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India

3 Killed, 15 Injured In Building Explosion In Karachi | Gulshan-e-Iqbal

#karachiblast #Pakistan #Karachi The nature of the blast has not yet been ascertained.

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India

Pakistan will respond to any Indian aggression: Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that Pakistan will respond to any “misadventure or aggression” by Indian forces against it.

Chairing the National Security Committee meeting in Islamabad, Imran Khan alleged that India has used “cluster bombs” on civilians along the Line of Control and called on the UN Security Council to take note of the “international threat to peace and security”.

He said that Pakistan “will always stand with Kashmiris and will not be deterred from its just stance based on United Nations Security Council’s resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people”.

Imran Khan’s move comes in the wake of US President Donald Trump renewing his offer to mediate in the Kashmir issue, which India has firmly rejected.

India has firmly stated that any discussion on Kashmir, if warranted, will be only with Pakistan, and only bilaterally.

Imran Khan urged the world leaders and international bodies to take notice of the “irresponsible, unilateral and irrational behaviour of Indian leadership”.

The meeting was briefed on India’s “deplorable suppression” of people of Jammu and Kashmir, plans to use the “bogey of terrorism for political ends”, use of “cluster munitions against civilians to provoke Pakistana and “use of disinformation to confuse the real intent which is changing the demographic structure and the internationally recognized disputed status” of Indian Jammu and Kashmir.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Army Chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, CJSC, Naval Chief, Air Chief, head of the Inter-Services Intelligence and others were present in the meeting.

Foreign Minister Qureshi on Sunday contacted the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al Othaimeen and discussed “increasing Indian aggression in Kashmir” with him, reported Radio Pakistan.

Earlier, Qureshi chaired an emergency consultative meeting at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, and urged the international community and world human rights watchdogs to take immediate notice of the situation.

Earlier, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor released a statement, claiming that Indian Army had used “cluster ammunition” to target the civilian population across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistani Jammu and Kashmir in violation of the Geneva Convention and international law, Pakistani media reported.

It said the Indian military, on the intervening night of July 30 and 31, targeted citizens including women and children in Neelum Valley through artillery using cluster ammunition – resulting in the killing of two civilians, including a boy and injuries to 11 other people, according to the ISPR statement.

Maj. Gen. Ghafoor termed as “blatant lies and staged dramas” the Indian Army’s claim that it has foiled an infiltration attempt by a Pakistani BAT (Border Action Team) squad in Keran Sector where 5-7 Pakistani army regulars were eliminated and their bodies are lying on the LoC.

Later, Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said curtailing of the Amarnath Yatra and deployment of additional troops in Jammu and Kashmir on “baseless pretexts” were “designed to divert the world’s attention from attempts to change the demographic structure of Indian Jammu and Kashmir and unabating state-led oppression and egregious human rights violations”.

(IANS)

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India

Over 500 Sikh pilgrims return from Pakistan by road

A ‘nagar kirtan’ comprising 500 Sikh pilgrims returned to India from Pakistan via road on Thursday after paying obeisance at the historic Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev.

The ‘nagar kirtan’ or religious procession was associated with the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, which would begin on a large scale in both the countries in November.

Two days ago, the Indian pilgrims had entered Pakistan’s Punjab province to commence their procession from the Nankana Sahib.

On the Indian side, a sea of devotees assembled to receive the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book, along with the pilgrims.

As the procession amidst religious fervour entered India from the Wagah border crossing, ‘Panj Pyaras’ received the Guru Granth Sahib.

A red carpet welcome by showering flower petals was given by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), known as the mini-parliament of Sikhs, where Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, state Cabinet Ministers O.P. Soni and Charanjit Singh Channi, and local MP Gurjit Aujla were among others present on the occasion.

Akali Dal MLA Manjinder S. Sirsa, who is the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Committee President, was leading the Indian pilgrims.

Besides Sirsa, Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, SGPC President Gobind Singh Longowal and Chief Secretary Roop Singh, were accompanying the Sikh devotees.

The devotees crossed the Wagah-Atari joint check post and were accorded a warm welcome. They reached Attari, some 28 km from here, after also paying obeisance at the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab Province.

The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, originally known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, is among the holy shrines which is believed to be the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev.

Located on the banks of Ravi river, the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara was built to commemorate the site where Guru Nanak settled after his missionary work.

Starting from Nankana Sahib, the ‘nagar kirtan’ will visit five ‘takhts’ (temporal seats) of the Sikh faith — Akal Takht in Amritsar, Takht Kesgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, Takht Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo, Takht Patna Sahib in Patna and Takht Hazur Sahib in Nanded in Maharashtra, before reaching Punjab’s Sultanpur Lodhi in November to mark the 550th birth anniversary.

The Pakistan government is likely to allow pilgrims from all over the world to Sikh historical shrines like Panja Sahib, Dera Sahib and Nankana Sahib during the celebration in November, a SGPC official told IANS here.

“Pakistan feels honoured that celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak are being started from Nankana Sahib,” the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi said in a statement when the Sikh pilgrims left for Pakistan.

Pakistan last month agreed in principle to allow visa-free, year-long travel to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara for Indian passport holders and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card holders via the upcoming 4.2-km-long corridor which is scheduled to be opened by October 31, a week before the celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Currently, the devotees from the Indian side can pay obeisance by seeing through binoculars the white-coloured Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara located in Pakistan.

(IANS)

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India

Door open to repairing ties with Pakistan: White House

As Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan reached Washington on a three-day official visit, a senior US administration official indicated that Washington may consider making some “changes to the suspension” of US security assistance to Pakistan if Islamabad re-adjusts some of its policies.

Briefing journalists on Khan’s visit, the official also said that by extending an invitation to the Pakistani leader to visit the White House, the US has sent a message to Islamabad that the “door is open to repairing relations” and building an enduring partnership.

“By and large that security assistance is still suspended,” said the official while responding to a question on the continued suspension of US security assistance to Pakistan, the Dawn reported.

The Trump administration suspended security assistance to Pakistan in January 2018, and this marks the first time a US official has discussed the possibility – even though remote – of removing that suspension if Pakistan takes certain measures.

“We will consider changing that suspension on certain items if Pakistan meets our security concerns both in Afghanistan, and with regard to some of the externally focus groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed,” the official told reporters during a conference call.

But so far, there “has been no change to that suspension and security assistance,” the official added.

The official also said that to avail the opportunity for restoring a close relationship with Washington, Islamabad will have to “change its policies” towards terrorism and militancy.

Khan, who began his official engagements soon after his arrival on Saturday, goes to the White House on July 22 for an extensive three-hour visit, which includes a one-on-one meeting with US President Donald Trump and two meetings and a working lunch with the President’s team.

The senior Trump administration official said that Trump will be most interested in encouraging Pakistan to assist in the Afghan peace process and he hopes that “the discussions will be productive”.

The White House also sees the visit as an opportunity to incentivise Pakistan to use its leverage on the Taliban to advance the Afghan peace process.

“We see that this visit could incentivise Pakistan to continue down the path that they have started. They’ve facilitated contacts to Taliban and met some of our requests with regards to the Afghan peace process,” the official said.

“We’re at a critical juncture and we need to see more cooperation from Pakistan. They need to use their full leverage in this endeavour. And so, we see this visit as an opportunity to encourage them to do more,” said the official.

Apparently, Afghanistan will be the main item on the US agenda and Washington seems clear that it needs Pakistan’s support to achieve this objective.

“We are calling on Pakistan for assistance in moving the peace process forward,” said the official, adding that the US “appreciates initial steps that Pakistan has taken to facilitate” the US-Taliban talks but at this “critical juncture in the peace process,” it needs more support.

“We are asking Pakistan to pressure the Taliban into a permanent ceasefire and participation in intra-Afghan negotiations that would include the Afghan government,” the official said.

The US would also ask Pakistan to take irreversible action against terrorist and militant groups, and to facilitate peace talks with the Taliban for an intra-Afghan dialogue, the official added.

For the US, the purpose of the visit “is to press for concrete cooperation from Pakistan to advance the Afghan peace process, and to encourage Pakistan to deepen and sustain its recent effort to crack down on terrorist and militants within its territory,” the official said.

(IANS)

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India

Hafiz Saeed arrested in Pakistan, sent to judicial remand

One of the most wanted terrorists in India, the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attack and several cases of terror crime in the country and Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested in Pakistan by the counter terrorism unit on Wednesday and sent to judicial remand, media reported.

Hafiz Saeed who has several cases pending against him was travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore to appear before an anti-terrorism court to seek pre-arrest bail when he was taken into custody by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

A CTD official told media Hafiz Saeed had been presented in an anti-terrorism court and sent to prison. He added that the charge sheet against Saeed will be presented soon. The official further said that a case against Hafiz Saeed had been lodged under the anti-terrorism act, Pakistani media quoted Reuters as saying.

“The main charge is that he is gathering funds for banned outfits, which is illegal,” Punjab Chief Minister’s spokesman Shahbaz Gill was quoted as saying.

The CTD has been directed to complete its investigation and submit a charge sheet to the court in the stipulated time.

On July 3, top 13 leaders of the banned JuD, including Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The CTD, which registered the cases in five cities of Punjab, declared that the JuD was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc.

These non-profit organisations were banned in April as the CTD during detailed investigations found that they had links with the JuD and its top leadership, accused of financing terrorism by building huge assets/properties from the collected funds in Pakistan.

On Monday, a Lahore High Court division bench sought replies from the Ministry of Interior, Punjab home department and CTD on a petition of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and his seven aides challenging an FIR carrying a charge of terror financing.

Also on Monday, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore had granted pre-arrest bail to the JuD chief and three others in a case pertaining to the outfit’s alleged illegal use of land for its seminary, against surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each.

(IANS)

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India

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: 4th time ICJ to adjudicate on India vs Pakistan

The Kulbhushan Jadhav case is the fourth time the International Court of Justice would be adjudicating a case involving India and Pakistan. In the three previous cases, the ICJ has been careful in not passing judgments that could be seen as one-sided.

The last time the two countries approached the ICJ was in September 1999, when Pakistan approached the top UN court over the shooting down of a Pakistani maritime reconnaissance aircraft Atlantique by the Indian Air Force(IAF) in the Kutch region on August 10, 1999, killing all 16 naval personnel on board. Pakistan claimed the plane was brought down in its air space and sought $60 million in damages from India for the incident.

On June 21, 2000, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled (14-2) that it lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute brought by Pakistan against India.

On November 19, 1999, the Court had decided that the written pleadings would first address the question of the jurisdiction of the Court in the case.

Pakistan maintained that Indian air force helicopters violated its territorial integrity by visiting the aircraft’s crash site inside Pakistan territory, in an attempt to pick up items from the debris immediately after the incident.

Pakistan also claimed that India’s actions constituted breaches of the 1991 Agreement on Prevention of Air Space Violations between both countries for which India must bear international responsibility.

Pakistan asked the Court to hold that India is obligated to make reparations to it for the loss of the navy aircraft and to the heirs of the Pakistani servicemen.

India had argued that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter, citing an exemption it had filed in 1974 to exclude disputes between India and other Commonwealth states, and disputes covered by multilateral treaties.

The case was thrown out by the ICJ on the issue of jurisdiction and not on merits. Both parties had agreed that the question of jurisdiction would be decided first and only then would the issue of merits be taken up.

Notwithstanding its rejection of jurisdiction, the ICJ reminded both parties that the international obligations which they have undertaken still require that they seek a peaceful settlement of their disputes in good faith, including in particular the dispute arising out of the shooting down of the helicopter.

In May 1973, Pakistan filed proceedings against India concerning 195 Pakistani prisoners of war whom, according to Pakistan, India proposed to hand over to Bangladesh, which was planning to try them for acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

India stated that there was no legal basis for the Court’s jurisdiction in the matter and that Pakistan’s application was without legal effect. The Court held public sittings to hear observations on the subject. India was not represented at the hearings.

In July 1973, Pakistan asked the Court to postpone further consideration of its request in order to facilitate negotiations with India. Before any written pleadings were filed, Pakistan told the Court that negotiations had taken place with India and the issue had been resolved bilaterally. Islamabad requested the Court to discontinue the proceedings.

In February 1971, India approached the top UN court following an incident involving the diversion to Pakistan of an Indian aircraft, which led to New Delhi suspending flights over its territory by Pakistan civil aircraft.

Pakistan told the court that this was in breach of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation and the International Air Services Transit Agreement and filed a complaint with the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

India raised objections to the jurisdiction of the Council, but these were rejected, after which India appealed to the Court. During the written and oral proceedings, Pakistan contended that the Court was not competent to hear the appeal.

In its Judgment of August 18, 1972, the Court found that it was competent to hear the appeal of India. It decided that the ICAO Council was competent to deal with the Application filed by India and the Complaint by Pakistan, and accordingly dismissed the appeal by India.

(IANS)

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India

Pakistan imported medicines worth Rs 136 cr from India in 2019

Pakistan imported medicines and vaccines worth (Pakistani) Rs 136,99,87,000 from India in 2019, its Health Ministry has said.

Express News reported that the imported medicines included life-saving drugs, tablets, syrups and vaccines.

According to figures announced by the Pakistan Health Ministry in Senate on Friday, the country imported drugs and vaccines worth (Pakistani) Rs 15,43,17,000 in January; Rs 22,32,47,000 in February; Rs 19,37,37,000 in March; Rs 11,10,42,000 in April; Rs 18,96,47,000 in May and Rs 4,89,12,000 from India.

Demanding that the senate be informed about which medicines and vaccines were being imported from India, Senator Abdul Rehman Malik said the government must curb the shortage of snake venom serum and rabies vaccines in Pakistan by making it mandatory for local manufacturers to produce these vaccines in addition to expensive medical products.

“It’s a pity that medicines are being imported from India and China when Pakistan is self-sufficient in medical raw material. Vaccines made here would be much more affordable,” he added.

(IANS)

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World

IMF package to bring $38bn from other creditors: Pakistan

Pakistan has welcomed the $6 billion bailout package approved by the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying it would lead to inflows of $38 billion from other lenders in three years.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the approval of 39-month reform programme by the IMF executive board without opposition from any member would provide stability to Pakistan, Dawn news reported.

“The board has given us trust to prove ourselves good partners and deliver on reform promises.”

Shaikh said that the Asian Development Bank would disburse about $2.1 billion out of $3.4 billion agreed funds to Pakistan this year and the World Bank had also agreed to additional assistance purely for budgetary support.

Discussions with the World Bank were in progress for assistance only for the purpose of government expenditure, he added.

Giving a breakdown of $38 billion expected financial support from lenders other than IMF, the Adviser said about $8.7 billion funds had been lined up against project loans, $4.2 billion for programme loans, about $14 billion of rollover loans and up to $8 billion in commercial loans.

In a statement the IMF’s new chief David Lipton hoped that Pakistan’s reforms programme could bring economic stability and catalyse international financial support for the country, Dawn reported.

“The programme aims to tackle longstanding policy and structural weaknesses, restore macroeconomic stability, catalyse significant international financial support, and promote strong and sustainable growth in Pakistan,” he said.

The IMF also released a brief assessment of the current economic situation in Pakistan, along with a summary of the IMF programme for the country, noting that the Pakistani economy was at a critical juncture.

(IANS)

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India

Pakistan rejects US report on ‘forced conversions of non-Muslims’

Pakistan has rejected the recent US report on religious freedom violations in the country, terming it “unsubstantiated” and “biased”.

According to the report issued by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), religious freedom conditions in Pakistan “generally trended negative” in 2018.

“During the year, extremist groups and societal actors continued to discriminate against and attack religious minorities, including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadis, and Shi’a Muslims,” the report said.

The report’s findings revealed that the government of Pakistan failed to “adequately protect these groups, and it perpetrated systematic, ongoing, egregious religious freedom violations”.

The report further said that abusive enforcement of the country’s strict blasphemy laws continued to result in the “suppression of rights for non-Muslims, Shi’a Muslims, and Ahmadis…Forced conversions of non-Muslims continued despite the passage of the Hindu Marriage Act, which recognises Hindu family law”.

Based on these particularly severe violations, USCIRF again finds in 2019 that Pakistan should be designated as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), the US Commission recommended.

However, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry has dismissed the report.

“The report’s segment on Pakistan is a compendium of unsubstantiated and biased assertions. As a matter of principle, Pakistan does not support such national reports making observations on the internal affairs of sovereign States. Pakistan, therefore, rejects these observations,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday.

“Pakistan is of the view that all countries are obliged to promote religious harmony and have a duty to protect their citizens in accordance with national laws and international norms,” it added

(IANS)

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World

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Pakistan

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Pakistan on Thursday on a two-day official visit to the country on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Afghan President is being accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising key ministers and senior officials, reports Geo News.

President Ghani will hold talks with Khan and his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi during his visit. The talks between the two sides will focus on strengthening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas including political, trade, economic, security, peace and reconciliation, education as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Ghani on Friday will travel to Lahore where he will participate in a business forum attended by business representatives from both countries.

In Lahore, he will also offer prayers at the Mughal-era Badshahi Mosque.

This is Ghani’s third visit to Pakistan and follows the recently held first review session of the landmark Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).

President Ghani had earlier undertaken a bilateral visit to Pakistan in November 2014 and subsequently came to attend the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process (HoA) Ministerial Conference in Islamabad in December 2015.

Ghani’s visit comes ahead of the seventh round of peace talks between US and Taliban negotiators slated to be held on Saturday. The venue is currently not known.

(IANS)

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Graft case: Pakistan court rejects Nawaz Sharif’s plea for bail

The Islamabad High Court on Thursday turned down former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s bail plea on medical grounds in a corruption case.

A two-member bench pronounced the verdict after hearing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader’s counsel and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor, Dawn newspaper reported.

Sharif was sentenced in December 2018 to seven years in prison in the Al Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference. He was jailed for failing to explain the ownership of the steel factory in the name of one of his children.

The case was filed in the wake of the apex court’s July 28, 2017 order in the Panama Papers case.

During Thursday’s hearing, Sharif’s lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed informed the court that the former Premier was seeking suspension of sentence and subsequent release for medical reasons.

Haris said that “more than 60 per cent health condition of Sharif is in danger” and that he needs further treatment.

The counsel said that treatment was also essential to reduce the mental stress Sharif was facing in jail.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani of the bench asked the counsel if the doctors had declared that Sharif’s treatment was not possible in the country.

The counsel replied in the affirmative, adding that the former Premier’s health was deteriorating day by day.

In July 2018, Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison in another case of corruption related to a four-storey luxury property in London while his daughter was given seven years.

The three-time Prime Minister was disqualified from holding office in 2017 for not revealing remuneration he received from a company owned by a son, an irregularity revealed after the publication of the Panama Papers.

(IANS)

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London, When Ranveer Singh hugged, consoled a Pakistan fan

Ranveer Singh’s on-field hug of Indian skipper Virat Kohli is not the only moment that created a social media frenzy. The Bollywood star also embraced a Pakistan fan and told him not be upset after his country’s team lost to India in a ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match in Manchester.

From making his commentary debut alongside cricket stars Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag to joining crowd and cheering for team India and taking selfies with the Indian players, Ranveer’s energetic and fun avatar at the Old Trafford stadium made the match even more special for the spectators.

The men in blue defeated Pakistan by 89 runs (by DLS method) on Sunday. After the match, a lot of Paksitani fans started criticising their team for poor performance. One disheartened fan grabbed Ranveer’s attention.

In a video that is doing the rounds on the Internet, Ranveer is seen hugging the Pakistan fan.

“Put it there, man, put it there. There’s always a next time! Don’t be disheartened. You played well. Boys are dedicated, committed, professionals and they will be back,” the actor said in the video.

The man in the video is London-based Aatif Nawaz. He tweeted: “Indian fans are nice. Thanks Ranveer,” he tweeted alongside the video.

On the work front, Ranveer is currently shooting for his film “’83” — based on India’s iconic win in the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

 (IANS)

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Sports

India romp to 89 run win over Pakistan in World Cup clash

India on Sunday beat Pakistan by 89 runs (DLS method) in their rain-interrupted 2019 ICC World Cup clash at Manchester’s Old Trafford stadium.

Put to bat first after Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss, India, powered by Rohit Sharma’s 140 (113), set a target of 337. Pakistan, in reply, reached 166/6 in 35 overs before rain caused a temporary halt to the proceedings. On resumption, their revised target was 302 and they had to chase it down in 40 overs. Only managing to reach 212/6, they fell to their third defeat of the tournament.

Pakistan were dealt an early blow in the chase when Vijay Shankar dismissed Imam-ul-Haq off his very first ball of the match. Brought on to finish the fifth over after Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled up with a hamstring injury after bowling the fourth ball, Shankar sent in a full delivery that swung back into the left-handed Imam and hit his pads. Imam decided not to review the decision and Pakistan lost their first wicket inside the first five overs.

Shankar is the third bowler to have taken a wicket off his very first ball in the World Cup.

However, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam temporarily steadied the ship for Pakistan with a 104-run stand for the second wicket. The pair struggled for runs early on but soon found their rhythm and pegged back the Indian pacers. The breakthrough eventually came only after Virat Kohli introduced the spinners.

Kuldeep Yadav, bowling the 24th over, disturbed the stumps behind Babar with a tossed-up delivery that drifted away from the 24-year-old.

In his next over, he got Zaman and it was all downhill for Pakistan from there.

Hardik Pandya came in then and dismissed veterans Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik off consecutive balls in the 27th over. Sarfraz Ahmed then became Shankar’s second wicket of the day and Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan werein the middle when rain brought a stop to the proceedings.

With the target revised down to 302 – but in 40 overs, Pakistan now needed to score 136 runs off the last five overs. Imad and Shadab managed to take them to 212/6.

Rohit Sharma led the charge for India with the bat. The Indian vice-captain hit his second century of the tournament and shared a 136-run opening stand with K.L. Rahul. Rahul, batting at the top of the order in place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan, scored 57 off 78 deliveries before falling to Wahab Riaz.

Rohit was then ably given company by captain Virat Kohli and the pair added 98 for the second wicket. Rohit eventually fell to a loose shot off Wahab after which Kohli anchored the latter end of the innings. He was eventually dismissed when he seemingly got a faint edge to the keeper off Mohammad Amir. Although Kohli walked, umpire Marais Erasmus never raised the finger and replays showed that there was a significant gap between the bat and ball.

Kedar Jadhav and Shankar pushed India’s total to 336.

This is India’s third win of the tournament and they jump to third on the table, behind second-placed New Zealand on the basis of net run rate. Pakistan, who sink to the ninth place, now need to win all of their remaining matches to make it to the knockouts.

Brief scores: India: 336/5 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 140, Virat Kohli 77; Mohammad Amir 3/47)

Pakistan: 212/6 in 40 overs (Fakhar Zaman 62, Babar Azam 48; Vijay Shankar 2/22)

(IANS)

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World

Pakistan wants talks with India on the “basis of equality” : Qureshi

Pakistan wants talks with India on the “basis of equality” and in a “dignified manner” and has said it’s up to New Delhi to decide whether it wants to engage with Islamabad to reconcile issues.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said this while confirming the exchange of pleasantries between Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi here on Friday on the sidelines of the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

“Yes, the meeting did take place. There was a handshake and exchange of pleasantries,” Qureshi told Geo News in Kyrgyzstan’s capital.

He, however, accused the Indian government of still “being in the election mindset”. “Pakistan has said what it has to. India has not come out of its election mindset and the extreme position they had taken to influence their constituency and to keep their vote bank intact. It’s still confined in that,” said Qureshi.

“India has to make this decision. We are neither in haste, nor troubled. When India prepares itself, it would find us prepared. But we will hold talks on the basis of equality, in a dignified manner,” Qureshi said.

Stating that “neither we (Pakistan) need to run after anyone, nor to demonstrate stubbornness”, he said: “Pakistan’s approach is realistic and well thought-out.”

Tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad escalated after the February Pulwama terror attack, claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

The exchange of pleasantries between Khan and Modi was the first such event between the two Prime Ministers amidst the chill in bilateral relations.

It has come after Khan and Qureshi wrote letters to Modi seeking revival of talks.

(IANS)

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Sports

Pakistan bounce back with 14-run win over England

Joe Root (107 off 104) and Jos Buttler’s (103 off 76) centuries were of no use as England suffered a 14-run defeat against Pakistan at the Tent Bridge here on Monday.

Chasing an imposing 349-run target, the hosts could manage 334/9 in the allotted 50 overs, thanks to Wahab Riaz, who scalped 3/82 while Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir also bagged couple of wickets each.

Root and Buttler were involved in a crucial 130-run fifth wicket stand, but in the end their valiant efforts failed to take England across the finishing line. The former’s innings was decorated with 10 boundaries and a six, while Buttler’s knock included nine fours and two hits into the stands.

England lost opener Jason Roy early as leg-spinner Shadab caught him plumb in front in the third over with just 12 runs on the board. Jonny Bairstow and Root then played some sensible cricket, propelling their side past the 50-run mark in 7.2 overs.

Ten runs later, Riaz delivered the crucial breakthrough by dismissing Bairstow for 32. The short of a length delivery moved away from the batsman before taking a slight edge that landed in the safe hands of Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed behind the stumps.

New batsman and England skipper Eoin Morgan could only manage 9 runs while star all-rounder Ben Stokes too was dismissed cheaply for 13, thanks to some disciplined bowling by the Green Brigade.

Root and Buttler then frustrated the visitors with their fighting partnership and at one stage it looked as if the duo would run away with the match.

The two took England past the 200-run mark in 31.5 overs before Root notched up his ton in the 38th over. However, with their side two short of 250, Shadab came up with the much-needed breakthrough, as Root misread a quicker delivery and ended up giving a simple catch to Mohammed Hafeez at third-man.

Buttler continued to trouble the Pakistan bowlers before falling victim to Amir in the 45th with England still 61 runs away from the target.

Moeen Ali (19) and Chris Woakes (21) tried their best to steer the hosts home, but their efforts fell flat in front of some inspired bowling by the Pakistan bowlers.

Earlier, Pakistan looked a different side from the one that surrendered to the West Indies in their opening game of the tournament as their batsmen put up a clinical performance to help the team post 348/8 on board.

Hafeez was the top scorer with a 62-ball 84 while Babar Azam (63 off 66) and Sarfraz Ahmed (55 of 44) too chipped in with important contributions.

The Pakistan batsmen were bounced out by the West Indies pacers for a meagre 105 in less than 22 overs in their first match on Friday. In stark contrast, it took spinner Moeen Ali to provide the first breakthrough for England after openers Fakhar Zaman (36 off 40) and Imam-Ul-Haq (44 off 58) helped Pakistan stamp their authority early on.

Fakhar and Imam put up an opening stand of 82 runs before Moeen drew the former out of his crease in the 15th over with a delivery that drifted in from around the wicket. The turn took the ball past the batsman and wicketkeeper Buttler took the bails off in a flash.

Moeen then dismissed Imam six overs later, thanks to a brilliant catch by Woakes who had to run about 20 yards and dive to his left at the long-off boundary.

However, Azam and Hafeez plundered 88 runs in the next 12 overs before the former became the third man to fall to Moeen. Hafeez then found company in Safraz Ahmed as the pair put on 80 runs for the fourth wicket.

While there were no significant partnerships after that, the combined effort of Asif Ali (14), Hasan Ali (10) and Shadab Khan (10) meant that Pakistan finished their essay just two short of the magical 350-run mark.

Joffra Archer, who was the standout bowler in England’s first game against South Africa, cut a sorry figure as he leaked 79 runs in his 10 overs without taking a wicket. Mark Wood picked up 2 wickets while Woakes scalped 3.

Brief scores: Pakistan 348/8 in 50 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 84, Babar Azam 63; Moeen Ali 3/50) beat England 334/9 in 50 overs (Joe Root 107, Jos Buttler 103; Wahab Riaz 3/82) by 14 runs

(IANS)

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Sports

On the field it’s very professional against Pakistan: Kohli

With the ICC ODI World Cup getting underway in England and Wales in less than a week from now, the skippers of the 10 participating teams fighting for the biggest glory in 50-over cricket were all asked to pick one player from another team to fit into their own playing XI during the captains’ press conference in London on Thursday.

The comments from the captains made for some interesting read and showed what according to them, they lack in their squad as they look to battle it out and win the showpiece event.

While host captain Eoin Morgan picked Australia’s assistant coach Ricky Ponting, India captain Virat Kohli went for his South African counterpart Faf du Plessis. Pakistan skipper Safaraz Ahmed went for the swashbuckling Jos Buttler while Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza picked the run-machine Kohli.

For defending champions Australia, skipper Aaron Finch didn’t seem too happy with his pacers and settled for Kagiso Rabada of South Africa, while Faf himself decided to pick not one, but three in Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins of Australia and Afghan spinner Rashid Khan.

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne went with English all-rounder Ben Stokes while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson also went for Rashid Khan. Interestingly, while the West Indies skipper Jason Holder said that he was happy with his team, his Afghan counterpart Gulbadin Naib said it all depends on the day.

Moving on, Kohli was asked about the high-voltage clash between India and Pakistan and the skipper made his position clear by saying that it was just another game when the players walk onto the field.

“I think India-Pakistan is always a much anticipated match. We keep saying again and again. If you ask the players, it’s very different from how the fans feel. Yes, we feel the anticipation and excitement when we enter the stadium. But as soon as you enter the field, it’s very professional.

“It’s just another game you need to win as a team. Yes, it brings pressure because the atmosphere in the stadium is very different. But as soon as we enter the ground, it’s a game of cricket for all of us. We keep saying this again and again, but that’s the truth,” he said.

“In the World Cup, you first see the first four or five games you’re going to play. You play accordingly as a side. I don’t think we single out any team, all 10 teams are strong and can beat anyone. That makes the tournament exciting. If we play good cricket, we’ll be in a good position. Every team will want to focus on their skills,” the India skipper said.

Kohli also spoke about how seamer Jofra Archer could be the deciding factor for England in the World Cup.

“I think he’s going to be their X-factor because he holds a skill set that’s very different from anyone else. He can generate a lot of pace which can be very intimidating and you don’t really expect that because of his run-up. He’s a great athlete. He’s going to be exciting to watch in the World Cup and I’ll be watching him personally as well because whatever I’ve seen of him has been very very exciting,” he said.

When told that Archer wants his wicket, Kohli said it was nothing but a compliment. “Did he say that? I have no idea. That’s news to me. We don’t really focus on these things. You don’t focus on whether people want to get you out and things like that. Our focus is mainly on contributing to the team. I take a lot of pride in performing for the team and making impact performances.

“If Jofra said that, it’s a huge compliment because he himself is a world class bowler. The way he has come about in the IPL and while playing around the world in the last two years, there is a good reason for him to be fast-tracked to the World Cup,” the India skipper added.

(IANS)

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World

Blast near Sufi shrine in Lahore kills at least 8 people

At least eight people were killed and 25 injured in a suicide bombing targeting a police patrol near a Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s Lahore city on Wednesday, police said.

Five police officers were among those killed in the blast near the Data Darbar Sufi shrine, one of the largest in South Asia, Dawn online reported.

The explosion, which occurred at around 8.45 a.m., targeted a Elite Force of Punjab Police vehicle parked near the shrine’s Gate 2, the entrance for female visitors.

“Eight people, including five policemen, were killed and 25 are injured, including police officials,” Punjab Police chief Arif Nawaz Khan told the media. He added that the police were “100 per cent” the target of the attack.

The impact of the blast shattered windows in nearby vehicles and buildings, bystanders said.

Police spokesperson Nayab Haider told Geo News that initial investigation suggested that the incident was a suicide bombing and the bomb contained seven kg of explosive material.

No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed told the media that one of the bodies brought to a hospital was that of the suspected attacker.

Entry to the Data Darbar was sealed in the aftermath of the attack and security measures were heightened at religious sites in the city in the month of Ramzan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan “expressed grief over the loss of precious lives”.

Data Darbar, which dates back to the 11th century, was also targeted in a 2010 suicide attack that killed more than 40 people.

(IANS)

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India Sports

You need treatment, come to Pakistan: Afridi to Gambhir

The verbal duel between Shahid Afridi and Gautam Gambhir doesn’t seem to end anytime soon. Afridi started the tiff by writing in his autobiography titled “Game Changer” that Gambhir is “someone who has no personality and the one who has a lot of attitude problem”.

“In Karachi we call guys like him ‘saryal’ (burnt up). Its simple, I like happy, positive people. Doesn’t matter if they are aggressive or competitive, but you have to be positive and Gambhir wasn’t,” he adds in his book.

Reacting, the former Indian opener on Saturday said that Afridi needed to visit a psychiatrist.

Now, the former Pakistan all-rounder has hit back at Gambhir, saying the cricketer-turned Indian politician has some problems for which he can be treated in Pakistan.

“I think Gautam Gambhir may have some problems. I am working with hospitals and I can get him very good treatment here,” Afridi said at the launch of his autobiography in Karachi.

The former Pakistan T20 skipper also offered to arrange visa for Gambhir.

“The Indian Government doesn’t normally give visas to our people, but I will welcome everyone from India to Pakistan. Our people and our government have always welcomed Indians and as for Gautam, I will get a visa arranged so that his treatment can be done here,” Afridi added.

Afridi, with his controversial autobiography, has already made headlines. Be it his views on Kashmir or “age” revelation, the former Pakistan all-rounder has created quite a stir.

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IMB News Room

Nitish Kumar Should go to Pakistan | BJP Yes Or No ???????

Nitish Kumar Should go to Pakistan | BJP Yes Or No ???????

 

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India

Jaitley targets Chidambaram over Pakistan remarks

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday targeted Congress leader P. Chidambaram over his remarks that in order to bring a change in Pakistan’s behaviour, India must also change its behaviour and said Congress needs to explain its remarks to people.

In a video message, Jaitley said that India wants peace in the region and for that Pakistan must accept identity of Kashmir as an integral part of India.

He said India has been complaining that Pakistan is sponsoring acts of terrorism against India and that one third of Jammu and Kashmir was under its illegal possession.

“Where does India need to change its behaviour. What is it that India has done that we must change our behaviour,” he asked.

Chidambaram had said at event here on Sunday that to bring a change in Pakistan’s behaviour, India must also change its behaviour towards the Western neighbour.

However, after Jaitley’s remarks Chidambaram hit back at the BJP leader through tweets.

“Mr Arun Jaitley should read the Congress’ Manifesto which says ‘we promise an uncompromising approach and hard measures to put an end to terrorism and to the infiltration of militants.’ Will Mr Jaitley please explain why infiltration, number of infiltrators and number of casualties (civilian and security forces) in 2018 are the highest under the BJP government?”

Chidambaram also asked why Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi was “becoming shriller by the day”.

“PM’s threat to use the nuclear option is the most extraordinary statement of this election,” he said.

IANS

 

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World

Sohail Mahmood takes charge as Pakistan Foreign Secy

Former Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Wednesday took charge as the country’s new Foreign Secretary and called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to discuss issues related to the foreign policy of the country.

Mahmood replaces Tehmina Janjua who retired on April 16 after serving as Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary for two years.

“Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood assumed charge and called on the Foreign Minister today,” tweeted Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal.

Qureshi congratulated Mahmood and called him a “seasoned and experienced diplomat”, Geo News reported.

In response to Qureshi’s remarks, Mahmood said that he will make the utmost efforts to perform his duties to the best of his capabilities.

Mahmood previously served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey. Before that, he served as the Ambassador to Thailand and Permanent Representative to the UNESCO Bangkok for four years till 2013.

Mahmood also served as political coordinator for Pakistan’s delegation to the UN Security Council before assuming office in Bangkok.

He was Additional Foreign Secretary for America at the headquarters before leaving for Thailand.

IANS