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Abdul Qadir, fearless flagbearer of leg-spin will be missed

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Abdul Qadir Pakistan Cricket Player

Lahore, Sep 7 (IANS) As someone who revived the art of leg-spin with a unique bowling action and heart of a lion, the legendary Pakistani Abdul Qadir passed away on Friday night leaving the cricketing fraternity poorer and in his memory of the 1980s.

Qadir passed away at the age of 63 due to a heart attack drawing immediate reaction from the cricketing world at large who were once mesmerised by his skill and even terrified.

Qadir, who made his Test debut here against England in 1977, must be thanked for keeping wrist-spin alive through the late 1970s and ’80s. Qadir took 236 wickets in 67 Test matches, snaring 132 wickets in 104 ODIs.

He later served as the chief selector of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He had a temperament of a fast bowler and his killer instinct with the ball left many a batsman befuddled.

Qadir preyed on English batsmen the most and the famous story of captain Imran Khan asking him to grow a beard before the 1982 tour to further intimidate the opponents is now part of folklore.

Qadir took 30 wickets in three Tests, including the best bowling in an innings by a Pakistani, 9/56 in Lahore against England in 1987. About his detailed action, Qadir had once said that it was done to distract batsmen. The saying was that he had six different deliveries per over.

Qadir was also said to have two different googlies. It was only against India that Qadir was not that successful, with a 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar famously hitting him for 28 runs in an over.

Qadir was also successful against the West Indies as Pakistan went without losing a series to them in the mid-80s which was largely due to Qadir’s exploits. Qadir was a fighter and that could be gauged by the way he batted with gusto like the one where he took 16 off Courtney Walsh’s last over to win a World Cup tie.

Qadir became a mentor to Shane Warne and Mushtaq Ahmed and with the emergence of the latter in the 90s, he faded away.

He ran a private academy near Gaddafi Stadium and his four sons have followed him into the game. He later served as the chief selector of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“They called him the magician for many reasons but when he looked me in the eyes and told me I was going to play for Pakistan for the next 20 years, I believed him. A Magician, absolutely. A leg spinner & a trailblazer of his time. You will be missed Abdul Qadir but never forgotten,” the legendary Wasim Akram tweeted, among many who remembered a great who will live beyond his 63 years.

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World

Pompeo meets Qureshi, lauds Pak’s efforts for Afghan peace

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mike pompeo

Washington, Jan 18 Visiting Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here, during which the latter lauded Islamabad’s efforts for a political and peaceful solution to help resolve the Afghan conflict.

Qureshi is on the final leg of his tri-state visit aimed at diffusing US-Iran tensions, as instructed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Besides the Afghan peace process, Qureshi and Pompeo on Friday also exchanged views on matters pertaining to Pakistan-US bilateral cooperation and regional security situation, reports The News International.

Qureshi, who earlier called on the US to remain engaged in Afghanistan’s reconstruction even after withdrawal of its troops, informed the top US diplomat that Pakistan would continue its efforts for political solution to the Afghan conflict.

“Pakistan is fulfilling this joint responsibility for the Afghan peace process with sincerity of intent,” he said.

In response, Pompeo appreciated Pakistan’s “sincere efforts” for the Afghan reconciliation and peace process and a peaceful neighbourhood.

During the talks, Qureshi also briefed Pompeo about discussions held during his recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He said that Pakistan desird peace and stability and was determined to play its role to defuse prevailing tensions in the region, Dawn news reported.

The Minister also underlined the need for strengthening bilateral trade and investment “in order to give a practical shape to Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump’s vision of comprehensive bilateral Pakistan-US relations”.

The US was the last leg of Qureshi’s three nation trip after visiting Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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India

Those opposing CAA, NPR should come together: Chidambaram

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P Chidambaram

Kolkata, Jan 18 : Urging all parties opposing CAA and NPR to come together, the Congress on Saturday extended the olive branch to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other leaders who skipped January 13 Delhi deliberations hoping they would turn up in some other meeting that might be convened on the twin issues.

“For the sake of the country, all parties which are opposing the CAA and NPR should come together… What is at stake are far more important issues… One shouldn’t miss the larger picture.

“The larger picture is we are fighting to save the Constitution of India, we are fighting to save the enduring values embodied in th cConstitution of India. So all those who fight for these values must eventually come together on one platform. And I am confident, they will,” Congress Working Committee member P. Chidambaram told media.

Apart from Banerjee, Samajwadi Party, DMK and the BSP did not attend, while Shiv Sena and the AAP said they were not invited for the meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Chidambaram said Gandhi made an attempt to invite as many parties as possible, and 20 of them participated.

“Some did not. That doesn’t mean that is the final word. Maybe there well be another meeting, maybe they will attend. What is important is we are fighting, not that we are fighting together always. But fighting separately is also fighting, fighting together is also fighting,” he said.

“The fact is we are trying to build a united opposition to the CAA and NPR. We have succeeded substantially. Some parties are fighting separately. Hopefully, some day they will all come on a united platform,” he said.

Asked whether the Congress would invite to future meetings leaders like Banerjee who stayed away from Monday’s deliberations, Chidambaram said he was certain invitations will go out.

“If somebody asks my view, I’ll say of course we send an invitation. What is the harm? I invite you to my house once, you do not come. That doesn’t mean I don’t invite you again,” he said.

To repeated queries about the lack of unity of the anti-CAA parties in Bengal, Chidambaram said: “In Bengal or in any other state, there are some domestic factors at play. Purely intra-state factors, though the big picture should not be missed”.

He pointed out that the Congress was working with the Left parties in the state, and they were carrying on the movement together at the district level too.

On questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi sending an invite to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan, Chidambaram said it only means the government has modified its earlier position “about no engagement with Pakistan”.

He disagreed with a scribe who said that many parties now find the Congress unreliable”.

“In the last Lok Sabha election, 19 per cent Indians relied on the Congress and voted for it. The Congress also got votes in the recent assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand.

“But I do admit, we need to do more, we need to get more people on our side. But that doesn’t mean nobody relies on us,” he added.

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Politics

PDP leader Altaf Bukhari dares Congress’s Azad to prove charges

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Ghulam Nabi Azad

Srinagar, Jan 18 : Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Minster Altaf Bukhari, here on Saturday, dared senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to prove his allegations against him or quit Parliament on moral grounds.

Reacting to media reports in which Azad had been quoted as saying that some Congress leaders were being threatened to join the “Third Front” or face false cases, Bukhari said it was unfortunate that a leader like Azad was playing cheap politics.

In a press statement Bukhari said, “I hold Azad in high esteem, but it’s unfortunate that he has made baseless allegations against me and my colleagues, stooping this low for doing petty politics.”

Bukhari said he neither held power nor was in a position to misuse the state machinery or agencies, as used to be done during the Congress-led regimes in J&K.

“I have reiterated that I am joined by some friends, colleagues and well-wishers of J&K to raise and address the sufferings caused to the people by whosoever has been at the helm of affairs in J&K and in the Centre,” Bukhari said.

He said several senior Congress leaders were in touch with him, but there was no question of coercing them or extending any favour as had been alleged by Azad. “Many Congress leaders share the same vision, passion and motivation to serve people in their own capacities and are coming forward for that,” he said.

The remark by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha had exposed Azad’s respect for his party colleagues in J&K, whom he termed imprudent to take any decision on their own, Bukhari said.

“The Congress style of politics is over. There is no question of forcing anybody or extending any facilities to someone to garner his/her support for a sacred cause. Yes, Azad is right in his saying that he has run the government and knows about those tricks.

“But let me remind him that the era of manipulations and political manoeuvring is over. I and my friends want the people to get rid of this type of politics. People know everything. My colleagues and friends in the Congress are not politically naive that anybody could take them for a ride,” the PDP leader said.

Some leaders who represented people in J&K House had come together to resolve the injustice committed to the people on August 5, 2019, he said.

“Why the efforts in this direction — for restoration of some of achievable rights — have send shivers down the spine of Congress leadership,” Bukhari said.

Azad was unable to find any fault with his memorandum to the Lieutenant Governor and was trying to malign his own colleagues who came forward to safeguard the people’s interests, Bukhari said.

The PDP leader said the people remembered the communal politics of 2008, causing death and destruction in J&K, and added, the people also remembered the self-centred and despicable laws, like the Roshni Act, that favoured their blue eyed acquaintances at the cost of state.

“Instead of finding faults in others, the Congress leadership, including Azad, should do self-analysis and soul-searching and see how the party is responsible for death, destruction and disintegration of J&K in the last 72 years,” Bukhari said.

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