Pakistan thanks Afghan president for ordering release of prisoners 

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attend their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on November 19, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 24 November 2020

Pakistan thanks Afghan president for ordering release of prisoners 

  • Afghan media reported a November 18 order by Ghani which said Pakistani inmates whose jail terms ended in a month would be freed
  • Those who are serving longer jail terms because they were unable to pay fines to also be set free, the decree says

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has thanked Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for the ‘humanitarian gesture’ of ordering the release of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Afghanistan’s jails.
Afghan media reported on a November 18 order by Ghani this week, which said Pakistani inmates whose jail terms ended in a month would be freed, as well as those who were serving longer jail terms because they were unable to pay fines.
“Welcome decree by Afghan President H.E. [his excellency] Ashraf Ghani for release of Pakistani prisoners who have completed their terms and are not able to pay fines or those nearing completion of their terms,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kabul, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, said in a tweet. “Appreciate this humanitarian gesture.”

Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq also welcomed Ghani’s decision.
“Pakistan is grateful for the goodwill gesture of President Ashraf Ghani to order the release Pakistanis imprisoned in Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds,” Sadiq said in a tweet.

Last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan went to Kabul on his maiden visit since assuming office in August 2018 and held wide-ranging talks with Ghani. It was the highest profile visit by a Pakistani official to Kabul since peace talks began between the Taliban and the Afghan government in the Qatari capital of Doha.


Cricket-Relaxed South Africa happy with security arrangements in Pakistan

Updated 18 January 2021

Cricket-Relaxed South Africa happy with security arrangements in Pakistan

  • This is South Africa’s first tour of Pakistan in 14 years
  • South Africa will play two tests and three Twenty20 Internationals in Pakistan 

Quinton de Kock has lauded the security arrangements laid out for South Africa on their first tour of Pakistan in 14 years and says the players are “a lot calmer” about the tour now they have arrived in the country and seen the measures first-hand.
South Africa will play two tests and three Twenty20 Internationals on their return to Pakistan for the first time since a militant attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians.
“When we were coming here, it was the biggest concern, but when we landed and saw the amount of security, we became a lot calmer. Over the days it has become less of a worry and we have been focussed more on the cricket,” the South African captain told reporters on Monday.
“The measures they (the Pakistan government) have taken have allowed us to feel comfortable and just focus on preparing for the test series.
“Every corner is checked and all bases are covered. We feel safe and for now are just worrying about cricket.”
South Africa are confined to their hotel rooms outside of practice sessions, and De Kock has become the latest international player to question the sustainability of bio-secure environments amid the coronavirus pandemic due to the strain on the mental health of players.
“It’s something that is not easy. I’ve said before it will eventually catch up to some players on the emotional and mental side. You are trying to keep yourself mentally stable and to perform for your country all at once.
“I’ve only been home for maximum three weeks over the last six months. It’s been tough, but we soldier on because people back home want to watch you perform.”
The first test in Karachi starts on Jan. 26 and is followed by the second in Rawalpindi from Feb. 4.