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‘Threatening memo’: PM Imran Khan names US in ‘slip of tongue’ during address

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ISLAMABAD:  As the threat of the no-confidence motion looms to oust him from office, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday addressed the nation and said that he would not resign at any cost and would “never allow this conspiracy” to succeed.

The United States, he said in a “slip of the tongue” and then moved on and stated that “a foreign country” had sent a “threatening memo” which was against the Pakistani nation.

“…the letter stated that the no-confidence motion was being tabled even before it was filed, which means the Opposition was in contact with them,” the premier alleged.

PM Imran Khan said the memo was against him, not against the government. “…it stated that if the no-confidence motion passes, Pakistan will be forgiven, if not, there will be consequences.”

The premier stated that it was an “official letter” that was communicated to Pakistan’s ambassador, who was taking notes during the meeting.

The premier said he had not revealed all the text mentioned in the letter but noted that there “were other horrifying” details in it.

PM Imran Khan said the envoy was told that if Imran Khan remains in power, Pakistan would face “difficulties”.

“Is this our standing? We are a strong nation of 220 million,” the premier asked the nation. PM Imran Khan said the letter does not mention any reason and only wanted his ouster.

“…our ambassador told the foreign official that the prime minister had visited Russia after delibrations with [the country’s top brass]. But the foreign official stated that no, it was just Imran Khan’s decision,” the premier revealed.

PM Imran Khan said the foreign official knew that the ones who would come into power after him would have no issues taking orders from external forces.

“But what is most disturbing is that our people, who are sitting here, are in contact with foreign powers,” he said, as he referred to the”three stooges” — PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

‘Pakistan never appreciated for partaking in war on terror’

Before that, PM Imran Khan said that despite Pakistan’s participation and sacrifices it made for the United States’ “war on terror”, Islamabad never received appreciation.

The premier noted that when the country’s northern areas were bombarded by US drones, he was the “only politician” who staged sit-ins against it.

“None of the senior politicians raised their voice against it as they were afraid that it might draw United States’ ire.

PM Imran Khan said Pakistanis suffered due to the “war on terror”. Therefore, the premier said when he came into power, he aspired for an independent foreign policy.

“…our policy was not anti-US, -Europe, or even India […] it became anti-Indian after New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir and broke international law in August 2019,” the premier said.

‘Opposition ready to follow foreign orders’

PM Imran Khan said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was convicted in Pakistani courts. Lashing out at the Opposition, he said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other institutions had made cases against them.

“Will foreign countries want such corrupt people in power in their states? They are ready to accept such corrupt politicians, but I am not acceptable to them,” the prime minister said.

The premier said the foreign powers were well-aware of the properties and assets of the “corrupt” politicians as he gave a reason behind the Opposition’s readiness to “follow foreign orders.”

After Deputy NA Speaker Qasim Suri adjourned the lower house session to avoid the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing the nation. 

The prime minister wondered why were the “three stooges” acceptable to the foreign powers. “I will tell you why they are acceptable. During dictator Pervez Musharraf’s tenure, only 11 drone attacks took place, but after them, during the 10 years of [PPP and PML-N’s] tenure, 400 drone attacks took place.”

“They did not even utter a single word against it […] Even Hamid Karzai, who was the president of Afghanistan where the US forces were present, would condemn the drone attacks, but our politicians did not express reservations against it,” he said.

The prime minister said Fazl, according to WikiLeaks, told the former United States ambassador to Pakistan, that he will serve America just like the others. “Nawaz Sharif, according to Indian journalist Barkha Dutt, held secretive meetings with Narendra Modi in Nepal.”

“Shahbaz claimed that I was wrong to say absolutely not to the United States […] this is why they like them,” the prime minister said on Opposition leaders’ acceptability to foreign powers.

PM Imran Khan lamented that during the “war on terror”, overseas Pakistanis were put behind bars, and no government raised reservations over it as they feared the repercussions.

“…you have never taken a stand for Pakistanis, Shahbaz. Neither can your brother — Nawaz — as they know where his money is stashed,” the prime minister said.

The premier said that the Opposition claimed that if the “threat letter” was real, they would side with him. “So why did you not partake in the NA committee session where it was presented.”

The prime minister said he briefed the federal cabinet about it, senior journalists were informed about it, and later it was presented before the National Security Committee and the Parliament.

Reason for joining politics

At the beginning of his address, the premier said Pakistan has reached a “defining moment” in its history where it is left with only two options, adding that the nation now has to choose which path to take.

“But before that, I would like to tell the nation why I joined politics,” he said, as he went on to provide the reasons for his career choice.

“I already enjoyed fame and had money due to my faith in Allah, and I was part of a generation that was born to an independent state, unlike my parents,” he said. “My parents used to tell me to be thankful as I was born into an independent state and did not have to witness the rule of the British.”

The premier said that the founding fathers of Pakistan had envisaged a welfare state, based on the model of Riyasat-e-Madina, but the country was nowhere near that model.

“…I came into politics because I realised that Pakistan cannot move in the direction that Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam wanted. Pakistan’s real reason was to establish an Islamic welfare state, just like Riasat-e-Madina,” he said.

The premier said in line with the ideology of Pakistan, he started politics and included three things in his manifesto — justice, humanity, and self-reliance.

He said that during his youth, he saw that the country was progressing toward the path of success and development.

“People from South Korea, the Middle East, and Malaysia used to come to Pakistan to study at universities here,” he said. “But because of the corruption of political leaders, it started witnessing a decline.

“[To steer the country out of that decline], I want the children of this country to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”

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PSL schedule to be ‘announced soon’

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LAHORE: The schedule of the eighth edition of the much-awaited national T20 cricket event, Pakistan Super League (PSL), is likely to be announced on Friday, sources told Geo News on Wednesday.

The schedule of the eighth edition of the tournament has been finalised, however, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will hold final consultation with the PSL franchisers tomorrow (Thursday), the sources said.

According to the sources, the inaugural ceremony of the PSL will be staged in Multan as per the current schedule.

The sources added that the matches of the tournament would be played at four different venues. They also mentioned that the PSL will commence on February 13 and the final would be played on March 19.

PSL matches would be played in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Rawalpindi, the sources noted. They added that the matches at the four venues would be played simultaneously.

The sources also said that the strategy to allow the PCB to stage one exhibition match in Quetta has also been discussed. The exhibition matches would be played between Peshawar and Quetta, the sources added.

PSL 2023 Draft

The players’ draft for PSL 2023 was held in December last year in Karachi, with around 1,000 local and foreign players available to be picked by six franchises for 61 slots.

Five out of six PSL teams had retained eight players, while Peshawar Zalmi retained seven players last month when the retention and transfer windows were closed.

These teams completed a squad of 18 — which had three players each in the platinum, diamond, and gold categories, five in the silver category, two in emerging and up to two in supplementary categories.

Teams could have up to three foreign players in the first three categories — platinum, diamond, and gold — among them one overseas player was mandatory in platinum and diamond.

In a squad of 16, teams picked five overseas players, while in 18 they had six foreign players.

As many as 517 foreigners and 491 Pakistani players were available for selection.

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Where does Babar Azam stand in ICC ODI rankings?

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has retained his top spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s ODI Player Ranking with 887 points in hand after the conclusion of the home series against New Zealand

Meanwhile, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz improved 12 spots to 28th on the list for bowlers after collecting six wickets during the recently-concluded ODI series against the Kiwis.

India’s star batter Virat Kohli has improved his ICC Men’s ODI Player Ranking after his brilliant form in the recent past.

Kohli notched up two centuries while amassing a staggering 283 runs from three innings during India’s recent ODI series sweep over Sri Lanka.

The former Indian captain has jumped two places to fourth overall, with 750 points, on the latest list for ODI batters.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen (766) and Quinton de Kock (759) are in second and third place respectively.

Kohli’s teammates Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav have also improved their rankings after good performances against Sri Lanka.

“Gill hit a century and a fifty during the series and his 207 runs at an average of 69 helped the opener improve 10 spots to 26th overall on the rankings for ODI batters,” the ICC said in a press release.

“But it is perhaps Siraj that makes the most eye-catching move, with the 28-year-old jumping a massive 15 spots to third on the list for ODI bowlers following his nine wickets for the series.

“No bowler picked up more wickets during that series and Siraj improves to a career-best rating of 685 points to close in on pacesetters Trent Boult (730) and Josh Hazlewood (727).

“Kuldeep was also rewarded for his five wickets from just two matches against Sri Lanka, with the left-armer jumping seven places to 21st on the latest bowler rankings.”

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Here’s a ‘new way’ to send voice notes on WhatsApp

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Meta-owned WhatsApp is once again rolling out a new update for its users, allowing them to have a smooth and better experience while connecting with their loved ones. 

The instant messaging app is releasing the ability to share voice notes through status updates, WaBetaInfo reported Wednesday.

The new update is being introduced through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 2.23.2.8. However, this feature is only available to some beta testers for now and users will have to wait for a future update to get their hands on the feature. 

The feature would let users “share a voice note as a status update with a certain audience configured within your privacy settings.”

Heres a new way to send voice notes on WhatsApp

As it is shown in the screenshot above, users can share voice notes as status updates by “accessing the feature within the text status section, in case it is enabled for them”. 

The users can also discard a recording before they share it, hence, gaining more control over their voice recordings. As per the app-tracking website, the maximum recording time for the voice note is 30 seconds. 

Moreover, those who want to listen to the voice recordings on status updates need to update their WhatsApp. 

Ensuring the privacy of its users, WhatsApp has made the status updates end-to-end encrypted. This will allow users to share the voice notes with the people they choose within their privacy settings. 

“Similar to images and videos, voice notes shared via status disappear after 24 hours but users also have the ability to delete voice notes for everyone after they have been posted as status updates: users are always in control over what they share,” said WaBetaInfo

The feature will be rolled out to more users in the coming weeks. 

Blocking feature

Last week, the tracking app announced that WhatsApp is working on a block shortcut update right within the notification bar.

The new feature will allow users to block someone when they get a notification of their message on their phones.

“WhatsApp plans to introduce a block shortcut within notifications but not always: the block shortcut is visible only when you receive a message from unknown and untrusted contacts,” said the app tracking website.

The feature is limited to untrusted contacts as users may tap on the block option by mistake when replying to someone through notifications, accidentally blocking their trusted contacts.

The new feature will be available to users in the future update of the app. 

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