Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim declines to visit Pakistan

In this file photo, Bangladesh cricketer Mushfiqur Rahim walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the first one day international (ODI) cricket match between Bangladesh and England at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Oct. 7, 2016. (AFP)
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Updated 17 January 2020

Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim declines to visit Pakistan

  • Bangladesh will play three Twenty20 internationals in Pakistan starting January
  • International cricket gradually returned to Pakistan in the last four years after 2009 terror attack on Lankans

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has declined to visit Pakistan for the forthcoming series, a team official said on Thursday.
“Mushfiq(ur) rang me today to inform that he will not go to Pakistan. We are now waiting for his formal letter. Once he does that, we will leave him out of the series,” chief selector MinHajjul Abedin told AFP.
Bangladesh are scheduled to play three Twenty20 internationals, two Tests and one one-day international in Pakistan between January and April.
Mushfiqur’s absence could be a blow for Bangladesh who are already without suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
MinHajjul said they are likely to announce the squad for the series in a day or two.
International cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan in the last four years after it was suspended in the wake of terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.


Sindh administration urges federal authorities to halt Iran flights

Updated 27 February 2020

Sindh administration urges federal authorities to halt Iran flights

  • Two persons, who recently traveled from Iran, tested positive for coronavirus
  • Sindh chief minister says 8,000 persons traveled to Pakistan from Iran in February

KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday urged the federal government to immediately suspend Iran flights after two people, who recently returned from that country, were found with coronavirus infection.

“The flight operations to Iran is yet to be stopped,” he said while briefing the media about the measures taken by his administration to deal with the situation. “I request the federal minister of aviation to immediately halt flights from Iran.”

Two coronavirus infections have been reported in Pakistan, both in people who recently arrived from Iran. One of the two individuals is confirmed to be a resident of Karachi in Sindh province, health officials said late Wednesday evening.

“One case has been reported in Sindh, whereas the second person tested positive in federal areas,” Health Minister Zafar Mirza said during a press conference in Quetta and answered “maybe” when asked if he was referring to Islamabad.

The persons traveled to Iran in the past 14 days, Mirza said, adding that both were in stable condition.

The coronavirus patient in Sindh has been identified as a 22-year-old resident of Karachi who is already quarantined.

The man “and other members of his family have been quarantined at a private hospital,” Meeran Yousuf, spokesperson of the Sindh Health Department, told Arab News, adding that the patient arrived in Karachi on a flight from Mashhad on Feb. 20.

The development was followed by the establishment of isolation wards in hospitals and closure of education institutes for two days. In Balochistan, which borders Iran, all education institutes have been temporarily closed until March 15 “as a precaution to protect children from the coronavirus,” the province’s education directorate announced in a circular on Wednesday.

The Sindh chief minister said in his press briefing a separate health center with isolation facilities would be established.

Shah said the data acquired from the aviation department confirmed that around 8,000 passengers had traveled from Iran, adding that 1,500 of them had arrived in Karachi and all of them would be contacted for screening.

“A group of 28 people who had traveled along the affected patient has also been identified and will be approached for screening,” Shah said, informing that the affected patient had been shifted to an isolated place from the Aga Khan Hospital.

Meanwhile, speaking to Arab News, Assistant Commissioner of Taftan Najibullah Qambrani said that a tent-hospital had been set up at the border. “The border remains closed for the fifth consecutive day and no one is allowed to enter Pakistan,” he said.

Iran has the highest coronavirus toll outside of China. The country’s health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Wednesday that 19 people had died from the illness, with 139 confirmed cases in the country.

The World Health Organization says the virus had infected more than 80,000 people around the world, causing over 2,700 deaths, mainly in China.

Experts are concerned that Iran may be under-reporting the cases and deaths.