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Pakistan to host Test cricket for first time in six years

Pakistan appear set to host Test-playing opposition in their home country for the first time in more than six years.

Pakistan will host Zimbabawe on home turf. Credit: Reuters

Zimbabwe have reportedly agreed to travel for a short one-day international series next month, likely to take place in Lahore and Karachi.

No tourists have played in Pakistan because of security fears since the terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in March 2009 - when six policemen and two civilians died, and several of the tourists were injured.

'Home' Test and ODI series' in the meantime have taken place in the United Arab Emirates, England's destination for the second time this autumn, a tour for which an exact schedule is still to be confirmed.

The details of Zimbabwe's proposed trip are also not yet known.

But Pakistan Cricket Board president Shaharyar Khan has stated that, after discussions with his Zimbabwean opposite number Wilson Manase, he expects the short tour to go ahead.

Shaharyar said:

He (Manase) told me they are coming and they are coming with their full team - but (just) for a week.

They will send a security team to assess the situation, following which they will confirm the tour. So they will come in the middle of May, and our efforts will be to host matches in Lahore and Karachi.

– Pakistan Cricket Board president Shaharyar Khan

West Indies answer critics with 150-run Pakistan win

The West Indies answered their critics as they battered Pakistan on both sides of the ball to get their World Cup campaign up and running with a 150-run victory in Christchurch.

West Indies were dominant against Pakistan Credit: Reuters

Denesh Ramdin and Lendl Simmons laid the foundations for the Windies, with knocks of 51 and 50 respectively, before Andre Russell sparkled with an unbeaten 42 off just 13 balls to guide them to 310 for six.

With four wickets gone and 10 overs remaining the Windies cut loose, piling on 115 runs from their final 60 balls, although they were helped by poor Pakistan fielding throughout at Hagley Oval.

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US welcomes Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism

The White House said that President Obama welcomed improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. US officials also expressed an appreciation for Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism.

Massive blackout disrupts up to 80% of Pakistan

Officials in Pakistan are rushing to restore power after a massive blackout hit the country earlier this morning.

Up to 80% of Pakistan was without power, but by mid-morning power had been restored to about half of the country.

A militant attack in the southwestern Baluchistan province caused the blackout, according to Zafaryab Khan, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Water and Power.

Pakistan army chief welcomes returning pupils

The head of the Pakistani army General Raheel Sharif met returning pupils outside the school gate in Peshawar this morning.

Pakistani army chief General Raheel Sharif shakes students' hands as they arrive Credit: RTV

"The army chief didn't make a speech but individually met the parents and assured them they would eliminate the terrorists from the country," a security official said.

Pakistani students return to school amid high security

Students in Pakistan began streaming back to school today for the first day of the new term.

For most, it is their first day back since the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar last month in which 150 pupils and teachers lost their lives.

Girls ride on a motorcycle while heading to school after it reopened in Peshawar Credit: REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

At the Army Public School in Peshawar, survivors of the attack returned to their studies amid tight security with staff checking their bags at the entrance.

Students get their bags checked by school security staff at a school Credit: REUTERS/Khuram Parvez

Officials told Reuters news agency that eight-feet high walls were being built around public schools in Peshawar as part of enhanced security.

Schoolchildren walk past a traffic policeman as they cross the road while heading to school in Peshawar Credit: REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

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Pakistani school reopens after Taliban massacre

150 schoolchildren and teachers were killed on December 16, last year. Credit: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

The school that was the scene of a brutal Taliban massacre reopened today.

Pakistani children and their parents returned to the Army Public School in Peshawar where Taliban gunmen killed 150 of their classmates and teachers - one of the worst attacks the country has ever endured.

Most schools across the country have been shut for an extended winter break in the aftermath of the December 16 attack.

Bus crash in Pakistan kills at least 57 people

Credit: PA Images

A crash involving a passenger bus and a petrol tanker in southern Pakistan has killed at least 57 people.

Dr Seemi Jamali, who heads the emergency section at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in Karachi, said they had received 57 bodies.

She said the bodies were so charred that they would have to do DNA tests to identify the victims.

The minister of transportation for Sindh Province, Mir Mumtaz Hussain Jakhrani, says the crash happened when the passenger bus hit the petrol tanker about 31 miles outside of Karachi.

Such horrific traffic accidents are not uncommon in Pakistan due to reckless, untrained drivers and poor roads.

US drone attack in Pakistan kills suspected militants

A drone attack by US forces has killed at least six suspected militants in north west Pakistan, intelligence officials have said.

The strike hit compounds in Lawara Mandi, near the border with Afghanistan, killing between six and nine suspected militants.

It comes as Pakistani officials debate plans to intensify a crackdown on Taliban insurgents behind the massacre of 132 schoolchildren last month.

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