Pakistan lacks consistency, defeat to Zimbabwe shocking: Intikhab Alam

LAHORE: Former Test captain Intikhab Alam has expressed his surprise over the shocking 19-run defeat of Pakistan at the hands of a much weaker Zimbabwe in the second T20I in Harare and has urged the players to show consistency and the coaches to put together the best possible combination in view of upcoming T20 World Cup.

Talking to Dawn after Pakistan’s humiliating defeat which leveled the three mat­ches series 1-1, Intikhab said the team lac­ked consistency and until it was not achie­ved, Pakistan would face several problems while facing top teams of the world like England, India, New Zealand and Australia.

“It is not a good sign that despite our coaches working with this team for a long time now, they could not analyse the real strength of their players and are still experimenting,” he lamented.

“Look, other countries show more consistency in all departments as their selectors pick the players after thorough consideration,” observed Intikhab. “But we are doing experiments in every match and that is an evidence that you don’t know what exactly you have to achieve and you select players randomely and hope for a fluke performance from them.”

He said though Pakistan had won against South Africa in the ODIs as well as the T20 series, there were many loopholes still in the performance especially in middle-order. He added that the tour selection committee had failed to stabilise the middle-order combination.

“The team management should give clear targets to every player that what it wants from the openers and other players and similar targets should be set for the bowlers,” said the former skipper. “In T20 cricket every team needs to score 55 to 65 runs in the first six overs and this target should be met if you want to set a big total for the rivals,” Intikhab said.

He also criticized captain Babar Azam for winning the toss and electing to field first. “You have won the last series against a big team of South Africa but such a decision of opting to field first shows you are defensive against a rather weak side like Zimbabwe,” he said. He also pointed out that the first T20I was also a close game and had Zimbabwe held a couple of catches, the story would have been different.

He agreed that pitches and weather in Zimbabwe were different to South Africa but “as professionals a player have to be adjusted with playing conditions beca­use this is demand of international cricket.”

Intikhab advised the Pakistan team to remove all the flaws before the World Cup which is not very far and the time is running short. He admitted that the team management was relying more on the players who performed in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which was not an ideal strategy.

“For every country the performance in the domestic cricket system is most important in the selection of the national team as leagues like PSL are not the real yardstick of assessing a player’s strength. If the selectors are relying on the PSL, then it is a mistake as we have to make our domestic system stronger and groom the players for tough and pressure games in international cricket,” he concluded.

Published in Dawn

World Bank support critical for fiscal consolidation, says Tarin

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin said on Friday that continued support of the World Bank (WB) as a major development partner was critical to attaining fiscal consolidation, improved service delivery and good governance in Pakistan.

The minister was talking to Country Director of the World Bank Group (WBG) Najy Benhassine who made a courtesy call on the former here at the Finance Division.

The minister lauded the pivotal role being played by the World Bank in strengthening governance and service delivery through institutional reforms and human capital development in Pakistan over the years. He appreciated the swift and timely assistance extended by the WBG for stimulating economic recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Tarin reiterated the firm resolve of the government in achieving macro-economic stability and sustained economic growth by following a consultative process.

He apprised the country director that the first Economic Advisory Council (EAC) meeting had decided to work towards reinvigorating the productive sectors of the economy.

The EAC would facilitate sound economic planning by chalking out short-, medium- and long-term plans, with firm timelines, to set the course for an inclusive and sustained economic growth, he added.

On the occasion, the WBG country director felicitated the finance minister on assuming his new responsibility and thanked the government of Pakistan for continuous support and facilitation in completion of ongoing projects and programmes.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Aamir Ali Khan on Friday updated Mr Tarin about recent steps being taken by the commission to facilitate businesses through digitization of regulatory processes and other such initiatives.

During a call-on meeting with the federal minister here at the Finance Division, the SECP chairman briefed him about working of the SECP as the financial regulatory agency to encourage investment and foster economic growth and prosperity in the country.

The federal minister appreciated the SECP and affirmed the resolve to extend full support for promoting an enabling business-friendly environment in the country, according to a press statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

Published in Dawn

CAA extends inbound travel restrictions till 30th

RAWALPINDI: As Pakistan introduced a stricter travel ban on 23 countries amid the rising Covid-19 cases involving new variants, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) further extended travel restrictions to April 30.

In the wake of a surge in Covid-19 cases in India, the federal government on April 19 placed India in category C countries and banning all chartered and private aircraft flights to Pakistan from that country.

A fresh notification issued by the CAA containing the list of countries categorised as A, B and C was shared by the regulator with 20 countries placed in category A. It also increased the number of countries in category C to 23 after addition of India in it.

The CAA said the revised list that was effective from April 21 to April 24 has been extended to April 30.

According to previous notification effective from March 23, there will be a complete ban on inbound travel to Pakistan from category C countries, including withdrawal of exemptions earlier provided to Pakistani passport and Nicop holders.

The counties included in category C were South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Seychelles, Somalia, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela and India.

The CAA said travelers from 20 countries falling in category A did not require Covid-19 test before entry into Pakistan. All countries not specified in category A and C fall in category B.

The category A countries are: Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri-Lanka, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam.

The CAA said travelers from countries not specified in category A required Covid-19 PCR test before commencement of travel to Pakistan (maximum 72 hours old).

On the other hand, Pakistan International Airlines has suspended its flights to Canada after the Canadian Aviation Authority imposed a ban on all passengers and cargo flights from Pakistan for 30 days and started making arrangements to bring back its 16-member crew stuck there.

A PIA spokesman said the crew members will be evacuated either through a dedicated cargo flight or through interline arrangements.

Published in Dawn,

SECP told to sell Nawaz’s unclaimed shares, properties

• Accountability court seeks compliance report from authorities
• Objection petitions filed against some attached properties

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court has directed the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) as well as the relevant authorities to sell unclaimed shares and properties of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and deposit the proceeds with the state treasury.

Accountability Judge Syed Asghar Ali allowed the application filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), seeking directives to the authorities concerned to sell the attached properties of Nawaz Sharif under section 88 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

The court order stated: “Perusal of record revealed that the accused namely Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has been declared as proclaimed offender (PO)…this court vide order dated October 01, 2020 ordered the attachment of properties of accused.”

According to the order, six objection petitions had been filed before the court with respect to some of the attached properties. However, there are certain attached properties against which no claims have been preferred, it said, adding that “Mr Sharif has not surrendered before this court even after lapse of six months…therefore, in view of the available record and in order to procure the attendance of the accused, the application filed by NAB is allowed”.

“Concerned authorities on whose disposal of the attached properties are hereby directed under section 88 of the CrPC to sell out unclaimed attached properties while the chairman SECP is directed to sell out the attached shares of the accused in different companies within 30 days,” the order said.

According to the judicial record, Mr Sharif owns 467,950 shares in Mohammad Bakhsh Textile Mills, 343,425 in Hudaibya Paper Mills, 22,213 in Hudaibya Engineering Co and 48,606 shares in Ittefaq Textile Mills.

The deputy commissioners of Lahore and Sheikhupura have been directed to sell immovable properties within 60 days which included House No. 135 Upper Mall Lahore and 88.4 kanals of agriculture land in Ferozwattan in Sheikhupura district.

The excise and taxation offices of Islamabad and Lahore have been directed to take possession of vehicles with the assistance of the local police and sell them within 60 days.

The vehicles are Toyota Land Cruiser Model 2010, Mercedes Model 1973, Mercedes Benz Model 1991, Tractor Model 2011 and Tractor Model 2015.

The court directed the Manager MCB New Garden Town, Lahore, Standard Chartered Bank, Gulberg Islamic Branch, and Wapda Town Lahore, Manager Allied Bank New Garden Town and Manager Bank Al-Falah, Y-Block Defence Branch Lahore, to transfer the available funds into the accounts of Mr Sharif in favour of the state treasury within 30 days.

There are Rs88,150 available in MCB, Rs30,000 in two branches of Standard Chartered Bank, EUR566, $698 and GBP498 in three other branches of the same bank, Rs397,810 in Allied Bank and Rs88,704 in Bank Al-Falah.

The court sought compliance report from the above mentioned authorities.

The judge also mentioned two properties — 12 acres of agriculture land (guava orchard) in Mouza Manak Lahore and 24 kanals of fish farm in Mouza Badokisani, Lahore — since the attachment was objected to by Mohammad Ashraf and Umair Razzaq, respectively.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz has already challenged the attachment of properties of the Sharif family in Murree and Changla Gali with other properties frozen in connection with the Toshakhana reference.

Maryam Nawaz filed the objection petition against the attachment of House No. 24-A&B, III, Hall Road, Murree, and a house in Changla Gali, Abbottabad, in the Toshakhana case.

She stated in the petition that both houses were owned by her late mother, Kulsoom Nawaz. She said the two houses had been purchased much before the period mentioned in the reference and after the death of the owner of the houses in question, the ownership devolved upon legal heirs as per the judgement and decree dated May 14, 2019, and the houses were undivided properties in the joint ownership of all legal heirs.

She requested the court that the order dated Oct 1, 2020 was liable to be corrected under section 88 (6A) of the Criminal Procedure Code and the above-mentioned properties may be released from the attachment.

According to the Toshakhana reference, former president Asif Ali Zardari had obtained vehicles by paying only 15 per cent of the price of luxury vehicles. Out of three vehicles, he gifted a 1991 model Mercedes to Mr Sharif.

The National Accountability Bureau alleged that former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif by dishonestly and illegally relaxing the procedure for acceptance and disposal of gifts vide a Cabinet Division memorandum of 2007.

The Accountability Court-III of Islamabad had in May last year issued non-bailable warrants for Nawaz Sharif for not attending the court proceedings.

Published in Dawn,

50 TLP activists shifted to Jhelum jail from Pindi

RAWALPINDI: As many as 50 workers and activists of the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were shifted to Jhelum from Adiala jail on Friday.

According to sources, police have arrested 176 individuals due to their alleged involvement in the recent violent demonstrations, and detained 58 others under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance. The sources said out of the arrested people, 50 were shifted to the district jail Jhelum.

In the Rawalpindi district, 13 FIRs have been registered against the TLP activists on various charges ranging from inciting people against the government and violating the Covid-19 SOPs.

Though the government had announced to release all those detained under the MPO, none of the detainees was released from the Adiala jail on Friday.

Meanwhile, a sub-inspector of Islamabad police posted to the Tarnol police station was detained by the Rawalpindi police after he intercepted the convoy of a judge of Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on the way to Taxila on Thursday.

According to police sources, the sub-inspector signaled the motorcade of the judge to stop near Sangjani but it continued its journey on the fast track.

The sub-inspector chased the convoy in a Mehran car and stopped it and used harsh words with the staff members.

However, after the operator of the judge complained to the Rawalpindi traffic police, the sub-inspector was intercepted and shifted to the Taxila police station.

Later, he was allowed to go on the directive of the judge. The judge said he would ask the Islamabadpolice chief to take departmental action against the official.

Published in Dawn,