2nd ODI: Rassie Van Der Dussen, Andile Phehlukwayo Lead South Africa To Series-Levelling Victory Against Pakistan


Hendrick ‘Rassie’ van der Dussen and Andile Phehlukwayo guided South Africa to a series-levelling win in a roller-coaster second one-day international against Pakistan at Kingsmead on Tuesday. The pair came together when South Africa were 80 for five in reply to Pakistan’s 203. They put on an unbeaten 127 as South Africa won by five wickets with eight overs to spare. Van der Dussen, 29, playing in his second one-day international, made an unbeaten 80 after scoring 93 on debut in South Africa’s five-wicket defeat in the first match in Port Elizabeth.

“What you look for in new players is composure and calmness at the crease. We’re looking for big-match players. He’s smashing that door down for a permanent position in our strongest XI,” said South African captain Faf du Plessis.

Phehlukwayo was named man-of-the-match after two career-best performances. He took four for 22 in Pakistan’s innings and then scored 69 not out to share Du Plessis’s praise for what he said was an outstanding partnership.

The match went through several phases. An early finish seemed likely when Pakistan crashed to 112 for eight after being sent in to bat. But Hasan Ali, batting at number ten, hit a career-best 59 off 45 balls and helped captain Sarfraz Ahmed (41) put on 90 for the ninth wicket to enable Pakistan to reach 203.

Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi took wickets in each of his first three overs to reduce South Africa to 29 for three.

Van der Dussen and David Miller (31) put on 51 for the fourth wicket but leg-spinner Shadab Khan struck with his second and third deliveries to swing the odds back towards Pakistan.

Phehlukwayo seemed unable to read Shadab’s deliveries and a key moment came with his score on seven when he was given out leg before wicket to Shadab. He asked for a review which showed the ball was spinning past his leg stump.

“There were too many soft wickets,” Sarfraz said of Pakistan’s top-order batting. “Hasan Ali batted very well. We had a chance at 80 for five. We needed one more wicket.”

South Africa dominated the early exchanges.

Four batsmen succumbed to short-pitched bowling from South Africa’s seam bowlers, while three fell to left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

Kagiso Rabada started Pakistan’s slide when he dismissed Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, both caught off mistimed pull shots against short deliveries on a pitch which was slow but with steep bounce when the ball was new.

Fakhar Zaman and Shoaib Malik also fell to short balls.



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India Shares Coordinates Of Kartarpur Corridor With Pakistan


Pakistan issued 14 key recommendations to India on the Kartarpur, said reports. (File)

New Delhi: 

India on Tuesday shared with Pakistan the coordinates of the Kartarpur Corridor crossing point along the International Border with Pakistan to enable Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.

“Pursuant to the decision taken by the government of India on November 22, 2018, to expeditiously realise the long pending proposal to establish Kartarpur Corridor, India has today (Tuesday) shared the coordinates of the zero point (crossing point) of the corridor along the International Border with Pakistan,” said an External Affairs Ministry statement.

“India has also proposed two set of dates, February 26 and March 7, 2019, for the visit of Pakistan delegation to New Delhi to discuss and finalise the modalities so that Indian pilgrims can visit the holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor at the earliest,” it stated.

The Union Cabinet in November last year decided to develop the Kartarpur Corridor from Gurdaspur in Punjab to the International Border to facilitate pilgrims’ passage to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan as part of the 550th birth year celebrations of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, later this year year.

Later that month, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground-breaking ceremony to develop the corridor in the presence of Indian Ministers.

According to reports, in December, Pakistan issued 14 key recommendations to India on the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate visa-free pilgrimage by Indian Sikhs to the holy gurdwara.





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UAE, Pakistan Sign $3 Billion Bailout Package To Shore Up Economy


Pakistan, UAE signed a $3b bailout package during a ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

Lahore: 

Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday signed a USD 3 billion bailout package, as part of Abu Dhabi’s support to boost the cash-strapped country’s dwindling dollar reserves.

The UAE in December last year had announced to provide USD 3 billion financial assistance to Pakistan after Saudi Arabia made a similar commitment to help Islamabad successfully overcome international payment crisis and to avoid a stringent International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal.

Tuesday’s agreement was signed between State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) chief Tariq Bajwa and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) Director General Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi.

“UAE has formalized $3 billion deposit in the State Bank of Pakistan. DG ADFD & the Governor SBP inked the agreement at #ADFD Headquarters in Abu Dhabi,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

He said the agreement will help Pakistan achieve financial stability and overcome economic challenges.

The UAE had committed the financial assistance during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Qatar last month to seek investment and provision of LNG on deferred payments.

Pakistan has a 15-year contract with Qatar for supply of LNG.

The Saudi and the UAE governments have played a major role in helping Pakistan to meet around USD 12 billion shortfall in balance of payments in 2018-19 fiscal year, government officials said.





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Navjot Sidhu Advocates No Construction Around Kartarpur Gurdwara In Pakistan


Navjot Singh Sidhu also requested for regulating the movement of pilgrims. (File)

Chandigarh: 

Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu wrote a letter to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, requesting him not to allow building of concrete structures around Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara and to regulate the movement of pilgrims for preserving the sanctity of the historic Sikh shrine.

The cricketer-turned-politician has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raising similar demands for Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur.

“…as the plans for the development works to be undertaken for the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Nanak (Guru Nanak), the sacredness and serenity of Kartarpur Sahib should not be compromised as hearts of millions of pilgrims across the world yearn for this historic moment,” Mr Sidhu wrote to Mr Khan, also a cricketer-turn-politician.

“To preserve the sanctity of Kartarpur Sahib, I request that in the 104 acres of land that surrounds the Gurudwara Sahib at Kartarpur (in Pakistan), we can avoid building any new concrete structures and altering the historical structures on the sites,” he said.

Mr Sidhu also requested for regulating the movement of pilgrims.

“We must move primarily on foot with an exception only for the elderly, disabled or sick, along with providing accessible amenities such as toilets. Personal transport should be eschewed at all costs. In 104 acres of land walking trails could be developed for people to walk along fields once tilled by Baba Nanak and now preserved in the same sanctity,” he wrote.

The holy land where Baba Nanak spent 18 years of his life be declared a ‘heritage village’, he said.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur is located on the banks of the Ravi river in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent 18 years of his life.

The Union Cabinet had on November 22 decided to develop and build a passage from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the International Border.

The foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor was laid on November 26 last year at Dera Baba Nanak where Union minister Nitin Gadkari had said that his ministry would try to complete the construction work expeditiously.

Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab. The gurdwara in Kartarpur is located about three-four km from the Indo-Pak border.

The Pakistan government had also held the ground-breaking ceremony of the corridor on its side on November 28.





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Pakistan Have “Very Good Chance” To Win World Cup 2019: Shoaib Malik


Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik believes his team has a very good chance of winning the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in England and Wales. Although, the veteran said it will only be possible if his side performs well in cricket’s marquee tournament against the rest of the world. Pakistan’s last World Cup triumph in the One-Day International (ODI) format came in the year 1992 but Shoaib Malik feels his side has the ability to win the tournament this year.

“I feel we have a very good chance to win the tournament. But then having a ‘good chance’ doesn’t mean much. How we play each game and how we perform against the rest of the world will define how far we go,” Malik told Sky Sports.

“Yes, we have the ability to win the World Cup hands-down, but abilities don’t win you anything, performances do,” the 36-year-old added.

Malik further said his have the combination of top ODI batsmen and bowlers and he is personally looking to make the World Cup 2019 memorable.

“Our capabilities include having top ODI bowlers and batsmen in our line-up and personally I’m looking forward to a memorable World Cup 2019,” Malik said.

The experienced campaigner will be one of the key players for Pakistan during the World Cup. He has played 275 ODIs and raked up over 7,200 runs at an average of 35.24.

Pakistan will begin World Cup campaign against the Windies on May 31. They will later take on hosts England and will clash against India on June 16.



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1st ODI: Imam-Ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez Steer Pakistan To Victory Over South Africa


Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed used his bowlers in short spells and their mixture of seam and spin proved better suited to a slow pitch than South Africa’s attack. 

South African strike bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier conceded a combined 124 runs in 19.1 overs.

The Pakistan batsmen also proved better at rotating the strike, particularly during a 94-run second-wicket stand between Imam and Babar Azam (49).

Amla (108 not out) and new cap Hendrick ‘Rassie’ van der Dussen (93) put on 155 for South Africa’s second wicket but although they gradually increased the tempo of their partnership they were unable to dominate the bowling.

“Those two guys batted really well but there were probably 15 or 20 more runs that we could have scored if we had pushed a bit harder,” said South African captain Faf du Plessis. 

“Pakistan bowled really well in the middle overs.”

Man of the match Hafeez said: “We were confident because we knew 266 was not a par score on this track. The first win of the series is very important.”

Hafeez said an aggressive opening stand of 45 off 50 balls by Imam and Fakhar Zaman had given Pakistan momentum which was continued during the partnership between Imam and Azam.

Seamer Hasan Ali and leg-spinner Shadab Khan were the best Pakistan bowlers and the only two who bowled their full quota of ten overs, taking one for 42 and one for 41 respectively.

Pakistan looked to be cruising to an easy win until Imam was dismissed in the 37th over when he stepped out of his crease and sliced an attempted drive to deep cover.

Two more wickets fell cheaply before Hafeez and Shadab saw their side home, maintaining an unbeaten record for Pakistan in five one-day matches in Port Elizabeth, four of them against South Africa.

Amla and Reeza Hendricks (45) put on 82 off 105 balls for the first wicket before Van der Dussen made a slow start in his first one-day international, taking ten balls to score his first run.

Van der Dussen gained confidence as he hit six fours and three sixes in a 101-ball innings before hitting a full toss from Hasan to long-off in the 47th over. Amla made his runs off 120 balls with seven fours and a six.



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Pakistan Should Introspect Its Own Responsibility


Raveesh Kumar said it was not for Pak to decide on role of another country. (File)

New Delhi: 

India on Friday slammed Pakistan’s comments that New Delhi has no role to play in Afghanistan, saying Islamabad cannot decide on behalf of an independent and sovereign country.

Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said it was not for Pakistan to decide as to what role another country has in regional or global affairs.

“Pakistan also cannot decide on behalf of an independent and sovereign country Afghanistan and dictate them as to how to conduct their foreign policy,” he said.

On Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said India has no role to play in Afghanistan, adding Islamabad played a key role in arranging direct talks between the Taliban and the US to find a peaceful solution to the Afghan issue.

“Pakistan should first and foremost introspect its own role and responsibility in the precarious situation in Afghanistan; put an end to all kind of support to cross border terrorism from territories under Pakistan”s control, and join international efforts to bring inclusive peace to Afghanistan,” Mr Kumar said.

Mohammad Faisal’s remarks contradict Pakistan”s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s earlier statement in which he acknowledged that India had stakes in Afghanistan and its cooperation was necessary for the peace process.

India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and has committed aid worth USD 3 billion to the war-ravaged country.

India sent two former diplomats in “non official” capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow in November which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.

New Delhi has been pressing for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace initiative to bring peace and stability in the war-ravaged country.

 





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Pakistan International Airlines Bans Music On Flights To Jeddah, Madina


Passengers of other flights, on other routes, will have access to the in-flight entertainment system.

Lahore: 

The Pakistan International Airlines has banned in-flight entertainment for pilgrims travelling to Jeddah and Madina and will only play Quranic verses and naats for them, an official of the national carrier said today.

The decision was taken “in light of the peoples” sentiments,” PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajawar said.

Cash-strapped PIA has been running into huge financial losses. Its current liabilities stand at Rs 431 billion.

For years, the airline with 18,000 plus employee and a fleet of 32 airplanes has only been adding billions to its loss sheets.

“The decision to play Quranic verses and naats (recitation of poetry praising the Prophet) during taxing and landing for flights to Jeddah and Madina has been taken in light of the peoples sentiments,” Mr Tajawar said.

No other music will be available in the in-flight entertainment system, he said, adding that the impression that the PIA has banned music on all routes is incorrect.

“This is only for Jeddah and Madina as the people go there on holy journey. Therefore playing music/songs on these routes is not appropriate,” Mr Tajwar said, adding passengers of other flights will have access to the in-flight entertainment system available on the aircraft.

The PIA has also decided to welcome passengers on board with the Qaseeda Burda Sharif (Islamic hymn) playing in the background instead of soft music.

“A rendition of the Qaseeda Burda Sharif, a popular Islamic hymn, will be played while passengers board PIA airplanes for all domestic and international flights,” Mr Tajwar said.





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India Retaliates After Pakistan Violates Ceasefire In Jammu And Kashmir


Ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army have been intermittently continuing on the LoC. (File)

Jammu: 

Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged gunfire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Thursday, the defence sources said.

Pakistan troopers used small arms and automatics to target Indian positions in Khari Karmara area.

“Our troops effectively retaliated to the unprovoked ceasefire violation. Firing exchanges started at around 4.30 a.m. and continued till 6.30 a.m. No casualty or damage was reported from our side,” the sources said.

Ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army have been intermittently continuing on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts since earlier this month.





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332 Pakistan Lawmakers Suspended For Not Disclosing Assets, Says Report


The suspended lawmakers include 72 members of Pakistan’s National Assembly. (File)

Islamabad: 

The membership of 332 Pakistani lawmakers, including that of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, was suspended on Wednesday after they failed to submit details of their properties and assets, media reports said.

Out of the 1,174 lawmakers, 839 submitted the details of their properties and assets, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as it suspended the membership of the remaining 332.

The suspended lawmakers include 72 members of National Assembly, 20 members of Senate, 115 members of Punjab Assembly, 52 members of Sindh Assembly, 54 members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 19 members of Balochistan assembly, Dunya News reported.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Health Aamir Kiyani, Raheela Magsi, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Soori, PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Musadiq Malik and Anwaarul Haq Kakar are among those whose memberships have been suspended, the report said.

The suspended parliamentarians cannot participate in legislative process.

The ECP has issued a notification, stating that these members will remain suspended till they file details of their assets and liabilities.





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