Gilani announces half-day for Semi-final clash

Published: March 29, 2011
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Several party leaders and federal ministers will be accompanying the prime minister for the Pakistan-India match.

Several party leaders and federal ministers will be accompanying the prime minister for the Pakistan-India match.

Pakistan cricket fan smiles while wearing the team's colours. PHOTO: REUTERS Several party leaders and federal ministers will be accompanying the prime minister for the Pakistan-India match.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday announced a half working day for the Pakistan and India semi-final clash on March 30 (Wednesday).

Interior Minister Rehman Malik made the announcement on behalf of Gilani and said that all government offices and institutions will close at 12pm.

The Sindh chief minister in consultation with the governor has announced a public holiday for tomorrow, sources at the Sindh Governor House said. All government offices, schools, colleges and universities will remain shut.

Director General Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) has announced that there will be no load-shedding during the match.

Speaking to the media in Lahore, Muhammad Khalid said if power cuts are observed in any area of the country during the match, the concerned authorities will be suspended.

Gilani, accompanied by several politicians and federal ministers, will watch the match Mohali on the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

According to a media release from the Prime Minister House, Gilani has invited heads of parliamentary parties to accompany him to watch the semi-final match at Mohali.

These include Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMl-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam’s (JUI) Laeeq Ahmad Khan and Parliamentary leader for FATA Munir Orakzai.

Besides party leaders, several federal ministers will also be part of the delegation. They include Federal Minister for Sports and SAFRON Engineer Shaukat Ullah, Information Minister Firdaus Ashiq Awan, Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and former ministers, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Sherry Rehman.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Chilli
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:30PM

    Lets have a party. Only PM was invited but he will take a whole bunch peers on tax payers money. PPP is ready to consume every penny left in our pockets. I hope media will soon release list of guys going to embarrass the nation.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:32PM

    Oh please don’t take our Rehman Malik, He will talk to media and will release another news against Pakistan.Recommend

  • Imran
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:33PM

    MUFTAAAAA Recommend

  • blizzard!
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:37PM

    here goes more of our tax money… i hope the extras arent even allowed in the ground and not entertained at all… Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 12:40PM

    Party on hai :-DRecommend

  • RKM
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:46PM

    these guys having a ball…cant they give us an off too :(…if they do, i seiously have issues, take the whole national assembly…just give me an offRecommend

  • RKM
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:47PM

    I have no issues them going, just give m an off…bas, just give me an off…khud enjoy kar rahay ho hamaray paison pe…let us enjoy on our money atleast :(Recommend

  • Arif
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:55PM

    there goes part of the flood tax we will be paying. unbelievable!!!!Recommend

  • Shahzad S. Janjua
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:03PM

    I wish there does happened a terrorist attack, and the corrupt goes out asap basis. So that atleast we left with much less corrupt and tyrant people.Recommend

  • Rana Asghar
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:06PM

    PM should have gone with only couple of more people instead taking a delegation & all on tax payers money. We are paying for their holiday trip. When will they understand the meaning of austerity & humbleness.Recommend

  • M. Tauseef Barlas
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:29PM

    pls. give attention to economy, education, health, clean weter & pollution. this is what our country people needs.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:44PM

    mujhay bhi lay jao… i am a tax payer…PlsssssRecommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 1:45PM

    OMG so many uninvited party crashers! We only invited PM and the president.Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 1:45PM

    Trip participants may actually learn something. Recommend

  • Khalid
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:52PM

    chaloo dostoo awam ka khoon choosneein………:-) mortein..Recommend

  • G.K
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:52PM

    @ M. Tauseef Barlas
    well said…we also expect the same.Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 1:55PM

    What the hell. One second, weren’t all these party leaders boycotting the PPP leaders speech to the NA just last week? And where is the JUI guy going? I thought for him India was the centre of every anti-Pakistan, anti-Islam conspiracies? And why are former ministers going to India? At whose expense?Recommend

  • Z. K
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:57PM

    We need a holiday tomorrow!!Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 2:30PM

    They should seek asylum there and not come backRecommend

  • No BS
    Mar 29, 2011 - 2:53PM

    and they want me to pay more tax for their joy rides!!!! After the semi’s i am going to be on the streets till these incompetent, corrupt people are put behind barsRecommend

  • Addu
    Mar 29, 2011 - 3:35PM

    Chaloo jee, party on hai !!Recommend

  • Nasir Nawaz Bhutta
    Mar 29, 2011 - 3:38PM

    let them go……… they are not for Pakistan,they are just a sham in our country.We just down heads against their attitudes.Just pray that may Allah succeed our country and give us brave leaders……………Recommend

  • joy
    Mar 29, 2011 - 3:41PM

    welcome
    padharo mare desh……….

    this is one invasion which I and most Indians like me welcome with open arms :)

    joyRecommend

  • J Oberoi
    Mar 29, 2011 - 3:43PM

    Arey bhai, the plane is anyway going. Aap logon ko kya farak padtha hai? It is Indian taxpayers’ money that will be wasted. Additional security, additional khana, more tickets at the stadium etc. We only invited Mr.Gilani but looks like a whole ‘paltan’ is coming. Recommend

  • Kamal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 4:56PM

    let them go…they are also entitled to some good time.They have promissed that they wo’nt say anything controversial.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 29, 2011 - 5:09PM

    OH MY…… They all are leaving and enjoy Match but General Public has to go to there work…No Public HolidayRecommend

  • Nafees Ahmad
    Mar 29, 2011 - 5:43PM

    Its sad story that the Pakistan economy is in serious distress and these kind of activities of our politician never comes to an end. Good use of flood tax.

    Wake up Pakistan.Recommend

  • Suresh
    Mar 29, 2011 - 5:52PM

    like “big fat Indian wedding”Recommend

  • pakistani
    Mar 29, 2011 - 6:41PM

    Shame on our Government . poor people paying tax on everything that is their need not for you to spend it on your n your ministers enertainment. Shame on uRecommend

  • Silent Spectator
    Mar 29, 2011 - 6:46PM

    Pakistan People’s Party loves to (p)arty on the money of (p)eople of (P)akistan. I request the Indians to keep our ‘leaders’ for good as we no longer need or want them. On another note, it seems that we are outsourcing our Government jobs to India, well at least for one day!Recommend

  • Sengathir
    Mar 29, 2011 - 7:14PM

    What will JUI guys do in Kaafirs land…?Recommend

  • Copper
    Mar 29, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Does India also have (half or full) holiday?Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Mar 29, 2011 - 7:38PM

    Giving/taking a holiday for this provides further evidence that we don’t take our national responsibilities at the time of a grave crisis seriouslyRecommend

  • Funny Chaps
    Mar 29, 2011 - 7:49PM

    Can`t help laughing..
    Funny Fellows and all the silly hype..
    Only the population on both sides are the fools. We Indians MUST ensure every politician who comes into India should go back to Pakistan. Also we Indians must conspire to send some of our useless Politicians into Pakistan.. :) :)
    Politicians are dangerous then militants.. Recommend

  • Noor Lodi
    Mar 29, 2011 - 7:49PM

    We better win this match. Or we will be losing billions for no reason….

    I don’t think there is a need to for a holiday. It is not like company is going to war. Recommend

  • Singh
    Mar 29, 2011 - 7:55PM

    Come on guys it will not even penny for price of peace. If it hurt you guys so much I can pay for their trip if it bring both nation together on path of peace & Progress.Recommend

  • siddiq
    Mar 29, 2011 - 7:55PM

    Incredibly uninformed comments. The only additional expense here is the extra fuel charge for a plane that is already carrying the PM. But some extra expense is worth it since this is not simply a cricket match but an important diplomatic event. Having relevant decision makers on board will create a positive atmosphere for inter-party consensus in moving forward with India, not to mention that it will facilitate taking advantage of any impromptu diplomatic openings. On his visit to London for G20 and to India, Obama had an entourage of over 500 people. Obviously, we should not be comparing ourselves to a superpower, but the fact is that state visits are not like going solo to a friend’s place to watch the game. They require the requisite experts and political decision makers in tow. Recommend

  • Murtaza Ali
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:06PM

    One of the best decision ever by the government in which they have not consulted America before taking it.. :DRecommend

  • sundar
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:12PM

    Welcome Pakistani delegation and fans. Have a nice time, enjoy the game and let the better team win.Recommend

  • Omar
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:12PM

    @Murtaza Ali: cant agree more with you, Murtaza!Recommend

  • ba ha
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:44PM

    This is INSANE.!! If IMF forgave our debt we can take the year off??? What a PM?? – Dear Lord give one to India just like this one.Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 9:13PM

    Sindh has a whole day off. Unfair. :(Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 9:32PM

    This is something good but PM must take as few as possible with him….Recommend

  • Saad
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:23PM

    Why is the PM taking all of his colleagues with him when it was only him who got the invitation?!Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 11:39PM

    PM Gilani thank you for letting us for once share your work load. Enjoy a half day holiday (Since every day is a holiday for the PPP GoP).
    From the 15th of this month the tax paying citizens are paying 15 percent “tax on tax” and there you are in cahoots with the fifty political ‘chamchas’ burning up our taxes. Better still ‘our taxes and your tikkas.’ Enjoy, laugh and make merry while the sun is shining and for a change take our COAS along because he needs to freshen up. Salams for 2011. Recommend

  • Kan
    Mar 30, 2011 - 2:46AM

    PM Gilani is taking every party member as an insurance , he doesnt know who is with the Terror groups and planning to bomb the venue. The JUI guys will tell the terror machines to lay low for their own member is there :).. ha ha Recommend

  • Amir
    Mar 30, 2011 - 3:18AM

    wah!!wah!!
    India has become a picnic spot for all!!
    I know 1 plane of geelani will carry all these junta along who are dying to go to india ??

    As an indian,i would be happy if they would have got some young generations students(boy and girls) from pakistan university who would have got a chance to visit india rather than these corrupt politicians!

    While going back ,we would like to give you laloo prasad yadav.raj thakre,baal thakre,
    ram vilas paswan,Kauna nidhi and entire DMK dynasty politics along with some chinese party of india for minority:P

    Please take them and dump them into frontier areas without foodRecommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 30, 2011 - 5:26AM

    Can someone tell me who is this nice looking babe walking with Chacha Cricket???? Recommend

  • amir hanif
    Mar 30, 2011 - 5:57AM

    what a hottie next to chacha cricket , grrrrrrrrrrrrRecommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Mar 30, 2011 - 7:02AM

    No holiday in India. But ESPN-Star are streaming the match LIVE on the internet for Indian viewers for free. A lot of them will be watching the game while pretending to work – including yours truly.Recommend

  • Inseeay
    Mar 30, 2011 - 9:21AM

    At this point I think its a good decision to involve the leaders of all major parties for this event. For Unity! For Pakistan!Recommend

  • canuck
    Mar 30, 2011 - 10:25AM

    Pakistani people are taking out bank loans to pay for food and these jokers are taking plane load of cronies on an all paid holiday. People deserve the government they vote for, Pakistanis can surely do better!Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Mar 30, 2011 - 11:15AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.The most rubbish and ridiculous statement given by PM Gillani because thus poor Pakistan’s economy shall have to face billions of Rupees’ fiscal loss within 10 hours and hundreds of thousands daily workers shall have to face the economical and financial problems and difficulties.This match will end within 8 to 9 hours but for the recovery of fiscal loss Pakistan shall have to wait for many weeks.This is a match only not the matter of life and death.Victory and loss are the parts of game.This match should be watched open-mindedly without creating any economical,fiscal and financial losses of Pakistan and its working people especially of daily wages’ people.Recommend

  • Zahid Hussain Khalid
    Mar 30, 2011 - 11:27AM

    When a nation falls it takes refuge in TAMASHAS like the one promoted by country’s leading media group, patronized by irresponsible visionless corporate sector and a government headed by known criminals across the globe.

    WHAT IS TODAY’S TOP PRIORITY: CRICKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Shahzeen
    Mar 30, 2011 - 11:50AM

    PAKISTAN shud win 2day!!!!!! v need a day off on thursday also……………………..Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Mar 30, 2011 - 12:03PM

    @amir hanif:
    The “hottie” is none other than “Chachi Cricket”.Recommend

  • khizer Jalal
    Mar 30, 2011 - 12:23PM

    <Hope that half day is worth it..yoooRecommend

  • Azeem
    Mar 30, 2011 - 7:29PM

    @Chilli:
    what tax payers money? Oh, you mean American tax payers money? 170 million people live in Pakistan but only 2.5 million of them file taxes — one of the lowest in the world. So, American tax payers have to subsidize for us. See http://youtu.be/dK5Gk1wvx10 at 4:02Recommend

  • CHICKKEN TIKKA
    Mar 31, 2011 - 4:05PM

    araree bhai, these guys are not going to US or Australia or some farway places like that. Just 150 KMs from Lahore,which just like one district to another. So what cost you guys are talking about? Only travelling cost. All Khaana- peena will be taken care by Indians.
    No productive loss to Pakistan as none of these guys are doing anything productive back home.

    So let them go and enjoy !!!!!Recommend

  • PeacEPreVail
    Apr 2, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Good 2 c d maturity growing in both d countries ver d youngsters need peace rather dan Fite..
    Hope evry1 soon realize dat al diz games f separatism iz done by politicianz 4 der greed.. After al v r al humanz… As a Indian, I do respect Pakistaniz too.. Terrorism iz a threat 2 dem too.. Dey too r battling against it!! I hope both d countries or rather educated people r lukin for peace… I wish 2 c a better tomorrow ver v invest time not hating each odr but standing strong 2 support ech odr n help solve issues hand in hand.. Cricket, Movies or anything that can bind us together iz a welcome change.. And em sure ven it hapenz.. No1 cn separate us again.. nt evn US.. :P GOD blez both d nation.. Recommend

  • mussarat hussain
    Apr 3, 2011 - 5:26AM

    Very sad even such a high-powered delegation failed to infuse “National Sprit” among Pakistani cricketers who embraced defeat with sportsman spirit. After all they did not disappoint
    host as a mark of goodwill gesture.

    MussaratRecommend

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