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Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif’s return and incumbent government

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London, the capital of the United Kingdom, has always remained the centre of attraction for Pakistani politicians.

Imran Yaqub Khan Profile Imran Yaqub Khan

Whether it was Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto (late) or General Pervez Musharraf remained power, Pakistani politicians especially opposition leaders used to stay in London for one reason or the other. Benazir Bhutto spent most of her time in exile in London. Likewise Nawaz Sharif and family departed for Saudi Arabia and then Britain after 1999 military quo.

Nawaz Sharif was sent to jail in the light of a court’s decision soon after the PTI government was formed in 2018. Upon being ill in the jail Nawaz was shifted to the Lahore’s Services Hospital. The statements both from the government and PML-N leaders sent an alert that the former prime minister’s life was in danger if he was not airlifted to outside Pakistan. A dedicated team of doctors and Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rasihd kept briefing media about the health condition of Nawaz on regular basis.

In November 2019, Nawaz was finally airlifted to London by younger brother Mian Shehbaz Sharif and Dr Adnan (Nawaz’s doctor) with the approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Shehbaz signed the guarantee papers that Nawaz would return to Pakistan after his treatment.

A new pandora box of allegations engulfed Pakistani politics soon after the departure of Nawaz. The government though failed to stop Nawaz from going abroad for treatment, but the sitting ministers began their political commentaries to “target illness” of Nawaz. PM Imran Khan was also seen declaring Nawaz a “liar and absconder” in his public meetings and media talks. Nawaz was alleged to have flown abroad with fictitious medical reports.

If Nawaz Sharif flew abroad while befooling the government of Sardar Usman Buzdar, the health minister and the entire government and health machinery, the prime minister should be held responsible for it. The government then vowed to bring the former prime minister and court absconder Nawaz Sharif back to the country. The letters written to the British government by the prime minister’s office for the purpose also proved a futile exercise.

Then another news came from London recently that the application of extension in visa of Nawaz had been rejected. Though his (Nawaz) visa was still declared legal, Nawaz moved an appeal against the decision of the British Home Office. According to British legal experts, the decision about the appeal could take up to two-year time. Nawaz Sharif will have an option to move to the London High Court if his appeal is rejected even by the Immigration Tribunal.

According to law and immigration experts, Nawaz is not bound to travel back home even after the refusal of his visa extension. The legal matters take even years to decide. The news of visa extension refusal has created a stir in the political circles of the country and it appears the government ministers and advisers have got another opportunity to grill Nawaz Sharif.

Federal Minister Fawad Ch commented that Nawaz had obtained visa while lying as he is not ill. He advised the PML-N stalwart to get temporary visa from the Pakistani embassy and face legal cases on his return. Nawaz’s free movement in London reflects “he is perfectly alright”. “Nawaz could face punishment even in the UK if he makes lies to get extension in his visa.”

According to state minister Farrukh Habib, Nawaz Sharif is now an absconder with the expired passport. He should come forward and face cases against him. “It’s shame on a former prime minister who is absconder. He should come back and face imprisonment.”

On the other hand, PML-N President Mian Shehbaz Sharif has said the ongoing politics on three-time premier of Pakistan is a senseless and inhuman attitude. An appeal has been filed keeping in view the legal requirements and that Nawaz could stay in London till the decision. It was the government’s decision to shift Nawaz to London as his treatment was not possible in Pakistan. He will return to Pakistan on his doctors’ advice.

If everyone recall, the same hue and cry was raised when Nawaz’s passport was cancelled by the federal government, but the matter died down as there is no agreement between Pakistan and the UK regarding exchange of prisoners. A joint draft was prepared for mutual exchange of prisoners later, but no consensus reached on its implementation.

Then premier Imran Khan had announced that he would demand the return of Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan during his visit to the UK and meeting with his counterpart. But no official invitation has been received so far by the PM’s office.

The politics of a politician is always in danger when he or she starts following the moves of opponents instead of own strategy. But Nawaz Sharif knows the situation very well. He understands well that his return is like a trump card that he would play on his own conditions rather his opponents’. The most suitable time for his (Nawaz) return is when atmosphere for elections will be ripe in Pakistan. Nawaz could achieve maximum political gains in the same time period and could settle matters with the establishment in a better way!  

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Pakistan

‘Covid fourth wave’: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate falls to 5.45%

Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 5.45%.

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As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), Pakistan conducted a total of 57,792 tests in the last 24 hours.

Around 3,153 cases of coronavirus were reported while 58 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,720.

As per the command centre, total confirmed cases are 1,204,520 whereas 5,370 are under critical care.

Punjab              

The number of patients swelled to 413,182 in the province with 12,211 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 444,464 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,133.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 168,258 in the province with 5,250 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,569 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,268 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 718. On the other hand, there are 10,162 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 102,617 cases in the capital city while 887 people have lost their lives.

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World

North Macedonia: Massive fire engulfs COVID hospital, kills ten patients

Skopje: At least 10 people were killed and many more injured after a massive fire broke at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in Tetovo, North Macedonia.

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The huge blaze erupted Wednesday night—claiming lives of ten. Fire services and rescue teams rushed to the scene and fought to douse the flames for a couple of hours.

It’s not yet clear how the large blaze started or how many patients were inside.

While the cause has yet to be established, the country's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev posted on social media that the fire had followed an on-site explosion.

Footage shared on social media showed a building in flames and a thick cloud of black smoke billowing into the air near a main road in the city of Tetovo.

The facility was reportedly built last year to help care for COVID-19 patients.

Tetovo deputy fire Chief, Saso Trajcevski said, "The fire was huge because the hospital is modular, there was plastic".

The fire occurred as the former Yugoslav republic celebrated the 30th anniversary of its independence, with festivities in the capital Skopje, including a military parade.

However, investigators have gone to the scene to determine the cause of Yesterday’s fire.

Meanwhile, North Macedonia has been battling a surge in COVID-19 cases recently with 701 new cases and 24 deaths in the past 24 hours.

It has recorded more than 6,100 fatalities in total since the start of the COVID outbreak.

Macedonia government had to impose stricter measures, in a bid to prevent the spread of virus.

North Macedonia has a population of around 2 million and its healthcare services are run down as hospitals are overwhelmed in some areas, particularly where vaccination rates are low.

Covid-19 hospitals in other countries have been hit by explosions followed by fires. In Iraq, dozens of people were killed in fires that occurred after oxygen cylinders exploded in April and July.

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Sports

SumaiL and YawaR to contest for $40 million prize money from Dota 2, The International 10

Two Pakistani brothers, Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan and Yawar "YawaR" Hassan will participate in The International 10 which has a prize pool of $40 million.

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Hailing from Karachi, Pakistan, Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan and Yawar "YawaR" Hassan have shown their immense talent in the well acknowledged MOBA and MMORPG game, Dota 2. Sumail has previously participated and won the 5th version of the tournament at the age of 16 years and 176 days old and became the youngest player ever to win over a million dollars. Both of them have briefly played together in the same team Quincy Crew, but Sumail left in nearly 3 weeks of being in the team. 

Sumail and Yawar are brothers. Yawar is 2 years older than Sumail. They both moved to Rosemont, Illinois when their family relocated in 2012 and started competing in the North American region where competition has always been very tough. Sumail's gameplay was so impressive that he was recruited by the number one North American ESports organization at that time in 2015, Evil Geniuses, who not only recruited him when he was only 16 years old but also gave him the responsibility of one of the leading core roles of the game, the midlane. Not only did he impress the world with his classy and bold plays, he proved his skills to the world by winning The International 2015, becoming the youngest millionare in the history of ESports.

His older brother Yawar, has also been competing at the highest level since they both began playing the North American region, however, Yawar only had the opportunity to play The Internation only once before, while Sumail had been participating in TIs since 2015 representing EG. This would be the second time the brothers will be up against each other representing different teams for a prize pool of $40 million.

SumaiL will be representing the team OG with the ingame name of OG.SumaiL in the coming tournament where he would be playing the role of a core player as position 1, more commonly known as the 'carry' position in the game, whereas Yawar will be playing in the well acknowledged team from North America, Quincy Crew, with the in game name QC.YS. His position would be the same as SumaiL's which is position 1.

Sumail in ESL Frankfurt 2015

SumaiL has been hailed as the King of the game for almost 6 years now given that he astonished the world with his immensely aggresive and smart plays when he used to play the role of position 2, also known as the midlaner, for the North American team 'Evil Geniuses'. In 2015, SumaiL claimed the Aegis of the Immortal, which is the name of the trophy presented to the winners of the largest esports tournament in the world, The International, Dota 2 Championships. His total earnings as of 21st of September, 2021 are $3,617,984.01 from 73 tournaments around the world, making him the highest esports earner as well as the youngest millionare in the history of eSports.

Yawar playing Dota 2
Yawar has prominently risen to fame in the recent years where he and his team the Quincy Crew, ranked number one in the North American region beating their rivals Evil Geniuses in the ranking system of Dota 2 called the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) in the year 2020, following multiple tournament wins from different small to medium level tournaments of Dota 2. Due to Yawar's immensely versatile set of heroes, he has been playing a vital role in the team providing the team the ability to drive many different strategies due to his large hero pool. Yawar's current total earnings are $432,911 From 43 Tournaments.

The path to qualification for this year's The International was not at all easy for both the brothers as SumaiL was no longer playing in the DPC as he was a free agent, he played as a stand-in for Team Liquid, also a top tier team and a former TI winner, when one of their players Samuel 'Boxi' Svahn  decided to take a break, however, that pairing didn't work out as the team poorly performed in the Major. Yawar on the other hand, played immensely well in this tenure, beating top tier teams from around the world with his team QC. Due to multiple wins at the highest level, QC was already very high in the rankings of the DPC, following up with a mediocre performance in the Major where his team stood 6-7th place. This was enough to secure a position at The International 10 which will be held between Thu, Oct 7, 2021 – Sun, Oct 17, 2021.

For Sumail, the days turned to joy when he was recruited back to the only two times back to back TI winners in the previous years 2018 and 2019, OG as position 1 carry player, but it wasn't easy as OG had been poorly performing in the DPC causing them to be very lower ranked in the DPC rankings and due to this they had to fight through the NA qualifiers to earn a place at the TI to defend their title. The path through the qualifiers wasn't easy, fan favourite teams like Nigma, Team Liquid and Tundra ESports were also fighting in the qualifiers. However, once Sumail was settled in the team, his performances immensely improved and stunned many of their competitors as they marched through to the upper bracket finals in the qualifiers, only to be beaten by Tundra Esports and fall down to lower bracket where one of the toughest teams in the world, Team Nigma, was waiting for them. Following up with the loss to Tundra, OG didn't lose their motivation as they beat Team Nigma 2-1 in a best of three series to progress to the grand finals of the NA qualifiers where they had to face Tundra again. This time around, however, OG didn't make the same mistakes they previously made agaisnt Tundra and fought to the last battle and defeated them very convicingly in the 5th and final game of the grand finals which was a best of five, 3-2 to OG.

Tournament Dates to follow:

 Thu, Oct 7, 2021 – Sun, Oct 17, 2021

As Pakistanis, GNN wishes them the best of luck and is rooting for the both of them.

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