Pakistan news January 31, 2014

Pakistan government withdraws petition against Zaka Ashraf

The Pakistan Cricket Board's legal tussle with the state government came to a conclusion after the government withdrew its petition against Zaka Ashraf's return as PCB chairman from the Supreme Court. The Ministry of Inter-Provincial Co-ordination (IPC) had earlier challenged the verdict of the Islamabad High Court which re-instated Ashraf as PCB chairman in January.

In its appeal, the IPC had argued that the Interim Management Committee of the PCB - set up after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif dissolved the governing board of the PCB - had superseded Ashraf's incumbency and therefore Ashraf had no legal position to take charge of the board again.

The Supreme Court had accepted the petition for hearing on Monday but had refrained from taking the case ahead and suggested that the government exercise its authority to initiate changes within the PCB. In the second hearing on Friday, the IPC decided to drop its appeal against Ashraf.

"We have withdrawn our appeal against Ashraf's reinstatement," IPC legal advisor, Irfan Ullah said. "As per the constitution, the government can exercise its powers (to appoint a new chairman) without prejudicing the orders of the Islamabad High Court."

In May 2013, Ashraf became the first elected PCB chairman for a period of four years under a new constitution. He was suspended a few weeks later following questions over the legality of his appointment. Under the amended constitution, only the Chief Patron of the PCB, the Prime Minister of the country, could remove the chairman only on the basis of financial irregularities. The constitution does not allow no-confidence motions to be raised against the PCB chairman.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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  • Syed on February 3, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    Good move to stabilize the PCB and the cricket in Pakistan which is probably at the worst state in the history of Pakistan cricket, despite all that mess, the team is performing reasonably, imagine if the affairs are to be managed properly and on merit the Pakistan cricket can performed be at its best potential like the teams of Australia and South Africa.

  • Umar on February 1, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    I think this is very good step by the government. It would give statbility to PCB.

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    I think it does not end. I was just listening to the news. That judges made remarks that there is legal executive power of govt to change chairman. and according to media, govt will use that power and do it. So future still unclear.

    But i hope no further tussle comes up for some time as many big decisions are pending for PCB.

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    I think they have realised that PCB cannot afford see-saw of chairman appointments especially in the lights of upcoming meetings on Big 3 issue.

  • Android on February 1, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    good thing. no point dragging it far. PCB need some sort of stable administration. last few months were surrounded by news and cases which is not good.

    however they should work on ensuring that elsection process will be error free and all regions will be included. its in interest of game to take govt influence out of it

  • FAROOQ on January 31, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    After Zaka Ashraf's heroic stand at the ICC meeting - this is a step in the right direction.

  • Ryo on January 31, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    There are bigger battles to be fought round the corner. Now is the time to draw ranks and stand firm. In the immortal song of Fall Out Boy, #Sugar we're gping down swinging!!!#

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