West Indies at 244-6 following Pakistan’s 281

West Indies were 244-6 at close on the second day of the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah on Monday.

Kraigg Brathwaite (95) and Jason Holder (six) were at the crease as West Indies still trail Pakistan’s first innings total of 281 by just 37 runs with four wickets intact.

Brathwaite anchored the West Indian innings with 95 runs not out after they were struggling at 38-3, putting two solid stands of 83 each with Roston Chase (50) for the fifth wicket and with Shane Dowrich (47) for the sixth.

This gives West Indies a good position for the first time in the series against Pakistan who are targeting a 3-0 clean sweep after winning the first Test by 56 runs in Dubai and the second by 133 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Brathwaite batted solidly as he negotiated Pakistan’s spin-cum-pace attack with full confidence, having so far hit ten boundaries.

West Indies lost Jermaine Blackwood for 23 soon after lunch and it looked like they would once again concede a lead but Brathwaite held the innings well with Chase and Dowrich.

Chase hit leg-spinner Yasir Shah for a straight six to bring up his fifty but was caught in the slip off Mohammad Amir in the next over.

His 89-ball stay was spiced with six fours and a six.

Dowrich then complimented Brathwaite as they took West Indies to 234, with Dowrich benefitting from a catch off Wahab Riaz’s no ball on 15 and a let-off by Younis Khan on 21.

Dowrich was finally bowled by Riaz from an inside edge.

West Indies were struggling when they lost the key wicket of Darren Bravo for 11 before lunch.

Bravo miscued a drive off a flighted ball from spinner Zulfiqar Babar and was smartly snapped up by a diving Amir at extra cover, his first catch in 20 Tests.

Amir had no catch in his first 19 Tests ─ most matches without a catch for a player from the start of his career.

West Indies got off to a disastrous start, with opener Leon Johnson trapped leg-before by Riaz in the fourth over for just one.

Bravo, who made a fighting hundred in the first Test, was left frustrated by short-pitched deliveries from Riaz and Amir before getting out.

Marlon Samuels also did not last long, trapped leg-before by leg-spinner Yasir Shah without scoring to leave West Indies struggling on 38-3.

Earlier, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo finished with figures of 4-77 while fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel took 3-67 and Alzarri Joseph 2-57 to dismiss Pakistan for 281.

Pakistan added 26 to their overnight score before losing Amir for 20 and Shah for 12, both to Joseph. The pair added 32 for the ninth wicket.

Pakistan lead the three-match series 2-0 after winning the first Test in Dubai by 56 runs and the second in Abu Dhabi by 133.

Earlier, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo finished with figures of 4-77 while fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel took 3-67 and Alzarri Joseph 2-57 to dismiss Pakistan who resumed on 255-8.

Muslim vote gains significance as race for White House tightens

WASHINGTON: Muslim voters may play a larger than size role in the US elections next week as the race for the White House shapes into a close competition between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The competition, which clearly favoured Clinton until this week, tightened after investigators revisited her email issue and media reports claimed that they discovered thousands of new emails that were not reported before.

A summary of the opinion surveys released on Sunday showed that the revived email scandal narrowed Hillary Clinton’s double-digit lead to single digits. The RCP poll average gave Clinton 47.6 per cent chances of winning the election against Trump’s 43.3. This narrowed Clinton’s lead to 4.3pc, compared to a more than 10-point lead she had last week. Both candidates, however, still have negative favourability ratings: minus 7.4 for Clinton and minus 21.2 for Trump.

This makes the race so tight that every vote counts, even those of Muslims.

There were 3.3 million Muslims in the United States in 2015, which is about 1 per cent of the country’s population, according to the Washington-based Pew Research Centre. Compare this with 17pc Latinos and 13pc blacks and it shows why in previous elections nobody talked about winning over or losing Muslim votes.

And it also shows why both Democrats and Republicans are reaching out to Muslim voters this year, particularly in the urban areas of key swing states where Muslims do have a noticeable presence.

Their near-total rejection of Donald Trump discourages Republicans from contacting Muslims but as the race tightened, they started contacting Muslim media outlets, including Dawn, with messages emphasising Trump’s business contacts with the Muslim world.

Democrats are more active and vocal too. Last week, they released a video featuring Khizr Khan, the father of a slain US soldier, and it had an “incredibly powerful message,” as The Washington Post noted.

Mr Khan talks about how Mr Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric hurts all, even those who sacrificed their loved ones for the country. Mr Trump attacked Mr Khan as a Democratic trickster, playing on grief to help elect Hillary Clinton.

The Clinton campaign is playing the ad in swing states, including Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where Muslim votes can make a difference. And such messages are having an impact.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an umbrella organisation with offices across the country, released a survey report this week, showing that 72pc of those surveyed intend to vote for Mrs Clinton, while just four per cent pledged to vote for Mr Trump.

Three in five Muslims also said they believe the Democratic Party was friendly toward them while 37pc said it was neutral. By contrast, less than one in 10 felt the same way about the Republican Party, though 31pc said the party was neutral.

The CAIR report also claimed that Muslims were fired up this election cycle as 86pc of registered Muslim voters plan to cast ballots.

US media surveys of predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods also confirm this finding as most outlets reported overwhelmingly pro-Democratic sentiments among the residents.

The CAIR report acknowledges that Muslims are only one per cent of the total US population but said that when they are clubbed with South Asians, Middle Easterners and other non-Latino immigrants, “they form a Democrat-leaning mass.”

US media reports warn that in some places, even a few thousand votes can swing the results either way.

Winning these votes is also important because US presidents are not chosen by popular vote, but through an Electoral College system that elevates the importance of several competitive states, such as Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, distributed among states according to their representation in Congress.

A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president and that’s why it is also important to win states, not just an overall majority.

Muslim voters are concentrated in areas, which can swing a state either way. In Florida, Hillary Clinton leads polls by less than three per cent; in Ohio, her lead is narrower than two points.

But Sajid Tarar, a Pakistani-American businessman, rejects the suggestion that most Muslims would vote for Hillary Clinton.

“Muslims are a religious community and Mr Trump backs for issues that are closer to Islam,” says the Trump supporter who also addressed the Republican convention earlier this year. “Democrats spouse same-sex marriage, legalising cannabis and socialism, values that negate Islam.”

But the CAIR survey shows that 85pc Muslims blame Mr Trump for fanning Islamophobia and this is enough for them to vote for his rival.

Amnesty terms Section 144 a draconian law, calls for release of all PTI workers

Amnesty International on Monday urged Pakistan government to immediately release hundreds of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) activists and asked that people be allowed to exercise their right to peaceful assembly.

The human rights watchdog also declared the crackdown as violation of right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

“There is no justification for this repressive crackdown. Pakistan’s constitution guarantees people the rights to freedom of assembly, expression and movement,” said Director Amnesty International South Asia Champa Patel in a statement released on Monday.

“The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all the people arrested solely for exercising their rights and allow them to protest peacefully,” Patel said.

Amnesty termed the Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) as a “draconian colonial-era law”.

Section 144 forbids the gathering of more than four people at any public place.

“Section 144 is a draconian colonial-era law that clearly has no place in a rights-respecting society. It should never be used to unduly restrict the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and needs to be repealed,” the statement added.

Amnesty in its statement had added that in case of violence, it is the responsibility of the state to identify responsible people rather than using the law to suppress the rights of the majority.

“If sporadic incidents of violence occur, the authorities should identify the responsible people. Using the violent acts of a few as a pretext to restrict or impede the rights of a majority is in clear violation of Pakistan’s obligations under international law,” read the statement.

Champa Patel also showed concern over threats to journalists demanding favourable coverage.

“Journalists and human rights defenders play an important role during protests. All media workers covering the protests should be allowed to do their jobs freely and without fear of attacks or intimidation,” said Champa Patel.

Human rights watch’s call came as the government had intensified their crackdown on supporters of PTI by using excessive force. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters who were trying to march towards the country’s capital to demand accountability after Panama papers leak.

Since last week, the government has arrested several party members, including parliamentarians en route to Islamabad to mount a protest against the sitting government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The protests are expected to intesify on November 2.

Maryam Nawaz sends Rs1 billion defamation notice to PTI’s Naeemul Haq

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz on Monday sent a Rs1 billion defamation notice to notice to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Spokesman Naeemul Haq, it has been learnt.

The notice was sent after Naeemul Haq accused Maryam Nawaz of being responsible for the security leaks regarding the high-level national security meeting.

“The accusation/statement against our client is defamatory, false, mala fide, scandalous, untrue, without any evidence,” added the notice.

The notice demands from the PTI leader to tender an unconditional apology and retract the accusations made. It also demands for the same to be published in newspapers.

“In case of failure, our client [Maryam] will be constrained to initiate legal proceedings, including civil and criminal, against you at your own risk,” stated the legal notice which was sent thorugh Sardar Kalim Ilyas, Advocate Supreme Court.

The PTI leader was also asked to, “Stop making such accusations for which you have no proof, which is false and untrue”.

The accusation was broadcast on October 31 on different channels, including ARY News Channel, and tickers were also run on news channel, read the legal notice sent to Haq.

Earlier this month, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had sent a legal notice to PTI chairman Imran Khan under the defamation law, requiring the latter to make a public apology and withdraw ‘false’ allegations of corruption levelled against the former.

The notice sent through Advocate Mustafa Ramday under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 says: “Your false vilification of Shahbaz Sharif’s intentions has the potential to erode the carefully built trust with domestic and international partners that has wider ramifications on development in Punjab and national progress overall.”

Khattak’s convoy retreats to Swabi on Imran’s advice, to move towards capital later

The convoy of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) protesters from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa led by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak is returning towards Swabi after withdrawing their efforts to push through blockades in order to reach Bani Gala.

The convoy will make its way to Islamabad again later in the day after regrouping and getting rest, KP government spokesman Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani told DawnNews.

The decision to retreat to Swabi was made on the advice of party chairman Imran Khan after “brutal use of tear gas by Punjab police”.

Ghani said the PTI chief will advise the protesters in a couple of hours when they should start moving again, and the convoy could then opt for one of the many “unknown” routes to Bani Gala. He said 15 protesters were injured due to police tear gas shelling.

PTI protesters, while battling tear gas and obstacles, earlier managed to push through the main blockade set-up near Swabi and Burhan interchanges on their way towards the federal capital.

CM Khattak had vowed to move towards Islamabad with his convoy of PTI supporters which earlier came under intense tear gas shelling on Haroonabad bridge in Swabi.

Later, the convoy led by Khattak reached Burhan interchange, where PTI workers were again briefly shelled with tear gas. Punjab Police Inspector General (IG) Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera was also present on the spot to supervise police forces.

“We will go to Islamabad, no matter what it takes,” says Pervez Khattak.

The activists used cranes as night fell to remove the various obstacles and containers placed on the route to Islamabad.

PTI chairman Imran Khan lauded the efforts of Pervez Khattak, who is battling hard to find a way to Islamabad.

Imran also requested the party supporters in Attock, Taxila, Hassanabdal and Tarnol to welcome Khattak and his caravan upon their arrival.

Meanwhile, Awami Muslim League Chief Sheikh Rasheed in his tweet urged Imran Khan to come out of his residence in Bani Gala, as the workers await him.

PTI protesters resume trying to remove containers using cranes as night falls.

Police and Frontier Constabulary personnel had earlier used tear gas shells to try and disperse thousands of stick-wielding party workers when they tried to remove barricades put in place by police.

Earlier, TV footage showed protesters fleeing from clouds of tear gas after leaving the cranes where they were. But they have gathered again at the Haroonabad bridge under the command of KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.

Some protesters also fainted due to the shelling, while others were injured by rubber bullets. Those affected were taken to hospitals, DawnNews reported.

The area is an hour and a half’s drive away from the capital.

PTI leaders released after brief detention

Islamabad police take PTI leaders into custody.

PTI leaders Arif Alvi and Imran Ismail were released after a brief detention by Islamabad police on Monday.

The two men were taken into custody near Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence after they threatened to launch a sit-in in the area to protest the arrests of party workers, according to media reports.

Shortly after, the interior ministry ordered the release of the two leaders, ministry sources told Dawn.com.

TV footage showed dramatic scenes as police officers pushed the MNA toward a van and Arif Alvi resisted. Police officers wrestled with Alvi who, at one point, also fell to the ground, but police succeeded in pushing him into the hi-roof van.

Imran Ismail on Twitter said he was “arrested brutally”. The PTI leader tweeted a selfie from inside the van in which the two were smiling.

Imran Ismail also tweeted saying the two PTI leaders were taken to the Secretariat police station. However, an official from the police station told Dawn.com that neither PTI leader had been brought into the station.

Arif Alvi, speaking to DawnNews, said they were being transported onwards from the Secretariat police station. He denied the two were in ‘protective custody’. The MNA said he was “manhandled and dragged”.

“God save anyone who is under the protection of these people,” he said.

“There was no point in them stopping us. I was intending to go to Bani Gala and was carrying food with me,” Alvi said.

Imran Ismail, speaking to a TV channel, said the two men were “going for a meeting in Bani Gala”.

He added that the PTI will not be deterred “no matter how many times we are put into jails”.

Footage available with Dawn.com shows police arresting more PTI protesters in the area.

‘Roads dug up to stop Imran going to court’

PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi, flanked by MNA Shireen Mazari raised question about blockades placed in and around the capital.

“If containers were removed on your orders yesterday, then on whose orders have they been reinstalled?”

“Why were roads dug up again? The government has destroyed the metal road going to Bani Gala to prevent any vehicle coming or going… Is it to prevent Imran Khan from reaching the court?”

The Supreme Court earlier fixed the date of a hearing for the Panama Papers leaks case for Nov 1, just a day before the party’s planned ‘lockdown’ of the capital.

PTI Spokesman Naeemul Haq urged Islamabad High Court judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui to implement his Aug 27 order which, he said, capital police was “blatantly violating”.

“The containers have not been removed and people are still being stopped,” he said.

Security ramped up to deter protesters

Security along the Peshawar Motorway and Grand Trunk Road has been ramped up in anticipation of a group of PTI protesters marching from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad on Monday.

Security arrangements along KP-Islamabad route.

KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak speaking to DawnNews said protesters will remove barriers and blockades from their path to reach Bani Gala.

“If anything happens, if one of our people even sustains a scratch, we will go to court and the responsible party will be the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif,” he said.

Law enforcement personnel stand ready to face off against protesters, armed with sticks. ─ DawnNews
Law enforcement personnel stand ready to face off against protesters, armed with sticks. ─ DawnNews

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday urged party workers to reach Bani Gala by Nov 1. Protesters would then move onto Islamabad on Nov 2 for the party’s planned ‘lockdown’ of the capital, he said.

Television footage showed walls of containers blocking Grand Trunk Road, and police and FC men standing at the ready armed with sticks and tear gas.

Two cranes are moving along with a group of PTI protesters from KP to help move containers blocking streets out of the way.

Walls of containers block the road. ─ DawnNews
Walls of containers block the road. ─ DawnNews

Barricades three layers deep were placed along the Peshawar Motorway to deter those marching to Islamabad.

Several ambulances carrying patients and bodies of the dead were stranded on GT road.

DawnNews footage showed a long queue of vehicles, including ambulances, near Attock bridge in KP’s Khairabad area.

Nawaz, motu gang cannot compare to our women: Imran

PTI chief Imran Khan on Monday demonstrated his fitness by performing pushups alongside other PTI supporters. Ardent PTI supporter and singer Salman Ahmed also performed pushups alongside Imran Khan.

Read more: Singer Salman Ahmad arrested in Islamabad, manages to escape

Dressed in a tracksuit, the PTI chairman counted the pushups. “I am still not tired,” he exclaimed amid loud cheers and clapping.

“Nawaz Sharif and the ‘motu gang’ cannot even compare to our women,” he said.

I drink honey, not alcohol: Gandapur

Police on Monday registered a First Information Report against PTI leader Amin Gandapur, from whose car five Kalashnikov rifles, a pistol, six magazines, a bulletproof vest, alcohol and three tear gas shells were recovered on Sunday.

Gandapur on Monday claimed there was no alcohol in his car. “There was no alcohol in my car. I drink honey,” he said.

Police recovered a bottle of alcohol from PTI leader Amin Gandapur's car on Sunday. ─ DawnNews
Police recovered a bottle of alcohol from PTI leader Amin Gandapur’s car on Sunday. ─ DawnNews