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Updated: 13 hours 14 min ago

Merkel’s party easily beats centre-left in state poll

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 15:16

SAARBRUCKEN, GERMANY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party easily won a regional election Sunday, dealing an early blow to centre-left hopes of ending her more than decade-long reign.

In the Saarland state vote held six months before a general election, Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) won 40 percent against 30 percent for the Social Democrats (SPD), according to early results by public broadcasters.

The result spelt a five-point boost for the CDU over the SPD, which has served as the unhappy junior partner to the conservatives in so-called grand coalitions at both the state and national levels.

The vote in the tiny state on the French border, which has a population of only one million, was seen as a bellwether ahead of the September 24 general election in which Merkel, the veteran leader often dubbed “the Queen of Europe”, will seek a fourth term.

The SPD have made strong gains in national opinion surveys since Martin Schulz, the folksy and plain-spoken former president of the European Parliament, took over in January.

Merkel says Germany could ban Turkish campaign events

The “Schulz effect” has seen especially younger voters flock to the more than 150-year-old workers’ party, which is now polling neck-and-neck at the national level with Merkel’s conservative bloc.

But the new euphoria did not translate into the strong results the SPD had hoped for in Saarland, a former coal mining region, which held the first of three German state polls scheduled in the run-up to the national election.

Schulz conceded it was “not a nice evening” and that “the CDU clearly won” but insisted that “our goal is a change of federal government” this year, calling the campaign until then “a marathon, not a sprint”.

The CDU’s popular state premier Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who was cheered by jubilant supporters, admitted she was “floored” by the strong result, about five points up from the last election amid strong turnout of around 70 percent.

Merkel’s right-hand man Peter Altmaier, the chancellery chief-of-staff who hails from Saarland, said “it’s an outcome that gives us courage”.

The result suggested many voters in Saarland were frightened by talk of a “red-red” coalition between the SPD and the far-left Linke party, which scored about 13 percent.

Merkel, 62, had warned local voters last week that “red-red… experiments should be avoided” and urged them to stick with the CDU’s “path of success”.

She had also cautioned at a campaign event that a leftist coalition would harm the economy and “wall it in with taxes, bureaucracy and red tape”.

A starker warning came from the pro-business Free Democrats who cautioned against turning Saarland into a modern version of the former communist East Germany or “a GDR lite”.

The SPD’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas admitted the outcome was “disappointing” and conceded that “we had clearly hoped for a better result”.

A presidential own-goal

He said the debate over a possible red-red coalition had “obviously penalised the SPD” by frightening part of the electorate.

Another leftist party — the ecologist Greens, possible candidates for a future “red-red-green” national coalition — meanwhile scored less than five percent, meaning they missed the hurdle for parliamentary representation and were kicked out of the state assembly.

CDU secretary general Peter Tauber said the outcome was “a clear rejection of red-red-green”, including at the national level.

“In uncertain times, the people trust in leaders and political forces that govern in a dependable way,” he said.

The anti-immigration and right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party just scraped in with six percent, meaning it is now represented in 11 of Germany’s 16 state assemblies.

It was however the AfD’s worst result after five state elections in which it topped 10 percent, in a sign that the abating refugee crisis and bitter infighting have damaged popular support for the protest party.

The post Merkel’s party easily beats centre-left in state poll appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Son’s killers: Pakistani man pardons 10 Indians

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 14:59

A Pakistani man, whose son was killed in Abu Dhabi in 2015, has pardoned the murderers – all Indians – who are facing death sentence.

A court in the United Arab Emirates has approved [the request] to pay the blood money, BBC Urdu reported on Sunday.

The murderers, who came to work in Abu Dhabi from Indian Punjab, were convicted in October last year for killing a Pakistani youth, Muhammad Farhan, following an altercation. Under the Sharia law, which is in vogue in the UAE, an appeal against the death penalty can be filed in the court if the victim’s family and the convict reconcile, and the family pardons him.

‘Blood money’ explained

Mohammad Riaz, who belongs to Peshawar, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, has decided to pardon the killers of his son. Although the court has to rule on the pardon, the appeal has given the convicts a new ray of hope, and a possibility to walk free.

The blood money is being arranged by a Dubai-based Indian businessman SP Singh Oberoi. He is the president of Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that works for people convicted and arrested for such matters. “We have worked out reconciliation,” said Oberoi.

Farhan’s father, along with family and friends, is in Abu Dhabi for exonerating the 10 Indians. He has submitted the agreement in the court, and has been given time until April 12, 2017 for further action.

“It was unfortunate that I lost my son. I appeal the young generation not to indulge in such fights,” said Riaz. “I have forgiven these 10 individuals. In fact, Allah has saved their lives. Lives of at least 10 people, including a wife and children, hinge [financially] on one person [who comes to work in the UAE].”

Riaz, according to Oberoi, has assured he [on behalf of his family] will ask the judge to pardon all the 10 convicts.

The Indian businessman said Riaz had been invited from Pakistan three days ago, with all arrangements, including a visa and accommodation being made by his trust. “We somehow made him agree … and as per the Sharia law, have submitted Dhs 200,000 as blood money in the court,” he added.

The post Son’s killers: Pakistani man pardons 10 Indians appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Defoe marks comeback as England toil to win

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 14:25

Jermain Defoe adorned his international comeback with a goal as England toiled to a 2-0 victory over Lithuania in a forgettable World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Sunday.

Defoe, 34, was making his first England appearance since November 2013, having been recalled by manager Gareth Southgate, and he marked his return with the opening goal midway through the second half.

Substitute Jamie Vardy added a second goal as England tightened their grip on first place in UEFA qualifying Group F in Southgate’s first home game as permanent manager.

His side are now the last team in European qualifying yet to have conceded a goal.

Defoe’s strike, the Sunderland veteran’s 20th in 56 caps, was an obvious high point and second-half substitute Marcus Rashford delivered an impressive cameo.

Defoe back for England at age of 34

But the stubbornly unadventurous nature of Lithuania’s approach to the game, which made for a soporific match, meant there was little to shout about from an England perspective.

The game was preceded by the laying of wreaths and a minute’s silence in honour of the four people killed and over 50 injured in Wednesday’s terror attack in London.

Having tested out a 3-4-2-1 system in the mid-week 1-0 friendly defeat in Germany, Southgate reverted to a back four and his side were quickly on the front foot, with Adam Lallana prominent.

The Liverpool midfielder saw a deflected shot caught by Ernestas Setkus and then produced a clever pass down the inside-right channel for Defoe, whose shot was blocked by the Lithuania goalkeeper.

2018 World Cup qualifiers: Buffon reaches 1,000 as Italy and Spain cruise

Defoe’s penalty-box cunning was one of the reasons Southgate picked him over Vardy and he vindicated his manager’s call by putting England ahead in the 22nd minute.

Raheem Sterling slipped past Egidijus Vaitkunas on the left before rolling in a cross that Defoe planted into the net for his first international goal since March 2013.

He threatened to notch a 21st England goal moments later, thudding a shot wide from range.

Joe Hart, captain for the day, had been a virtual bystander, but the England goalkeeper was almost embarrassed in first-half stoppage time.

The assistant referee’s flag stayed down despite Nerijus Valskis appearing to be blatantly offside and the Lithuanian forward managed to head the ball past Hart, obliging John Stones to hack clear.

As England continued to labour in the second half, they were given another let-off when Vykintas Slivka was unable to find a way past Hart with a free shot from just inside the box.

Short of an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shot that Setkus parried, England were offering little in attack and in the 59th minute Southgate turned to his bench, sending on Vardy and Rashford.

Vardy took just seven minutes to find the net, steering a shot between Setkus and his left-hand post after Lallana delicately flicked Kyle Walker’s pass into his path.

England continued to dominate, but could not add to their lead despite Rashford’s best efforts.

Vardy lobbed over from Rashford’s pass and Eric Dier headed wide from a Rashford corner, before the Manchester United striker embarked on a sinewy run that culminated in a sprawling save by Setkus.

The post Defoe marks comeback as England toil to win appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Police make new arrest after Westminster terror attack

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 13:47

LONDON: British police investigating the terror attack on parliament made a new arrest on Sunday as authorities try to piece together the assailant’s motive.

A 30-year-old man was arrested in the central city of Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

A dozen people have been arrested since 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood launched an assault on parliament on Wednesday, killing four people and leaving 50 injured before he was shot by police.

UK police still believe London attacker was acting alone

Nine people have been released without charge, while a 58-year-old man remains in custody and a 32-year-old woman has been released on bail.

Police on Saturday admitted they may never know why Masood chose to drive his hire car into pedestrians before crashing into the fence of the Houses of Parliament and fatally stabbing a policeman.

New arrests as British police release photo of parliament attacker

“We must all accept that there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this. That understanding may have died with him,” said senior counter-terrorism officer Neil Basu.

Basu appealed to the public to come forward with information which may shed light on the motive of Masood, a convert to Islam with a violent criminal past.

Police believe he acted alone on the day, although investigators are trying to find out whether he was encouraged or directed by others.

The Islamic State group claimed that one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack, the worst in Britain since the July 2005 bombings which left 52 people dead.

The post Police make new arrest after Westminster terror attack appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Trump blames party hardliners for health debacle

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 13:21

WASHINGTON DC: Donald Trump on Sunday squarely blamed his Republican party’s ultra-conservative wing for the most stinging defeat of his young presidency, holding it responsible for the failed attempt to repeal Obamacare in a way that may signal bruising battles ahead over taxes and spending.

In a Twitter message, the US president not only faulted the hardline Freedom Caucus and two other influential conservative groups for the stunning setback, he suggested they had weakened efforts to curb abortions, a touchstone conservative cause.

“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!” he tweeted early Sunday, two days after he and Republican leaders canceled a House vote on repealing Obamacare that was headed for failure.

After a day of sober stock-taking and a flurry of behind-the-scenes consultations over lessons learned from the embarrassing setback, Trump appeared to be returning Sunday to his customary bravado.

Angry over US healthcare fail, Trump voters spare him blame

His frontal attack on the Freedom Caucus and the other groups cast a sharp light on the intraparty tensions that seem sure to flare up as Trump turns now to other key priorities like tax reform and a big infrastructure spending plan.

Analysts say he will have to work with the small but determined Freedom Caucus — or find a way to work around it, most likely by forging coalitions with Democrats, who for now seem little disposed to cooperate.

The health care loss was a devastating early setback for Trump that could cast a long shadow over his presidency. The failure to gain the tax savings that the repeal bill would have brought will make it far harder for him to provide the “massive” tax cuts he had promised.

The president, who prides himself on his negotiating abilities, had prominently inserted himself into last-minute talks, traveling to Capitol Hill and inviting some Republican lawmakers to the White House, demanding action.

Trump demands support in do-or-die Friday vote on healthcare plan

When the effort collapsed, sparking a blame game between White House aides and congressional leaders, an unusually subdued Trump quickly vowed to move on.

“We will probably start going very, very strongly for the big tax cuts and tax reform,” he said. “That will be next.”

But the head of the Freedom Caucus, Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, insisted Sunday that progress on health care remained possible.

“This is not the end of the debate,” he said on ABC. Likening the process to a football game at halftime, he added: “At the very end of the day, the most valuable player will be President Trump on this, because he will deliver.”

Meadows also vowed to work with Trump for “real tax reform.”

With every Democrat opposed to Obamacare repeal, and both far-right and moderate Republicans opposing the recent bill for their own reasons, the effort to kill former president Barack Obama’s signature health-care plan is widely seen as moribund for now.

But some lawmakers suggested Sunday that progress could yet be achieved if Democrats were brought into the picture.

“The president never called us once about this,” top Senate Democrat Charles Schumer said on ABC. Not a single Democrat voted for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare’s formal name.

“But I would say this,” Schumer added. “We Democrats, provided our Republican colleagues drop ‘replace’ and stop undermining the ACA, are willing to work with our Republican friends… to improve Obamacare. We never said it was perfect.”

The Club for Growth, one of the groups Trump singled out for blame in the repeal debacle, has a strong anti-tax focus and has long been influential in conservative Washington circles. It reportedly financed a half-billion dollar ad campaign urging Republican lawmakers to oppose their party’s health bill.

It was an early critic of the Trump candidacy, branding him a “big-
government liberal.”

Two months in, Trump suffers string of defeats

The Heritage Foundation is a leading conservative think tank. When Trump was drawing up his list of potential Supreme Court nominees last year, he said he was relying on guidance from Heritage and the Federalist Society, an influential conservative legal group.

By invoking Planned Parenthood — the country’s largest provider of abortion services — in his attack on the conservative groups, Trump appeared to be trying to mobilize his vocal grassroots base for the battles ahead.

On Friday, before the scheduled vote, Trump had tweeted a warning to his party’s right wing: “The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!”

The Republican bill would have barred the women’s health organization from receiving federal funds in the form of reimbursements for the free contraception it provides for low-income patients.

The post Trump blames party hardliners for health debacle appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Coalition takes Iraq civilian deaths allegations seriously, says US general

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 12:58

WASHINGTON DC: The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq takes every allegation of civilian deaths seriously and Iraqi forces have been committed to protecting civilians in the advance on the militant stronghold of Mosul, a U.S. general said on Sunday.

U.S. Brigadier General Matthew Isler, Deputy Commanding General Operation Inherent Resolve, said he could not provide details of the military investigation into civilian deaths in western Mosul on March 17.

Iraq probes reports of civilian deaths in Mosul

The U.S. military said on Saturday a U.S.-led coalition strike had hit an area where residents and officials say as many as 200 civilians may have been killed as result of an air raid.

Iraq’s military said on Sunday that 61 bodies were recovered from a collapsed building that Islamic State had booby-trapped.

The post Coalition takes Iraq civilian deaths allegations seriously, says US general appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Five dead in military helicopter crash in east Ukraine

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 12:46

MOSCOW: A Ukrainian military helicopter crashed in the war-torn east of the country on Sunday, killing all five people aboard after apparently hitting a power line, in what is believed to be an accident, the army said.

“Five people died in this tragedy — three crew members and two passengers,” army spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzianyk said.

Ukraine to accuse Russia of ‘terrorism’ in top UN court

The incident occurred near the village of Malynivka, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of government-controlled city of Kramatorsk in the war-torn Donetsk region.

Motuzianyk said that the cause of the crash appeared to be “collision with a power line”, but it has yet to be investigated.

Ukraine envoy stresses cooperation

Nearly 10,000 people have died since the start of a pro-Russian rebellion in 2014 that Kiev and the West accuse Moscow of masterminding.

Both Ukraine and the West — which has imposed sanctions on Russia as a result of the unrest — say the separatist regions receive military backing from Moscow, although Russia has never officially recognised them.

The post Five dead in military helicopter crash in east Ukraine appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Six aid workers killed in South Sudan ambush: UN

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 12:41

NAIROBI: Six aid workers have been killed in an ambush in South Sudan, the UN said Sunday, the latest such attack in the country suffering a famine blamed on a brutal civil war.

The aid workers were killed while travelling from the capital Juba to the town of Pibor in the east of the country.

“I am appalled and outraged by the heinous murder yesterday of six courageous humanitarians in South Sudan,” said Eugene Owusu of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a statement.

“At a time when humanitarian needs have reached unprecedented levels, it is entirely unacceptable that those who are trying to help are being attacked and killed.”

Aid worries rise for S.Sudan refugees inside Sudan

Contacted by AFP, the agency could not reveal who employed the aid workers.

Some 100,000 people are suffering from the man-made famine in South Sudan and another million are not far off after a nasty stop-start three-year civil war in which starvation has become a battlefield tactic.

It is no coincidence that areas afflicted by famine are opposition areas, home to mostly ethnic Nuer and controlled for the most part by rebels, a leaked report by United Nations investigators said last week.

UN urges aid access to Yemen ports to avert looming famine

According to OCHA, the ambush represents the highest number of aid workers killed in a single incident since the conflict began in December 2013.

It follows two other attacks on aid workers this month.

A health worker and a patient were killed in an attack on a humanitarian convoy responding to a cholera outbreak in the central town of Yirol on March 14.

Earlier during fighting in northern Mayendit on March 10, the local staff of an international NGO were detained by armed rebels and released four days later, said OCHA.

The post Six aid workers killed in South Sudan ambush: UN appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Shadab, Malik lead Pakistan to six-wicket win over West Indies

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 12:21

Debutant Shadab Khan and veteran Shoaib Malik helped Pakistan take 1-0 lead in the four-match series after beating West Indies by six wickets in the first T20I at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados on Sunday.

After opting to field first, Pakistan Super League (PSL) second edition’s sensation 18-year-old Shadab produced the most economical bowling spell by a bowler on his debut in the shortest format of the game to restrict hosts to just 111 for the loss of eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs.

Want to achieve something great with Pakistan: Salman Butt

Islamabad United leg-spinner gave away just seven runs and claimed three wickets in his four overs, as Carlo Brathwaite’s men never managed to keep run-rate in excess of six runs per over.

Brathwaite finished the innings with the top score of 34 off 27 balls, which included two fours and two massive sixes.

Chasing just 112 to win, Men in Green were in spot of bother after losing three wickets for just 49 runs in the ninth over.

Inzamam clears the air over Sohail’s non-selection

However, experienced Malik joined young Babar Azam to make sure Green Caps will go over the line with 17 balls to spare.

Malik finished the innings with the top score of 38 not off just 29 balls, whereas Babar scored 29 off 30 balls.

For West Indies, all-rounder Jason Holder claimed two, whereas leg-spinner Samuel Badree and captain Brathwaite picked a wicket each.

For his outstanding bowling performance on debut, Shadab was awarded man of the match.

PAK 115-4 (17.1 overs)

FOUR! And that’s it. Pakistan win the first T20I by six wickets.

Holder to continue.

So that’s it everyone. Do join us on Thursday for the second T20I. Till then, it’s goodbye from Azeem Siddiqui.

PAK 111-4 (17 overs)

Eleven off the over. Good one for Pakistan.

SIX! @realshoaibmalik shows his class with a maximum down the groundhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Brathwaite to continue.

PAK 100-4 (16 overs)

Just five off the over.

Narine to continue.

PAK 95-4 (15 overs)

Nine runs and a wicket off the over.

OUT! @babarazam258 departs after scoring 29. PAK 95-4 (15 ov)https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

FOUR! Smart batting from @babarazam258 earns him another boundary. PAK 91-3 (14.2 ov)https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Jason Holder to start his new over.

PAK 86-3 (14 overs)

Ten off the over. Good one for Pakistan.

FOUR! Slow ball and @babarazam258 hits it through cow corner for a boundaryhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Kieron Pollard to start his first over.

PAK 76-3 (13 overs)

Eight off the over.

FOUR! Short and @realshoaibmalik pulls one through cow corner region for a boundaryhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Williams to continue.

PAK 68-3 (12 overs)

Just six off the over.

Narine to continue.

PAK 62-3 (11 overs)

Six off the over.

Kesrick Williams to start his first over.

PAK 56-3 (10 overs)

Six runs off the over.

FOUR! Welcome boundary for Pakistan, courtesy @realshoaibmalik 's elegance https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Sunil Narine to start his new over.

PAK 50-3 (9 overs)

Just three runs and a wicket off the over.

OUT! @MHafeez22 departs after struggling innings. Pakistan 49-3 https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Brathwaite to continue.

PAK 47-2 (8 overs)

Just three off the over.

Badree to continue.

PAK 44-2 (7 overs)

Just four off the over.

Captain Carlos Brathwaite to start his first over.

PAK 40-2 (6 overs)

Eleven runs and a wicket off the over.

OUT! @KamiAkmal23 departs after scoring 22. PAK 40-2 https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

SIX! @KamiAkmal23 at his best. Hits one out of the park over deep extra cover. Brilliant batting.https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Badree to continue.

PAK 29-1 (5 overs)

Eight runs and a wicket off the over.

FOUR! Short and @babarazam258 pulls one through cow corner region for a boundaryhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

OUT! @Jaseholder98 gets his man as @iamAhmadshahzad departs after scoring 13
PAK 25-1 https://t.co/A034qhKbVo #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

FOUR! @iamAhmadshahzad comes down the track and hits one through deep mid-wicket regionhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Jason Holder to continue.

PAK 21-0 (4 overs)

Just three of the over.

Badree to continue.

PAK 18-0 (3 overs)

Just five off the over.

FOUR! Short and @KamiAkmal23 hits one through covers region for boundaryhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Sunil Narine to start his first over.

PAK 13-0 (2 overs)

Six off the over.

FOUR! Full pitch and @KamiAkmal23 lifts it over covers region for his first boundary of the dayhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Jason Holder to start his first over.

PAK 7-0 (1 over)

FOUR! @iamAhmadshahzad hits first boundary of the day for Pakistanhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Seven off the over. Good one for Pakistan.

So it’s Ahmad Shahzad and Kamran Akmal to open for Pakistan, whereas leg-spinner Samuel Badree will begin for West Indies.

So that’s it every one. We will take a short break and join you for the second-half.

WI 111-8 (20 overs)

OUT! Sohail Tanvir gets the wickets on the final ball of the innings.

Sohail Tanvir to bowl the final over.

WI 105-7 (19 overs)

Fourteen off the over. Rare good over for West Indies.

SIX! @TridentSportsX hits one out of the park over deep mid-wicket for a maximumhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Wahab Riaz to continue.

WI 91-7 (18 overs)

Just six off the over.

Hasan Ali to continue.

WI 85-7 (17 overs)

Eleven runs and a wicket off the over.

SIX! @TridentSportsX reminds everyone of his World T20 heroics with a brilliant six https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

OUT! @WahabViki gets a big wicket as @KieronPollard55 departs after scoring 14. WI 74-7https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Wahab Riaz to continue.

WI 74-6 (16 overs)

Just seven off the over.

Hasan Ali to start his new over.

WI 67-6 (15 overs)

Just seven off the over.

Sohail Tanvir to start his new over.

WI 60-6 (14 overs)

Just two off the over. Brilliant stuff from the youngster.

Shadab to bowl his final over.

WI 58-6 (13 overs)

Just seven off the over.

Wahab Riaz to start his new over.

WI 51-6 (12 overs)

Just two off the over.

Shadab to continue.

WI 49-6 (11 overs)

Just five and a wicket off the over.

OUT! Hasan Ali gets a crucial wicket of Rovmen Powell, who departs after scoring just five. WI 49-6 (11 ov) https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Hasan Ali to start his second over.

WI 44-5 (10 overs)

Just two runs and a wicket off the over.

OUT! @76Shadabkhan on fire. @SunilPNarine74 departs as well. Pakistan on top in first T20I against Windieshttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Shadab to continue.

WI 42-4 (9 overs)

Just four off the over.

Wahab Riaz to start his first over.

WI 38-4 (8 overs)

Two runs and a wicket. What a start for the youngster.

OUT! @54simmo departs as well. Dream start for young Shadab. Pakistan on top.https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

OUT! Shadab Khan gets his first international wicket on the second delivery. Walton departs after scoring 18 https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Young Shadab Khan to start his first over.

WI 37-2 (7 overs)

Just three runs and a wicket off the over. Great stuff from the left-armer.

OUT! @simadwasim gets a big one as Marlon Samuels departs after scoring just sevenhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Imad Wasim to start his third over.

WI 34-1 (6 overs)

Just six off the over.

Sohail Tanvir to continue.

WI 28-1 (5 overs)

Eight runs off the over.

SIX! Chadwick Walton hits one out of the park over deep mid-wicket for a maximum https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Hasan Ali to start his first over.

WI 20-1 (4 overs)

Just two off the over.

Sohail Tanvir to start his first over.

WI 18-1 (3 overs)

Six runs and a wicket. Good one for Pakistan.

RUN OUT! Brilliant from @iamAhmadshahzad . West Indies lose first wicket. Lewis departs after scoring 10https://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Imad Wasim to continue.

WI 12-0 (2 overs)

Nine off the over. Good one for West Indies.

SIX! Short and Lewis smashes one out of the part for maximumhttps://t.co/iAsCocbotK #WIvPAK

— Tribune Sports (@ETribuneSports) March 26, 2017

Mohammad Hafeez to start his first over.

WI 3-0 (1 over)

Just three off the over. A good one for Pakistan

So it’s Evin Lewis and Chadwick Walton to open for West Indies, whereas Imad Wasim to start for Pakistan.

Toss: The news from the center is that Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bowl first.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Female polio staff face insults, harassment in Multan

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 10:15

MULTAN: Female polio workers go through trials and tribulations to work towards a nation free from the scourge of the debilitating disease.

Multan is the only district in southern Punjab where all frontline polio workers happen to be women.

Around 4,000 are currently on duty in the city, which has a population of more than six million, out of which one million are below five years of age.

A female polio worker in the district, who requested anonymity, said that her job is extremely difficult as staff must confront challenging environments.

The polio worker said that during campaigns certain residents harass, insult or even abuse them.

‘Contaminated water causing polio’

Notwithstanding, the staff continue to perform their duties diligently keeping in mind the dream of having a polio-free Pakistan.

Another female polio worker said that to manage her job and raise her children at the same time is a tough job. She added that it would all be worth it to see a polio-free Pakistan one day.

The polio worker claimed that the feudal lords of Multan create hindrances for the campaign.

Another polio worker said that certain residents believe the vaccination causes infertility. She added that they say that our campaign is against the tenets of Islam.

Some residents have even threatened to kill polio staff.

A seasoned polio worker who has been working for the past 10 years said that even if a single case is detected, staff negligence is blamed for the detection.

Residents are reluctant to allow us inside their homes now owing to the rise in robberies, she said.

“Our salaries are released late, even on occasions such as Eid,” she added.

The polio worker said that even during Ramazan our timings are not changed and the female staff must work in the extreme summers.

Polio threat binds Kabul, Islamabad

She said that some residents shout at them and admonish them to not visit their residence again. “However, we are steadfast in our work because we know that the eradication of polio is a national cause,” she added.

Certain residents appreciate and encourage us and offer us hospitality, she said.

New Vision Foundation President Shahbaz Gurmani said that 52 incidents of harassment, as well as attacks, were reported in the last 10 years.

These incidents were observed in Multan, Dera ghazi khan, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal and Sargodha divisions.

In this regard, 23 FIRs were lodged and 33 persons have been arrested in the cases.

Community engagement

The areas religious and political parties support and assist the anti-polio campaign staff.

Wafaqul Madaris alArabaia (WMA) General Secretary Mohammad Haneef Jalandhri, who heads the largest grouping of seminaries in the country, claimed that the WMA has been fully cooperating with polio staff.

Jalandhri added that he has directed seminary staff to guarantee that no child under the age of five is missed.

In the wake of the recent polio case detection in Lodhran, several parliamentarians have played an active role in the field monitoring of polio workers.

Abdul Qadir Gillani, son of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani said that he had personally been overseeing the activities of the anti-polio campaign.

Gillani said he had monitored campaigns in Lutfabad, Nehalaywala, Shadi Wali as well as areas of 17 Kassi and 19 Kassi in Multan.

Lagging behind: Polio virus transmission may end this year

The former parliamentarian said that female polio workers had been performing their duty diligently.

Parliamentarian Shaukat Bosan said that to achieve a polio-free Pakistan it is imperative that citizens cooperate with the campaign’s staff.

Executive District Officer Health Zafar Iqbal said that female workers are playing an indispensable role in eradicating the disease.

Multan Commissioner Nadir Chatta said that polio workers perform their duty even in the most testing conditions.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Assailant shot, at least a dozen injured in incident at UK parliament

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:58

LONDON: An assailant was shot outside the British parliament by armed police, the leader of the House of Commons said on Wednesday after loud bangs were heard and a Reuters photographer saw at least a dozen injured people on a nearby bridge.

A parliamentary official earlier said two people had been shot outside parliament and the building was in lockdown.

The House of Commons session was suspended and members of parliament who were in the chamber were told to remain there.

Police said they had been called to an incident at Westminster Bridge, officers were on the scene and it was being treated as a firearms incident.

We were called at approx 2:40pm to reports of an incident at #Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident – police on scene

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017

A Reuters reporter inside the building said medical staff were treating two people inside the gates of the parliamentary estate.

Nearby Westminster underground train station was closed at the request of police.

This developing news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Ahmadi children allegedly harassed by police in Chiniot

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:36

LAHORE: Leave it to the police to think out-of-the-box when coming up with ways to harass minorities.

On Wednesday, police officials in Chenab Nagar, Chiniot District – where the headquarters of the Jamat-e-Ahmadia is located – allegedly harassed Ahmadi children who were volunteering in a traffic awareness campaign.

Members of the Itfalul Ahmadia – an Ahmadi children’s organisation – were conducting an awareness campaign of traffic rules while standing on a roadside.

Police officials saw them and swept into action, snatching up their pamphlets and taking one of the children into custody.

At this point, an adult member of the community intervened.

They claim ASI Muhammad Asif said he would lodge a case against them for violating labour laws by making the children work on the streets.

In reply, the youth told the officials that they were standing there voluntarily to conduct the campaign and were not forced to labour, Amir Mehmood from the Jamat-e-Ahmadia media cell told The Express Tribune.

Mehmood added that the police have released the boy, but he had been traumatised by the incident.

”The children were targeted only because they are Ahmadis,” he said.

The Express Tribune tried to contact ASI Asif to comment on the incident, but he could not be reached.

Moreover, Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentarian Muhammad Ilyas Chinioti recently filed an application in the Punjab assembly to restrict the movement of the marginalised community.

Chinioti’s resolution could not be carried in the last session which took place on February 17.

It is expected that it will be taken up in the next session, however, the date for the sitting has yet to be announced.

”Ahmadis are spreading their religious beliefs via social media and after legal consultation, I will lodge a case against them,” Chinioti told The Express Tribune.

The resolution he has tabled claims that Ahmadis “are posing as Muslims, which is illegal and unconstitutional”.

It goes on to state that Ahmadis could not call their place of worship a mosque in addition to building minarets or a mehrab.

Targeted attacks CTD to investigate killings of DSP, Ahmadi man

The resolution says that Ahmadis are proscribed from using the words of the shahada in any way or even using a minaret in a picture.

The PML-N parliamentarian vowed to move the state machinery against Ahmadis at every front to restrict their activities.

Saleemuddin, the spokesperson of Jamat-e-Ahmadia Pakistan, commenting on the situation said, on one hand, an operation is going on against militancy and hate and on the other hand, Ahmadis are being victimised at the hands of the state.

He added that Ahmadis are law abiding citizens and the security forces should come forward against this victimisation.

The spokesperson said that instead of protecting them, the police has resorted to harassing them.

Ahmadi man shot dead in targeted attack in Karachi

The harassment of these children is a part of a wider campaign against the minority.

”Religious hardliners one or another to subject them to religious discrimination and to spread hatred against them,” the spokesperson added.

He said the ruling party should prohibit elected representatives from spearheading hate campaigns against Ahmadis.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Afridi to launch war on poppy cultivation in Tirah Valley

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:28

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has extended his support in eradicating the scourge of poppy cultivation from Tirah Valley in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

He made the announcement following a meeting with Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Nazir Butt in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa capital on Wednesday.

Met Corps Cdr Pew Lt Gen Nazir Butt, we agreed on eradicating menace of drugs in Tirah valley by a healthy initiative by #SAF. #HopeNotOut pic.twitter.com/whrdX46w7d

— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) March 22, 2017

The Peshawar Zalmi star discussed how drug trade was a menace to residents of the valley.

Shahid Afridi rescues 30 Pakistani prisoners detained in Dubai

In an audio message, received by The Express Tribune, the cricketer said the Shahid Afridi Foundation would help residents cultivate Saffron instead of poppy, which is used in heroin production.

Residents cultivate poppy to sustain themselves and the plant is a cash crop for farmers.

Afridi’s NGO is involved in various healthcare and education initiatives, among others. Earlier this year, it helped in securing the release of 30 Pakistanis imprisoned in Dubai, UAE.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Land of Inventors: Germany’s travelling exhibition comes to Karachi

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:44

KARACHI: The travelling exhibition of Germany, titled ‘Land of Inventors’, has come to Karachi’s Goethe Institut, Pakistan, after two years since it was launched, showcasing the various inventions of Germans.

The exhibition came to Karachi from Mumbai and will next be going to Lahore from here, said Maha Jafarey, coordinator at the Goethe. Land of Inventors, which started on March 16 in Karachi, was formally inaugurated on Tuesday by Federal Republic of Germany Consul-General Rainer Schmiedchen.

In his inaugural speech, the consul-general spoke about the student exchange programmes that are being offered to students of various schools, teachers and those who are learning German.

German artist relives Baldia factory fire

“Only 432 students from Pakistan went to Germany last year even though a large number of [Pakistani] students are going abroad to study and Germany offers various [such] programmes,” Schmiedchen said. He added that Pakistan has its own science and technology policy since 2012, which can be used in research and innovations.

The exhibition has been divided into seven categories and subjects while the inventions are exhibited based on these categories. These include categories of medicine, computer science, energy, mobility, communication, optics and material. The show also has a special section of study and research in Germany.

Giving details about the exhibition, the director of the institute, Stefan Winkler, said the work that is on display focuses on world changing German inventions in the scientific disciplines. The focus of the work is both on historical and pioneering innovations.

The work is displayed on panels, with each panel having around six inventions along with images and text in German language. A guide is available for the public to explain and translate the work that is on display. The panels also have interactive elements to develop the interest of the visitors in the projects. At the exhibition, the communication panel had headphones and a disc attached with an air jack, so that the visitors can listen to sounds and relive how the invention and system worked back then.

Giving a tour to the guests at the exhibition, Anas Abid said that X-rays, aspirin and artificial skin in medicine category were discovered by Germans. According to him, the first ever telephone was also an invention of a German but the inventor died before he could launch it and later on his idea was adopted by Graham Bell. Other than that, 3D without glasses and chips in credit and debit cards were also invented by German people, he claimed.

The exhibition is open for the public till March 11. The show is open for students from 10am to 1pm, while the public can visit till 5pm.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

KSE-100 Index ends flat, but trading volume rises

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:41

KARACHI: Stocks halted their upward march on Wednesday, as the benchmark KSE 100-share Index ended flat and over 49,000-point mark.

Stocks opened positive but succumbed to profit-taking soon enough before positive momentum carried the index near the 49,150 mark. However, investors decided to book profits in the afternoon after three successive days of gains.

At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark index recorded a fall of 3.42 points or 0.01% to finish at 49,016.79.

Elixir Securities analyst Ali Raza said the market failed to carry momentum and struggled for direction early on as lower regional markets and declines in global crude dented sentiment.

“Industrial sideboards such as Millat Tractors (MTL +4.7%) and Pak Electron (PAEL PA +2.4%) and retail favourites to the likes of Bank of Punjab (BOP PA +6.2%), Azgard Nine (ANL PA +7.8%), Dost Steels (DSL PA +2.3%) led the day’s gains, while Index names across major sectors traded in a narrow range to finish flat or slightly lower,” he said.

Bourse continues to climb, closes above 49,000 points

“Notably, K-Electric (KEL PA -5.2%) again took a hammering as investors came to the realisation that recent downward revision in multiyear tariff by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) spells trouble for the company; the stock topped the volumes chart and traded most volumes since mid-February.

“We continue to see rangebound market in near term with news flow on domestic political front and any progress on most talked above leverage product keeping participants on the lookout,” he added.

Meanwhile, according to JS Research analyst Arhum Ghous, the market opened on a positive note, maintaining its previous session trend, while the index traded at an intraday high of +127 points before making an intraday low of -59 points.

“Volume was recorded at 318m shares, up 41%. (KEL -5.19%), (BOP +6.15%) and (ANL +7.80%) were volume leaders where KEL closed in the red on news from NEPRA announcing a seven-year tariff for KEL, slashing average tariffs by Rs3.50/unit (by ~23%).

KSE-100 builds on gains as volumes hit one-year low

“Moreover, oil prices slipped back to three-month lows after data showed faster-than-expected rise in US crude inventories, piling pressure on OPEC to extend output cuts beyond June.

“Mixed sentiment was witnessed in pharmaceuticals where (GLAXO -1.72%) and (ABOT -0.21%) closed in the red zone as National Accountability Bureau began an inquiry into recent drug price hikes, sale of unregistered stents at high prices and absence of medicine records,” he added.

Overall, trading volumes rose to 317 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 225 million.

KSE-100 snaps losing streak, gains 120 points

Shares of 410 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 213 stocks closed higher, 183 declined while 14 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.3 billion.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 50.1 million shares, losing Rs0.46 to close at Rs8.41. It was followed by Bank of Punjab with 29.1 million shares, gaining Rs1 to close at Rs17.27 and Azgard Nine with 22.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.82 to close at Rs11.33.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs399 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Pakistan win 11 medals in Special Olympics World Winter Games

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:22

KARACHI: Pakistan have bagged 11 medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 in Austria on Wednesday.

Murree-based Sabahat Tariq grabbed the gold medal in the 100m snowshoeing event of division F02, while Fatima Amir took the silver medal in 100m snowshoeing in Division F03.

On the other hand, Farah Ehsan was fifth in the division F04 and Rimsha Naeem was fourth in division F05.

Winter Games 2017: Shehbaz sees off differently-abled athletes

In the men’s 100m snowshoeing competitions, Pervez Ahmed grabbed the silver medal in M10 division with Huzaifa Qazi also getting the second place in M01 division.

Muhammad Abdullah Tahir finished third in Division M03.

Meanwhile in 200m snowshoeing race, Qazi took the first position in Division M01, Ahmed was again a silver-medalist in M13 division and Muhammad Hamza Aslam bagged a bronze medal in division M07, while Tahir ended the event on the seventh place in division M04.

In the women’s 200m, Fatima was again on the second place with a silver medal in division F04, Farah held her own to take the bronze medal in division F07, Sabahat was fourth in Division F03 and Rimsha ended the race on the seventh place in division F11, according to Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) officials.

Mehwish Tufail also won a bronze medal in the 50m cross country skiing event.

Run for a cause: SOP marathon unites athletes and the differently-abled

The medal ceremony for events like 100m snowshoeing took place yesterday while the rest of the medals will be distributed on Thursday.

The Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) media manager Amjad Aziz said that the athletes have enjoyed their events in Ransau Dachstein and they are eager to learn more while their performance has been phenomenal.

This is only the second time that Pakistan is competing at the Winter World games. They’ve enjoyed an impressive run at the Summer Games over the years, winning 34 medals in the last edition of the games in Los Angeles.

“We’ve had a great time here,” Aziz told The Express Tribune. “The athletes had been preparing for the games in Naltar with the help of Pakistan Ski Federation as well so they are well-accustomed to the weather here.”

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

India jails Hindu radicals for life over Ajmer Sharif shrine blast

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:19

JAIPUR: An Indian court jailed on Wednesday two Hindu extremists for life over the 2007’s deadly bombing at the Sufi shrine of Ajmer Sharif.

A special court in Rajasthan found Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel guilty, the first time in living memory that Hindu radicals have been convicted for such a crime.

A third man who was shot dead in the months after the attack and tried posthumously was also convicted.

All three were convicted on charges related to explosives and conspiracy to commit unlawful acts over the blast, which came just before the Muslim festival of Eid.

Pakistan protests acquittal of Ajmer Sharif blast mastermind

Magistrate Dinesh Kumar Gupta pronounced sentence on Wednesday.

Special public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma said their motive was to create communal disharmony.

“Their motive was to hurt religious sentiments of Muslims during the month of Ramzan (Ramadan) by the bomb blast,” Sharma said.

Gupta and Patel’s lawyer JS Rana told journalists they would appeal the verdict in a higher court.

Earlier this month, Pakistan lodged a formal protest with India over the acquittal of mastermind of the blast, Swami Aseemanand.

He was also behind the February 2007 Samjhauta Express terrorist attack. The deadly train bombing left 42 Pakistani citizens dead.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Feud with husband: Woman attempts self-immolation in Larkana

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:12

SUKKUR: Disappointed with the negative attitude of her husband, a woman tried to set herself on fire Tuesday night in Larkana.

The woman, who is a resident of Allahabad Muhalla, Larkana, set herself on fire Tuesday night. She was taken to Chandka Medical College Hospital, Larkana, where the doctors said she has received 80% burn injuries and the next 36 hours are critical for her.

Petty Squabble: Woman attempts suicide, saved 

She was referred to a hospital in Karachi in a critical condition Wednesday morning. She is a mother of five children and was living with her parents for the last eight months after having differences with her husband.

She had also filed a divorce application in the district and sessions court of Larkana, which was under process. The police are investigating the case. Our correspondent

 

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Maryam Nawaz makes it to BBC’s ‘100 Women’ list of political scions

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 08:43

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, has made it to the BBC’s 100 Women list of political scions along with US President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.

The list mentions influential women from across the world who have a stature in their respective countries being the first daughters.

“Originally involved in the family’s charity organisations, Ms Nawaz played a prominent role in managing her father’s successful re-election campaign in 2013,” the BBC said.

Maryam Nawaz. PHOTO: AFP

Maryam Nawaz named in Panama Papers, German newspaper reaffirms

Including Ivanka in the list, the report said “the successful businesswoman, who will not have an official title or salary, is the latest addition to a growing list of high-profile daughters of heads of state around the world.

Ivanka Trump. PHOTO: FILE

‘Islamic history full of exemplary women’ 

The list also named Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughter, saying she was living in Moscow with a pseudonym of Katerina Tikhonova. Although Putin has two daughters, there is little or information about the second one.

“Russians have learned from various media reports that she is married to businessman Kirill Shamalov, the son of one of her father’s old friends, and that the couple are worth an estimated $2 billion through investments in the gas and petrochemicals industries,” the report said.

The list also contains the names of Turkey, Cuba and Angola’s first daughters.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Pakistan’s first business-themed reality show still has long way to go

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 08:18

The first episode of Idea Croron Ka — a reality series loosely based on globally successful shows such as Shark Tank (originated in the US) and Dragon’s Den (from the UK) – proved that the show has a long way to go.

Idea Croron Ka introduces a never-before-seen format to Pakistani TV, one where startups are given the chance to pitch their ideas to investors.

The investors, including the likes of Netsol CEO Saleem Ghauri, Acumen Fund CEO Naeem Zamendar, Cress Venture CEO Humayun Mazhar and Dr Umar Saif, who is acting as business adviser on the show, seem to be of good repute and are a well-informed panel. However, one couldn’t help but question some of their decisions.

How startups in Pakistan can work with schools to create a win-win situation

The first pitch by husband-wife duo Wajiha and Kashan to Affordable.pk, an online fashion classified marketplace that allows users to buy and sell fashion items from each other’s wardrobe, seemed weak; in fact, Dr Saif had to step in and help the couple.) However, it is important to note that the couple had put a lot of effort to perfect the pitch but nerves got the better of them on the day. Even Dr Saif didn’t speak enough about the company or product and instead chose to focus on e-commerce in general. When OLX was mentioned as an example of an already established business offering similar services, the Affordable.PK team responded well by showing how their business model is different from that of OLX.

This Pakistani startup just got into American seed accelerator Y Combinator

The pitch seemed to go from bad to worse when it came to finances. When investors asked about income, burn rate, and when the company expected to hit profitability, the team was unable to provide any solid answers. And when Cress Venture CEO Mazhar tried to ask about the figures, host Nabeel Qadeer interjected and invited Dr Saif on stage — an unnecessary move.

What was really surprising was when the company was asked what they would do with the money, they said they would grow to x number of users and x number of listings, without mentioning how they would achieve it. While nerves during pitches is often forgiven by investors, startup founders not knowing exact figures regarding their business is tantamount to ‘suicide’ at such a stage.

To my utter surprise, however, they ended up receiving funding. They had initially asked for Rs15 million against 15% equity but in the end were able to secure Rs10million for 30%, valuing the company at just over Rs30 million.

This raises a few questions:

  1. How are they valuing the company?
  2. Were there enough questions asked around the market share of such a company?
  3. How were the investors so easily persuaded in regards to what the money would be spent on?

Situations like the one mentioned above overvalue companies. More importantly, without a thorough think-through, isn’t the company’s success at risk? After all, money alone does not guarantee the success of any company.

The last pitch of the show was by ‘Eye Automate’, a company that aims to serve disabled people by creating wheelchairs and home automation systems controlled by eye gestures.

This time around, a few good questions were asked about production-cost and competition. Netsol CEO Ghauri made a valid suggestion – the company should focus on creating a prototype instead of seeking investment at the moment, which would help them towards raising larger funds in the future.

Some of the questions and negotiations were undoubtedly removed in a bid to cut down time to fit the slot. This means we don’t get to see the entire show.

This real estate start-up will help you invest with as little as Rs50,000

In summary, the host of the show may have been overbearing but investors were very friendly and patient and the show overall is a positive move for Pakistan. It will provide opportunities to businesses that otherwise might not get.

If the channel broadcasting the show is serious about changing Pakistani TV shows for the better, it must start a new trend in editing and reducing the ‘marketing’ aspect a little. Further, the investors on the show need to be more hands on. They didn’t get to where they are by making decisions on whims. Yes, the public is still new to pitching ideas and running businesses, but if we want the ‘Crème De La Crème’ of businesses then we must raise the bar.  The show, however, is poised for success, and I sincerely hope we can measure it by the fruit it bears.

The author is a LLB Graduate from UK. He is running a Web development agency, has a keen interest in Web Technologies, business models and politics and tweets @waqardm

You can read the original article at Straythoughts.co.uk

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