Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan beat India by 5 wickets in nail-biting thriller

News Network
September 4, 2022

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Dubai, Sept 4: Chasing a target of 182, Mohammad Rizwan smashed 71 off 51 balls to propel Pakistan to a five-wicket win over India in an Asia Cup Super-4 clash at the Dubai International Stadium. 

Pakistan had got off to a shaky start after Babar Azam (14) was dismissed in the fourth over by Ravi Bishnoi. Fakhar Zaman too failed to leave his mark as he was dismissed on a score of 15 by Yuzvendra Chahal. Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz then stitched a crucial partnership, adding 84 runs for the third wicket. 

Both Rizwan and Nawaz (41) were dismissed in quick succession by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya, respectively. With Pakistan needing 26 off the last two overs, Bhuvneshwar leaked 19 runs in the penultimate over as the match slipper away from India's grasp. 

Earlier, Virat Kohli starred with the bat as India posted a strong total of 181 for seven in 20 overs against Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup Super-4 clash. Pakistan have started off strong in the chase, with Rizwan hitting the first ball for a boundary and Babar Azam also finding the boundary in the first over.

Kohli hit a brilliant 60 off just 44 balls, hitting four boundaries and six. Kohli crossed the 50-run mark creaming a six over deep midwicket. He eventually got run out after a direct hit from the deep by Asif Ali. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul had earlier given a strong start, collecting 54 runs in the first five overs. 

However, India lost an array a wickets, which slowed down their momentum in the middle overs. Ravi Bishnoi struck two important boundaries, but got a helping hand from Fakhar Zaman, as India ended their innings on a positive note. Earlier, Pakistan had won the toss and opted to bowl.

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News Network
November 24,2023

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Almost two months after it announced the shutting down of its operations, the Afghanistan embassy in New Delhi announced its permanent closure and asked the Indian government to allow the flag of the erstwhile Afghan republic to be hoisted on the premises.

“The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi regrets to announce the permanent closure of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi, effective from 23 November 2023, owing to persistent challenges from the Indian government,” a statement released by Afghanistan’s ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay, said.

“The decision follows the embassy’s earlier cessation of operations on September 30, a move made in the hope that the Indian government stance will favourably change to let the mission operate normally,” it said, adding, “Unfortunately, despite an eight-week wait, the objectives of visa extension for diplomats and a shift in the Indian government’s conduct were not realised.”

The statement added that given the “constant pressure from both the Taliban & the Indian government to relinquish control, the embassy faced a difficult choice”.

“India has been a steadfast strategic partner of the erstwhile Afghan Republic since 2001, & we acknowledge the limitations & concerns that govern the realm of realpolitik and the balancing act required at a difficult time in a geo-politically sensitive region,” it said.

“Therefore, we firmly believe that the decision to close the mission in India at this stage and to transfer the custodial authority of the mission to the host country is in the best interest of Afghanistan,” the statement released by Mamundzay said.

Currently, there are no diplomats from the Afghan Republic in India. Those who served in the national capital have safely reached third countries, the official statement said, adding that the only individuals present in India are diplomats affiliated with the Taliban, visibly attending their regular online meetings.

“The diplomats of the Afghan Republic have handed over the mission solely to the Indian government. It now rests upon the Indian government to decide the fate of the mission, whether to maintain its closure or consider alternatives, including the possibility of handing it over to Taliban diplomats. The responsibility of diplomats appointed by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has officially come to an end. The unfortunate end of the Republic mission marks the conclusion of the Afghan Republic in India,” it added.

The statement went on to implore the Indian government to consider certain requests “in this challenging time for Afghanistan, where millions suffer because of poverty and socio-economic and political exclusion”.

The first request was that the Indian government should take into custody the Afghan diplomatic mission properties, bank accounts and vehicles, and an amount of USD 500,000 in the embassy’s bank account. Secondly, the government should continue to hoist Afghanistan’s tricolour flag on the embassy premises. And thirdly, it should “ensure the safekeeping of the embassy’s property and assets with the understanding that they will be entrusted to a legitimate accountable government duly elected or chosen by the Afghan people in the future,” the statement said.

The embassy said it was “cognisant” that some may attempt to characterise this move as an internal conflict, allegedly involving diplomats who switched allegiance to the Taliban, adding “that this decision is a result of broader changes in policy and interests”.

“To the Afghan citizens in India, the Embassy extends its sincere gratitude for their understanding and support throughout our mission’s tenure,” it added.

Despite “limitations in resources and power”, the Afghan embassy said it has worked “tirelessly for their betterment and in the absence of a legitimate government in Kabul”.

Over the past two years and three months, the Afghan community in India has witnessed a significant decline, with Afghan refugees, students, and traders leaving the country, the embassy noted in its statement, adding that the number has nearly halved since August 2021, with very limited new visas being issued during this period.

“We assure the Afghan community that the mission operated with transparency, accountability, and a commitment to fair treatment based on the goodwill and interests of Afghanistan considering historic ties and bilateral relations with India,” it added.

“Unfortunately, efforts have been made to tarnish our image and hinder diplomatic efforts in order to justify the presence and work of Taliban-appointed and affiliated diplomats. In the face of these challenges, our committed team worked diligently in the most difficult circumstances, prioritizing the interests of the 40 million Afghans in every possible sphere from securing humanitarian aid and online education scholarships to facilitating ease in trade and advocating for the formation of a broad-based government,” the Afghan embassy stated further in its statement.

It added that the Afghan embassy “exerted diplomatic pressure in its power on those who defy the will of the Afghan people by failing to form an inclusive government and denying millions of girls the right to attend school”.

“We have considered the historic events and current circumstances carefully in arriving at this conclusion. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of India for their support and assistance to Afghanistan over the past 22 years. We reiterate our commitment to serving the people of Afghanistan and will continue to explore avenues to support our nation in these challenging times,” the statement concluded.

Notably, the embassy had announced the closure of its operations on October 1, citing “lack of resources” and “failure to meet Afghanistan’s interests” by the Taliban regime.

The embassy also made an “unequivocal statement” stating that certain consulates that work on the instructions and funding from Kabul are not in consonance with the objectives of a legitimate or elected government but rather serve the interests of an “illegitimate regime”.

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News Network
November 23,2023

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Jerusalem, Nov 23: Israel said a four-day Gaza truce and hostage release will not start until at least Friday, stalling a breakthrough deal to pause the war with Hamas.

Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi indicated the release of at least 50 Israeli and foreign hostages held by Hamas was still on track, but would not happen on Thursday as expected.

“The contacts on the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing constantly,” he said in a statement.

“The start of the release will take place according to the original agreement between the sides, and not before Friday.”

A second Israeli official said that a temporary halt in fighting would also not begin on Thursday.

The delay is a hammer blow to families desperate to see their loved ones return home, and to two million-plus Gazans praying for an end to 47 days of war and deprivation.

The complex and carefully choreographed deal saw Israel and Hamas agree a four-day truce, during which at least 50 hostages taken in the Palestinian resistance group’s October 7 operation would be released.

For every 10 additional hostages released, there would be an extra day’s “pause” in fighting, an Israeli government document said.

Three Americans, including three-year-old Abigail Mor Idan, were among those earmarked for release.

In turn, Israel would release at least 150 Palestinian women and children and allow more humanitarian aid into the besieged coastal territory after weeks of bombardment and heavy fighting.

It was not immediately clear what caused the delay, which came after weeks of talks involving Israel, Palestinian militant groups, Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari said Thursday that implementation of the accord “continues and is going positively.”

“The truce agreement that was reached will be concluded in the coming hours,” he said.

The agreement has been approved by Hamas leaders and by Israel — despite fierce opposition from some within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

Minister for National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir described the deal as a “historic mistake” that would embolden Hamas and risk the lives of Israeli troops.

Netanyahu has backed the agreement with Hamas, but vowed the truce will be temporary and will not end the campaign to destroy Hamas.

“We are winning and will continue to fight until absolute victory,” he said on Wednesday, vowing to secure Israel from threats emanating from Gaza and Lebanon, home to Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Tensions rose on Israel’s northern border early Thursday, after Hezbollah said five fighters, including the son of a senior lawmaker, had been killed.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, the frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen almost daily exchanges of fire, raising fears the Gaza war fuel a region wide conflagration.

Israel’s army said in statements Wednesday evening that it had struck a number of Hezbollah targets, including a “terrorist cell” and infrastructure.

In Washington, the White House said President Joe Biden had spoken to Netanyahu on Wednesday and “emphasized the importance of maintaining calm along the Lebanese border as well as in the West Bank.”

The White House has pressed Israel not to escalate clashes with Hezbollah, for fear of sparking a war that could drag in US and Iranian forces.

Biden also spoke to the leaders of Qatar and Egypt Wednesday, as he pushed for the truce to be “fully implemented” and to “ultimately secure the release of all hostages.”

Families on both sides grappled with a lack of clarity over how the releases would unfold.

“We don’t know who will get out because Hamas will release the names every evening of those who will get out the next day,” said Gilad Korngold, whose son and daughter-in-law are being held in Gaza along with their two children and other relatives.

Israel’s list of eligible Palestinian prisoners included 123 detainees under 18 and 33 women, among them Shrouq Dwayyat, convicted of attempted murder in a 2015 knife attack.

“I had hoped that she would come out in a deal,” her mother, Sameera Dwayyat, said, but added that her relief was tempered by “great pain in my heart” over the dead children in Gaza.

In Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, displaced Palestinians remained skeptical about the Israel-Hamas deal.

“What truce are they talking about? We don’t need a truce just so aid can come in. We want to go home,” said Maysara Assabagh, who fled northern Gaza for a hospital that now shelters about 35,000 displaced people.

Large parts of Gaza have been flattened by thousands of air strikes, and the territory faces shortages of food, water and fuel.

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News Network
November 20,2023

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At least 15 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli forces' direct strikes on Indonesian Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the northern part of Gaza as the brutal aggression on the besieged strip enters its 45th day.

Israeli forces opened fire and launched artillery strikes on the Indonesian Hospital and the surrounding areas in the early hours of Monday.

Reports said Israeli forces are going to repeat what happened at al-Shifa Hospital and will also occupy the Indonesian Hospital as tanks surrounded the place.

Last week, Israel raided Al Shifa, Gaza’s main hospital claiming that it was a Hamas “operational center,” sharing unverified images and videos of what it said were Hamas weapons and equipment.

According to the medical team, the Indonesian Hospital was targeted without prior warning.

The strikes prompted staff at the hospital to appeal for urgent help from the United Nations and the Red Cross.

Following the strikes, the government media office in the Gaza Strip warned of another massacre that could be committed in the Indonesian Hospital.

Medical authorities in Gaza said the hospital has a capacity of 140 patients, but currently, there are more than 650 patients inside it.

The hospital is also sheltering thousands of displaced Palestinian people who sought refuge from the Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Multiple casualties were also reported in an Israeli airstrike that targeted the nearby Kuwait School where hundreds of families have been sheltering.

Also on Monday, the bodies of more than 30 Palestinians were transferred to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza after Israeli strikes hit the refugee camps of Bureij and Nuseirat.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have repeatedly targeted hospitals, residential buildings, mosques, and churches. Under the Geneva Convention, attacks on hospitals are strictly prohibited.

Several hospitals in Gaza City have become refuges for Palestinians hoping to be spared Israeli bombardments, which began early in October.

On October 17, hundreds of civilians were killed and injured by Israeli airstrikes on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. The attack has been condemned as an act of genocide by many governments around the world.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has urged the United Nations secretary-general to form an international committee to visit hospitals in the besieged strip to counter Israel’s “false” claims that they are used as launch pad for anti-Israel operations. Hamas has noted that the claims are aimed to “justify” Israel’s attacks on hospitals in Gaza.

The Israeli aggression has so far killed more than 13,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and injured more than 30,000 others.

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