Misbah to be in charge of Pakistan's 17-day training camp

Pakistani Test cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq leaves after speaking to media at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on April 6, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 16 August 2019

Misbah to be in charge of Pakistan's 17-day training camp

  • The camp at the National Cricket Academy will open on Monday in Lahore
  • The country's premier domestic tournament — Quaid-e-Azam Trophy — begins from September 12

ISLAMABAD: Former captain Misbah-ul-Haq will be in charge of Pakistan's 17-day training camp when it opens on Monday in Lahore.
The camp at the National Cricket Academy will have 14 centrally contracted and six other cricketers participating.
Azhar Ali, one of the centrally contracted players, is expected to join the camp after completing his county contract with Somerset.
The other five centrally contracted players — Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Amir — have been exempted because they are playing county cricket in England.
"We have given exemptions to them but they have been advised to return to Pakistan in time to be available for the first-round matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (domestic first class tournament)," said Zakir Khan, director of international cricket for the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Last week the PCB dismissed the national team coaching staff after Pakistan failed to reach the semifinals of the World Cup. That included head coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Grant Flower.
The PCB said Misbah and the cricket academy staff would handle the training camp until a new coaching staff is lined up.
The country's premier domestic tournament — Quaid-e-Azam Trophy — begins from Sept. 12. Six teams will compete in 31 four-day matches.
Pakistan will be playing six test matches, three one-day internationals and nine Twenty20s in the 2019-20 international season that begins with hosting Sri Lanka for a two-test series in October.
"Misbah, who has been Pakistan's most successful captain, understands the arduous demands of the format in this day and age," Khan said.
A high-profile security delegation from Sri Lanka visited Lahore and Karachi last week. The PCB hopes to host Sri Lanka in these two cities for two test matches.
Pakistan has not hosted a test match at home since an attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in 2009 killed eight people and wounded several Sri Lankan cricketers.
Camp attendees:
Centrally contracted players: Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah
Non-contracted players: Asif Ali, Bilal Asif, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mir Hamza, Rahat Ali and Zafar Gohar 

Pakistan gets lifeline till Feb 2021 as FATF continues to keep it on grey list

Updated 23 October 2020

Pakistan gets lifeline till Feb 2021 as FATF continues to keep it on grey list

  • The country has completed 21 out of 27 items of the global financial watchdog’s action plan, acknowledges FATF officials
  • The government of Pakistan has signaled the commitment to complete the rest of the action plan, says the FATF president

KARACHI: The global financial watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), decided on Friday to keep Pakistan on its “grey list” while acknowledging that the country had made significant progress in meeting international anti-terrorism financing norms and should not be downgraded to the “blacklist.”

The FATF began its virtual plenary meeting on October 21 under the first two-year German presidency of Dr Marcus Pleyer.

“Pakistan will remain our increased monitoring list,” he announced after the end of the conference. “The plenary recognizes that Pakistan has made progress. The government has now completed 21 out of 27 items of its action plan. The government of Pakistan has signaled the commitment to complete the rest of its action plan.”

“Even though Pakistan has made progress it needs to do more,” he continued. “It cannot stop now and needs to carry out reforms in particular to implement targeted financial sanctions and prosecuting sanctions financing terrorism.”

Responding to a question, the FATF president said that onsite inspection would be carried out after the next plenary in February 2021 to decide about Pakistan’s exclusion from the grey list.

Pakistan was placed on the list of countries with inadequate controls over terrorism financing by the FATF in June 2018.

The Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), an inter-governmental organization in the Asia-Pacific region, issued the first Follow Up Report (FUR) on Pakistan last month.

The report reflected the country’s performance until February 2020 and noted that it had complied with only two recommendations related to financial institution secrecy laws and financial intelligence units out of 40 recommendations on the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and combating financing terror (AML/CFT) system.

However, Pakistan managed to pass three crucial FATF-related laws during a joint session of parliament in September this year. With these laws, the country managed to comply with most of the legislation required by the international watchdog to strength the country’s financial system.

The FATF “strongly” urged Pakistan in February this year to complete its full action plan by June 2020, warning it would take action against the country which could include advising financial institutions to give special attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistan. Later, the deadline was extended and the country was given time until October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan also punished Hafiz Saeed, a Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader, in a terror financing case and decided to send him to prison for five and a half years.

Commenting on the FATF decision, financial experts said the decision to keep Pakistan on grey list owed to the government’s hasty legislation.

“The most vital issue relates to the roles assigned to the AML-CFT authority and self-regulatory bodies. These laws give powers to regulate AML-CFT to various government and professional bodies. They were not carefully drafted, create conflict of interest, and are complicated and ambiguous,” Dr Ikram ul Haq, a Lahore-based senior economist, said after the FATF decision.

The FATF blacklist have international pariah states like Iran and North Korea, and these countries are shunned by international financial institutions.