Students batting for peace in Pakistan’s first madrassa cricket league

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The Peshawar Zalmi Chairman Javed Afridi (middle), flanked by World Council of Religions representatives, at the launch ceremony for the Madrassa Cricket League. (Photo courtesy: Peshawar Zalmi)
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Students of madrassas at the launch ceremony for the Madrassa Cricket League. (Photo courtesy: Peshawar Zalmi)
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Peshawar Zalmi Chairman Javed Afridi, flanked by World Council of Religions representatives, at the launch ceremony for the Madrassa Cricket League. (Photo courtesy: Peshawar Zalmi)
Updated 27 August 2018

Students batting for peace in Pakistan’s first madrassa cricket league

  • Players for 12 teams participating in Zalmi Madrassa Cricket League have been selected from seminaries of different sects to promote interfaith harmony
  • Twelve teams will promote interfaith harmony and positive image of madrassas, organizers say.

PESHAWAR: Students from Peshawar’s madrassas will compete in a national Zalmi Madrassa Cricket League to “show the world that they are agents of peace and enjoy sports,” organizers said.
The competition, the first of its kind at the national level, will be held at the Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium from Aug. 28-31.
The Madrassa League has been organized by Pakistan Super League T20 team Peshawar Zalmi and the World Council of Religions — a private organization working to promote interfaith harmony — and aims to promote a positive image of madrassas.
“The idea is to spread this platform out to allow madrassa students from across Pakistan to exhibit their talent and show the world that they are agents of peace and enjoy sports,” Javed Afridi, Peshawar Zalmi owner and Zalmi Foundation chairman, told Arab News.
Afridi said he hoped to see the new PTI-led government bring in policies to revive sports at a grassroots level and promote them at a national level.
World Council of Religions Executive Director, Hafiz Nauman Ahmed, said that sports activities for madrassa students had been arranged previously, but the cricket league will be the first of its kind at national level.
“Twelve teams from madrassas across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) are participating in the league. Each team was asked to accommodate players from all religious sects and we have managed to accomplish that task,” Ahmed said.
Muhammad Talha, a 21-year-old student from Jamia Darul Qur’an in Swat district, told Arab News that this was his first time taking part in a cricket tournament. “In the circumstances, events like these are important. We need to show the world that madrassa students love sports and are peaceful,” he said.
Hafiz Nadir Zeb, a student at madrassa Darul Furqan in Peshawar, said: “Now our madrassa students can join a cricket franchise or even the national team.”
Teams taking part in the event are: Al Haq Smashers, Al Maqasid Fighters, Al Hilal Challengers, Al Wahda Hitters, Al Noor All Rounders, Al Khair Riders, Al Mutahidoon Creatives, Ittehad Peace Builders, Al Fatah Record Setters, Al Nujoom Risers, Al Qurra Stars, and Al Barq Thunders.
Peshawar Zalmi organized the Zalmi Azadi Cup in connection with independence day this month and the Zalmi School League in December 2017.


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.