Du Plessis or Amla likely to lead World XI team to Pakistan

The World XI team scheduled to play a three-match T20 series in Lahore in September will likely be led by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis or star batsman Hashim Amla, a private news channel reported on Tuesday.

Quoting a senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the channel reported that both top cricketers have consented to touring Pakistan with the ICC World XI and one of them will be the captain of the side. It said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) and PCB are currently processing financial and insurance matters for World XI players. The team will be announced as soon as the players sign their contracts, said the report.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, PCB Chairman Najam Sethi had said that 15 players from seven countries had agreed to visit Pakistan as part of the World XI squad.
“Players from England, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe have agreed to play the World XI tournament in Pakistan. India, however, has declined to send players,” he said.
Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower, who will coach the World XI, has been assigned to select the squad for the tour, which is financially supported by the ICC.
On June 24, the ICC board had agreed to support a three-game Twenty20 series between Pakistan and a World XI side to help revive international cricket in the country.
With the exception of a Zimbabwe tour two years ago, Pakistan has had to play all home matches outside of the country after a 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team wiped out the possibility of international level matches to be held in the country.

Khursheed lambastes low attendance in NA

ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in National Assembly (NA) Khursheed Shah on Tuesday strongly criticised the low attendance in the National Assembly by pointing at the empty seats of the ministers.

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq chaired the session during which Khursheed Shah expressed resentment over continuous absence of ministers in the assembly, saying it’s embarrassing to see a low quorum.

He suggested punishing government ministers for being absent from the assembly sessions, saying that 20 crore people are seeing these empty chairs and that “we were forced to stand on chairs on arriving late in the school”.

He continued that the “nation sends us to the Parliament and we break their trust”, adding there are 53 ministers in the assembly but no one is present. He said the nation was given the gift of the largest numbers of the cabinet on Independence Day but regretted that they were not taking the elected house seriously.

He lamented that it’s not the right way of democracy.

Shah, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), said he is ashamed to see such a low level of attendance in the assembly today, when the lawmakers were expected to discuss the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017.

He said when the prime minister comes to attend the assembly session, others follow suit.

Speaker directed, on the advice of Shah, PML-N chief whip Sheikh Aftab Ahmed to bring the backbenchers to the front.

In response, Ahmed, the parliamentary affairs minister, said he agrees with Shah’s arguments. “I request Shah to get used to this as four years have passed with similar attendance and only nine months remain,” said Ahmed.

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq directed Ahmed to ensure the presence of lawmakers and ministers of the ruling party.

Sheikh Aftab assured that he would write letters and personally speak to the minister to attend the session.

Hamza Shehbaz leaves for London ahead of NA-120 by-poll

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and nephew of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, left for London Tuesday morning ahead of the NA-120 by-election in Lahore.

Speaking to the party’s core committee mandated to run the election campaign in the NA-120 by-poll, Hamza, MNA from Lahore, said the party’s candidate Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is like his own mother and he considers her election his own.

Hamza informed the party’s local leadership that he will monitor the NA-120 by-election campaign from abroad, further adding that the party workers should leave no stone unturned in ensuring victory in the upcoming by-poll.

Earlier, reports suggested the PML-N chief removed his nephew as in-charge of the NA-120 election campaign.

According to sources, Nawaz had called a meeting in Jati Umrah, where he asked federal minister Pervaiz Malik to take over charge of the election campaign for his wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

Reportedly, Malik had asked Nawaz to let Hamza run the election campaign but his request was denied by the former prime minister.

Sources added that, after his removal, Hamza said that he is a political worker and would continue his political activities. However, later Hamza expressed his displeasure and signalled to his close confidants that he would leave the country during the election campaign.

Gen Zubair calls on PM Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mahmood Hayat on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad.

During the meeting, professional matters pertaining to armed forces were discussed.

The prime minister hailed the contributions and sacrifices of armed forces for the defence of the country and elimination of terrorism.

Meanwhile, PML-N senators called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad.

During the meeting with the PM, the senators discussed matters related to legislative business and developmental activities undertaken by the government in different parts of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said the government firmly believed in rule of law, upholding the democratic ideals and strengthening institutions in the country.

He said that the government particularly focused on timely completion of much-needed development projects catering the needs of the people.

Abbasi said that the government policies had projected a positive image of the country at international level; thus restoring the confidence of the international community, especially foreign investors.