Despite Islamabad fightback, skipper Rossouw inspires Quetta to victory

Despite Islamabad fightback, skipper Rossouw inspires Quetta to victory
Islamabad United players celebrate after taking a wicket in a match against Quetta Gladiators in Lahore, Pakistan, on February 22, 2024. (Pakistan Cricket Board)
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Updated 22 February 2024
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Despite Islamabad fightback, skipper Rossouw inspires Quetta to victory

Despite Islamabad fightback, skipper Rossouw inspires Quetta to victory
  • In low-scoring match, Rilee Rossouw holds his nerve with 34-run inning to guide Quetta to victory
  • Gladiators’ Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim take three wickets each to keep Islamabad at bay

Islamabad: Despite a valiant fightback by Islamabad United, Quetta Gladiators continued their impressive run of the tournament by beating the former by three wickets at the Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Thursday. 

“Continuing our winning streak,” the Gladiators wrote on social media platform X after the match ended. 

Batting first, United scored a lackluster 138/9 at the end of their 20 overs courtesy of a stellar bowling performance from the Gladiators. Spinner Abrar Ahmed returned figures of 3/18 while Mohammad Wasim finished with 3/20. Akeil Hosein finished with 2/32 while pacer Mohammad Hasnain returned figures of 1/35. 

United’s only resistance in the batting department came from Agha Salman, who top-scored with a decent 33-run knock from 23 balls while opener Alex Hales scored 21 from nine deliveries. 

What should have been an easy chase for the Gladiators turned into a difficult one when United took quick wickets to put the pressure back on Rossouw’s squad. United skipper Shadab Khan returned figures of 2/24 while pacer Naseem Shah finished with 2/34. 

Rumman Raees and Hunain Shah took a single wicket each before Rossouw guided United to victory with a composed 34-run innings that came off 38 balls and featured only three boundaries. 

Opener Jason Roy provided the Gladiators an impressive start to the game by smashing 37 runs off 18 balls while Sherfane Rutherford held his nerves to score 29 runs from 23 balls before Naseem rattled his stumps.

The Gladiators and table-toppers Multan Sultans both have three wins from the tournament so far. Islamabad, with a single win and two losses, is at number three on the PSL points table. 
 


Death toll from heavy rains in northwest Pakistan rises to 39

Death toll from heavy rains in northwest Pakistan rises to 39
Updated 51 min 47 sec ago
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Death toll from heavy rains in northwest Pakistan rises to 39

Death toll from heavy rains in northwest Pakistan rises to 39
  • The rains that began last Friday have damaged 2,391 houses across the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
  • In southwestern Balochistan province, heavy rains have killed 15 people, triggered flash floods in several areas

PESHAWAR/QUETTA: The death toll from continuing rains in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province has risen to 39, while another 54 people have been injured in various incidents, the KP Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said on Friday.

The rains that began last Friday have caused damages to 2,391 houses in several districts across the province, according to the PDMA.

Khyber, Dir Lower and Upper, Chitral Upper and Lower, Swat, Shangla, Bajaur, Malakand, Karak and Tank districts have been declared the most affected by the downpours.

“As many as 23 children, eight men and eight women are among those died in rain related incidents during the last eight days,” the PDMA said in a statement on Friday.

The current spell of showers, which began on April 17, was likely to continue till April 21, the PDMA said this week.

The provincial government has released Rs110 million to be distributed among the affected families and dispatched aid, including tents, kitchen kits, blankets, hygiene kits, mosquito nets and mattresses, to the affected areas, according to the authority.

As the rains were expected to continue intermittently until April 21, the PDMA said it had already a letter to administration of all districts to remain alert and take precautionary measures.

In the southwestern Balochistan province, heavy rains have killed 15 people since Friday and triggered flash floods in several areas, according to provincial authorities.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said climate change had become a “challenge” for the provincial government.

“Current rains are unusual which were never reported in a thousand years,” he told reporters on Friday. “The government has been helping the masses with available resources and our teams have reached all districts to help the people affected by rains and floods.”

Pakistan has received heavy rains in the last three weeks that have triggered landslides and flash floods in several parts of the South Asian country.

The eastern province of Punjab has reported 21 lighting- and roof collapse-related deaths, while Balochistan, in the country’s southwest, reported 10 deaths as authorities declared a state of emergency following flash floods.

In 2022, downpours swelled rivers and at one point flooded a third of Pakistan, killing 1,739 people. The floods also caused $30 billion in damages, from which Pakistan is still trying to rebuild.


CM Bugti promises ‘good governance’ as 14-member cabinet takes oath in Pakistan’s Balochistan

CM Bugti promises ‘good governance’ as 14-member cabinet takes oath in Pakistan’s Balochistan
Updated 19 April 2024
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CM Bugti promises ‘good governance’ as 14-member cabinet takes oath in Pakistan’s Balochistan

CM Bugti promises ‘good governance’ as 14-member cabinet takes oath in Pakistan’s Balochistan
  • Development came more than two months after Balochistan elected its representatives in Feb. 8 national polls
  • CM Sarfraz Bugti says the formation of the cabinet took time due to consultation with all coalition partners

ISLAMABAD: Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti on Friday promised “good governance” and provision of maximum relief to public as his 14-member cabinet took oath in the southwestern Pakistani province, Pakistani state media reported.

The cabinet members were sworn in at a ceremony held at the Governor House in the provincial capital of Quetta, where Governor Malik Abdul Wali Kakar administered the oath to them.

The development came more than two months after Balochistan elected its representatives in the national election that was held on February 8, this year.

Bugti said the formation of the cabinet took time due to consultation with all coalition partners, the state-run APP news agency reported.

“Balochistan was facing many challenges, including terrorism,” he was quoted as saying in the report. “Providing maximum relief to the public and strengthening good governance were key priorities for the provincial government.”

Balochistan is the site of a long-running insurgency by separatist and religiously motivated militants, who have recently carried out a number of attacks in the region.

Gunmen this month killed nine people, who hailed from the eastern Punjab province, after abducting them from a bus on a highway near the Noshki district. The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Although the government says it has quelled the insurgency, violence by groups demanding independence from the central government has persisted in the province.


Pakistan says will continue ‘constructive engagement’ with Riyadh to enhance economic, strategic partnership

Pakistan says will continue ‘constructive engagement’ with Riyadh to enhance economic, strategic partnership
Updated 19 April 2024
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Pakistan says will continue ‘constructive engagement’ with Riyadh to enhance economic, strategic partnership

Pakistan says will continue ‘constructive engagement’ with Riyadh to enhance economic, strategic partnership
  • Saudi foreign minister visited Islamabad this week to discuss investments
  • Saudi deputy defense minister is also currently visiting Pakistani capital

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign office said on Friday the South Asian country would continue its “constructive engagement” with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enhance economic and strategic partnerships between the longtime allies.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud came to Islamabad on a two-day visit this week aimed at strengthening bilateral economic cooperation and pushing forward previously agreed investment deals. Pakistan has said it pitched investment projects worth$30 billion to Riyadh during Prince Faisal’s visit.
The Saudi official’s visit followed a meeting in Makkah between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which the Kingdom had pledged to expedite $5 billion in investments.
“We will continue our constructive engagement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enhance our economic and strategic partnership,” foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said at a weekly briefing, giving details of Prince Faisal’s visit, whose purpose she said “was to accelerate discussions on enhanced bilateral economic cooperation in the follow up of the understandings reached between Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman.”
At a ‘Saudi Arabia-Pakistan Investment Conference’ co-chaired by the two foreign ministers in Islamabad, the two sides discussed investment proposals in diverse sectors such as energy, mining, agriculture, information technology, construction, human resource development and exports, Baloch said, adding that the investment conference was aimed at paving the way for Saudi investments in Pakistan.
“The Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia discussed global and regional developments,” Baloch added.
“There was unanimity of views on the increasing instability in the region. The two Foreign Ministers urged de-escalation and called for an immediate ceasefire, lifting of the siege of Gaza and access to unimpeded humanitarian aid for the besieged people of Gaza.”
The spokesperson said Pakistan was “deeply disappointed” at the result of last night’s debate at the United Nation Security Council and its inability to reach consensus and recommend Palestine’s membership of the UN to the General Assembly.
“We regret the US decision to veto the draft resolution granting full membership of the UN to Palestine,” Baloch said.


Rohit says India-Pakistan Test cricket would be ‘awesome’

Rohit says India-Pakistan Test cricket would be ‘awesome’
Updated 19 April 2024
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Rohit says India-Pakistan Test cricket would be ‘awesome’

Rohit says India-Pakistan Test cricket would be ‘awesome’
  • South Asian neighbors are bitter political adversaries, have not faced off in Test since 2007
  • They play only occasionally in shorter versions of game usually on neutral territory 

NEW DELHI: India captain Rohit Sharma has thrown his support behind any resumption of Test cricket against arch-rivals Pakistan, saying it would be “awesome.”
The South Asian neighbors are bitter political adversaries and have fought three wars against each other since they were partitioned at the end of British colonial rule in 1947.
Their cricket teams have not faced off in a Test since 2007. Instead they play only occasionally in the shorter versions of the game and usually on neutral territory in international tournaments.
Rohit appeared Thursday on a YouTube chat show hosted by former captains Adam Gilchrist of Australia and Michael Vaughan of England.
Asked by Vaughan if playing Pakistan in a Test series would be beneficial for the five-day game, Rohit said: “I totally believe that.”
“They are a good team, superb bowling line-up, good contest. Especially if you play in overseas conditions, that will be awesome,” added the 36-year-old.
“I would love to. It would be a great contest between two sides... so why not?“
Australia has said it would be prepared to host a series between the rivals.
India and Pakistan have not faced each other on either side’s soil in a bilateral series since 2012.
India last year refused to travel to Pakistan for the white-ball Asia Cup, prompting part of the tournament to be staged in Sri Lanka.
They last met at the 50-over World Cup in India in October.


Pakistan aims to agree outline of new IMF loan in May — finance minister

Pakistan aims to agree outline of new IMF loan in May — finance minister
Updated 19 April 2024
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Pakistan aims to agree outline of new IMF loan in May — finance minister

Pakistan aims to agree outline of new IMF loan in May — finance minister
  • Current $3 billion arrangement with IMF runs out in late April 
  • Pakistan is seeking longer and bigger loan of at least $6 billion

WASHINGTON: Pakistan hopes to agree the contours of a new International Monetary Fund loan in May, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb told Reuters, and has kicked off talks with ratings agencies to lay the groundwork for a return to international debt markets.
The country’s current $3 billion arrangement with the fund runs out in late April and the government is seeking a longer and bigger loan to help bring permanence to macroeconomic stability as well as an umbrella under which the country can execute much needed structural reforms, the minister said.
“We expect the IMF mission to be in Islamabad around the middle of May — and that is when some of these contours will start developing,” said Aurangzeb, who met with the Fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings.
He declined to outline what size program the government hoped to secure, though Pakistan is expected to seek at least $6 billion. Aurangzeb added that once the IMF loan was agreed, Pakistan would also request additional financing from the Fund under the Resilience and Sustainability Trust.
The struggling South Asian nation had managed to accumulate foreign exchange reserves in recent months and was on track for its war chest to hit $10 billion — or roughly two months import cover — by end-June.
The debt situation also looked more benign, Aurangzeb said.
“The bulk of our bilateral debt — including our China debt — is being rolled over, so in that sense I think we are in good shape and I don’t see a big issue during this fiscal year nor next fiscal year, cause we need to repay roughly $25 billion dollars every fiscal year.”
Pakistan also hopes to come back to international capital markets, possibly with a green bond. However, there was some more work to be done before that happens, said Aurangzeb.
“We have to come back into a certain ratings environment,” he said, having kicked off talks with ratings agencies, adding the government was hoping to get an improvement in its sovereign rating in the next fiscal year.
“In all likelihood, any international capital markets issuance will likely be in the 2025/2026 fiscal year.”