Facebook fined $94m for providing misleading information on WhatsApp merger

The European Union on Thursday imposed a $94 million fine on Facebook for providing misleading information about the 2014 takeover of WhatsApp, The Guardian reported.

In 2014, Facebook told the Europe commission that upon taking over the messaging service, it would not be able to match user accounts on the two platforms. However, Facebook proceeded to do exactly that, the daily reported.

The fine was imposed after the commission learnt that Facebook was aware in 2014 that linking users’ profiles with their WhatsApp phone numbers was possible but had made contradictory public statements at the time of the take over.

Facebook, in a statement, claimed that errors made at the time were not intentional, highlighting that the commission had confirmed that the statements had not impacted the outcome of the merger inquiry, The Guardian reported.

The fine imposed on Facebook will not impact decision of the merger, the commission has clarified.

“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,’” The Guardian quoted the EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager as saying.

“It imposes a proportionate and deterrent fine on Facebook. The commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts.”

Mis|You: The extraordinary duo that no one can replace

Javed Miandad ran towards Imran Khan, grabbed him by his arm and pulled him for a hug. “Only Miandad can do that to Khan sahab”, said my dad.

The hug was iconic; not because even in absolute ecstasy of winning the World Cup no one else actually had the guts to hug Imran Khan, let alone have the audacity to pull him by his arm. It was momentous because the glory, the jubilation, the tears, the triumph, the prostrations and everything that Pakistan cricket was experiencing that day, in fact, everything that it had in the previous decade had its centre of gravity in these two individuals.

During the 80’s, Pakistanis got accustomed to the ways of this extraordinary duo. They moulded and inspired an entire generation of cricketers, oozing confidence and giving birth to absolute match winners.

We saw Imran lift the trophy and bow out of cricket with all the grace and glamour the sport offered at the time.

Also read: Of highs and lows: How Pakistani cricket changed forever

However, even with the abundance of skill Imran left behind, few could have envisioned that Pakistan cricket had already peaked. Scattered moments of sublime brilliance were to be surrounded by dark times that lay ahead.

Out of the men Imran skippered, nine went on and became Test captains. Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Saleem Malik, Waqar Younis, Ramiz Raja, Aamir Sohail, Saeed Anwar, Moin Khan and Inzamam ul Haq, all got a shot. Many had multiple stints. Often, at the expense of their teammates, and usually through an unpleasant transfer of power.

Pakistan cricket saw arguably its most talented generation go down the rabbit hole and lose its path to corruption and politics. The next two decades saw court cases, life bans, drug bans, match fixing, spot fixing, back stabbing teammates, gun shots fired on an international team, a dead coach under suspicious circumstances and finally, national captain and two ace fast bowlers were jailed abroad.

2010 brought 35-year-old Misbah-ul-Haq, the most un-Pakistani cricketer and an even more unlikely national captain, a complete antithesis of Imran Khan and his prodigies.

His first assignment as captain was a series against South Africa. Dubai International Cricket stadium was hosting its first Test match as team Misbah laid foundations to their fortress.

South Africa set a 451 run fourth inning target for Pakistan, who were bundled for 248 in the first innings. With four sessions to go, a Pakistan loss seemed inevitable.

Then, Mis|You (Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan) came together and provided what would be a template for Pakistan cricket for the next seven years. They refused to lose. Misbah batted 225 minutes and Younis Khan for 344 minutes. Both remained not out.

Younis, the man of the match, was making a come back after a one and a half year altercation (ban, retirement, fine, no one was quite sure, including Younis himself) with the administration and teammates.

Finally, Younis had a captain who gave him the liberty and respect he demanded, and a man Younis could respect and admire in return.

Mis|You went onto score 3,213 runs in partnership at an average of 68,36 – the highest by any Pakistani pair in Test history. They got a century stand 15 times, that puts them sixth in the all time list and makes them the only Pakistanis in the top 20.

Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar lead with twenty 100+ partnerships. But Mis|You were more than twice as likely to get a century partnership than the Indian legends.

Most Hundred Run Partnerships

2017, Roseau Dominca, it was the final Test against West Indies with the series on the line, with history on the line. With how Misbah was going to be remembered by many, especially by countrymen who disagree with his ways.

Day 2, Pakistan is 209/3 in 96 overs a friend messaged saying “Do we even want to win this? 1 of 51 balls!” Pakistan’s run-rate was 2.17 and Misbah’s strike rate 1,96. I did not reply to the message, I did not have an answer. At two runs an hour, nobody can.

My generation was raised with Imran’s style of play; we go weak in the knees for tare away fast bowlers and aggressive batsmen. We crave the flare and flamboyance the Pakistani teams have been associated with. Thus for many in Pakistan, Misbah’s gameplay has never hit the right chords.

Day 5, West Indies is 76/5 chasing 304 on a crumbling pitch. Amir is bowling and has one wide slip, gully and cover point. He has more men saving runs than he has men in catching positions. This ought to be a joke that a lot of Pakistanis don’t see the funny side of. A little later Ramiz Raja comments that this is a field someone would set with the scorecard at 300/3 on Day 2.

I get more messages asking why isn’t Misbah attacking? Again, I have no answer. I never truly have, but Misbah’s Test match results say, it has hardly ever mattered.

Roston Chase and the West Indian tail fight bravely and take the game to the wire.

I get another message from a friend. “Is there a chance or will Chase become Jimmy Adams?” Pakistan fumbles chances and close decisions go against them, 17-year-old wounds seem fresh again.

Second last over of the day and the same friend messages “Mis|You have clean intentions, maybe there will be a miracle.”

I am praying, so are millions of Pakistanis. But this prayer is not just for our country’s win; it is for the two men who have served Pakistan cricket more selflessly than anyone in a very long time.

10 men fit the frame around the bat as Yasir Shah wins the game. There are celebrations; Misbah hugs his teammates one by one, and then its time to hug Younis. It is the camaraderie of many years, one of highs and lows. And the hug is longer than any other that evening.

It reminded me of Javed and Imran at the MCG in 1992. In Pakistan, no one before, or since, had retired in such style, in any style.

The two duos belong to different eras and cannot truly be compared.

But if Imran and Javed instilled flash and fortitude in Pakistan cricket, Misbah and Younis showed the path of resilience and resolve.

While Imran and Javed were cocky and combative, Misbah and Younis were cool, calm and collected.

Misbah ended up with almost twice more wins than Imran as captain, and Younis with more hundreds than Javed and Imran combined.

In total, Mis|You have 50 Test wins, 26 of them in away tests and 15 of them outside Asia.

Their numbers are staggering, but it is not what defines them, it is not their legacy. To judge what MIS|YOU have done for Pakistan cricket through numbers is like gauging a Rolls Royce by its speed.

A V12 with 500 horses can go fast at will, but it’s the RR suspension that goes over ditches like it is on water. Only those who understand its beauty can appreciate the comfort, class and grace of its ride.

And if anyone doubts the power behind these engines, Misbah holds the record of the maximum number of sixes hit by any Pakistani batsman ever, 81. And Younis is number two with 70 sixes. No one else even touches 60.

But how do you weigh the respect that Mis|You earned back for Pakistan on English soil?

How do you measure the worth of dignity and honour they brought for Pakistan cricket?

They showed that a bunch of corrupt and divided match winners can win the odd game or two on their own, but it takes a well-knit team to become the world’s number one. When unity, faith and discipline meets hard work, it can create its own magic.

How can you quantify integrity? Especially in a place where it has been so scarce!

How can Mis|You ever be replaced?

I have the answer to that.

They cannot!

Who do you think would be able to replace Misbah and Younis? Are you a cricketing enthusiast, player, or trainer? Share your thoughts at blog@dawn.com

FryPan’s fusion qatlamas are a must-have for the Lahori foodie

The last time I went to a restaurant, I had objections to their approach: elaborate menu, trying to please everyone with various cuisines and no signature dishes. So, coincidentally, the restaurant that I ended up at recently addressed all these concerns.

FryPan had been on my mind since it opened up back in March. It’s a predominantly desi place, and there’s not much you can do with local food, but the reason I wanted to try it out was that they were serving ‘fusion qatlama’. And the pictures piqued my interest further.

Located in the back lanes of DD block in DHA facing a residential area, FryPan is a small eatery, with a congested ground floor that leads to the dining area upstairs. Upon entering, you encounter the live kitchen and on your way upstairs notice three frying pans hanging on the wall. Along with a friend, I went at lunch time and found the small dining area brightened up with sunlight flowing in through the glass window at the front.

The chili cheese bites were a pleasant start to the meal
The chili cheese bites were a pleasant start to the meal

Settling down, I knew I wanted the ‘qatlama’, at least. But we started off with the Chilli Cheese Bites that sounded tempting. These cubes of cottage cheese, crispy on the outside, soft inside and glazed with an in-house hot, spicy sauce mixed with slices of capsicum, onion and tomatoes were, obviously hot, but a delectable, light appetiser. A pleasant start to a meal.

The qatlamas are their specialty
The qatlamas are their specialty

Next, we ordered their specialty: the Mexican and Moroccan qatlamas. These eight-inch ‘pies’ are served in a frying pan and each is meant for two people. FryPan’s own take on the desi delicacy, these are nothing like the large, thin, pancake-like, oil-laden qatlamas you may have had outside shrines or at melas. This is an inspired dish, one that’s fresh, filling and delicious; two crispy layers, stuffed, and topped with traditional herbs and spices.

Look at the cheese in that Mexican qatlama
Look at the cheese in that Mexican qatlama

The Mexican qatlama is generously filled with grilled chicken, red sauce, capsicum, onion, tomatoes and olives. And if you have cheese added to it, it oozes out as you bite into it. The Moroccan qatlama is also filled with grilled chicken but mixed with a mildly spicy sauce and herbs. Both were served with tamarind sauce.

You may order the qatlamas expecting something on the lines of the traditional treat, and these may not be close to them, but what you get does tick all the right boxes: the filling is cooked well with the right amount of spice and sauce where needed, they’re fresh, crispy outside and appetising. And not a bad deal for Rs500. Full points to FryPan for introducing something unique.

Creamy chicken curry
Creamy chicken curry

We also tried two of their gravies: Butter Chicken comprised tender, boneless chunks of chicken cooked in smooth creamy, buttery gravy served with soft, fresh naan. The sweet and sour tinge from butter and cream made this one a mouth-watering treat.

Their handi is another popular dish like the hari mirch
Their handi is another popular dish like the hari mirch

The other gravy we ordered was Chicken Hari Mirch. This thick green curry with boneless chicken pieces cooked in green chillies and herbs had a distinct chilli taste, yet the amount of spice was appropriate and not overpowering. Something worth spending on, and not bad for Rs700 and Rs650 for both the gravies, respectively.

Light and crispy coconut naan
Light and crispy coconut naan

To cap the meal, we had their coconut and gurr (jaggery) naans, and I have to say they were scrumptious. The Coconut Naan was super light, thin, soft, filled with the right amount of grated coconut and thankfully not an overdose of sugar. Similarly, the Gurr Wala Naan was soft, thin and topped with a layer of light jaggery syrup. I expected it to be uncomfortably sweet, but, fortunately, this too was appropriately sweet and not overwhelming. Quite satisfactory desserts for someone with a massive sweet tooth as me.

FryPan has awesome drinks like this strawberry shake
FryPan has awesome drinks like this strawberry shake

Some other items on the menu included burgers, which frankly I wasn’t drawn towards sitting in a local restaurant, as well as biryani, papri chaat, kulfi and a wide range of drinks – mocktails, shakes, smoothies. If they manage to maintain quality and consistency, they have some delicious food to offer.

Tweaking the path to growth

Breaking low-growth shackles, the economy moved past the 5pc (in 2007-08) economic growth rate to an estimated 5.28pc — highest in around nine years.

The government is expected to spend more than Rs800 billion allocated for the public sector development programme by year end owing to higher than targeted foreign aid flows.

While there may be those pointing out that the GDP growth target of 5.7pc was missed except for some slippages on the manufacturing side, all other sectors particularly agriculture and services, either achieved or surpassed targets after a gap of many years.

This calls for more effort than complacency.

The current growth rate calls for more effort than complacency

The lower than targeted growth in manufacturing at 5.3pc instead of 6.1pc also appeared to be visible in, or because of, export losses and will need to be examined to determine whether international orders were on the lower side due to a global slow down or the unavailability or uncompetitiveness of exportable surplus.

The government estimates total exports at $21.7 billion during current year instead of the $24.8bn target.

On the whole, the industrial sector is estimated to have grown 5.02pc against a target of7.7pc and revised growth of 5.80pc last year. Here the manufacturing showed a 5.3pc growth instead of the targeted 6.1pc and 3.7pc growth last year. Large scale manufacturing posted a 4.9pc growth, well behind its 5.9pc target even though it performed better than last year’s 2.9pc increase.

Surprisingly, electricity generation and distribution and gas distribution showed a miserly 3.4pc growth against a target of 12.5pc and last year’s 8.4pc growth despite the government’s full focus on these areas.

Construction, another governmental priority, also increased by 9pc, against an increase of about 15pc last year, and missed the target of 13.2pc. Both these areas were also part of the CPEC focus that consumed more than Rs450bn during the year.

The government has flagged exports loss as a major challenge to tackle in the coming budget.

According to Planning Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, export decline was a major challenge for Pakistan because of a contraction in leading world markets like the United States. Nations with a focus on value addition were exceptions but Pakistan has been focused on commodity exports over the past 30 years, he said.

Therefore, allocations have been proposed for cluster based development in agriculture, mining and industry to secure growth of the entire supply chain of value addition, he said.

Based on this, exports are projected to grow by 6.4pc next year to $23.1bn against this year’s decline to $21.7bn. At the same time, the import growth target has been set at 9.6pc to $50 billion instead of $45.7bn this year.

As a result, next year’s trade deficit has been estimated at $26.9bn against $24bn this year while current account deficit would increase to $10.4bn compared to $8.3bn this year. As such, the current account deficit would amount to 3.1pc of GDP next year against 2.7pc of GDP this year.

In overall terms, the agriculture sector achieved its growth target of 3.5pc this year from a low of just a 0.3pc increase last year. Sub-sector important crops registered an increase of 4.1pc in its output, significantly higher than 2.5pc target and compared to a negative growth of 5.5pc last year.

Livestock subsector retained its last year growth rate of 3.4pc although it missed the 4pc growth target. Cotton ginning also showed a 5.59pc growth this year over last year when cotton output registered a 22pc decline.

The services sector as a whole grew by 6pc against a 5.7pc target when compared with last year’s 5.6pc growth. The financial sector led the growth with 11pc.

With more than Rs2.1 trillion public sector investments next year, the coming year’s economic growth target has been set at 6pc. In a major policy shift, devolved programmes like health and education would no more be part of federal PSDP ‘in accordance with the division of subjects between provincial and federal governments in the post 18th amendment scenario’.

A major focus of the upcoming development plan appeared to be allocations for non-core PSDP that included Rs45bn for the PM’s Global Sustainable Development Goals, Rs20bn for the PM’s Initiative, Rs25bn for gas development schemes, Rs45bn each for security enhancement and relief and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons.

As such, the core PSDP would be put at Rs866bn against Rs655bn of the current year while non-core development spending would amount to Rs135bn. A special allocation of Rs27bn has been made for completion of CPEC projects.

Ahsan Iqbal believed the 5.3pc growth rate had come about because of steps taken by his government towards macroeconomic stability, infrastructure development, energy supply and human resource development.

To achieve a 6pc GDP growth rate, the agriculture sector is targeted to maintain its current year growth rate of 3.5pc while important crops would grow by 2pc instead of 4.1pc this year.

Manufacturing sector is projected to grow by 6.4pc next year supported by a 6.3pc increase in LSM. The services sector was also expected to grow by 6.4pc instead of 6pc this year while livestock would slow down to 2pct growth instead of 3.4pc increase this year.

Completion of CPEC would continue to be the top objective of the next budget with Rs324bn allocation for National Highway Authority instead of Rs190bn of this year.

Another Rs61bn would go to power sector instead of Rs130bn this year, perhaps due to nearing completion of major generation projects. The total Rs385bn allocation for CPEC would also include foreign funding of Rs145bn.

Cricket: In Beowulf’s shadow

To be a hero in the Anglo-Saxon era, it was indispensable to be a warrior. Known for his courage, strength and honour, Beowulf, time and again, stood out amongst the rest of his contemporaries who largely fought for their personal gains. Having made his way to the top, Beowulf refused the kingship offered to him by the Danes after defeating Grendel and his mother against all odds thus ensuring that a hero must remain humble at all times,” reads a 10-year-old Pakistani boy from a book as he flips through the pages wondering why he is being taught the history of Anglo-Saxons in Class Four.

Getting home from school, he turns on the television and watches with disbelief as half of Pakistan’s batting line-up has been cleaned up by Sri Lanka at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and they are still trailing by two runs. The year is 2000. In comes a 23-year-old debutant batsman, who after failing to impress anyone in the first innings, looks jittery at the crease again. Little does anyone know, this jitteriness, upon arriving at the crease, would soon become his way of announcing himself to the world.

Chaminda Vaas runs in and bowls an inswinger first up. The ball strikes the batsman on the front foot. For a moment, Vaas thinks he has got him. But, the umpire thinks otherwise. The batsman survives, takes a long deep breath; and with him, so does the boy and the rest of Pakistan.

Younis Khan’s career spanned 17 years. Time enough for a boy to grow up

Welcome to international cricket, Younis Khan. Are you ready to face the music?

All eyes are on Younis again. This time Vaas bowls a half-volley, Younis pounces on it and hits, what would later become his trademark shot, the ball through the covers. The ball fails to reach the boundary though but the batsmen run four. The fitness is commendable. Despite it being a cold day in Rawalpindi, Younis has convinced his partner to run four on day number four of a Test match. With that shot Younis is off the mark and Pakistan now take a lead in the second innings.

Slowly but steadily, Younis with a little help from the other end, helps Pakistan get back on track. By the time he is dismissed, he has already scored a century on debut and given his team something to bowl at on a tricky surface. Pakistan go on to lose the match and eventually the series but they believe that in Younis Khan they have found a decent middle-order batsman.

The year is 2005. Pakistan are touring India after six years. The diplomatic ties between the two countries are growing stronger than ever. Both sides are playing each other for the second time in a bilateral series within a year after India thumped Pakistan in Pakistan only one year ago. This time it is Pakistan’s turn to return the favour.

The boy, who turned 15 only two months ago in January 2005, is now preparing for his SSC Part I exams. Younis Khan, on the other hand, is now an established middle-order batsman who averages 39.19 after 35 Test matches with seven 100s and ten 50s to his name. Younis has just played a blinder along with Mohammad Yousuf at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in the second Test match. It is a lost cause with Pakistan now on the verge of a second series defeat against India in a row.

The stage is set at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru for the final showdown. It is a must-win game for Pakistan, and for them to win the match and square the series, one of their players must rise to the big occasion. Who else if not Younis Khan? He arrives at the crease only in the second over of the match, a Pakistani batting ritual for players batting one-down, with which he has become accustomed by now.

From there on starts the grinding process. Younis Khan bats for a hefty 166.2 overs and spends 690 minutes at the crease along with other batsmen. By the time the Indians see him walking back to the pavilion, the scoreboard reads Younis Khan c Pathan b Harbhajan Singh 267 (504), but more importantly: Pakistan 569/9. However, the agony for the Indians doesn’t end there. He comes back to haunt them again in the second innings and scores a brisk 84 not out at a scoring rate of 85.71, ensuring that Pakistan win the match by 168 runs and square the series 1-1.

The year is 2010. The boy is finally enrolled in a university after a year’s gap and excited to begin his academic life again with a fresh start. Meanwhile, Younis Khan has been hailed as the T20 World Cup winning captain, accused of being a match-fixer, forced to handover the captaincy due to a players’ lobby working against him, banned over disciplinary issues, and recalled to the national side all within a year.

In a universe where everyone is going at a snail’s pace, Younis Khan is travelling at the speed of light. He has seen it all. He has experienced it all. It has been that kind of year for him. After missing out on the action for 12 months, he has returned to the Test side led by Misbah ul Haq in October 2010 against South Africa in UAE. This is also the first time the world witnesses the craftwork that Misbah and Younis would continue to display over the course of the next seven years.

South Africa win the toss and decide to bat first. After three-and-a-half days of play, they set a total that has never been chased before. Pakistan, historically known as nervous chasers, needs 451 to win the match and take the lead in the series. But, Pakistan are not playing to win the match here. They are also trying to rebuild their tarnished image after having been brought down to their knees after the fateful tour of England.

By the end of day four, Pakistan are left reeling at 109/2 with both their openers back in the pavilion. They need 342 more to win whereas South Africa need only eight wickets to wrap things up. From Pakistan’s perspective, it would take something special to win or draw the game. And it is something special that Younis Khan has in store for everyone. He scores yet another match-defining century and saves Pakistan for the zillionth time from what looked like certain defeat.

Forward to 2016. This is the first time Pakistan are touring England after the tour of six years ago, which everyone wants to forget. A lot has changed since then. Pakistan are no pushovers in Test cricket anymore. In fact, they are fighting for the ICC Test Championship mace. This is what six years have done to them. They are done with the image rebuilding process. Now it is time for them to show the world they mean business.

And they prove it straightaway. Pakistan beats England in the first Test match at Lord’s — the very same ground where their world came crashing down six years ago. Younis doesn’t contribute much with the bat but he is the one who is marshalling the troops during the team’s famous push-ups at Lord’s.

Pakistan go on to lose the next two matches with England leading the series 2-1 with one match to play. Younis hasn’t been able to go past the 33 that he made in the first innings of the first Test. Going into the final Test he is averaging 20.33. People are calling for his head. His selection in the final Test is met with criticism by most cricket pundits. Some even go on to claim he is finished and his reflexes have given up on him. But he is Younis Khan. He knows in his heart if Pakistan are to get the ICC Test Championship mace, he has to perform.

The match begins and England put on a show. Moeen Ali scores a gritty century and ensures England are past 300 after an early collapse. Pakistan, in reply, lose their first three wickets for just 127 runs, still trailing by 201 runs. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In walks a 39-year-old Younis Khan, still as eager to perform as he was when he made his debut. He bats and bats for an eternity. The crowd at The Oval rises on its feet to applaud when they see him finally walking back to the pavilion. They don’t applaud his innings only, they realise it is the last time they are seeing him at The Oval.

He scores 218 at a soring rate of 70.77 and ensures Pakistan take a lead of 214 in the second innings and beat England comprehensively by 10 wickets.

Pakistan square the series and go on to clinch the ICC Test Championship mace the following month. They get a hold of it largely due to the herculean efforts of Younis Khan but only a few words are said about it.

While the lives of others have evolved around him, Younis has kept it simple all these years. He goes out in the middle, scores a century, wins the game for Pakistan and quietly walks back to the pavilion.

Today, as Younis Khan hangs up his boots, the boy who has watched him while growing up during these past 17 years, has also grown up. He recalls the passage he read as a young schoolboy about courage, strength and honour, and Beowulf, who time and again, stood out amongst the rest of his contemporaries who largely fought for their personal gains.

“It was Younis all along!” he screams.

That screaming boy is me.

The writer is a member of staff.
He tweets @HumayounAK