COAS arrives in Quetta to review implementation of NAP

QUETTA: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday arrived in Quetta to review the implementation of the National Action Plan, Express News reported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also expected to arrive in the city later in the day.

Just a day ago, General Raheel visited the Corps headquarters in Karachi and held a meeting with PM Nawaz.

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Nawaz was also apprised about action taken in the wake of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

The army chief had also visited Rangers Headquarters Karachi and was briefed by Director-General Rangers Karachi, Major General Bilal Akbar, on the security situation. in Karachi and was briefed on the security situation.

COAS extends full support for Karachi operations to uphold peace

KARACHI: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif  ensured on Monday that Pakistan Army’s will extend its full support to security operations in Karachi in order to bring peace and stability to the city.

General Raheel visited Rangers Headquarters in Karachi and was briefed by Director-General Rangers Karachi, Major General Bilal Akbar, on the security situation.

The Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa took to his Twitter account and said that the COAS appreciated the effective work of Rangers, Police and Intelligence agencies.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also expected to visit the city and discuss matters pertaining to the implementation of National Action Plan.

COAS Cup: NBP win final to claim Rs1 million prize money

KARACHI: NBP stunned PIA 2-0 in the final of the first Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Challenge Hockey Cup to lift the trophy at the Army Hockey Stadium in Rawalpindi yesterday.

NBP were quickly out of the blocks and brilliantly converted a penalty corner in the 12th minute as Muhammad Tousiq Arshad struck home.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as the bankers stuck to their attack-minded approach, and it paid off in the seventh minute of the second quarter as Shan Ali scored in the 22nd minute to double their lead before half time.

PIA came back in the final two quarters but were unable to find a way through a resolute NBP defence.

After the match, NBP captain Arshad praised the team for following the coaches’ strategy. “We played according to the guidelines of our coaches,” he said. “The younger players also responded well to the strategy, which helped us build a strong defense and a potent attack.”

Talking about the significant prize money of Rs2.2 million — the highest in the history of domestic hockey in Pakistan — Arshad said that the tournament was one of the best he had seen and provided a good opportunity to the players to showcase their skills.

Meanwhile, COAS General  Raheel Shareef distributed the prize money of Rs1 million to winning side NBP, Rs700,000 to runners-up PIA, and Rs500,000 to third-placed Army, along with gold, silver and bronze medals respectively to the players.  “Army will do it’s best to promote the national game, starting with the addition of this tournament in the annual Pakistan Hockey Federation calendar,” promised Shareef at the ceremony.

Olympian Muhammad Rizwan Senior was declared the player of the tournament, Imran Butt of PIA was named the best goal-keeper and Muhammad Imran of Army was the top scorer with nine goals.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd,  2015.

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Capacity Building : Army committed to train LEAs: COAS

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Saturday reiterated Pakistan Army’s commitment to train all law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) and build capacity to collectively work for security and law and order in the country. “We have enhanced our training capacity and will further expand our training programme across the country,” Gen Raheel said while speaking at the passing out parade of the Elite Police at the Elite Police Training School in Lahore, according to the tweets of DG ISPR Maj Gen Asim Salim Bajwa.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2015.

COAS Hockey Cup: PIA, NBP make their way into final

KARACHI: PIA and NBP made their way into the final of the first Chief of the Army Staff Challenge Hockey Cup, winning their respective semi-final matches at the Army Hockey Stadium in Rawalpindi yesterday.

In the first match, PIA faced little resistance from SSGC as they outclassed them 4-1 in the first semi-final. Nohaiz Malik started the scoring with a sixth-minute goal to give PIA the lead, which Kashif Ali doubled in the 22nd minute.

Atif Mushtaq and Zubair Mehmood scored two more goals, in the 35th and 47th minutes, to put the tie beyond SSGC. Shakeel Abbasi then scored a consolation six minutes from time.

In the second semi-final, NBP fought hard in a nerve-wracking match to book their place in the final after defeating Army Seniors 2-1. The Bankers scored their first goal in the 11th minute of the match through Ali Shan’s field goal.

Then a superb flowing move resulted in Bilal Qadir beating the goalkeeper in the 29th minute to make it 2-0. Army skipper Muhammad Imran got one back in the 51st minute with a penalty corner but there was to be no comeback as NBP held on to reach the final.

The final between PIA and NBP will be played tomorrow, while Army and SSGC will fight it out for third place today.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2015.

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COAS Hockey Cup semis: PIA, SSGC, NBP and Army Seniors go through

KARACHI: PIA will face SSGC and NBP will play against Army Seniors in the semi-finals of the first Chief of the Army Staff Challenge Hockey Cup at the Army Hockey Stadium, Rawalpindi tomorrow.

PIA have not lost a single Pool A match and advanced to the semi-final with 12 points and a total of 18 goals to their credit. SSGC, who have seven points from two wins, one loss and a draw finished second in Pool B.

On the other hand, NBP, who topped Pool B, won three matches and drew one to secure their place in the last four with 10 points while Army, second in Pool A with nine points, won three matches and lost one.

In yesterday’s matches, PIA’s Zubair Mehmood, Rana Sohail, Nohaiz Malik and Shafqat Rasool scored a goal apiece to win their fourth consecutive match as they defeated Army Seniors 4-2, with Abdul Jabbar scoring both the goals for Army.

In the other fixture of the day, two goals from Syed Kashif helped NBP outclass Navy 4-0, while the other two were scored by Sibtain Raza and Ali Shan.

And Wapda defeated Army Juniors 2-0 as Khalid Bhatti and Muhammed Usman scored a goal each for the winning side.

Both the semi-finals will be played tomorrow after a day’s rest, where Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Rana Mujahid, along with the national selection committee, will be present.

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COAS Hockey Cup: NBP, PAF register wins

KARACHI: NBP defeated SSGC and PAF beat Punjab to register victories on the sixth day of the first Chief of Army Staff Challenge Hockey Cup at the Army Hockey Stadium, Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

SSGC, in the absence of Shakeel Abbasi, their only international player, failed to pierce through the bankers’ defence, giving way to NBP’s experienced forwards to capitalise on their weakness and end the game at 4-1.

NBP’s Dilber Hussain scored a field goal in the 13th minute, while Ali Shan dodged two defenders to double the lead in the 33rd and Atiq Arshad scored the third through his 38th-minute field goal.

SSGC replied through a solitary goal in the 51st minute when Rizwan Ali hit a cross to Abbas Haider, which was successfully converted. However, NBP put one more in through Shan in the 59th minute to make it 4-1.

In the other match of the day, PAF’s Samiullah opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Muhammad Adnan levelled the score through his field goal eight minutes later. However, Muhammad Mushtaq struck the back of the net in the 45th minute through a penalty corner to hand PAF a 2-1 win.

In today’s fixtures, Army Juniors will play Wapda, Army Seniors will face PIA and NBP will go up against Navy.

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COAS Hockey Cup: Army Seniors down PAF 3-1


Captain Muhammad Imran scored a hat-trick to guide Army Seniors to a 3-1 victory over PAF in their Chief of the Army Staff Challenge Hockey Cup match yesterday at the Army Hockey Stadium, Rawalpindi.

PAF took the lead through a penalty corner converted by Mudassar in the 10th minute, which was levelled by Imran in the 14th minute. The skipper then went on to score two more goals in the 23rd and 45th minutes to wrap up the match.

Army Seniors now top Pool A with three straight wins.

In the next match, SSGC’s Shakeel Abbasi started off with a penalty corner goal in the seventh minute against Wapda, with Yasir Shabbir scoring on the 37th minute to give SSGC a 2-0 lead.

Wapda replied with a goal through Muhammad Imran in the 38th minute but Waqas Sharif struck in the 43rd to level the scores as the match ended at 2-2.

Meanwhile, Punjab drew 2-2 with Police in the last match of the day.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2015.

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COAS visit: Chinese foreign minister terms Pakistan ‘China’s irreplaceable friend’

RAWALPINDI: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during a meeting with the army chief, said that Pakistan is China’s irreplaceable, all-weather friend, and that both the countries are part of a community of shared heritage.

According to Director-General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asim Bajwa, army chief General Raheel Sharif met senior Chinese leaders, including Chairman People’s Conference HE Mr Yu Zhengsheng, State Leader Yu Zhengsheng and the Chinese foreign minister, among others, on Monday.

Meng Jianzhu, member Politburo, the second highest council within the Communist Party assured the army chief that China has consistent policy on Pakistan that is beyond individuals, adding that Pakistan’s concern is China’s concern.

Zhengsheng said that Pakistan has always stood by China, terming it as its “the most reliable partner.”

The Chinese government, and the people will help Pakistan in all respects, added the state leader.

General Raheel thanked the Chinese leaders for inviting him, saying the world must understand the evolving environment. “Greater international focus, coordination is needed to end the fight against terrorism.”

Earlier on Sunday, General Raheel held an extensive meeting with his Chinese counterpart, General Qi Jianguo, and discussed regional security and defence-related issues.

The army chief is on a two-day official visit on the invitation of Chinese officials to meet the political and military leadership.