Oct 162017

DUBAI: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed believes experimenting with the number of days in Test match cricket should be given a chance.

The debate over reducing the number of days from five to four for a Test match is picking up the pace, with almost every pundit batting in favour or against the idea.

The move from five to four days is supposed to help bring back the audience which is leaving Test cricket for more entertaining and less time-consuming formats of ODI and T20.

Sri Lanka should come to Lahore, says Sarfraz Ahmed

“I can’t say much about this, the experts are better suited to comment on the matter, but if you see in New Zealand and Australia, the results of the Test matches come on the fourth day or early on the fifth day because of the conditions there. So if they are trying to experiment with the number of days, then they are most welcome,” said Sarfraz in a video interview for Roznama Express.

‘Batting failed us in Sri Lanka Tests’

Pakistan were, for the first time in the UAE, whitewashed by a team, Sri Lanka, 2-0 in the Test series and when asked, Sarfraz said batting was to blame for the defeats.

“When you lose, people start finding mistakes in your game plan,” he explained. “I believe we didn’t bowl well. The kind of bowling attack we had, we thought we could get Sri Lanka out, but we were unable to do that.”

He continued by saying that the lack of partnerships hurt them. “However, the biggest problem we faced was in the batting department. Batsmen did score fifties, but the kind of innings Asad Shafiq played in the second Test, if someone played such a knock in the first Test or in any of the four innings, the result could’ve been better. We lacked partnerships; there was no 100-plus runs partnership which is why we lost.”

‘We relied too much on pacers’

Pakistan missed the trick in the Tests by not giving leg-spinner Yasir Shah a partner in the spin department and Sarfraz said no single person was to be blamed for it and that they were simply relying more on pacers and reverse swing.

ast Sri Lanka T20I to be played in Lahore, reiterates Sethi

“No individual can be blamed for it,” he said. “It was a team decision. We relied too much on our fast-bowling. We thought reverse swing would come into play and we would be able to get Sri Lankan wickets, but our decision backfired. You can say that two spinners would have done better, but we put more belief in our pacers and unfortunately it didn’t work.”

But would he repeat the same mistake of not playing two spinners again? Sarfraz believes he will do whatever the situation demands when the next series comes.

“The next series is after a long time,” he said. “I don’t know what the situation will be at that time. But whoever will be in charge, we’ll try to play according to the situation. If the conditions suit spinners, we’ll play two spinners there.”

On Amir’s fitness

Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the ODI series against Sri Lanka after incurring an injury during the second Test and Sarfraz believes the 25-year-old will be fit and firing again soon.

“Since his comeback, Amir has been playing in all formats. He hasn’t played much Test cricket in the UAE, but I hope he will acclimatise himself to the conditions. He is one of our experienced bowlers. I hope he will get fit soon and replicate his ODI performances in the next Test series,” concluded Sarfraz.

(Translated and transcribed by Abdul Majid Awan)

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Oct 162017

KARACHI: Stocks rebounded sharply on Monday as the benchmark index soared past the 40,000-point barrier and finished first trading day of the week in the green. The KSE-100 index opened up and continued to climb 944 points as investors shed their anxieties to buy stocks at attractive valuations. The positivity came in the light of prime minister’s meeting with stock brokers, where it was discussed that the tumbling stock market should be given a helping hand in the shape of a bailout package. The possibility of a bailout and ISPR’s press conference that the government and the established democratic system needed to continue, which allayed fears of a conflict between the military and the government, turned the tide as activity at the bourse resumed. At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered an increase of 944.61 points or 2.37% to finish at 40,791.39 points. Stock market ends week at the lowest level for 2017 Elixir Securities, in its report, stated Pakistan equities managed to stage a notable comeback after days of lull as the market cheered and pinned hopes on a support package for equities by the government on the request of brokers and investment community. “The KSE-100 index ended the day with a healthy 2.4% gain, however, turnover did not match the excitement as only $57 million worth of shares changed hands on the KSE All-share Index against the average of $59 million last week, indicating cautious optimism among players,” stated Elixir. With reports of foreign buying, selective interest was [Read More…]

Oct 142017

Afghan officials say that a US drone strike has killed 14 ISIS militants in the Kuner province of eastern Afghanistan. The strike happened on Thursday afternoon. “The drone had targeted a meeting of ISIS commanders who were planning a terrorist attack,” spokesperson for the provincial governor, Abdul Ghani Musamim, told the Associated Press. The government of Afghanistan has no formal control over the part of the country where IS’s Afghan affiliate has been able to establish its presence. British ‘White Widow’ Sally Jones killed by US drone strike in Syria: report The US-led forces were not immediately available for comment, though Dawlat Waziri, spokesperson Afghanistan’s defence ministry, has confirmed the drone strike. Conflicting reports are coming out of the country, however, as the Kuner province’s MP Shahzada Shaheed said that the victims of the drone strikes were not militants, but actually innocent civilians. After new strategy: Trump resurrects drone campaign Drone strikes have intensified under the new Trump administration, as the US looks to target IS strongholds in the country with air strikes and operations on the ground. According to US officials, there are about 600-800 IS fighters in Afghanistan, most of them based in Nangarhar. The US forces are also helping Afghan forces fight a Taliban insurgency in large swathes of the country. This article originally appeared in The Guardian. The post Drone strike kills 14 in Afghanistan appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Oct 142017

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) issued on Saturday non-bailable arrest warrants for Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) members and lawmakers in a hate speech case. The MNAs against whom the warrants were issued included MNA Rasheed Godil, Salman Mujahid, Khalid Maqbool and Khushbakht Shujat, Express News reported. In August 2016, MQM’s founder Altaf Hussain’s address to his workers let to attacks on the offices of television channels. The development led to the party being divided into two factions, one of them being led by veteran Farooq Sattar. The court issued the warrants after hearing in three of the 29 cases registered against the accused, relating to hate speech and incitement of violence. Later, Sattar told journalists that raids at workers’ houses and arrests had intensified. “We hope that the ongoing cases will reach their logical conclusion,” he added. The post ATC issues non-bailable arrest warrants against MQM-Pakistan leaders appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Oct 142017

PESHAWAR / RAWALPINDI: Chief of General Staff of the UK Army General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter visited Khyber Agency on Saturday for a briefing on army’s anti-terror operations. “During his visit to a forward post at Khyber Agency, he was briefed on the achievements and culmination of Operation Khyber IV and Pak-Afghan border fencing,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. Later, the ISPR added, General Nicholas, who arrived in the country on Friday, also visited historical Khyber Pass and witnessed the traditional legacy of tribal culture. The UK army chief also called on Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt at the Corps Headquarters Peshawar. He was given a detailed briefing on Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, border management, temporarily displaced people’s return and the mega development and rehabilitation projects undertaken by Pakistan Army for the uplift of tribal people in different parts of Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the ISPR statement added. UK army chief arrives on official visit to Pakistan, meets COAS On arrival at Corps Headquarters, General Nicholas laid a floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada to pay tribute to the martyred of the Pakistan Army. On Friday, General Nicholas met army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Both the army chiefs had discussed matters of mutual interest, including strengthening of bilateral security and defence cooperation between the two armies. Chief guest Meanwhile, the UK army chief was the chief guest at the passing out parade of 136th PMA Long Course, Graduate Course 36th, Technical Graduate Course [Read More…]

Oct 112017

WASHINGTON DC:  Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal has said that blaming Pakistan for security failures in Afghanistan is offensive to the people of Pakistan. “Blaming Pakistan for the security failures in Afghanistan is unhelpful as well as offensive to the people of Pakistan, whose sacrifices in the fight against terrorism are without parallel in the region,” he said. He was addressing a gathering of students, academicians, analysts, and media persons at an event organised by the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC on Wednesday. “The government has an economic vision for the country, which is based on peace and stability paradigm,” he added. Speaking on ‘Pakistan’s efforts in internal and regional security’, the minister covered a wide range of areas, from Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operations to Pakistan’s role in promoting regional peace and stability. Iqbal briefed the audience about the National Action Plan, the 20-point program developed by the government to counter terrorism and extremism. The implementation of the plan, in conjunction with the sweeping counter-terrorism operations undertaken by the security forces, had been critical to improving the security situation in Pakistan, the minister said. This was now paying dividends in the form of rising investors’ interest in Pakistan, including from corporate America, he added. Easing tension: Ahsan Iqbal will jet off to US this week Iqbal said Pakistan shared the international community’s concerns about the instability in Afghanistan, which continued to spill over into Pakistan. Pakistan desires peace in Afghanistan and would thus support any effort to [Read More…]

Oct 112017

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua has reiterated Pakistan’s call for making serious efforts for negociated settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban for achieving lasting peace in the war-torn country. She remarked while participating in the meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Contact Group on Afghanistan held at the deputy foreign minister-level in Moscow on Wednesday, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov chaired the meeting while deputy foreign ministers of Afghanistan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and representatives of SCO and its relevant bodies attended the meeting. Afghan peace: Kabul asks Islamabad to hand over five top imprisoned militants Addressing the meeting, Janjua underlined challenges faced by Afghanistan including deteriorating security situation marked by increasing ungoverned spaces being used to provide sanctuary to the terrorist groups like Da’esh, al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamtul Ahrar (JuA) and increasing drug production which threatened Afghanistan’s neighbours. She stressed the need for making serious efforts for negotiated settlement between Afghan government and the Taliban for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan. The foreign secretary also emphasised the importance of early return of Afghan refugees and combating drug production and human trafficking which continued to affect stability of Afghanistan and the region. Islamabad not to bow to ‘do more’ demands The members of SCO Contact Group exchanged views on ways and means to support peace and stability in Afghanistan through facilitating Afghan-led peace process, assisting the Afghan government in dealing with security and counter-terrorism challenges [Read More…]

Oct 112017

LAHORE  : The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has decided to ban the manufacture and sale of banaspati ghee by July 2020 due to its extremely hazardous effects on the human body. The authority has also decided to restrict the quantity of trans fats (trans-fatty acids) up to 0.5%. The Scientific Panel of the provincial food watchdog made this decision in a meeting here on Wednesday. The panel observed that a high quantity of trans-fatty acids, palmitic acid and nickel were used in manufacturing of banaspati ghee and served as a ‘catalyst’ that may cause fatal diseases like obesity, diabetes, mental diseases, heart diseases and cancer. As per Codex Alimentarius Commission standards, the expert panel has also decided to restrict trans-fatty acids up to 0.5 per cent. The authority has planned to give three years’ time to banaspati ghee manufacturers to shift or develop alternatives production streams. By 2020, it will completely ban banaspati ghee in the province. PFA Director General Noorul Amin Mengal said estimates suggest annual consumption of cooking oil and ghee for each person is around 18 kilogrammes in Pakistan, whereas it is merely three kilogrammes in Europe. “By keeping these facts in view, the public must be made aware of that olive oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and other vegetable oil should be consumed instead of banaspati ghee.” He underscored that the PFA’s prime objective was to preserve the health of Punjab’s population at any cost. Hence, it decided to remove any obstacle in the way of this [Read More…]

Oct 092017

I was reviewing the Monday orders for one of our client’s ecommerce sites and noticed that 6 out of his 11 orders today were International orders. That’s more than half his sales today. Are you taking advantage of International sales opportunities? Why not? Click for detailed story

Oct 072017

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has let off an official charged with harassing women at the workplace with a slap on the wrist – withholding of two increments. CDA has finalised two more inquiries on complaints against four officers of the authority, exonerating three and letting of one with minor penalty. According to a CDA statement, one of the officers was facing charges of inefficiency, misconduct and harassment. The three others faced disciplinary proceedings. Five men report harassment by women at workplace An inquiry conducted against CDA Hospital Associate Anaesthetist Dr Kartar Lal Parwani revealed that charges of inefficiency, misconduct and harassment levelled against him stand proved. The Inquiry Committee recommended to impose a minor penalty of withholding of two increments for a period of two years under Rule 4(4)(i)(b) of the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Work Place Act 2010 upon Dr Parwani. He has the right to appeal as admissible under Regulation 20.01 of CDA Employees (Service) Regulation, 1992. Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2017. The post CDA official harassing women loses only two increments appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

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