Mohsin Khan quits as head of Pakistan’s cricket committee

Mohsin Khan the head of Pakistan Cricket Board's cricket committee quits the position. (AFP/File)
Updated 21 June 2019

Mohsin Khan quits as head of Pakistan’s cricket committee

  • Khan has recently criticized Pakistan Team’s dismal performance in the World Cup
  • Cricket board managing director Wasim Khan will be the new head of the committee

ISLAMABAD: Former test opening batsman Mohsin Khan has quit as head of Pakistan Cricket Board’s cricket committee just four days after the national team lost to archrival India at the World Cup.
Khan, appearing as an analyst on national television, had been criticizing Pakistan dismal performance at the tournament.
The PCB issued a statement saying that during a recent meeting with the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, Khan had “expressed his willingness to be released from his current position, which was accepted by the PCB chairman.”
Pakistan has won just one of its first five group matches at the World Cup, against top-ranked England.
A heavy loss to India last weekend likely means Pakistan needs victories in each of its remaining games, starting against South Africa on Sunday at Lord’s, to stand a chance of qualifying for the semifinals.
Former test captains Wasim Akram and Misbah-ul-Haq along with Urooj Mumtaz, ex-captain of Pakistan’s women’s team, are the other members of the cricket committee.
Mohsin Khan thanked the board for giving him an opportunity to head the cricket committee and said his “services are always available for Pakistan cricket at a suitable position in view of my past record.”
He was previously head of the selection committee and also coached the national team.
PCB managing director Wasim Khan will be the new head of the cricket committee as the cricket board plans to carry out robust review of national team’s performance over the past three years.


Critics cry foul as Pakistan looks to curb coronavirus 'fake news' on social media

Updated 09 July 2020

Critics cry foul as Pakistan looks to curb coronavirus 'fake news' on social media

  • Government sets up committee to prepare new “legal framework” to tackle coronavirus-related misinformation
  • Rights activists fear the new laws will be used to choke freedom of speech

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s interior minister said on Thursday the government planned to introduce new laws to curb coronavirus misinformation on social media platforms in a move that has stoked fears authorities will use the additional powers to choke freedom of speech and chill dissent.
On Wednesday, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), a top federal body set up to oversee the government’s coronavirus mitigation efforts, set up a committee under the chairmanship of the interior minister to prepare a legal framework to help the government deal with coronavirus-related “fake news” on social media platforms.
Islamabad has previously struggled to regulate online content mostly by blocking or asking social media companies to remove blasphemous material and other posts that violate the country’s religious and cultural norms and laws or hurt national security interests.
In February, the government approved, and then rolled back, new rules to regulate cyberspace after opponents said they could be used to stifle dissent. Social media companies have also largely shunned obliging to help law enforcement agencies access data and remove online content deemed unlawful.
“Is the government a fool?” the interior minister said to Arab News on Thursday when asked if the NCOC had set up the new committee on the pretext of curtailing free speech or criticism of the government’s coronavirus mitigation policies. “If somebody asks me to suppress social media, I’ll straightaway say that I can’t do it.”
However, he said, the government was resolved to find ways to prevent the flow of false information regarding the pandemic.
These efforts, rights activists say, would allow the government to use the pandemic as an “excuse” to suppress freedom of speech.
“Social media companies have themselves been taking down disinformation and propaganda regarding COVID-19 since such posts go against their community standards,” Usama Khilji, director of Pakistani digital rights group Bolo Bhi, told Arab News, urging the government to improve coordination with social media giants like Twitter and Facebook in order to have inaccurate information removed instead of enacting new “draconian rules.”
Last month, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority issued an advisory to local media houses instructing them not to air coronavirus-related content that was “not based on ground realities” and was likely to create “unnecessary panic.” 
The advisory was seen as a warning to critics of the government’s efforts to fight growing rates of infection.
“If the government wants to counter online disinformation, it can do it by releasing authentic information instead of coercing journalists and media houses,” Iqbal Khattak, who represents Reporters Without Borders in Pakistan, told Arab News. “It must immediately drop its plan to enact new social media rules since we already know its objective is to undermine freedom of expression.”