Pakistan Cricket Board warns players to obey virus protocols

Balochistan players celebrate after dismissing Northern's batsman in the 27th match of the National T20 Cup at Pindi Club Ground, Rawalpindi on Oct. 15, 2020. (Photo courtesy: Pakistan Cricket Board)
Short Url
Updated 16 October 2020

Pakistan Cricket Board warns players to obey virus protocols

  • PCB said all cricketers who recently violated bio-secure bubble paid the costs of COVID-19 tests themselves
  • The board announced zero-tolerance for future breaches and those violating the protocols will be expelled from ongoing and future tournaments

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board warned players and team officials Friday to obey bio-secure protocols after nine cricketers and three team officials breached the rules during the on-going National Twenty20 Cup in Rawalpindi.
The nine cricketers included at least three players who have represented Pakistan in international matches. They underwent COVID-19 tests on Thursday and all were negative.
The PCB said all individuals who violated the bio-secure bubble paid the costs of the COVID-19 tests.
“The PCB is disturbed and disappointed that some senior players and officials have breached the bio-secure bubble during the National T20 Cup. In doing so, they have put at risk the integrity of the tournament and health and safety of their colleagues,” PCB director of high performance Nadeem Khan said in a statement.
Several international cricketers, including Pakistan Twenty20 skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Imam-ul-Haq, are participating in the six-team event in Rawalpindi.
“There will be zero-tolerance for future breaches and those violating the protocols will be expelled from the ongoing and future tournaments,” Khan said.
Pakistan is scheduled to host Zimbabwe this month for ODIs and Twenty20s, with Rawalpindi hosting the ODIs from Oct. 30.
“I expect the players and officials to show responsibility as the world is watching and international cricket is standing at our doorsteps,” Khan said. “Their (players and team officials) irresponsible actions can put into jeopardy all the efforts of the PCB in organizing and inviting sides during these challenging COVID-19 times.”

Pakistan's support for Kashmiri cause unwavering, Raheel Sharif says in Riyadh

Updated 23 min 17 sec ago

Pakistan's support for Kashmiri cause unwavering, Raheel Sharif says in Riyadh

  • Pakistani embassy in Riyadh held a seminar on the human rights situation in Kashmiri territory to mark Kashmir Black Day
  • Kashmiri self-determination is not only a moral and legally justified right, former Saudi ambassador to Pakistan says

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said that Pakistan supports the Kashmiri cause with an "unflinching resolve."

The general's comment came during a seminar, "Human Rights Situation in Kashmir: Implications for Regional Peace and Stability," organized by the Pakistani embassy in Riyadh to observe Kashmir Black Day on Thursday.

"Let it be known that every citizen of Pakistan stands united with the people of Kashmir and supports their struggle for freedom with an unflinching resolve," said Gen. Raheel Sharif, who now leads the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, a counterterrorist alliance of Muslim countries, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia.

"The issue of Kashmir is very close to every Pakistani’s heart as we fully understand the cause and dynamics of this struggle right from the beginning. We have closely witnessed the sufferings of our Kashmiri brethren and appreciate their resolve and valor in pursuit of their goal and fundamental human rights."

Kashmiri territory is divided between India and Pakistan, but both countries claim the region in its entirety. Crackdowns in the Indian-administered part have been escalating since August 2019, when New Delhi scrapped Articles 370 and 35A of the constitution, which gave Kashmiris limited autonomy and protected their domicile and employment rights.

If not reversed, the Indian regime's August move, Sharif said, will cause "further unrest in the region."

Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to Pakistan, Ali Awadh Asseri, who was one of speakers in the seminar, said that last year's change in Kashmir's status "through annexation and division of the internationally recognized disputed region," as well as subsequent lockdown and "enforced demographic shift currently underway" have aggravated the humanitarian crisis in the region.

"Kashmiri people are facing a more dangerous situation now as every passing day is marginalizing their political status and socio-economic space," he said during the seminar, as he recalled serving in Pakistan and leading Saudi relief efforts after an earthquake that devastated Kashmir in 2005.  

Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to Pakistan, Ali Awadh Asseri, participates in a seminar organized in Riyadh by the Pakistani embassy to observe Kashmir Black Day on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (Pakistan Embassy Riyadh via AN)

He said the relief could not reach the Indian-administered part of the territory, as New Delhi did not grant access. "We remember that Kashmir on the other side of LOC also faced devastating effects of the earthquake but could not do much due to lack of access by the Indian authorities."

"Kashmiri people want to live their lives according to their free will and India has denied this basic right and instead chosen the path of repression," Asseri added.

"The Kashmiri demand of self-determination is not only the moral right but also legally justified under UN security council resolutions."

India on Wednesday notified new laws that allow non-Kashmiris to buy land in the disputed region, rising concerns that the new regulation would dilute the Muslim-majority character of the region.

"Contrary to Indian claims of bringing development to the Kashmir valley, the real motive remains altering the demographics of the Muslim-majority territory," Islamabad's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Raja Ali Ejaz, told Arab News after the seminar.

He added that the Pakistani government remains "fully committed to the Kashmir cause."