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Former Hampshire batsman Mark Nicholas believes international cricket needs Pakistan to start hosting matches again and the nation also wants assistance from the game’s community to help them get back on their feet.

“The ICC must continue to watch over Pakistan and ensure that pastoral and fiscal help is at hand,” wrote Nicholas for ESPNcricinfo.

“It is expensive and destabilising to play home games abroad. Zimbabwe’s recent visit to Pakistan was a success, as were trips by Kenya and Afghanistan. The next move should be for a representative ICC team to tour the country, a World XI if you like.

“The global game cannot afford to rest until Pakistan is fully incorporated again. We need this land of warrior cricketers every bit as it needs us,” added host of Channel Nine’s cricket coverage.

Nicholas further admired the passion in Pakistani cricketers saying it is sad that players do not enjoy local exposure.

“It is sad that England are not in Pakistan but we know why and wonder when. Pakistanis have cricket in their blood. Fostering the game is increasingly difficult without local exposure, but still exciting players emerge who will push England hard. Thankfully the passion remains,” wrote Nicholas.


Nicholas was also all-praise for Muhammad Amir and conceded his support for the young bowler’s return.

“It is five years since Mohammad Amir was punished for his teenage greed. Those who led him down the path must find it hard to look the game they are supposed to have loved in the eye,” he added.

“By all accounts Amir is on track for a feisty return. Thank heaven for that. Were he to pull on the colours of his great land once more, there would be cause for celebration. With clear thinking and careful guidance, he can be an inspiration to others. Everyone, young and old, deserves a second chance.”

Nicholas made also makes a rather interesting observation that if English cricket is about discipline then Pakistan cricket in all about talent.

“Cricket in Pakistan is utterly different and, thus, the players produced are very different too,” opined Nicholas.

“In England, you are first taught the virtues of a forward-defensive stroke and of line and length. In Pakistan both are a byplay to the ability to use the wrists and manoeuvre the ball into gaps, and to using the fingers and wrist to make the ball talk. In general, Pakistani cricketers have the greater talent and Englishmen the greater discipline.”


Moreover, Nicholas observed Misbah’s captaincy as a calm leader who instilled the same virtues in his playing eleven.

“Misbah-ul-Haq is coping immensely well with an assignment that has left many before him at the mercy of those on high. To his credit, Pakistan have been singled out by the ICC for good behaviour of late. Misbah has calmed these erratic, emotional cricketers and channelled their gifts. Not that this group is as gifted as those gone by, just that they have the same fierce ambition to justify themselves on the world stage,” explained Nicholas.

The post ‘International cricket needs Pakistan to host again’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

In a startling revelation, a senior Indian diplomat has revealed the outgoing Indian premier handed over Narendra Modi a secret draft agreement worked on with former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf on the Kashmir dispute.

The diplomat revealed that former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Musharraf had worked out a draft framework agreement on Indian-held Kashmir in secret talks, Indian Express reported.

Files containing unsigned documents exchanged by the two sides were personally handed over to Modi by his predecessor at a May 27, 2014 meeting, the diplomat said.

The revelation came as former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri is set to release the Indian edition of his book, ‘Neither a hawk nor a dove’, the first account of the Indian-Pakistan secret diplomacy on Kashmir by someone who was privy to the negotiations.

Read: Mumbai attacks aftermath: ‘India planned airstrikes in Pakistan after 26/11’

In his book, Kasuri quotes Musharraf as stating that the secret Kashmir agreement envisaged joint management of the state by India and Pakistan, as well as demilitarisation of the territory.

The Indian diplomat further disclosed that the final draft of the framework agreement in fact spoke of a “consultative mechanism”, made up of elected representatives of the governments of Jammu and Kashmir and Azad Kashmir, as well as officials of the two national governments. The consultative mechanism, he added, was mandated to address regional social and economic issues, like tourism, religious pilgrimages, culture and trade.

However, the official said that India had rejected Musharraf’s push for institutions for joint management of Kashmir by the two states, arguing it would erode Indian sovereignty.

Read: Neither Hawk nor Dove: ‘Modi will be unable to maintain hawkish stance’

Indian ambassador Satinder Lambah and Musharraf’s interlocutors, Riaz Muhammad Khan and Tariq Aziz, had spent over 200 hours during 30 meetings held in Dubai and Kathmandu discussing the draft agreement.

A former intelligence official revealed that Lambah was flown to Rawalpindi on a Research and Analysis Wing jet when negotiations reached an advanced stage, travelling without a passport or visa to ensure the meetings remained secret.

“In early talks, Pakistan reiterated its public positions, calling for international monitoring of the Line of Control, and so on. However, it became clear that both Musharraf and Prime Minister Singh were keen on arriving at an agreement that would allow them to focus on their respective agendas, without conflict over Kashmir sapping their energies,” the Indian diplomat said.

“Each paper exchanged between the two sides,” the diplomat said, “was read by him personally, and his instructions were then given to Lambah. There were just two people in the Cabinet, and perhaps three more in the bureaucracy, who were privy to what was going on.”

Later, Prime Minister Singh’s interlocutor on Kashmir, now Governor NN Vohra, was also given the task of briefing secessionist leaders in the state about the deal.

According to a former aide involved in the talks, Singh was on the verge of starting consultations with his cabinet and opposition leaders on the deal, when anti-Musharraf protests were started by Pakistani lawyers in March 2007.

“He seemed confident the talks would soon be able to revive,” the aide said, “but ended up being swept out of office”.

Read: UNGA speech: Nawaz proposes 4-point peace initiative with India

“At one time, it appeared that an important breakthrough was in sight. Events in Pakistan — for example, the fact that General Musharraf had to make way for a different setup — I think that led to the process not moving further,” PM Singh admitted at a press conference in 2014.

The two sides had also agreed to treat the Line of Control “like an international border”, with agreements to allow for the free movement of goods and people, the Indian negotiator revealed. Another important aspect of the agreement was that it would not require ratification by parliament or a constitutional amendment.

Read: Give up terrorism and let’s talk, India to Pakistan at UN

Lambah declined to be interviewed, but the official said the language of speech he delivered at Kashmir University in 2014 “was near-identical to that used in the final draft”.

This article originally appeared on The Indian Express

The post ‘Manmohan handed over secret file on Kashmir talks to Modi’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

LUXEMBOURG: European Union (EU) justice ministers met Friday in a bid to combat a rise in hate speech and xenophobia spread through social media as Europe grapples with an unprecedented influx of refugees.

Facebook pledged last month to fight a surge in racism on its German-language network as Germany has become the top destination for refugees, triggering a backlash from the far right.

Read: German minister’s ‘Negro’ comment sparks social media storm

“We realised in Germany that hate criminality has increased significantly on social platforms,” German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told reporters as he arrived for talks in Luxembourg.

Maas was to brief his EU counterparts about talks with Facebook and other sites as well as German initiatives to fight what he said was a European-wide problem.

“If someone calls for killing refugees or burning Jews then this is not covered by freedom of speech. This is a criminal act which will be prosecuted,” he said.

“Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter have a responsibility to make sure that such things will be deleted. This is not yet sufficiently the case,” he said.

For example, nobody understands why Facebook can delete child pornographic images in 24 hours but “not an incitement to kill someone,” he added.

Read: Police officer in Germany forces Muslim to eat rotten pork, shares video on Whatsapp

But Vera Jourova, the European commissioner for justice, said it was important to strike a balance between hate speech, which “is simply unacceptable,” and freedom of expression, which “is one of our core values.”

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told AFP that France already had a good legal arsenal against hate speech.

“We must verify at the European level that our laws are harmonised to allow us to prosecute with the same effectiveness and severity everywhere on (EU) territory,” Taubira said.

The post European Union to fight rise in online hate speech appeared first on The Express Tribune.

WASHINGTON: One person was shot dead and three others wounded at Northern Arizona University and police have detained the suspected shooter, NAU officials said early Friday.

“Details confirmed 4 victims, 1 fatality, 3 wounded. Shooter is in custody. Situation is stabilised. Campus not on lockdown,” university officials said on Twitter.

NAU is located in the city of Flagstaff in Arizona.

The motive for the shooting was not clear and Northern Arizona officials have not said if the dead victim was a student.

In an earlier Twitter message, university officials urged residents of the Mountain View Hall dormitory to stay indoors.

The deadly Arizona shooting follows the high-profile October 1 shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, in which a 26 year-old gunman shot dead nine people, then committed suicide.

The post One dead, 3 injured in US university shooting appeared first on The Express Tribune.

ANKARA: An Iranian Revolutionary Guards general has been killed near Aleppo, where he was advising the Syrian army on their battle against Islamic State (IS) fighters, the guards said in a statement on Friday.

The Guards said General Hossein Hamedani was killed on Thursday night and that he had “played an important role … reinforcing the front of Islamic resistance against the terrorists”.

Iran is the main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has provided military and economic support during Syria’s four-year-old civil war.

Iran denies having any military forces in Syria, but says it has offered “military advice” to Assad’s forces in their fight against “terrorist groups”.

Hamedani was a veteran of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and was made deputy chief commander of the elite forces in 2005.

In the biggest deployment of Iranian forces yet, sources told Reuters last week that hundreds of troops had arrived since late September to take part in a major ground offensive planned in west and northwest Syria.

Iranian lawmaker Esmail Kosari said Hamedani helped coordination between Syrian armed forces and the voluntary forces in their fight against the IS militia.

“For years, Hamedani played a very important role in Syria as an adviser … he played an important role in preventing the fall of Damascus. Then he returned home at the end of his assignment,” Kosari told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

“He returned to Syria for a few days because of his deep knowledge about the area … and he was martyred in Syria.”

Assad’s longtime ally, Russia launched its air campaign in September, saying it would also target IS. But its planes have also hit other rebel groups opposed to Assad, including groups backed by Washington.

The United States and its allies have been waging a year-long air campaign against IS in Syria, while pushing to diplomatically edge Assad from power.

Washington has ruled out military cooperation with Russia in Syria, accusing Moscow of pursuing a “tragically flawed” strategy that would force it to limit military talks to basic pilot safety.

The post Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards general killed in Syria appeared first on The Express Tribune.

MIAMI: NASA on Thursday outlined the many challenges that remain before humans can set foot on Mars, calling the problems “solvable” but setting no firm date for an astronaut mission to the Red Planet.

Updated details of the US space agency’s Mars strategy were contained in a 36-page document released to the public ahead of upcoming talks with Congress about budgets for space exploration and a major international meeting of the space industry to be held in Jerusalem next week.

The United States is “closer to sending American astronauts to Mars than at any point in our history,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

“In the coming weeks, I look forward to continuing to discuss the details of our plan with members of Congress, as well as our commercial and our international partners, many of whom will be attending the International Astronautical Congress next week,” he said in a statement.

Read: Mars water find boosts quest for extra-terrestrial life

Astronauts who journey to Mars could spend three years in deep space, where radiation is high and so are the risks of cancer, bone loss and immune problems, said the document, called “NASA’s Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration.”

“Living and working in space require accepting risk, and the journey is worth the risk,” it said, calling Mars “an achievable goal” and “the next tangible frontier for expanding human presence.”

The plan ahead is divided into three stages, the first of which is already under way with testing and experiments on human health and behavior, life support systems like growing food and recycling water, and 3-D printing aboard the International Space Station.

The second phase, called “Proving Ground,” begins in 2018 with the launch of the new deep space capsule Orion and the most powerful rocket ever built, known as the Space Launch System, or SLS.

The space agency plans to practice other missions in the area of space between the Earth and Moon, or in the Moon’s orbit, known as cislunar space.

These include sending a robotic spacecraft in 2020 to lasso a boulder from a near-Earth asteroid and ferry it to an area in deep space that astronauts can investigate.

Read: Evidence of flowing liquid water on Mars: NASA

“NASA will learn to conduct complex operations in a deep space environment that allows crews to return to Earth in a matter of days,” said the report.

“Primarily operating in cislunar space, NASA will advance and validate capabilities required for human exploration of Mars.”

The third phase involves living and working on Mars’ surface and in transiting spaceships “that support human life for years, with only routine maintenance,” as well as “harvesting Martian resources to create fuel, water, oxygen, and building materials.”

NASA gave no precise dates for this phase in the report, though one graphic mentioned “human missions to Mars vicinity in 2030+.”

As NASA presses further into space, the agency acknowledged that the problems will grow more complex.

“Future missions will face increasingly difficult challenges associated with transportation, working in space, and staying healthy,” said the report.

NASA also said it needs to develop adequate space suits for deep space exploration, and must test advanced solar electric propulsion to power spacecraft efficiently.

“NASA will have to learn new ways of operating in space,” said the report.

“Crews must be protected from the unique hazardous environments of deep space and on the Martian surface. Often, systems will have to operate autonomously or remain dormant for years in preparation for crew,” it said.

“Overcoming these challenges will be essential on the journey to Mars.”

Read: NASA tests spacecraft ‘Orion’ that will take man to Mars

Before humans ever set foot there, the US space agency and global partners plan a series of new robotic rovers, adding to those already sent by NASA, including the Curiosity rover which touched down in 2012.

Even that rover’s spectacular sky-crane powered landing must be completely revamped for a human-scale landing, which would be 20-30 times heavier.

A vehicle to lift humans from the surface of Mars into Mars’ orbit is also needed, and is considered “critical to crew survival.”

NASA said “the most important challenge for human pioneering missions is keeping the crew safe for long-duration missions up to 1,100 days.”

The post NASA unveils missing pieces in journey to Mars appeared first on The Express Tribune.

I’m waiting for my interview with Dr Umar Saif, chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), outside his offices on the 11th floor of a glistening building in the heart of Lahore.

There is an air of nervous trepidation – it is my first time interviewing someone associated with the government, and the common stereotype suggests it will be difficult to have a relaxed and comfortable talk. While I am aware of Dr Saif’s credentials – he received his doctorate in computer science from Cambridge at the age of 22 and then taught at MIT before moving back to Pakistan – I am unsure of what to expect. I hope for the best.

Read: Success story: Local property venture raises $9m in funding

As I am ushered into the office by his secretary, Dr Saif greets me with a firm handshake and indicates that I should take a seat and wait a few minutes longer. He has a beautiful, sprawling office with a mesmerizing view of the city and I take the opportunity to cater to my amateur photography hobby. Dr Saif remains hunkered down on his desk, typing away furiously on a computer and attending to calls.

After what seems like an eternity, but in reality is only about ten minutes, Dr Saif gets up from his chair and makes his way towards me. I am immediately caught off guard; there’s a smile on his face and he seems warm, welcoming, and jovial.

I try my usual tactic of asking a few ice-breaking questions to lighten the atmosphere and make the interviewee feel at ease. However, he is having none of it. Dr Saif is first interested in finding out more about myself. He wants to know where I went to college, my career trajectory so far, and my passions in life. I am taken aback – it is very rare for people to exhibit genuine interest. Most are obsessed with their own or their company’s publicity and leave no stone unturned to elaborate how they are the next big thing.

MIT and beyond

Frankly speaking, it wouldn’t have been much of an exaggeration if Dr Saif claimed that about himself. He is a perennial overachiever, finishing high school at 16, graduating from college at 19, and eventually completing his doctorate at an age when most are still struggling to understand which line of work to enter. At MIT, where he started his postdoc, he was part of Project Oxygen, a visionary project trying to fundamentally redesign the way mankind interacts with machines. Dr Saif’s work on the project focused on ubiquitous computing, building embedded operating systems for mobile platforms.

Read: Pakistan-based real estate portal raises $9 million in series B financing

After several years teaching and researching at MIT, Dr Saif moved back to Pakistan. He tells me it was not an easy decision at all – up until that time he had been solely focused on an academic career and that requires a “certain type of lifestyle.” Nevertheless, it was a combination of his desire to assist his country of birth and pressing family commitments which resulted in the decision. This was in 2005.

Later that year, Dr Saif accepted a faculty position at his alma mater – the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He was eager to replicate some of the things he had learned during his time at MIT and started working with some of his brightest students to develop scalable, innovative solutions. One of these was SMSall, a text message-based social network that he claims has sent billions of messages since it was first rolled out. Another was BitMate, a bittorrent client specifically engineered for people in countries with low bandwidth. As a result of his work, in 2011, the MIT Technology Review named him as one of their ‘World’s Top Young Innovators’ – the first Pakistani to be bestowed this honour.

Career pivot

Pakistan’s media was quick to catch on to these exploits. As a result of the coverage, Dr Saif received a call from a senior government minister, inviting him to breakfast. At the meeting, he was offered the opportunity to lead PITB. “I thought this was an opportunity to help make a difference – I had obtained a sabbatical from LUMS and thought three or four months would not matter much. Now, it is been four years,” he smiles.

PITB is now recognised as an institution at the forefront of using technology to solve social problems. Its work has permeated into almost all sectors of service delivery, including education, healthcare, and rescue services. Amongst other things, the Punjab government has digitized school textbooks, used technology to identify and correct public health outbreaks, and introduced a number of e-government services, allowing citizens to interact with the state far more efficiently. He tells me he is a fan of “using big data to solve problems,” and that their approach is proactive rather than reactive. “We are constantly sniffing out problems and trying to solve them,” he adds.

People like me, we do not usually work for the government. There is not a lot of money. But the impact that we are having is incredible – the velocity is amazing. Public sectors such as education and healthcare are much better now than in the past.

Read: After a stuttering start, Rocket Internet’s Daraz ecommerce marketplace is finally poised to take off

Pakistan’s most successful incubator and accelerator, Plan9 and PlanX, were also Dr Saif’s babies. They rank as one of the most meaningful contributions he’s made to encourage the growth of the tech start-up ecosystem in the country. He tells me the decision to start these incubators grew out of his personal pain and struggle when trying to build a company. “Little things such as office space, networking with mentors, and development of business skills are aspects that entrepreneurs should take for granted. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, they were few and far between.”

However, it was not so easy to convince others. Many in tech circles were sceptical about its true goal – the fact that the incubator was funded by the government and spearheaded by a technocrat served as a dampener. There were accusations that the government might eventually usurp the companies incubated or that any future success would be drummed up for political mileage. Nevertheless, work on building Plan9 forged ahead.

When I say Plan9 and PlanX start-ups have been successful, I’m looking at them purely from a fundraising angle. The overwhelming majority of reported seed-stage investments in Pakistani start-ups this year have been from those housed in the incubator. One of their earliest start-ups, Markhor, also became the first Pakistani company to be accepted at Y Combinator – not an easy feat for any young team.

Building the tech ecosystem

I try to press Dr Saif about why he thinks Plan9 has taken off the way it has so far. But he is reluctant to take any credit, or even call it a success. He explains that the mushroom growth of incubators and accelerators emanating from the private sector is a better metric of success and one that will ensure longevity of the ecosystem. “That’s what governments do. They trigger, they catalyse, and then the private sector takes over,” he opines.

One message that Dr Saif consistently drives home during the interview is how they are trying to be as transparent as possible. He reveals he works with PITB on a completely pro-bono basis, refusing to take a salary. No one sitting on the board of directors for Plan9 and PlanX are allowed to take equity in the start-ups until they graduate – a decision which has led to some of them resigning in protest. Dr Saif’s own ventures have been denied office space at the Arfa Karim Software Technology Park lest someone accuse him of using his influence for personal gain.

So when will we see a billion-dollar start-up from Pakistan? Dr Saif remains supremely confident that the time is not too far away. He says: “There’s no dearth of talent or passion in Pakistan. If you see the start-ups that have graduated from our incubators, about fifteen of them are doing fantastically well. One or two of them could very well go on to make it huge.”

There is an air of surprising resignation when I ask him about the future of both Plan9 and PlanX. “Obviously, we’ll go away,” he says. “Governments are governments, if a new one comes in and their priorities are not aligned, [this project] could go away. They could fire me.”

On a personal level, Dr Saif might be bracing to resume his academic career and move away from the hybrid-technocrat position he currently occupies. He frankly admits he is not certain whether he will continue as the chairman of PITB for the foreseeable future. Numerous references to his other role as the vice-chairman of Information Technology University suggest he could be ready to delve into that on a full-time basis. A driving force might be his desire to develop technologies for the future – he tells me a lot of money has been pumped in to spruce up its R&D wing as well as hire faculty who will help breed the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Whatever happens next, it is clear that there is already been a systemic shift in the way most of Pakistan views tech. The majority of Dr Saif’s initiatives have been restricted to the largest province, Punjab, but the projects he has built and set in motion are known across the country. Slowly, other provinces are catching up and asking for assistance in strengthening their own tech departments. “PITB has become more of a national institution, and that’s a good thing,” he smiles.

This article was originally published on Tech In Asia.

The post Meet the man propelling Pakistan into the digital age appeared first on The Express Tribune.

From Hollywood stars to Bollywood celebs, everybody has been actively voicing their opinion on the gender wage gap these days. Kareena Kapoor too has opened up about the disparity in remuneration.

In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, the Bollywood diva expressed her lack of concern about the ongoing debate. “Everyone has raised a hue and cry [about the issue], and so many figures are being tossed around, but I’ve never had an issue,” said the actress.

“I’m not complaining about the fact that I’m not paid well. I don’t know what others get but I know what I get paid. And the fact is, I’m very happy with that,” she added.

Read: Vidya Balan vows to eliminate male-female disparity in Bollywood

She also revealed that the audience just cares about “good scripts” nowadays, it doesn’t matter if the lead role is played by a male or a female actor.

“It’s good to say that heroine-oriented films are working now, but I think it’s just the good scripts. And hopefully, we will get a lot more entertaining scripts in time to come,” she added.

Read: Going to ‘make sure’ men, women get paid equally in Bollywood: Kangana Ranaut

Bebo is perfectly balancing her career and marital life, but it seems the ghosts of her past will keep on haunting her. Everyone was surprised when Vishal Bhardwaj announced the cast of his next film Rangoon which will feature Bebo’s husband Saif Ali Khan and her ex-beau Shahid Kapoor in lead roles.


Read: ‘Why ask about my salary?’

When asked how the director managed to convince Shahid and Saif to star together, he revealed, “Mera bas chalta toh main Kareena ko bhi cast karta (If things were in my hands, I would have cast Kareena, too). But no, this is not the thing. The role was only written for Kangana Ranaut. Saif and Shahid are amazing actors,” reports Pinkvilla.

The post Happy with what I am paid: Kareena Kapoor appeared first on The Express Tribune.

LONDON: New Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described himself as “The Normal One” as he faced the media for the first time on Friday following his appointment as successor to Brendan Rodgers.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho famous described himself as “a special one” in his first press conference in English football in 2004, earning him the nickname ‘The Special One’.

But Klopp, 48, told a packed room of journalists at Anfield: “I don’t want to describe myself. I’m a totally normal guy. I’m the Normal One.”

The former Borussia Dortmund head coach was appointed on Thursday on a three-year contract following the dismissal of Rodgers, who was sacked last Sunday after three and a half years at the club.

In an interview with the club’s in-house television channel, LFC TV, Klopp described the job as “the biggest challenge … in the world of football”.

His first game at the helm will be a trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on October 17.

Read: Liverpool job is ‘biggest challenge’: Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool won the last of their 18 league titles in 1990 under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish.

Rodgers led them to a second-place finish in 2014, but they finished sixth last season and are currently in 10th place in the table with 12 points from eight games.

Klopp introduced a style of high-octane football during his time at Dortmund, leading the club to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final, and he pledged that Liverpool would play at “full throttle”.

“Winning is important, but so is how you win and how you play the game,” he said.

“I believe in a playing philosophy that is very emotional, very fast and very strong. My teams must play at full throttle and take it to the limit every single game.

“It is important to have a playing philosophy that reflects your own mentality, reflects the club and gives you a clear direction to follow. Tactical of course, but tactical with a big heart.”

He added: “Liverpool has extraordinary supporters and Anfield is a world renowned home, with an incredible atmosphere.

“I want to build a great relationship with these supporters and give them memories to cherish. I hope we can feed off each other’s energy and that we take this journey together.”

Klopp confirmed that his assistants at Dortmund, Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz, would join him at Liverpool.

Read: Klopp emerges as clear favourite for Liverpool job – reports

He described his appointment as “one of the best moments in my life” and said Anfield was “the most historical place” in world football.

He also thanked Liverpool’s American owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) for appointing him and said he was happy to work with their transfer committee, which oversees the club’s recruitment strategy.

“It was absolutely no problem between FSG and myself,” he said.

“We talked about this. It’s nothing. If two clever, intelligent guys sit at a table and you both want the same, what can be the problem?”

Klopp’s contract is reported to be worth £5 million ($7.7 million, 6.8 million euros) per year, rising to £7 million with bonuses.

“In Jurgen Klopp we have appointed a world-class manager with a proven track record of winning and someone who has the personality and charisma to reignite this football club and take the team forward,” said Liverpool chairman Tom Werner.

“He possesses all the qualities we are looking for in a manager — he is a strong, inspirational leader, who has a clear philosophy of high energy, attacking football.

“Critically, he is also a winner and someone who can connect with our supporters.”

The post New Liverpool manager Klopp is ‘The Normal One’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

ROME: A small group of Eritreans left Italy for Sweden on Friday, the first contingent of asylum-seekers to be relocated under a European Union scheme to ease the burden of the migration crisis on frontline countries.

Grinning shyly before the media, 19 young Eritreans — five women and 14 men — waved and blew kisses as they boarded a small propeller plane at Rome’s Ciampino airport after hugging members of the Red Cross and UN Refugee agency goodbye.

“Today is an important day for the European Union, it is a day of victory… for those who believe in Europe, for those who believed in saving human lives,” Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told journalists after the departure.

Read: EU to speed up deportations to tackle migrant crisis

“It is a defeat for those who claim it is better for the Mediterranean to become a lake of death… and believe that scaring the European people is the way forward,” he added.

The scheme follows months of tensions over the more than 600,000 people who have flooded into Europe this year.

EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Luxembourg minister Jean Asselborn, whose country holds the EU presidency, were in Rome to launch the scheme to relocate 160,000 people from Italy and Greece to other member states in the 28-nation bloc over the next two years.

The plan, which hopes to help ease the bloc’s worst migration crisis since World War II, was only given the green light after Brussels flatly overruled stiff opposition from Eastern European nations.

“This is a tangible example of what we can do when we work together. We are nations of immigrants and we’ve made an important step forwards,” Avramopoulos said, adding that it showed “Italy is not alone”.

Alfano said Italy was ready to relocate 100 more asylum-seekers who would go to Germany and the Netherlands, and the UNHCR said further relocations would take place from Italy at the beginning of next week.

“This is a significant day, a positive and important one,” the UN refugee agency’s southern Europe spokeswoman, Carlotta Sami, told AFP.

“But we know more must be done. There is a great need for measures to be put in place to allow (asylum-seekers) to arrive in Europe safely,” she said, referring to perilous boat crossings in the Mediterranean which have cost over 3,000 people their lives this year alone.

The Eritreans had been rescued on the high seas over the past few weeks and taken to an experimental migrant screening centre or “hotspot” on Lampedusa island, where they were registered.

Read: Rejected in EU, asylum seekers can face years of deadlock

Avramopoulos and Asselborn were expected to travel to the Italian island later Friday to examine the centre, a prototype for several set to open at the end of November across Italy and Greece.

On Thursday, EU nations agreed to speed up the deportation of failed asylum seekers and crack down on so-called “economic migrants” — who are largely from poor African nations and not refugees from conflict zones.

A UN report in June detailed how the Horn of Africa nation, under Isaias Afwerki’s iron-fisted regime for the past 22 years, has created a repressive system in which people are routinely arrested on a whim, detained, tortured, killed or disappeared.

The EU hopes the closed centres will sharply reducing the number of people who arrive by boat, refuse to be identified and head off across the borders to other bloc countries to seek a new life.

The centres and relocations are part of a multi-point plan which includes a military anti-people trafficker operation.

The UN’s Security Council is set to vote Friday on a draft resolution to authorise military action against smugglers with Operation Sophia, which launched this week to seize traffickers’ boats in international waters.

While the vote is not necessary for the EU to take action, the measure would legitimise plans under which European warships will board ships for inspection, confiscate them and even dispose of vessels used by migrant smugglers.

The post First asylum seekers leave Italy under European Union relocation plan appeared first on The Express Tribune.

BARCELONA: Barcelona have given their full backing to Lionel Messi in the Argentina forward’s tax fraud case and vowed to fight “external decisions” they say are unfairly targeting the club.

A Spanish court on Thursday ordered Messi and his father Jorge, who are accused of defrauding the Spanish state of 4.2 million euros ($4.76 million) from 2007 to 2009, to stand trial and the state attorney said Barca’s star player should serve a jail sentence of up to 22 months if found guilty.

In a statement published late on Thursday, Barca noted the state attorney’s stance was “the complete opposite” to that of Spain’s public prosecutor, who has said Lionel Messi should not have to answer the charges as his father oversaw his finances.

Read: Messi to be tried on tax fraud charges

“FC Barcelona has expressed its affection and solidarity to Leo Messi and his family in such a peculiar situation,” the statement said.

“The club shall continue to offer him and his family its full support and assistance in the legal, fiscal and administrative aspects of these proceedings.”

Messi is one of several Barca players, including compatriot Javier Mascherano and Brazil forward Neymar, who have been targeted by the Spanish authorities in recent months. All deny wrongdoing.

The club itself was charged last year with tax fraud in the signing of Neymar from Brazilian club Santos and paid $18.6 million in what it called a “complementary tax declaration”. They said they remained “convinced the original tax payment was in line with their fiscal obligations”.

Read: Prosecutors request 18 months for Messi’s father

Barca’s legal problems have come on top of a FIFA ban for breaking rules on the signing of minors and president Josep Maria Bartomeu complained last year of what he called a concerted campaign to damage the Spanish and European champions. He was repeatedly asked who was behind the alleged campaign, including if it might be arch rivals Real Madrid, but he declined to provide any names.

“FC Barcelona condemns the accumulation of totally inadmissible and external decisions that have been going on for some time and that have nothing to with strictly sporting affairs,” Barca said on Thursday.

“They are damaging to the smooth running of the club, its stability and that of the players that form part of it.”

The club shall be working with more determination than ever to defend its legitimate rights and is ready for any new challenges that might arise.” ($1 = 0.8829 euros)

The post Barcelona back Messi in tax fraud case appeared first on The Express Tribune.

BEIJING: China’s top aircraft manufacturer has revealed specifications of an advanced stealth fighter jet in a bid to lure foreign buyers, the official China Daily reported on Friday.

In a rare disclosure, the state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China (Avic) unveiled the capabilities of the J-31 aircraft at an aviation show, even though the jet is still being tested, the newspaper said.

Avic officials have made no secret of the fact that they are seeking foreign buyers for the aircraft, hoping to compete with Lockheed Martin’s F-35.

Countries that cannot buy weaponry from the United States have increasingly sought them from China, particularly because Chinese arms are often cheaper.

Avic said the fifth-generation fighter jet, which has a 1,200 km (750-mile) combat range and a top speed of 2,205 kph (1,370 mph), is designed to be in service for up to 30 years, the China Daily reported.

It has a maximum payload capacity of 8 metric tons, the newspaper said.

An Avic executive said last year the jet could “take down” foreign rivals in the sky. The twin-engine J-31 took its maiden flight in 2012.

Defense analysts have often compared the jet to the US-made F-35, and US officials have speculated that China may have used cyber espionage to acquire classified knowledge about the aircraft’s development.

Stealth aircraft are vital to China developing the ability to carry out both offensive and defensive operations, the Pentagon has said in a report about developments in China’s military.

The J-31 is China’s second domestically produced stealth fighter jet.

President Xi Jinping has pushed to toughen the 2.3 million-strong armed forces as the country takes a more assertive stance in the region, particularly in the South China and East China seas.

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KARACHI: Smoking is bad for health — yes, we all already know that. But are you aware that some of our daily habits are equally harmful?

Research indicates that these habits pose the same threat to our health as cigarette smoke does by either exposing us to the same contaminants or by leading to diseases caused by it.

Here are six habits you need to quit for a healthier lifestyle, as compiled from Rodale Wellness and Bustle:

1. Sitting all day

Sitting for lengthy periods of time causes many health problems, whether you are sitting at your desk at work, on your couch in front of the TV or in your car.

Photo: Shutterstock

According to research by Alberta Health Services–Cancer Care in Canada, inactivity is associated with almost 160,000 cases of breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancer every year – this is around two-thirds as many cases as caused by smoking.

In addition to cancer, you are also at risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even premature death – even if you exercise regularly! Try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods and take frequent breaks at work.

2. Eating too much meat and cheese

You might think eating a lot of meat is good for you as it contains protein, but animal proteins are rich in IGF-1, a growth hormone that can stimulate growth of cancer cells.


The University of Southern California recently published a study that found that middle-aged people consuming high-animal-protein diets were four times more likely to die of cancer than people consuming low-protein diets – a death risk similar to that posed by smoking.

The solution is to switch some animal proteins with vegetable proteins as the study also found that plant-based proteins did not cause the same increase in cancer rates even though the protein levels were equivalent. However, once you cross the age of 65, the production of IGF-1 in your body slows down so animal protein isn’t as harmful then.

3. Cooking with natural gas


Almost all kitchens in Pakistan are equipped with a gas stove, which means every time you cook, you get a dose of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde – the same contaminants present in secondhand cigarette smoke. Use a vent hood to reduce the pollution levels if you can’t discontinue using a gas stove.

4. Cooking with the wrong oil

Just replacing your gas stove won’t immunise you to air pollution caused by cooking.

Photo: United Soybean Board

Studies show that high-heat cooking with soybean oil (usually called vegetable oil) releases particulate matter, aldehydes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – all found in cigarette smoke. Use the type of oil that suits your needs, like olive oil for low-heat cooking and avocado oil for high-heat cooking.

5. Drinking fizzy drinks


We all know that soft drinks cause us harm, depriving us of calcium, but we continue consuming them anyway. However, that’s not the only thing they do. Studies show that they can also cause heart diseases, diabetes, mental illnesses, liver problems, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – even if you are not overweight.

6. Not getting enough sleep

Sleep deprivation not only makes you cranky and inefficient, it also hampers your body productivity in a multitude of other ways.

Photo: HuffPost

Lack of sleep can trigger high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and obesity; and even fragmented sleep can accelerate the growth of tumours. A study suggests that getting less than six or seven hours of sleep led to mortality rates equivalent to those in cigarette smokers.

So, if you think you’re in the clear just because you don’t smoke, think again. And if you smoke along with following these habits, you need to make some changes!

The post 6 everyday habits that are as unhealthy as smoking appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Still in awe of SRK and Kajol’s monochrome still from Dilwale? King Khan promises that his jori with Mahira Khan in Raees will “look good” too!

It’s no secret that Mahira is a huge fan of King Khan. She was one among many who gushed over the SRK-Kajol still from the sets of their upcoming film. In fact, the Humsafar actress loved it so much, she decided to tweet about it:

@iamsrk Uffff!You both, Uff!

— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) October 7, 2015

The Bollywood megastar, who recently wrapped up a schedule for Raees alongside the Pakistani actress, replied to her assuring that the duo will also “look good” in their upcoming film:

@TheMahiraKhan just saw your tweet. ‘Uff’ we will look good in Raees too. Hope all is well with you and family.

— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) October 9, 2015

We can’t wait to see the couple working their magic on-screen. Sorry Fawad, looks like Mahira’s Bollywood co-star has overshadowed you.

Here’s the teaser of the film:

Raees is set to release next year on Eid and will clash with Salman’s Sultan. Interestingly, today Salman tweeted his look from the film:

Here is a picture that was taken while training.

— Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan) October 9, 2015

Doesn’t he look amazing? Well, tough battle ahead!

The post ‘Uff’ we will look good in Raees, Shah Rukh tells Mahira appeared first on The Express Tribune.

MONTEVIDEO: Argentina slumped to a shock home defeat against Ecuador while Brazil were beaten 2-0 by Chile on Thursday as upsets dominated the opening round of South America’s qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup.

A star-studded Argentina side badly missing the inspiration of injured captain Lionel Messi struggled to find a way through a disciplined Ecuador in a lackluster game at the Estadio Monumental.

Read: Aguero to fill in for Messi in upcoming WC Qualifiers

The tone for a miserable night for Argentina had been set early on, when Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was stretchered off the field with what looked like a serious hamstring injury.

The game appeared to be heading for a 0-0 draw entering the final 10 minutes before Ecuador secured a breakthrough from a Frickson Erazo header that fired the minnows into a 1-0 lead.

Moments later Antonio Valencia burst down the right flank and fed for Felipe Caicedo, who slotted home past Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero for 2-0.

The defeat piles the pressure on Argentina coach Gerardo Martino, whose position was already the subject of scrutiny following his team’s failure to win the Copa America earlier this year.

Brazil meanwhile — also missing their talismanic presence with captain Neymar serving a suspension — were undone by goals from Chile stars Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez in Santiago.

Read: Sans skipper: Neymar-less Brazil take on Copa winners Chile

Vargas, topscorer in Chile’s triumphant Copa America campaign, picked up where he left off in that tournament to fire the hosts into the lead on 72 minutes.

Arsenal star Sanchez then applied the coup de grace in the 90th minute, jabbing home from close range after a wonderful flowing move which ripped Brazil’s defence apart.

Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli hailed his side’s victory, the first by Chile over Brazil since 2000.

“I’m very happy because I have never beaten Brazil, and to beat a team that has caused us so many problems in the past means a lot,” Sampaoli said.

“Brazil are a great team, with great players who will surely be in the next World Cup,” added Sampaoli.

Brazil had been desperate to move on from a disappointing Copa America campaign which followed their humiliating 7-1 drubbing against Germany in last year’s World Cup semi-finals.

But the Brazilians, lacking the creative flair of Neymar, struggled to find a way through a physical Chile side who were fortunate to finish the game with 11 men.

Yet while Argentina and Brazil were left reeling, there were no such problems for Uruguay, who shrugged off the absence of star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to score a historic first ever away win over Bolivia in La Paz.

The post Brazil, Argentina upset as road to World Cup begins appeared first on The Express Tribune.

OSLO: Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its contribution to building democracy after the Jasmine Revolution in 2011, the Nobel Committee said.

The Nobel Peace Prize, worth $972,000, will be presented in Oslo on December 10.

Announcing the award the committee added that the Quartet is honoured for its work in helping to ensure Tunisia’s post-Arab Spring direction was broadly peaceful and democratic. It is directly comparable to the peace conferences mentioned by Alfred Nobel in his will, it said.

Kaci Kullmann Five, the newly appointed chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, revealed the laureate’s name at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.

The pope, the German chancellor and a Congolese doctor were all tipped as top contenders for Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize, but speculation mounted that the honour could go to two octogenarian survivors of the atomic bombings of Japan 70 years ago.

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize announcement #NobelPrize

— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 9, 2015

Read: Nuclear opponents, Good Samaritans tipped for Nobel peace award

But with a line up of 273 candidates, just shy of last year’s record 278, predicting the winner was largely a game of chance.

This year, pundits largely agreed the prize was likely to be awarded for efforts to resolve the global refugee crisis, which has been particularly acute in Europe, or in recognition of nuclear disarmament efforts seven decades after the first-ever atomic bombings.

Hours before the winner was revealed, Nobeliana, a website run by historians who specialise in the Nobel, tapped two elderly Japanese survivors of the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as favourites alongside ICAN, a global organisation fighting to abolish nuclear weapons.

Read: Merkel has ‘good chance’ of winning Nobel Peace Prize: report

“Once again the world must be reminded of the fatal consequences of atomic weapons,” said the website naming 83-year-old Setsuko Thurlow and 86-year-old Sumiteru Taniguchi as the frontrunners.

If it were to make such a choice, the Nobel committee would continue its recent tradition of honouring anti-nuclear efforts in years marking the decade anniversaries of the 1945 bombings.

Pundits and bookmakers alike all had German Chancellor Angela Merkel among the top three contenders for the award on account of her moral leadership as Europe struggles with its worst migration crisis since World War II.

Read: Malala Yousafzai becomes youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner

In several cases, she was touted as joint winner alongside the UN refugee agency, UNHCR which has already won the award twice in 1954 and 1981.

Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize went to 17-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi for their work promoting children’s rights.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the prize saying that peaceful global development can only come about if children and the young are respected.

The post Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet wins Nobel Peace Prize appeared first on The Express Tribune.

JERUSALEM: A Jewish suspect stabbed and wounded four Arabs in southern Israel on Friday, police said, in the first such attack after a spate of stabbings in recent days targeting Israelis.

The attack occurred in the city of Dimona. At least two of the victims were Arab Israelis while it was still unclear whether the other two were Arab Israeli or Palestinian, police said. The Jewish suspect had been arrested.

Police called the attack “nationalistic,” indicating it may have been in revenge for at least eight stabbings that have targeted Israelis since Saturday, killing at least two of them.

Palestinians have also rioted in annexed east Jerusalem and the West Bank, with the unrest raising fears of a wider uprising or even a third intifada.

Several hundred right-wing Jewish protesters marched in Jerusalem on Thursday night, including some chanting “Death to Arabs” and “No Arabs, No Attacks”.

Arab Israelis are the descendants of Palestinians who remained after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and hold Israeli citizenship.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians also work in Israel, particularly in construction.

The post Jew stabs four Arabs in southern Israel: police appeared first on The Express Tribune.

LONDON: New Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described his job as “the biggest challenge” in world football on Friday following his appointment as the successor to Brendan Rodgers.

“Maybe it is the biggest challenge this moment in the world of football,” Klopp said in an interview with Liverpool’s in house television channel, LFCTV.

“But I was never a guy for an easy way. In this moment it is the most interesting job in world football.”

Former Borussia Dortmund head coach Klopp, 48, was appointed on Thursday on a three-year contract following the dismissal of Rodgers, who was sacked last Sunday after three and a half years at the club.

His first game at the helm will be a trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on October 17.

Liverpool won the last of their 18 league titles in 1990 under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish.

Rodgers led them to a second-place finish in 2014, but they finished sixth last season and are currently in 10th place in the table with 12 points from eight games.

Read: Klopp emerges as clear favourite for Liverpool job

Klopp introduced a style of high-octane football during his time at Dortmund, leading the club to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final, and he pledged that Liverpool would play at “full throttle”.

“Winning is important, but so is how you win and how you play the game,” he said.

“I believe in a playing philosophy that is very emotional, very fast and very strong. My teams must play at full throttle and take it to the limit every single game.”

“It is important to have a playing philosophy that reflects your own mentality, reflects the club and gives you a clear direction to follow. Tactical of course, but tactical with a big heart.”

He added: “Liverpool has extraordinary supporters and Anfield is a world renowned home, with an incredible atmosphere.

“I want to build a great relationship with these supporters and give them memories to cherish. I hope we can feed off each other’s energy and that we take this journey together.”

Klopp confirmed that his assistants at Dortmund, Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz, would join him at Liverpool.

He described his appointment as “one of the best moments in my life” and said Anfield was “the most historical place” in world football.

He also thanked Liverpool’s American owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) for appointing him and said he was happy to work with their transfer committee, which oversees the club’s recruitment strategy.

“It was absolutely no problem between FSG and myself,” he said.

“We talked about this. It’s nothing. If two clever, intelligent guys sit at a table and you both want the same, what can be the problem?”

Read: I’m incredibly disappointed to leave Liverpool, says Brendan Rodgers

Klopp’s contract is reported to be worth £5 million ($7.7 million, 6.8 million euros) per year, rising to £7 million with bonuses.

“In Jurgen Klopp we have appointed a world-class manager with a proven track record of winning and someone who has the personality and charisma to reignite this football club and take the team forward,” said Liverpool chairman Tom Werner.

“He possesses all the qualities we are looking for in a manager — he is a strong, inspirational leader, who has a clear philosophy of high energy, attacking football.

“Critically, he is also a winner and someone who can connect with and enthuse our supporters.”

The post Liverpool job is ‘biggest challenge’: Jurgen Klopp appeared first on The Express Tribune.

NEW DELHI: India is opening the way for women pilots to fly fighter jets in combat, its air force chief said, as one of the world’s biggest military forces shakes off its reluctance to give greater responsibilities to women.

Several countries, from the United States to Israel, and even neighbour and arch-rival Pakistan, have women flying their fighter planes, but India’s military has kept them out of that role, as well as frontline warships and ground combat.

In recent years, however, Indian courts have pushed the military to widen opportunities for women, by giving them permanent commissions, for example, instead of limiting them to five-year terms.

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said he expected the first women pilots to be commissioned within the next two to three years, following an air force proposal to the defence ministry.

“We have women pilots flying transport aircraft and helicopters,” he said at a parade on Thursday to mark the 83rd anniversary of the Indian Air Force.

“We are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream, to meet the aspirations of the young women.”

The step comes just a year after Raha turned down the possibility of putting women in that role, newspapers said, quoting him as having said women were unfit to fly fighter aircraft for long stretches.

But the air force now faces a shortage of pilots, at the same time as it struggles to modernise its Soviet-era fleet. In April, a parliamentary defence panel urged the government to tackle the IAF’s problems.

“Our squadron strength is already short of what has been authorised, and moreover, insufficiency in the number of available pilots further deteriorates our operational capabilities,” it said in a report.

India’s army, with 1.1 million troops, ranks among the world’s largest. Its air force is around 120,000 strong, with just 1,500 women, of whom 108 are transport and helicopter pilots.

The post Indian air force opens the way for women to pilot fighter jets appeared first on The Express Tribune.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to brief US President Barack Obama about Pakistan’s efforts to resume talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban, a source told The Express Tribune.

The disclosure came following a meeting between the premier and army chief General Raheel Sharif on Friday.

“PM Nawaz, during his visit to the US will brief US President Barack Obama about Pakistan’s efforts on resuming talks between Afghanistan and Taliban,” a source said, adding that the US is interested in seeing concrete steps being taken from Pakistan’s side regarding the peace process.

The civil and military leadership is likely to meet in the coming week to finalise the agenda of the premier’s visit to the US and the country’s stance regarding the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

Read: Islamabad to assist talks if both Kabul, Taliban willing

Meanwhile, during the meeting, General Raheel apprised the premier of the security situation of Afghanistan and its implications on Pakistan.

“Internal security situation was reviewed during the meeting,” a PM House statement said.

The source said the army chief briefed the premier regarding a corps commanders meeting held at the military’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Read: Shutting the door: Army wants better managed Afghan border

Days after the top US military commander in Afghanistan said that the military operation by the Pakistan Army in the tribal border areas had forced militants across the Durand Line, military commanders discussed ways to plug the porous border.

“External security situation was comprehensively discussed with particular emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan and border management issues on Pak-Afghan border,” an ISPR statement said.

The post ‘PM to brief Obama on Pakistan’s efforts to resume talks between Kabul, Taliban’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.


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