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16 civilians killed in Nangarhar operation

Monitoring Desk

JALALABAD: Sixteen people were killed during operation in Khugiyani district in Nangarhar province last night. A local resident of Wadesar area in Khugiyani district, Shamsur Rahman, who lived in Jalalabad city, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that he had received reports that 16 people were killed as a result of operation in their village last night.

According to their information, he said the fallen people were civilians. He added that he did not have further information in this regard. Some tribal elders and influential figures of Khugiyani district, including former governor of Wardak province Abdul Majid Khugiyani called on governor of Nangarhar today. They told the governor that the people killed during operation in Wadesar village were civilians. They demanded of Nangarhar Governor Hayatullah Hayat to investigate the matter and put efforts to stop recurrence of such incidents in the future. On the occasion, Hayat assured that the issued would be investigated. It is believed that the 02 unit of special forces carried out the offensive without the coordination of provincial administration.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said 16 civilians were killed in the operation last night. The martyred people included four young boys, three elderly persons and youths, he added. It is pertinent to mention here that several Afghan civilians suffered casualties during night time operations in Bahar area in Khugiyan last month and Hisarak district of Nangarhar and Badpakh and Alingar districts of Laghman this month. When contacted, the provincial officials said they were unaware of these incidents.

Five civilians were killed during operation in Alingar district in Laghman province three nights ago. According to Hizb-e-Islami, the houses of their three commanders were targeted in the offensive. They said the dead were civilians. The Hizb-e-Islami asked the government to probe the issue.

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Taliban kill three border police

Monitoring Desk

HERAT: Taliban fighters killed three Afghan border police after an attack in western Farah province, sources said Wednesday.

The Taliban gunmen attacked a post of border forces near Iran border in the Ghorghori area of Lash wa Jaween district last night, killing three border police and wounding two others, informed sources told AIP. The Taliban took with them a Humvee and weapons of border police, the sources. It is said that three border police also went missing after the attack conducted in southern part of Meel-78 area near the Iran border.

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In telecommunications ministry, jobs up for sale

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Individuals with close links to Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Shahzad Aryubi have been selling key positions, Pajhwok Afghan News has reliably learnt. Based on findings of this news agency, Jamal Aryubi, senior advisor to the minister of telecommunication, sent an email to a candidate for the director of technology and innovation.

Janat Gul, the candidate, was asked 20 days ago for $15,000 for his appointment to the slot. But Jamal Aryubi rejected the allegations as a baseless. “Only a mad person will ask for bribes via email.” Bit documents available to Pajhwok show Jamal sent an email to Janat Gul, one of the eligible contenders for the position in the ministry, on August 28 at round 10pm.

Jamal wrote: “I have told you on behalf of the minister to pay $15,000 while another job seeker is ready to give $20,000. Your complaints will be ignored and we will re-announce the position soon.” However, Janat Gul did not respond to the email from Jamal Aryubi. Instead he sent a brief message to Shahzad Aryubi’s personal number, seeking clarity about his job application.

In the short mail, the candidate wrote: “Dear minister! Hope you are well. I have got a letter from the Independent Administrative Reform Commission. I have also talked to your friends. But you seem to have rejected the entire legal process.” Amin Dawoodzai, secretary to Minister Shahzad Aryubi, answered the message, saying: “Hi! I just asked the minister, who told me to get $10,000 instead of $15,000 from you for this position.

“This decision is final; otherwise you can send him (the minister) a message on WatsApp. The demand has been made personally by him (the minister),” read the message. However, when approached for comments, Dawoodzai spurned the allegations as a whacking lie. According to Jannat Gul Ahmadzai, the MCIT announced the vacancy eight months ago and 43 had people were shortlisted while three individuals who secured high marks introduced to verbal test. But even the candidate with highest marks was unable to occupy this position due some reasons.

The source said the MCIT’s HR department in an email to the three candidates, Wais Yousufzai, Masuma Muradi and Jannat Gul Ahmadzai, four months ago said that none of them were able to secure the required marks for the position. “If you (the candidates) are not convinced from the test based on CBR procedure, you can register your complaints with Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC),” part of the text of the email sent to the three candidates.

Jannat Gul Ahmadzai, son of Mir Agha, was one of the qualified candidates for the technology and innovations post of the MCIT. He participated in the verbal test but he was unable to take the position for not paying $10,000 to Shahzad Gul Aryubi, communication and IT minister. Ahmadzai then registered a complaint with IARCSC and asked this organization to investigate the issue.

The IARCSC after reviewing the complaint, in a litter No. 895 to the MCIT said, “We took both verbal and written tests from the complainant (Jannat Gul Ahmadzai) and his marks increased from 58.625 to 67.25 and he is the winner of the post according to the relevant procedure,” The IARCSC has sent several letters to the MCIT after the first letter and asked the ministry to assure IARCSC that it has implemented its decision regarding Ahmadzai’s issue.

Jannat Gul Ahmadzai said that the IARCSC letters were not responded so far and the minister himself was keeping the letters in his own office. Ahmadzai, the current employee of Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA), while talking with Pajhwok Afghan News said, “Jamal Aryubi, advisor and cousin of the communication and IT minister, invited me to his office and told me that they were unaware about the IARCSC letters… he told me that the president himself said they should collect money as the election is approaching,”

He said that his talks with the communication and IT minister advisor did not yield any results. “Ajmal Aryubi took my email address and he told me that he will email me later, a few days later he emailed me and asked me to pay him $15,000 (in order to hold the position),” Ahmadzai added. Another document show Shahzad Gul Aryubi appointed 130 employees since he took charge of the ministry and paying them salaries from 12,000 Afghanis to 230,000 Afghanis a month.

The salaries of people employed by Shahzad Gul Aryubi are reaching around 10 million Afghanis a month. Jamal Aryubi, advisor of the minister and Aminullah Daudzai, nephew of the minister, each receive 230,000 Afghanis and 76,000 Afghanis as their monthly salaries. Shahzad Gul Aryubi received the confidence vote from Wolesi Jirga on December 4, 2017.

It happens at times that former Information Technology Minister Abdul Razzaq Wahidi was also referred to the court over illegal appointment of 37 employees and seven advisors against salary ranging from 50,000 afghanis to 169,000 afghanis and creation of an inappropriate Real Time system. Jannat Gul, criticized the appointment of former minister’s relatives, threatening the senior officials to resign and their transfer to provinces and said: “A number of directors were being threatened to resign some had been transferred such as Jannat Khan Fahim, the administrative director, who was transferred to Parwan and replaced by a person by the name of Naik Zazai.”

He added recently two persons, including Ghulam Mustafa Noori, has been appointed as finance head without the announcement of the post and open competition. He is being paid amount 200,000 afghanis. He said: “Since Shahzada Aryubi has been appointed as minister of Information and Communication, he has forced many senior officials to resign or transfer in order to vacant the posts for his close friends and parliamentarians, he directly bring an individual an appoint him on the post without announcing the post.”

Saer Zaland, spokesperson for the MCIT, rejected the demand for money by the minister for the hiring process, and added every kind of falsification is possible in this time adding that all documents in this regard had been fraud and the minister was not involved in fraud. He said all the appointments had been taking place by the Independent Commission for Administrative Reforms and Civil Services (IARCSC) and the elements of ethnicity, language and race was not considered except qualification and talent.

IARCSC Spokesman Abdul Farid Ahmad said no institution has exception from the law related to the hiring process adding that vacant posts of grade one and grade two are announced by the IARCSC in collaboration with the concerned institution. He said third and fourth grad positions in the capital and provinces was monitored by the governor and concerned commission of the IARCSC. Candidates for the fifth and sixth grade positions are recruited annually though examination


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Barmak met with Noor         

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Minister of Interior Wais Ahmad Barmak met with the Chief Executive of Jamiat Islami Ata Mohammad Noor in Balkh province after recent political developments, involving tensions with the government regarding the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Noor in a statement said the security situation of the Northern provinces and fight against the Taliban and ISIS militants were discussed during the meeting. He did not disclose further information regarding the meeting but added that a number of other senior officials had also accompanied Minister Barmak during the meeting.

This comes as tensions exist between the political parties and the government regarding the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections. Noor who is also a member of the Grand National Coalition, had earlier claimed that the government has arrested a number of the sit-in protesters belonging to the coalition in western Herat province.

In an apparent gesture towards public uprisings, Noor had warned that the government would face an ‘unprecedented wave’ from the people if their colleagues are not immediately released. The Grand National Coalition, consisting of political parties, has closed the offices of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in three provinces, including western Herat province.




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Rethinking Somali national identity

M. Salah Ahmed

In the pre-colonial era, Somalia existed as segmented city states in coastal regions and as various independent principalities in the interior territories without a central authority or state. But, that did not stop them from creating a national identity. A common identity that could unite the segmented city states and which was driven by two elements – religion and clans. Religion was used as a source of unity for all Somalis and adhering to one religion allowed them to unite, not internally but to stand up against any external threats and allowed them to defend their land. Clans are formed as a way to connect close families and lineages to share difficulties and goodness; they have, in other words, been used as a political organ to unite people with the same roots.

After colonial powers invaded the fragmented Somali lands, they immediately began exploiting the clan factor as a tool to expand their power and seek legitimacy. Somalis recognized early on the necessity of ending colonial oppression and straightaway started refusing to comply with colonial domination, which was characterized by exploitation, supremacy and broadening clan division by using indirect rule.

Therefore, while clans became a weakness to Somalis, religion had another effect; it became an important motive to stand up against colonial powers. Colonial powers sent missionaries to Somalia and built churches. Somalis perceived that as a threat to their religion, culture and national identity.

The first anti-colonial movement was formed and led by Sayyid Mohamed Abdulle, known as “Sayid,” and was motivated by religious incentives. In 1895, he returned to Berbera from the Arabian Peninsula and started spreading his religious view of “Saalihiya.” This did not go well for him due to challenges from the colonial administration and local people and his criticism of their religious beliefs and practices. Consequently, he left Berbera seeking a place where his political and religious views could be accommodated. On his search for this, he met some Somali boys who were being looked after by a Catholic mission and asked them about their parents, clan and names. They replied that they belong to the clan of Catholic fathers. That response from the children shook him, and he felt that the colonials were on a mission to change his people’s identity. As a response, he established the Dervish warriors and began fighting the colonial administration. In many of his poems, his message was that he would no longer allow colonial powers to change his people’s culture and identity; meanwhile, he blamed the Somali people for not opposing this identity change.

Nevertheless, the history of the post-colonial Somali state is usually divided in to two consecutive phases. The first phase is known as “civilian rule” and begins in 1960 with independence and ends in 1969 when commanders from the Somali army overthrew the civil government in a bloodless coup. During the civil government period, a growing democratic culture, low economic performance, lack of skilled human resources and the strong influence of Cold War superpowers were the main challenges the civil state encountered.

The discussion of constructing a national identity did not take place extensively, and the civil government failed to develop an inclusive national identity that could guide the people’s political future. The idea of a “great Somalia,” which meant the unification of the land that Somalis inhabited, became the ultimate goal and dominated political discourse and even made it impossible to define a “Somali citizen.”

The second stage, known as “military rule,” begun in 1969 when the military took control of the country and continued until the military regime collapsed in 1991. During this period, the military regime behaved like any other dictatorship, diminishing freedoms and banning all social and political organizations. Moreover, the regime, accepted and adapted rigorous socialist and nationalist programs, developed closer relations with the Soviets and initiated the application of clan-loaded socialist programs. However, the military regime tried to develop a national identity derived from what the military government called a scientific socialist method and tried to bury the clan ideology. Instead, the military regime succeeded in strengthening the Somali identity to replace the clans. Unfortunately, principles and values against Somali culture and religion were included in this process and caused a clash between religious figures and the military regime.

Consequently, identity politics based on political clanism strengthened, while Islamic revivalism received new impetus with the emergence of Islamic political movements, strengthened after the execution of the Islamic scholars in 1975. Thus, both traditional pillars of Somali identity, Islam and clans, were employed in combination or separately as the ideology of resistance to the military regime and gradually were pushed to extremism, fragmenting the social fabric of Somalia. Indeed, Somalia is rebuilding and reshaping its national identity, which is still in flux, regenerating and recycling social conflicts. The existing national identity from pre-state to military regime were dismantled after the collapse of the state in 1991 and replaced with reconfigured national identities. For instance, the political system of the country had changed from a unitary structure to federalism, and the growing political ideology of “Islamism” replaced secularism. The role of the clans abandoned in favor of a single national identity was employed as means for power sharing. Yet, the re-establishment of the national identity is still critical to avoid all destructible values and principles. It is the responsibility of the federal government to come up with a plan to facilitate the creation of a single identity, not multiple identities.

On the other hand, a state-building process is also taking place in Somalia. Though a process like this requires unprecedented social mobilization of new social actors alongside a strong political elite and leadership to bring about, neither of them are available at the moment. Of course, this is one of the reasons that the process has been unable to achieve results since the beginning. The international community cannot provide either of these aspects but can somehow facilitate the process of getting these significant preconditions. State building has to rest on a foundation of nation building; that is, the establishment of national identity that serves as a focus of loyalty and overcomes attachments to family, tribe or ethnic group.

Generally, nation-building processes bubble up from grassroots, but they can also be the product of powerful political institutions that form and protect. This is another important prerequisite that Somalia’s state-building building efforts is lacking – a strong national identity that can replace the current identity affiliations. It is the responsibility of Somali political elites and leadership, in particular the federal government, to form and systematize it carefully. The previous attempts to create a national identity have failed to promote concepts that could create harmony and co-existence Somali society. However, it is necessary that the national identity promote a culture of peace, ideas of tolerance, mutual coexistence between social groups, whether they are religious or political, and equality in order to be more effective and productive.

The central question of national identity is the position of ethnic minorities within the nation. Somalia has no minorities; the current so-called minorities were created by the clan system, which defined certain clans as a minority, while other clans claimed to be the majority.

The dismissal of the clan system in the political and social sphere is also crucial for unity. It is the responsibility of the federal government and our political elites to construct a comprehensive civic national identity free from clans and clan delusion and is able to construct healthy and patriotic Somalis who contribute to the development of a peaceful culture.



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Amended finance bill

Finance Minister Asad Umar presented amendments to the budget for 2018-19 that was prepared by the last PML-N government and passed by the previous parliament. It is claimed that the revised budget is aimed to protect poor and support exporters. But the amendments lack any innovative measures to expand the tax base by bringing new potential tax payers into the tax net. Federal development programme has been slashed by Rs. 250 billion to Rs.750billion; tax relief to the salaried persons earning more than Rs. 200000 per month per month has been revoked; tax rate in the highest income slabs jacked up from 15 percent to 30 percent.

Changes in the indirect taxes have been suggested to generate more revenues. Federal excise duty on import of luxury items and expensive cell phones has been increased; custom duty has been increased on more than 5000 luxury items. Regulatory duty has been revised upwards on import of more than 900 items.  Banking transaction other than cash by non filers to taxed at higher 0.6 percent withholding tax which is direct tax.

The budget includes some relief measures. A subsidy of Rs. six to seven billion will be given to farmers on fertilizers. The export industry will be given a relief of Rs.5 billion in regulatory duty. A subsidy of 44 billion is being given to support textile industry which was forced to lay off 500000 workers and sold machinery at scrap rate. OEBI pension increased by 10 percent and Insaf Health Card facility extended to the tribal districts of KPK and federal capital territory Islamabad.

In a major policy reversal, the Pakistan Tehrik Insaf government has allowed tax dodgers to purchase expensive cars, property and has also lowered the tax collection target to Rs. 4.4 trillion, deviating from its pre-election promise of increasing revenue collection from direct taxes and reducing reliance on regressive indirect taxes. It has revised the only major PML-N government commendable decision to document the informal economy. All the announced taxation proposals are indirect in nature except increase in income tax rate for the already taxed wealthy individuals and salaried class, which is nothing but squeezing the same lemon which is about to dry up.

The government imposed a regulatory duty on 312 tariff lines and increased duty rates on another 295 tariff lines. It also increased sale tax on liquefied natural gas. The tariff of domestically produced gas been increased by 143 percent, price of CNG jacked up and power tariff increase is in the pipeline. The import duty on mobile phones has been increased. The government allowed the non-filers of income tax to purchase high value immovable properties and expensive cars. It also introduced a tax amnesty scheme for more than 800000 people who in the past had been picked for audit due to their failure to file income tax returns.

The finance minster said that his government will generate additional revenue of R.183 billion out of this amount Rs. 93 billion will be collected from tax evaders which may turn out a futile exercise. It is pertinent to mention that International Monetary Fund does not recognise the so called administrative measures and the government may face difficulty in defending the target of collection Rs. 93 billion through these measures during the staff level talks with the international lender, beginning on 27th September.

It is very pathetic that less than one percent out 220 million people pays direct taxes due to the policy of appeasement by successive governments and now the PTI went on the same pro rich path. Consequently, greater reliance is on indirect taxes for revenue generation. The businessmen prefer not to file tax return and prefer to remain out of tax net because agriculture income is treated like holy cow which is not justified. There were 2.4 million active tax payers during the years 2000 to 2007. From 2008 and onwards the number of taxpayers showed a declining trend. It dropped to 1.4 million in 2016 and further went down to 1.2 million in 2017. About 44 percent of registered companies do not file tax returns.

A former Chairman NADRA had provided a data of 3.8 million wealthy people to Federal Board of Revenue in 2010 but it was not utilised for expanding the tax base by levying income tax and wealth tax on them because of political expediency. Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi had announced in February to use national database for authentic tax profiles but the proposal did not materialize. Now the new government is also treading the path of its predecessors. Hence the amended budget is old wine in the new bottle.

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Mohammad Abbas claims ten wickets in a day to batter hapless Durham

LEICESTER (Agencies): Durham were bowled out twice in just two sessions, registering their two lowest scores in first-class cricket as they collapsed to an ignominious innings defeat on a truly extraordinary day’s cricket in their Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.

The visitors were unable to cope with the bowling of Pakistan international seamer Mohammad Abbas, who took 5 for 23 in Durham’s first innings and 5 for 29 in the second, giving him match figures of 10 for 52.

“There’s no hiding from a performance like that, it was not good enough in any department,” said Durham’s head coach, Jon Lewis. “It’s not the first time a single bowler in his opening spell has blown apart our innings this season, but for Mohammad Abbas to do that twice in consecutive sessions, I’m struggling to find the words, it was just unacceptable.

“No-one in our dressing room has been left in any doubt about how unhappy I am. It was embarrassing, and that’s not a word I’ve had to use before, and I’ve been pretty angry on occasions, but unfortunately it is appropriate.”

With the strong wind behind him, moving the ball both ways and bowling with outstanding accuracy, Abbas proved all but unplayable by one of the division’s weaker batting line-ups. With fellow seamers Neil Dexter, Ben Mike and Gavin Griffiths all offering excellent support, Durham had no answers, their 20 wickets falling in just 52.3 overs.

Remarkably, the day had actually started well for Durham, with Matt Salisbury quickly taking the two wickets needed to end Leicestershire’s first innings, knocking Griffiths’ off stump out of the ground and then pinning Abbas leg before with a full delivery.

Thereafter, however, it was a day that the visitor will not be allowed to forget on a pitch that, while offering the seamers a small amount of assistance, was very far from the minefield the scores might suggest.

Durham’s first innings saw Abbas quickly into his work, beating Cameron Steele twice before seaming his fourth delivery back into his pads to dismiss the opener leg before.

Gareth Harte edged a bouncing delivery to Dexter at second slip, and Graham Clark also went leg before to a ball that came back. Michael Richardson lost his off-stump to his second ball, and Paul Collingwood, making his last appearance away from Durham’s Riverside Stadium, edged his first ball to Colin Ackermann at second slip.

Stuart Poynter survived a leg-before shout to the hat-trick ball, only to steer a Dexter delivery into the hands of Harry Dearden at point before he had scored. Dexter’ spell, up the slope and into the wind, was almost as remarkable as that being produced by Abbas: seven overs, six maidens, one wicket for one run.

Mike replaced Abbas and immediately bowled a fine delivery which trimmed Mark Wood’s off-bail, Alex Lees heaved at Griffiths and spooned a catch to square leg, and Salisbury and Benny McCarthy sparred away and edged catches to the wicket-keeper.

The procession continued in the second innings, Abbas seaming the ball back into the right-handers at pace and clattering the stumps time and again. Steel, Richardson, Collingwood and Rushworth were all bowled by Abbas but some of the shots played at the other end were shamefully poor: Clark, Harte and Poynter will be embarrassed if they can bring themselves to look at replays.

Durham’s previous record low score was 67, made against Middlesex at Lord’s in 1996.

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Shoaib says Pakistan will make a strong comeback

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said that the Pakistani team will make a strong comeback in the remaining matches of the Asia Cup tournament following a dismal performance against India on Wednesday.

In a one-sided contest, Rohit Sharma-led India outclassed Pakistan by eight wickets in their paltry chase of 162 runs.

“It appeared that Pakistan was in a hurry. I don’t think that there was a rush required in the game,” but added, “they don’t need to demoralize. We have to tell our batsmen that they have to stay at the crease and play complete 50 overs,” while speaking to Media.

The speedster said that Pakistan will have to play run-a-ball in the coming matches.

Akhtar added that he finds Pakistan bowling attack quite one-dimensional and smart captaincy is needed from Sarfraz Ahmed to change it.

Both Pakistan and India had already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday.

Once Pakistan´s unpredictable batting crumbled, Wednesday´s match turned into a damp squib for a near-capacity crowd comprising of Indian and Pakistani expats living in the United Arab Emirates.

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Pakistan got a wakeup call before main round, says Sarfraz

DUBAI (Monitoring Desk): Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed called the loss against India as a wakeup call before the main round of the ongoing Asia Cup tournament.

In a one-sided contest, Rohit Sharma-led India outclassed Pakistan by eight wickets in their chase of 162 runs.

“We didn’t have a good start. Lost two wickets in the first five overs. Then regular wickets then meant we couldn’t come back into the game,” said the Pakistan skipper while speaking in the post-match ceremony.

“You can say we batted poorly. The wickets were soft dismissals, except Babar’s,” he added.

The skipper said that the team prepared for the two main spinners, but got out to the part-time Jadhav.

“This is a good wake-up call before the super fours,” he said.

Both Pakistan and India have already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday.

Once Pakistan´s unpredictable batting crumbled, Wednesday´s match turned into a damp squib for a near-capacity crowd comprising of Indian and Pakistani expats living in the United Arab Emirates.

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India rout Pakistan by eight wickets in Asia Cup

DUBAI (AFP): India crushed Pakistan by eight wickets in their long-awaited Asia Cup match which failed to live up to its hype in Dubai on Wednesday.

Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (3-23) sent Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsing to just 162 all out in 43.1 overs at Dubai Stadium.

Skipper Rohit Sharma then struck three sixes and six boundaries in his 39-ball 52 while fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a six and six fours in his 54-ball 46 as India romped home in 29 overs.

Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik both finished on 31 not out as India exacted some revenge for their humbling 180-run defeat against their arch-rivals in the final of the Champions Trophy in London last year — the most recent match between the teams until Wednesday.

Both Pakistan and India had already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday.

Bangladesh and Afghanistan meet in Abu Dhabi in the last Group B match on Thursday, having already qualified for the second round after Sri Lanka crashed out.

The top two teams from the Super Fours will play the final in Dubai on September 28.

Once Pakistan’s unpredictable batting crumbled, Wednesday’s match turned into a damp squib for a near-capacity crowd comprising of Indian and Pakistani expats living in the United Arab Emirates.

Kumar ran through the top order by dismissing openers Imam-ul-Haq (two) and Fakhar Zaman (nought) inside five overs, before Babar Azam (47) and Shoaib Malik (43) rebuilt the innings during their 82-run stand for the third wicket.

But after Azam was dismissed in the 22nd over, bowled by left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for 77 runs.

Azam hit six boundaries in his 62-ball knock while Malik, dropped on 26 by MS Dhoni off Hardik Pandya, cracked one six and one four in a vigilant innings which lasted 67 balls.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (six) became Jadhav’s first wicket, holing out to long-on where substitute fielder Maneesh Pandey completed a brilliant catch, throwing the ball back into the field to avoid running over the rope and completing the catch.

But it was Malik’s run out which derailed Pakistan, sent back by Asif Ali after setting off for a quick single.

Paceman Jasprit Bumrah took 2-23 but India lost all-rounder Hardik Pandya to injury.

Bowling his fifth over, Pandya fell in his follow through and was stretchered off with a lower back injury, the extent of which was being assessed by the India team’s medical staff.