of Muharram, remembers the martyrdom of Hazrat Hussain Ibn-e-Ali (AS), one of the grandsons of the holy prophet (PBUH) and is marked by large public commemorations by Muslims every year.

Stern security arrangements have been ensured across the country on the occasion of 9th Muharram today (Saturday) and for 10th Muharram. Heavy contingents of police, Rangers and Elite force have been deployed in the sensitive areas countrywide to avoid any untoward situation whereas aerial surveillance is also carrying out. Command and Control Centers have also been established to monitor the processions while CCTV cameras are also being used.

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PTI to Challenge Election Bill 2017 in Court: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

F.P. Report

MULTAN: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that they would challenge the Election Bill 2017 in the court.

Qureshi said they will challenge the amendment in the court, through which a disqualified prime minister could hold a post or lead any political party.

While talking to media in Multan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that they will contact other political parties to change the leader of the opposition in National Assembly after Muharram.

He lashed out at Khawaja Asif and demanded of the government to remove Asif from the ministry over controversial remarks in New York.

Qureshi hoped that Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman will support PTI in their move to change the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. Free and fair elections in 2018 is their major demand, Qureshi added.

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Azhar Ali joins Pakistan´s 5,000 Test club

ABU DHABI (AFP): Consistent Pakistan middle-order batsman Azhar Ali completed 5,000 runs in the longer format during the third day’s play in the first Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

The 32-year-old became the eighth Pakistan batsman to reach the milestone in his 61st Test when he took a single to reach a personal score of 32.

Ali made his Test debut against Australia at Lord’s in Pakistan’s neutral venue series in England in 2010 and has since been a consistent performer with the bat.

He became the first-century maker in a day-night Test during his epic triple hundred against the West Indies in Dubai last year.

He scored 1198 runs in 11 Tests in 2016, also including a fighting double hundred against Australia at Melbourne.

Younis Khan is the leading Test run-getter for Pakistan, with 10,099 runs in 118 Tests.

Here is the list of Pakistan batsmen who scored 5,000 or more runs in Test cricket (under Test and runs)

Younis Khan – 118 Tests – 10,099 runs

Javed Miandad – 124 Tests – 8832 runs

Inzamam-ul-Haq – 119 Tests – 8829 runs

Mohammad Yousuf – 90 Tests – 7530 runs

Salim Malik – 103 Tests – 5768 runs

Misbah-ul-Haq – 75 Tests – 5222 runs

Zaheer Abbas – 78 Tests – 5062 runs

Azhar Ali – 61 Tests – 5,000 runs.

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Bismah Maroof replaces Sana Mir as ODI captain

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan’s T20 captain Bismah Maroof has been named the new captain of the ODI format, replacing veteran player Sana Mir, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a press release on Saturday.

Following a review of the current women cricket structure after a dismal performance in the recently concluded World Cup, the PCB announced a number of changes to the team and management set-up:

— Sana Mir has been replaced as captain of Pakistan women’s team in the 50-over format, but she will be eligible for selection as a player in both formats of the game. Bismah Maroof, who already leads the team in T20s, will take over as captain of the ODI team as well.

— The reins of women’s cricket have been taken away from General Manager Shamsa Hashmi. A search for a new GM for women’s cricket will be started through advertisements in the newspaper.

— A new team manager will be appointed. The former manager Ayesha Ashhar has meanwhile been given interim charge of the women’s wing till a new GM is appointed.

— The selection committee has been disbanded and the process of appointing new members of the committee will be started soon.

Chairman PCB Najam Sethi shared his opinion on the shake-up. “These are well thought out decisions taken after a comprehensive internal review. I am hopeful that we will transform women cricket into a well-knit unit both on field and at the management level,” he said.

“Sana Mir has great contributions towards Pakistan’s Women cricket. She has played an instrumental role for women’s cricket in Pakistan. She has led the team with great respect and had always used her best abilities to serve women’s team,” he added.

Sana Mir, in a tweet later, congratulated Bismah and wished her well for the challenge ahead.

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Army says 27 suspects arrested in raids

RAWALPINDI (NNI): 27 suspects have been arrested and cache of illegal weapons recovered from their custody in intelligence based operations jointly carried out by paramilitary troops and other law enforcement agencies, military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Saturday.

In a statement posted on his official social media accounts, the Director General of army’s media wing said the Pakistan Rangers Punjab in coordination with other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) is ensuring maintenance of law and order.

He said the Rangers along with Police have carried out patrolling/flag marches in important areas of major cities and Quick Reaction Forces have been placed near sensitive areas.

“Extensive Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) are being carried out in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan, DG Khan, Lahore, Sialkot, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan,” said he.

Moreover, thousands of security personnel have been deployed across the country as part of security arrangements for Ashura processions.

The authorities have suspended mobile phone services in major cities of the country.