Inzamam calls for one captain in all three formats

LAHORE: Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq on Friday indirectly advised Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to leave captaincy for a man who can lead the team in all three formats.

Talking to reporters at a local function in the wake of the national team’s disastrous tours of Australia and New Zealand, Inzamam said Misbah was in the “best position” to decide his future.

“I haven’t given any advice to the PCB over the captaincy issue but I think the perfect man for the job is one who can lead in all three formats,” the former batting great said.

“Misbah is a very intelligent man and he is in the best position to take a decision about his future.”

Misbah’s advancing years have seen a lot of criticism heaped on him.

However, apart for the tours of New Zealand and Australia — where Pakistan were whitewashed 2-0 and 3-0 in Tests respectively — the 42-year-old has been Pakistan’s shining star since being appointed captain six years ago.

He inspired Paki­stan to the top of the ICC Test team rankings for the first time in history last year.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) — following a common practice in the cricketing world — has appointed different captains for all three formats of the game.

Pakistan didn’t fare any better in the ODI series Down Under, losing 4-1.

“We took several steps before sending the team to New Zealand and Australia and sent the best bunch of players,” Inzamam said, defending his selection.

“Fitness remains a problem for the team and we’re taking steps to improve it.”

Inzamam added that while he was independent as a chief selector, he does consult the team management before picking players.

The chief selector also defended sending all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez prior to the start of the ODI series against the Aussies.

“He was the best player of the national one-day tournament,” Inzamam said, adding they needed to make big changes to rraise a formidable team in all three formats.

He was also looking forward to the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which runs from February 9 to March 5.

“It will give us the opportunity to check out the best players and select a good team for the tour of the West Indies,” he added.

Family claims ‘medical negligence’ caused patient’s death, AKUH vows probe

A case of alleged medical negligence was reported at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi on Thursday, when attendants claimed that their patient had died after being administered wrong medical treatment by a trainee doctor.

The issue surfaced on Friday after a video went viral on social media in which the son of the deceased patient is seen complaining about the alleged negligence of the AKU hospital staff which reportedly resulted in the death of his father.

Following the alleged negligence, the hospital administration was compelled to issue a statement in which it expressed condolences with the bereaved family.

However, the hospital claimed that the family had resorted to violent behaviour towards the hospital staff and administration.

The statement released by the hospital further said that the family gave “little consideration to the other very sick patients and their families also in the hospital during this time”.

Moreover, the AKU hospital management has said that it will investigate the incidence of alleged medical negligence.

No proceedings in NA till scuffle issue settled

ISLAMABAD: A day after the National Assembly witnessed a brawl between lawmakers from the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq declared on Friday that the house would not conduct any business till a decision on the way forward was taken by the parliamentary leaders.

The proceedings of the assembly were adjourned by the speaker for 30 minutes prior to a meeting of the parliamentary leaders to discuss Thursday’s unpleasant incident that ended without a decision. The speaker later informed the house that more time was required to reach a decision and adjourned it to meet again on Monday at 4pm. The parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly will also meet an hour before the session’s time.

A highlight of the parliamentary leaders’ meeting was an offer of resignation from the speaker if the opposition has objections against him. Mr Sadiq told reporters that all the parliamentary leaders had said in response to his offer that they had full confidence in him.

Speaker says Afridi was suspended over failure to declare assets

He said the participants had agreed that all that happened was unfortunate and was not good for democracy and sanctity of parliament. He said the practice of trading allegations and shouting slogans in the house must come to an end.

The speaker had summoned the footage of the incident but disclosed that it was not played during the meeting. He said the matter involved excesses from both sides.

Stranger in the house

He also talked about the role of a ‘stranger in the house’ in the scuffle and said the Election Commi­ssion of Pakistan (ECP) had suspended the membership of PTI MNA Shahryar Afridi for his failure to submit his annual statement of assets and liabilities.

He said the NA secretarial staff went to Mr Afridi thrice to inform him that his membership was suspended and he could not take part in the proceedings, but he insisted he had submitted the statement. He was told that a notification for the restoration of his membership had not been issued by the ECP, but he refused to leave the house.

The speaker said that had he been informed by the staff, he would not have run the proceedings till the exit of the ‘stranger’ from the house.

An ECP official, when contacted, confirmed that Mr Afridi’s membership remained suspended. He said the membership of 66 MNAs had been suspended on Nov 15 and 65 of them had since submitted the required details. He revealed that Mr Afridi had submitted his statement to the ECP on Friday.

The official said the notification for the restoration of his membership would most probably be issued on Monday, after its approval by the commission.

The speaker said suggestions were made by the participants regarding respect of women members and the political leadership and avoi­ding a physical showdown.

He said one of the suggestions was that the parliamentary leaders make statements in the house deploring the incident. He said it was the responsibility of the senior leaders of each party to stop their members from using language that could trigger a brawl or disrupt the proceedings.

He said some parliamentary leaders wanted to consult their party leaderships and they would meet again on Monday to reach a decision.

Talking to reporters, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that no decision could be taken at the meeting but all the parties had condemned the incident. He said he would prepare a strategy after meeting Leader of Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah.

“The things will deteriorate if the membership of our member is suspended,” Mr Qureshi said.

He held some ministers responsible for vitiating the atmosphere. He said seriousness of ministers could lead to a congenial environment in the assembly.

Privilege motion

The PTI submitted a privilege motion against PML-N lawmakers, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Mian Mannan and retired Capt Safdar, over the brawl.

The motion signed by 23 MNAs was submitted to the assembly secretariat. According to the motion, the PML-N lawmakers moved towards the opposition side and took physical aim at PTI MNAs while hurling abuses against them during the session.“This attack by the PML-N MNAs led to an outbreak of fisticuffs instigated by PML-N MNAs,” it said.

The party alleged that MNA Mannan had made an obscene gesture towards the PTI MNAs, including women, during the speech of its deputy parliamentary leader, Mr Qureshi.

The assembly turned into a battlefield on Thursday as the scuffle broke out between both parties’ lawmakers who exchanged blows and slaps and pushed one another. Both sides hold each other responsible for starting the braw

Iranian official says probe into Jadhav’s stay inconclusive

ISLAMABAD: A senior Iranian official has said that his country’s investigations into Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s presence in Iran, prior to his capture in Pakis­tan, have remained inconclusive.

“Had there been any result, it would have been shared with Pakistan,” Allaudin Boroujerdi, Chair­man of Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, said while responding to a question at a press conference held on Friday at the end of his three-day visit in which he met Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Nasser Janjua, Senate Chair­man Raza Rabbani, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and heads of parliamentary bodies.

Mr Boroujerdi spoke through an interpreter.

This was the first time that an Iranian official had publicly shared the update on the issue that has damaged mutual trust.

Pakistan government had earlier this month submitted a dossier to the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on Jadhav’s involvement in espionage and subversive activities on its territory. The dossier was based on the probe carried out by Pakistani security agencies.

Jadhav was caught last year and his detention was announced a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Islamabad last March. The spy’s capture eclipsed Mr Rouhani’s trip as the then Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif in his meeting took up the matter of RAW’s presence in Iran from where it was alleged to have been carrying out activities in Pakistan.

Jadhav was claimed to have remained based in Chabahar, Iran, under the pretext of being a jeweller/businessman. He had an Iranian visa on his Indian passport and had reportedly crossed over to Balochistan’s Mashkhel area from Saravan, Iran.

Later, Tehran was formally asked to investigate and share details of Jadhav’s activities in Iran, along with those of his colleague, identified as Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Sub Inspector Rakesh alias Rizwan. “Pakistan expects Iran to seriously look at Islamabad’s assertions and take every step to stem incursion of Indian spies into Pakistani territory,” the letter said.

Mr Boroujerdi, however, said that the matter continues to be discussed at the intelligence level.

“Intelligence agencies of both countries (Iran and Pakistan) are in contact over the matter and are discussing it,” he said.

The Iranian leader in his meetings with Pakistani interlocutors emphasised on activation of the bilateral mechanisms for dealing with border and security matters.

“These fora have not been active for quite some time now. We want to reactivate them to deal with issues of terrorism, narco-trafficking, and other border matters,” he said and added that Pakistani officials, whom he met, had agreed to his proposal.

Asked about how Iran would react to Pakistani former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif heading a military alliance put together by Saudi Arabia, he said “no one would like to associate with that coalition”.

Mr Boroujerdi, who had a day earlier while speaking at Oxbridge Lecture said that Iran does not see the Saudi alliance as threat to itself, said the Saudis were committing massacre in Yemen. He feared that the Saudi alliance would also indulge in “killing of the innocent”.

The Iranian leader said he was hopeful about improvement in Pak-Iran relationship. The ties have over decades suffered from mutual mistrust.

“The atmosphere is conducive for better relations,” he noted without specifying the basis of his optimism except for that the leaders of both countries were committed to improving the ties.

General Bajwa approves deployment of 200,000 troops for census

The Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday authorised the deployment of upto 200,000 troops to support the often delayed national population census, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The troops will be deployed while continuing other security responsibilities, added the ISPR statement.

The population census will yield statistics about internal migration, urbanisation, as well as rural and urban population across the country. The population data will be used for delimitation of the constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies, a requirement under the constitution.

In Pakistan, the first four censuses i.e., 1951, 1961, 1972 and 1981, were held on time by the Population Census Organisation, in collaboration with staff from the provincial governments.

The fifth census was due in 1991 and the House Listing Operation carried out in 1990 showed abnormal population growth in some parts of the country, which not be justified by normal demographic indicators.

Consequently, the government decided to postpone the 1991 census. Another effort was made in 1994, which could not mature due to pressure by from political and ethnic groups.

It was decided that the 1998 census would be held with the support of the armed forces, which was broadly accepted by all political parties and appreciated internally.

The sixth Population and Housing Census was due in 2008, but could not materialise due to the law and order situation in the country, a paucity of staff and financial constraints