Saturday, April 24, 2010

CDA Plans to Save Energy During Golden Jubilee Events

Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, in a special meeting here on Friday, ordered all directorates to take strict measures to ensure that no air-conditioning units are operated before 11 a.m., only every third streetlight is switched on and power connections to all neon signs and billboards are cut immediately.

The CDA spokesman said that the chairman has directed all concerned directorates of the authority to ensure strict compliance of energy conservation measures in the 

federal capital and constituted mobile monitoring teams for vigilance.

The chairman directed the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) to disconnect power to all billboards, neon signs and other such advertisement installations.

“The chairman directed that the lights in parks should be switched off except for those necessary for security purposes. 

Similarly, he directed that illumination of buildings, pathways and trees for ceremonial purposes would be discouraged. To ensure strict compliance of energy conservation measures, mobile teams have been constituted, which will keep an eye on violation of these measures round the clock,” the CDA spokesman said.

The CDA chairman directed that the decisions announced by the prime minister must be implemented in letter and spirit to reinforce the efforts of the government for conserving electricity.

The participants of the meeting were apprised that some streetlights in the capital are ‘sunlight sensitive’ and automatically switch on as sunlight diminishes. Some streetlights are lit up at daytime for necessary maintenance. Upon this, the CDA chairman directed that the repair and maintenance of streetlights must be carried out in minimum possible time to save electricity.

Power Crises Damaging Research Programs in Qaud-e-Azam University

Taking serious notice of frequent power outages, the Academic Staff Association (ASA) of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has warned that if the problem was not resolved immediately, faculty members would be left with no choice but to agitate.

The warning was issued through a unanimous resolution passed in a recent executive council meeting of the ASA. The members complained that all academic and research activities have come to a standstill due to electricity loadshedding.

It urged the QAU and Higher Education Commission authorities to influence Iesco to exempt the university from loadshedding as had been done in other educational institutions like Punjab University, International Islamic University and National University of Sciences and Technology.

Frequent breakdowns delay the experiments in many departments. In the departments of chemistry, plant sciences, animal sciences, microbiology, biochemistry and biotechnology costly chemicals and material go waste. In some cases, appliances and equipment also got destroyed or damaged. The university had to install generators in many laboratories where experiments sometimes take days to complete.

The other day, students staged a protest demonstration at the administration block to press their demands like improvement in hostel conditions and canteens but one of their major complaints was the menace of loadshedding which interrupted their studies. In this age of multimedia and other educational aids, QAU, ranked No 1 university of the country by HEC and second in the Muslim world, is facing problems in imparting education to its students because of wrong policies of rulers who did not install a single power plant in the country in 12 years after 1996.

In the early years, QAU had its power connection from the Islamabad Club grid station through underground cables but later the link was shifted to Bhara Kahu grid via overhead wires. Whenever there was dust storm, the cable link was disrupted due to falling of cables, polls or trees which took hours to repair. Being a green area, QAU was in darkness while nearby shining dhokes and villages like Barri Imam and Narhel bustled with activity. This still happens during harsh weather.

Bhara Kahu grid being a rural station was subjected to greater loadshedding hours and the urban area of QAU became a victim of this added problem which was like rubbing salt on its wounds.

It was due to this menace that QAU decided to have a power link from the grid station inside Diplomatic Enclave through underground link. With a lot of efforts, the university managed to get and pay a demand note of Rs22 million to Iesco in 2007. According to reports Iesco dug out the trench for the purpose but a row with CDA not allowing it to pass the cables through roads operated by the civic body has stalled the process.

The Campus community is facing the music due to fight between two departments of the Federal Metropolis.

The ASA reiterated that the university authorities should actively pursue the pending issue of electricity supply from the Diplomatic Enclave.

PIMS orders check on private vendors,medical representatives

The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has instructed the heads of all departments to ensure that neither they themselves nor the staff under their control, is involved in promoting illegal purchase of drugs, medicines or surgical disposables from private vendors and medical representatives roaming within the hospital’s premises, ‘The News’ learnt here on Friday.

Commenting on the situation, PIMS Joint Executive Director Dr. Jehanzeb Khan Aurakzai shared that the hospital had been receiving complaints to the effect that implants were being sold within the hospital premises for prices that were higher than the market rate. The only convenience for patients was that these were available to them at their bedside and hence, they did not have to take the trouble of going to the market. 

“We are now working on a plan under which all orthopaedic, cardiac and eye implants will be made available to patients within the hospital at subsidised rates,” Dr. Aurakzai informed. He also assured that free medicines would be provided to patients in the emergency and indoor departments of the hospital.

PIMS remains swarmed with representatives of pharmaceutical companies, as well as vendors of private chemists and medical stores located outside the hospital. These medical representatives can easily be spotted meandering in the corridors of the hospital, chasing doctors, specialists, patients and their attendants to purchase drugs, medicines, surgical disposables and various kinds of implants from their stores. Eventually, they end up supplying inferior quality items at inflated rates or selling substitutes of medicines prescribed by doctors. 

The representatives of pharmaceutical companies can be spotted visiting doctors and specialists working in the Out-Patient Department as early as 10 a.m. They keep roaming about, even in the operation theatre and wards, to meet specialists till 1:45 p.m. every day, thereby wasting the time of doctors and specialists during peak hours of treatment. 

Taking notice of the practice, the administration of PIMS has debarred medical representatives from visiting the OPD and OT before 1 p.m. Moreover, the heads of departments have been directed to keep a check on promotion of illegal purchase of drugs, medicines and surgical supplies from private vendors.

The joint executive director (non-medical), director of the component, and security staff have also been alerted to keep a vigilant check on vendors and representatives and to immediately intimate in writing, the name of the doctor or person who contravenes the order. The hospital administration is contemplating strict action against those involved in promoting private vendors and medical representatives, it is learnt.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lake View Park - A Must Watch Place in Islamabad

Walking track of Lake View Park in Islamabad, this park is well decorated by capital development authority. Recently they widen then area of gardens & add more walking tracks. The view of Rawal Lake makes it more attractive at the evening. The whole area is planted with beautiful flowers & trees. There are huts & benches to sit, No restaurant to dine at but you can get burgers, gol gappy, potato chips & cold drinks from the tuck shops. it is the best place for Bar B Q in case you arrange it yourself with friends & peers. the terraced garden around lake is the favorite picnic spot for most of the people, fishing is however prohibited but you can enjoy boating, sailing & a ride in the special jungle train. Infact a best outdoor space in Islamabad for families & children’s at the weekends.

Golden Jubilee Event - National Book Day

The National Book Foundation (NBF) is celebrating ‘National Book Day’ tomorrow (Thursday), at the National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF), Pitras Bokhari Road, Sector H-8/1, at 9:30 a.m, says a press release.

Leading publishers, book sellers of Pakistan will hold their stalls at the book fairs, said Managing Director National Book Foundation Mazhar-ul-Islam, who is also writer, author and editor of more than eighty books.

In order to mark the National Book Day celebrations, 40 to 50 per cent special discount would be offered on books only for the day, he added.

Federal Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali has been requested to grace the occasion as chief guest.

NBF has also planned out a long-day programme, which will start with the hoisting of Book Flag inscribed with a logo “Kitabon ki Dunya, Sub ki Dunya.”

The NBF DG said school children would parade with banners inscribed with slogans to promote love for books. A book theme song is also composed for this important occasion: “Kitabon ki dunya salamt rahay; Roshni dosti ki alamat rahay.”

Monday, April 19, 2010

Unity for Cause of Peace and Prosperity

There’s no reason to deny the fact that the people of Rawalpindi-Islamabad, like their brethren in other parts of the country, are passing through a critical phase of life. They say there’s little peace of mind in the backdrop of soaring prices of food, fuel and energy. There’s no easy access to schools for education of children nor is any life-saving medicine easily available at an affordable price to cure a poor man’s ailing wife.

Strangely, in such circumstances, an ordinary citizen doesn’t want a false ray of hope from any politician. He looks for kindness, or some good, sincere and trust-worthy advice, by someone for survival with dignity. That’s the problem of hundreds of heads of gentle families one has come across. One gathered elements of wisdom from a discussion among the passengers of economy class of coach number two of non-stop train 107-Up Islamabad Express the other day. The points of debate were: “How to earn a good salary to manage monthly domestic budget, how to tide over financial difficulties honourably, how to learn a good thing, wherefrom and when?” 

The hot exchange of arguments cooled as many times as there were crosses of Up and Down trains between Lahore and Rawalpindi-Islamabad. How true it is that there’s hardly any good thing to learn from bad governance! One has to spend a good amount of time and energy, and miss one meal with children daily, except Sunday, to earn a fair livelihood for a family of six members. There are however good chances of hefty monthly income for cronies and lackeys of parties in power.

Time has changed so badly that one has to seek God’s help to find a person about whom one can say he’s a friend in need. Good people, if discovered, can be counted on fingers nowadays. How fortunate are persons who happen to meet good people from different walks of life at gatherings on occasions of celebrations of national days and birth anniversaries of great leaders! Exchange of valuable ideas and experiences and sharing of each other’s joy and sorrow in the aroma of human love and bouquets of flowers mark the significance of such events in the capital. 

Luckily, the same evening (April 10), one such opportunity was provided to old and young citizens of Islamabad and Rawalpindi by the Ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Mrs Ri Yong Hwan in connection with the 98th birth anniversary of the Korean people’s great leader Kim Il Sung who liberated his people from the clutches of foreign powers of the 20th century and unified them into a revolutionary democratic socialist nation. Eventually, the present DPRK is the outcome of long arduous struggle for establishment of an independent sovereign state with an undefeatable will to make progress in social, economic, agricultural and industrial fields as well as science and technology in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. 

As a matter of fact, the success of Kim Il Sung and his comrades lay in following the same motto of “unity, faith and discipline” by means of which Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah achieved Pakistan and wanted to develop it into a social welfare state. One can say the cause of both the leaders and the masses behind them was one and the same: peace, progress and prosperity of all the peoples of the world and constant united struggle against unbridled exploitation, capitalism and feudalism. Achievements and people’s friendly ideas of Pakistan and DPRK came under discussions at such a significant gathering of diplomats, intelligentsia, media persons, retired generals, professors and lawyers. Many recalled the meaningful gestures of co-operation between the two countries. 

Brief dialogues with people like Senator (r) Ihsanul Haq Piracha, who served the country as federal minister for finance, and Lieutenant General (r) Asad Durrani were pleasant. The former said there was never such a chaos in society as it is today, people are without a sound leadership and there’s no direction. The latter emphasized, “We should forget the past mistakes and look forward, we’re reaping today what we sowed yesterday, anyhow there’s need to work for social revolution at local level, gradually moving up to high level, one shouldn’t waste time and energy in discussing what’s now useless...” 

Everybody talked about the price surge and the national unity most needed to meet the internal and external challenges to the countries who want to be independent of any imperialist obstruction in their journey to economic revolution. One noticed at the gathering emergence of like-mindedness in regard to marching together towards the cause of peace and economic progress so necessary for provision of free health-care and education to the poor masses.

Story by: Zafar Alam Sarwar
Published in The News
April, 20 2010

Golden Jubilee Events - Young Art Graduates Make Their Mark

Offering a fresh approach to art, a creative exhibition of paintings and book art by four recent graduates of Rawalpindi’s National College of Arts (NCA) opened at Nomad here Tuesday.

The collection by Amen Sardar, Rabia Ghazal, Mahjabeen Mirza and Manail Muneeb has aroused interest, as it is after a fairly long time that Nomad has taken the initiative of exhibiting the works of young artists. 

Except for Rohtas, which has persistently been encouraging and patronising fresh art graduates, most of the galleries in the capital are seen to be promoting a particular brand of well-established and renowned artists in order to maximise profits and minimise risk. 

Director Nomad Nageen Hyat chose to give these young artists a chance, as she found their art as being contemporary and rich in language, scale and visual imagery. Moreover, she believes that the artists have very powerfully expressed their respective concepts. 

“I found in their respective expressions the urge to explore from within and the passion to create art in spite of and within the moods of the challenging and changing tempo of our society as it exists today - an often volatile living culture where we adjust to the cultural ethos and respond through creative expression,” Nageen explained at the exhibition’s preview.

Amen Sardar’s paintings are dominated by ‘fragile and pure’ petals alongside zoomed images of hands and feet. The artist sees a connection between the rose petals and the human soul. “It is the vulnerability of the petals that appeals to me,” she mentions in a written statement and then refers to a poet, who once said, “I would rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” 

“One has to look deep inside to search for it. I do not need face expressions to convey my message. The movements of the hands and feet are strong enough to tell their personal story. My petals are whispering in my ears and have something to say. Hence, they whisper through my paintings,” Amen says.

Rabia Ghazal’s work is very personal in the sense that is reflects whatever comes to her mind at a given time. “All the emotions, all that I feel, all that I cannot talk about to anyone, I like to portray all of it through my work,” she says. The artist tends to draw her own portraits over and over again. “That is probably because I am searching for my identity and also because I feel I can give the best expression, which I want to paint,” she explains. Rabia says she does try to put on the canvas what lies in front of her but tries to “create something which is, in itself, a living thing.”

Mahjabeen’s work is about celebrating fashion, which has always inspired her. “I am interested in how fashion conquers people’s hearts and minds, eventually changing their lifestyles and perceptions of their surroundings. I am experiencing it myself and trying to explore this within,” she says. The artist finds it charming to experiment with backgrounds. She has also related fashion with gender through the use of accessories which men and women use.

Manail Muneeb has contributed book art to the exhibition. “You cannot judge a book by its cover. This artwork is a pictorial story, unfolding into layers and depths in visual rather than verbal form. Bringing back outdated academic textbooks to the shelf, this is an attempt to add a twist to the discovery of a book. Let books now be re-discovered, viewed and appreciated,” she says. The exhibition, which has a refreshing quality to it, will remain open till May 10.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Golden Jubilee Events - Jashn-e-Baharan Festival

A two-day Spring Festival got underway here in Islamabad on Saturday, offering a wide array of amusement programmes to the excursion-minded families. 

MassComm Solutions in has arranged multi-coloured programmes to celebrate “Jashn-e-Baharan” festival to provide entertainment of the people. This sparkling event is being organized by Art and Craft Village in collaboration with CDA as part of CDA Golden Jubliee celebrations.

The festival includes art and craft exhibitions, shopping stalls, Kite flying, food stalls, traditional swings, drum-beating competition, live music, magic show, pony ride, face painting and puppet show. A large number of families from the twin cities arrived at the Art and Craft Village to spend a fun-filled evening, thus catching a few hours away from the drudgery of daily life.

Chairman CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi was the chief guest on the occasion. He said that the Jashn-e-Baharan event is being organised with the objective that the Art Village becomes self-sustaining and the money generated is reinvested in the further development of the village. He said that CDA will continue to provide financial support to the project till the Village becomes self sustainable.

“This is an innovative idea which can lead further to safe Basant celebrations in future”, said Parveen Malik, Member of Management Committee of Pothohari Art & Craft Village and President Indus Heritage.
She said the Art & Craft Village is the culmination of a vision jointly shared by the CDA and the Indus Heritage. Renowned artists performed on the occasion while other activities included puppet and magic show, folk dances and musical programs, which were thoroughly enjoyed by kids as well as elders.

During the programs, it was observed that a group of folk artists clad in traditional dresses were well motivated to promote culture of the country.

Hundreds of children participated with enthusiasm in events like magic show, hand painting, and drumbeats.
Location: Potohari-The Art & Craft Village,Islamabad

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pictures of Sania and Shoab Malik Wedding

Rain Harvesting Project Launched in Capital

The Chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, on Monday formally launched the unique ‘Rain Water Harvesting Programme’ at the Faisal Mosque, making CDA the first ever municipality and Islamabad the first ever city of the country to successfully launch the project.

The project is aimed at tapping rainwater that in the past had been drained in the natural nullahs and had gone waste. The Rainwater Harvesting Cell, established by the CDA chairman, started work on this project some time back and decided to set up the pilot project close to Faisal Mosque, which has a 0.3 square kilometre paved area and was ideal for setting up such a project because any amount of run-off water following rains could be tapped and used for the project.

The Rainwater Harvesting Cell, headed by the Director Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) of the Authority, Shahid Sohail, bored two 18 inch diameter and 150 feet deep inverted re-charge wells in addition to installing one infiltration gallery and one filter bed in this project at a cost of Rs1.5 million only.

“We put this project to experiment during the last rains and the results were tremendously encouraging,” the director STP told ‘The News’. “During the last spell of rains we received 10 millimetre of rain fall in this area that we infused into the ground using these two inverted re-charge wells. And we noticed a 11 feet rise in the sub-soil water level using the ‘Piezo Meter’ that was installed to monitor the underground water level. This amounts to almost six million gallons of water,” Shahid Sohail said.

He said that there was a network of pipelines laid under the vast compound of Faisal Mosque for flushing the run-off rain water into the nearby natural nullah. “This time we diverted all that water to these two inverted re-charge wells and achieved such encouraging results.

He also said that in addition to digging two inverter re-charge wells one infiltration gallery and one filter bed were also installed to arrest the sediments and the whole network worked perfectly.

He pointed out that the approximate annual rainfall in this region is 1.2 meter and if all this runoff water is tapped and infused into the ground using these inverter re-charge wells we would certainly be able to bring about a marvellous change in the environment.

CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said that the CDA has made comprehensive arrangements to replicate this network across the federal capital to benefit from this primary source of water — the rain — in collaboration with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources (PCRWR).

The CDA chairman said that Islamabad has a huge potential to benefit from this concept to overcome the water shortage in the city as the rise in sub-soil water level will eventually enhance the output of deep-sunk tubewells installed in the green areas of the city.

The chairman said that the authority has envisaged several projects to extend the network of rain water harvesting initiatives including introduction of roof-top water collection system at old Naval Headquarters Building, incorporating rain water collection system in the Zero Point Interchange Project and infiltration of water runoff from surrounding of Kachnar Park Sector I-8 through Swales and Soak ways in addition to making preparatory work for beginning rain water harvesting system in different city parks.

He also said that an amendment has been made in the CDA Building by-laws for constructing the rooftop water collection/rain water harvesting systems in houses build on plots having area of 400 square yards or more. He said that the study for standardising the roads drainage network for future sectors is being carried out to have rainwater harvesting for making the new sectors environment friendly.

“Cleaning of ravines, being the integral part of rain water harvesting mechanism, is being carried out in collaboration with the partner organisations. Under this programme Barri Imam streams are being cleaned with bio-remediation techniques with the technical assistance of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC),” the CDA chairman said while talking to the media on the occasion.

He also said that this model would be replicated in other streams crisscrossing the city to revive their natural flow. He said that a task force for cleaning of the streams and ravines consisting of CDA officers and Civil Society has been constituted to actively pursue this programme. He said that task force has successfully taken up the work of cleaning of ravine of Sector E-7 where substantial work has been done.

The chairman also said that the CDA has taken up the issues with the major polluters including Air and Naval Headquarters and housing societies in Sector E-11 and has urged them for construction of their own Sewage Treatment Plants (STP). He said that Metro Cash and Carry Store and Quaid-e-Azam University are constructing their own STP.

“Similarly, the entire sewage of the Village Chak Shahzad has been diverted to NARC farm for treatment through bio-remediation and utilisation of the treated water by NARC. We are making concrete efforts to make Islamabad an environment friendly city and a model municipality for the rainwater harvesting initiatives. In this connection the cooperation of the allied organisations is imperative to make this venture a success,” Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jashan-e-Baharan Festival an Fun Activity for Islamabad Resident

The entertainment-starved residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi enjoyed a combination of tradition and fun-filled day out, thronging the two-day ‘Jashn-e-Baharan’ festival at the Arts and Craft Village. 

The visitors were welcomed by traditional Punjabi drum beaters at the entrance to the Village, adding colour to the event and cheering the twin cities’ residents for whom it was the first major event in the past few years, as the security situation prevented holding of such shows. 

The festival not only brought the city back to life but also underlined the contributions of the local artisans. According to the organisers, more than 15,000 people visited the event, jointly organised by Jang Group and Mass Comm Solutions, and shopped at a variety of stalls exhibiting exquisite stuff made by local artisans at much lesser rate than the market. 

“The same stuff is available in F-6 Super and Kohsar Markets at more than double the rate,” said Masroor Hussian, a pottery maker from Multan. “I wish the festival can be extended, as we have the biggest market of our products in the capital,” said Mushahid Hussain at the stall of ‘Gaba Sazi’ (embroidery on sheep wool). 

A total of 100 stalls were set up at the festival, with 58 showing the live work of artisans and 38 were of garments and jewellery, mostly made up locally with traditional stones. Adding to the flavour were around seven food stalls offering delicious food of different provinces and kiosks that are usually seen downtown. 

Female visitors thronged the stalls selling traditional dresses, most of them handmade, and it was quite encouraging that majority of the stall holders were those people, who are otherwise not able to open up their outlets anywhere in the capital city due to financial constraints. 

“There is a need to revive the culture of wearing local dresses that are being diluted with the onslaught by western-style outfits, and we must put in our best effort for their promotion,” said Nazia Shakoor, a visitor. 

Gulzari Inayat was one of those social workers, who had set up stalls at the event not to earn profit but to convey to the visitors that the local products should not be ignored by merely terming them outdated and old-fashioned. “Our culture has grace and elegance, and these kinds of events help revive our memories, otherwise, we are quick in adopting foreign cultures,” she said.

Youngsters showed keen interest in live musical performances under a shadowy spot in which singers entertained the audience with folksongs in different regional languages.

Children enjoyed bursting balloons with air guns and treating themselves with candyfloss. But the entertainment for kids did not end here, as there were some other attractions for them. The traditionally painted Ferris Wheel drew children in large numbers while they continued to enjoy in the kids’ area where there were a variety of swings and other entertainment facilities such as face painting, pony rides, and magic and puppet shows. The event administration members were also there to monitor the recreational activities and extend assistance to the children. 

In addition to shopping, the visitors had a unique experience of watching artisans at work. They took great interest in learning about the hard and delicate work done by great artists and asked different sorts of questions from them. “We live in this country but visiting such a festival makes us realise that we hardly have any knowledge of what beautiful stuff is produced in our different provinces and the level of hard work involved in producing such masterpieces,” said Shahzia Naseem, a visitor. 

Deeply engrossed in his work was Nisar Malik, 63, a big name in beadwork. His delicate portraits of Quaid-e-Azam and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto made many to stop and watch him work at his traditional ‘adda’. “I have made more than 12 bead portraits of Quaid, after it was a big hit when I made it the first time on the occasion of Pakistan’s golden jubilee,” said Nisar proudly. 

He was accompanied by his daughter, Sadaf, who has also gained expertise in this art, hoping to carry it forward. She exhibited her unique calligraphic work with colourful beads. “It takes almost 15 days to complete one piece,” she said. 

Close to Nisar’s stall was Habib ur Rehman, gathered by a group of visitors who were watching him do the internationally famous truck art. Involved in this form of art for 55 years, Habib was assisted by his 14-year-old grandson Mirajul Haq. His stall exhibited all sorts of things adorned with unique patterns and striking colours of truck art, a Pakistani specialty. On display were lanterns, jugs, lunch boxes, tissue boxes, mugs, wall hangings and model trucks. 

Habib, the man who also painted a beetle for a French doctor, was not quite happy with the public’s attitude towards regional art. “They always insist on reducing the price without realising the hard work involved in such art forms,” he said. 

Busy in doing intricate embroidery at an ‘adda’ set up by Behbood Association, Zaitoon Bibi had more or less the same feelings. “When people watch us work, they come to know how difficult and hard it is to make a piece.” 

Organisers told ‘The News’ that the number of visitors remained comparatively thin during the afternoons because of the heat but the evenings drew a lot of people during the two days, which was an evidence that people here were eagerly waiting for such an event. 

“It has proven to be a great experience, as the event has been a success and the response was much more than what was expected,” said Qamar Chaudhry, Managing Director Mass Comm Solutions and added that the twin cities’ residents showed that they seek opportunities for fun and entertainment. 

“We worked a lot in coordination with so many other people and it was also a daunting task to reach out to those, who are doing excellent work regarding the manufacturing of local dresses, face painting, preparation of traditional dishes and other such things,” he said. 

He said all stallholders were asked to bring the required equipment along with them and continue to do their work in their respective stalls, adding, “It was really exciting to see them working in front of the visitors.” 

He said the performance of folk singers and kite flying also received tremendous response from the visitors, as the organisers had called specialists from the Kite Flying Association of Lahore. “The activity is otherwise not allowed in town due to the dangerous thread often used, but it was different here, as no one was allowed to bring threads or kites from outside and everything was made available at the festival in a controlled environment,” he pointed out. 

The MD appreciated Capital Development Authority (CDA) for the fine arrangements made to facilitate visitors. “For fool proof safety and security, four Rescue 1122 ambulances stood by as well as two fire fighting vehicles along with security personnel, not only at the entrance but also inside the Village premises,” he said. 

Water Crises in Islamabad

The gap between the available amount of water and its demand has widened to the record level of 100,000 million gallons per day. It has created a crisis-like situation for the Capital Development Authority (CDA), sources told this scribe here on Sunday. 

The light rains brought some kind of relief for civic managers, but they were of the view that only heavy rains could enable them to reduce the gap between demand and supply of drinking water. Sources said that the concerned authorities are on their toes as the available amount of water is 50,000 million gallons per day and demand has risen to 150,000 million gallons per day, ultimately making it impossible to even meet the requirements of half of the residents. 

Sources further said that the dry spell and unending electricity loadshedding have made most tubewells dysfunctional and the civic authority is finding no way to get out of the critical situation. 

Sources said that the level of water in Khanpur Dam has reduced to 30 feet and the situation is not so different with regard to Simli Dam where there is only 32 feet of water. 

The most badly affected areas where supply of tapped water has reduced to the lowest level include sectors G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9 and I-10.

When contacted, CDA Director General (Water Management) Sanaullah Aman said: “It can be rightly said that we are facing severe difficulties to cope with the situation as the gap between available water and demand has jumped up to an unprecedented level. Rains can recharge the waterbeds in the catchments areas so the situation is unlikely to change unless there are more rains in the coming weeks. But we are trying to manage within available amount of water.” 

Referring to increase in power loadshedding, he said that the situation has further worsened, as they cannot utilise the full strength of their tubewells due to unavailability of electricity for hours. “Now we have paid a handsome amount to the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) for installation of express feeder that would enable us to operate 30 tubewells without any interruption,” he said. 

Sanaullah Aman said that control rooms and inquiry centres are working round the clock and all available tankers are supplying water on the basis of complaints filed by residents in their respective complaint centres.

He said that an international firm has been given the task to ensure safe and clean drinking water at filtration plants in line with the World Health Organisation standards, adding that the decision was taken after surfacing of complaints about quality of water at filtration plants.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Shoaib Not The First Cricketer To Marry Indian Maiden

If you’re thinking that Shoaib Malik is the only Pakistani skipper stumped by an Indian maiden, then you’re in for a surprise. Years ago, cricket legends Zaheer Abbas and Mohsin Hassan Khan set the trend for across the border marriages. Zaheer got married to a Kanpuri lady Rita alias Samina. Just like Shoaib, Zaheer also hailed from Sialkot. Now happily married since 30 years, Zaheer and Samina live in Karachi where the latter runs an interior designing business. When this scribe asked Zaheer about his Indian wife, he replied fondly, “I don’t recall Samina facing any problems adjusting to the lifestyle here. When she came here, this place was totally new to her but she settled down and has been with me through all the ups and downs in my life.” 
“Similarly, I feel that Sania will not face any such hurdles in Pakistan, considering the fact that she is also a Muslim. Plus, I think Indian culture is not very different from ours. I would just like to wish the young newly weds-to-be all the very best for their future together.” He blessed the couple, saying he did not wish to answer any controversial questions.

Golden Jubilee Events - Jashn-e-Baharan Today

Two-day Jashn-e-Baharan festival will be inaugurated today (Saturday) at Pothohari Arts and Crafts village, Shakarpariyan, as part of CDA golden jubilee celebrations.

The festival will be celebrated after a long gap due to law and order situation. It includes art and craft exhibitions, shopping stalls, kite flying, food stalls, traditional swings, drum beating competition, live music, magic show, pony ride, face painting and puppet show.

The first of its kind festival is likely to attract thousands of participants from twin cities and adjacent areas providing them an opportunity of out door entertainment especially to the families. The Jashn-e-Baharan event is being planned with the objective that the Arts Village becomes self-sustaining and the money generated is reinvested in the further development of the village. CDA will continue to provide financial support to the project till the Village becomes self-sustainable. Kite flying will be arranged by the management inside the venue, There will be ban on use of metal wire. This is an innovative idea, which can lead further for safe Basant celebrations in future, said Parveen Malik, Member Of Management Committee of Potohari Arts & Crafts Village and President Indus Heritage.

She said the Arts & Crafts Village is the culmination of a vision jointly shared by the CDA and the Indus Heritage Trust.

This concept projects a rich heritage culture of the country, which is as old as human civilisation itself; The `Village’ is the forerunner of similar outlets throughout the country that will provide a snapshot of the cultural identity of the nation. CDA and Islamabad Police jointly will make tight security arrangements for this event.

Alarm Bells Rings on Small Bushfire at Margallas

Though not much devastating but the small bushfire that broke out behind the Lohey Dandi top on Friday afternoon sounded the alarm bells for those entrusted with the task to continuously monitor Margalla Hills, take effective preventive measures and to react quickly to control and put out if any such fire may hit the area during the ongoing summer season. 

Capital Development Authority (CDA) Environment Wing Deputy Director-General Malik Aulia Khan told ‘The News’ that a ‘small fire’ broke out at the Military Farm No. 9 behind the Lohey Dandi top which did not cause any significant damage. 

“The area where fire broke out is along the trail leading from Lohey Dandi towards Pir Sohawa and is frequented by trekkers, the local people as well as the devotees who visit the shrine of Hazrat Barri Imam. The fire was immediately reported to the closest picket of the CDA Environment Directorate set up on the Margallas for monitoring the situation and a squad was quickly rushed to the spot. They swiftly put out the fire and secured the area. 

The small patch, measuring not more than two kanals, was affected by the fire and grasses and shrubbery was the only green cover on this patch,” the CDA DDG (Environment) told ‘The News’. He said that the fire broke out at around 2:45 p.m. and it was brought under control and put out completely by 3:15 p.m. “Evidently, it is an accidental fire, which broke out only because of negligence on part of someone who might have thrown away a smoldering cigarette butt or a still lighted matchstick. There were no signs of any foul play from the affected area. However, we are aware that because of the long dry spell during the winter in which very few rains were received in the region, the chances of fire incidents on Margalla Hills are much higher because the dried up shrubbery and grasses are highly vulnerable,” he added. 

He said that the Environment Wing of the CDA has already placed the best possible measures to prevent the fire incidents on the Margallas. According to him, the CDA staff was fully prepared to put out any fire if any such incident occurred during this summer. He once again repeated the appeal CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi has been making to the residents of Islamabad, especially those living in small villages and settlements dotting the Margallas on both sides to extend maximum cooperation to the CDA and help prevent any such fire incident on the Margallas. 

He urged people to strictly refrain from smoking while walking through the treks and trails on the Margallas, strictly avoid lighting fires and immediately report if they see smoke rising from any part of the Margalla Hills to the concerned offices.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Golden Jubilee Events - 3 Days Spring Art Festival Begins Today

A three-day Spring Art Fair opens today (Friday) at gallery6, which has a display of about 100 artworks by 40 artists from Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Chakwal, Jhelum and Hyderabad. 

The exhibition has appeal for both serious and new art collectors, as it offers outstanding works of renowned artists, much sought after artists from the newer core, recent graduates and upcoming artists. The artists include Akram Dost, Ali Azmat, A Q Arif, Ather Jamal, Abid Hassan, Altaf Ahmed, Aleem Dad, Arjumand Faisel, Arjumand Awan, Arjumand Hussain, Amjad Hussain, Arsalan Naqvi, Babar Moghal, Fatima Shakil, Farrah Mahmood, Irfan Gul Dahri, Iqbal Hussain, Imran Hunzai, Jabal Baloch, Kausar Iqbal, Mansur Aye, Mashkoor Raza, Masood A. Khan, Mobina Zuberi, Mohammad Saleh, Munaf Khan, Mutaib Shah, Nadya Hussain, Nadia Rahat, Nazir Ahmad, Omer Waheed, RM Naeem, Rasheed Ahmed Arshad, Sadaf Naeem, Sana Arjumand, Shahid Hussain, Tahir Irfan, Tayyaba Aziz, Tariq Luni, and Tayyeb Munawwar. 

The variety includes prints, sculptures, woodcarvings and paintings that have miniatures, calligraphies, figurative work, landscapes, works in expressionism, and abstracts. Media varies from ‘neem’ rang, pencil, water colours, oil paints, acrylics, dry pastels, oil pastels, wood, fibre glass. 

Paintings from renowned artists are in their iconic styles. RM Naeem has his genderless figure experiencing mystic rituals and it reflects amazing peace even with fire on both sides of the subject in a remarkable way. Iqbal Hussain’s painting creates the feeling of some moments of relaxation in the busy life of female sex workers through simple but powerful postures. Mashkoor displays a female in happier mood while Akram’s females are pensive and apathetic, hidden in Balochi motifs. Ali Azmat’s ‘hijra’ with cactus very eloquently describes the tale of this gender’s thorny life. Rashid Arshed’s digital prints of calligraphy are extremely aesthetic and as usual do not use words or phrases that are readable or have literal relevance. AQ Arif’s work on architectural heritage in white has very serene and pleasant effects.

Besides the above, the art fair has some very remarkable artworks that draw attention. For example, the painting of Mansur Aye, who passed away in April 2008, is very outstanding and could be included among his distinct works; a brilliant six feet long calligraphy on fibre glass by sculptor Shahid Hussain stands out exquisitely; very interesting modern miniature works are on display, especially a miniature of Quaid-i-Azam by Mutaib Shah, of Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan by Mohammad Saleh and of Austrian Queen and King by Farrah Mahmood Rana; and anatomical drawings of female figure by Babar Moghal that has elements of designing, miniature work and realistic painting.

Talking about the art fair, Dr. Arjumand Faisel, the curator of the gallery, said, “We did an exhibition ‘Welcome 2010’ in January in which we displayed the works of newer talents with the paintings of well-recognised artists. It was very well received by art lovers and much appreciated by the younger breed of artists. It had 22 artists, and now we have built further on the same idea and have provided a platform to many more new and upcoming, but very talented artists whose works are displayed with renowned artists. 

This would help them access art collectors when they come to see the works of the leading artists of the country.” The Spring Art Fair would continue till Monday April 12 at gallery 6, House no. 624, Street 44, G-9/1, Islamabad. Art lovers will be pleased to note that gallery remains open every day of the week, including Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Geo, Aaj, Express news, Dawn News TV - All TV News Channels are Disappear in Islamabad

When there is a bill was submitted in the national Assembly regarding Balance of Power, on that time Islamabad viewers are unable to see the all Leading TV News Channels like, GEO, AAJ, Express, ARY, Duniya, Dawn etc. Cable service provider is showing an strip,


So what we think it is the gift from new power???

Shoaib Malik Thanks Nation for Their Support

Former captain of Pakistan cricket team Shoaib Malik has expressed gratitude for nation and media for supporting him.

In a statement, Shoaib said he is thankful to God and Pakistani nation who extended full support during his tough times. He said God knows everything and said he will personally thank the media friends as soon as he reach back home.

“ I apologize if anyone feels hurt as far as my decision is concerned,” Shoaib added.

On the other hand, Indian police said investigations are on as the case against Shoaib Malik has not been abolished.

Balance of Power Restored

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly today unanimously approved the 18th Amendment Bill 2010, restoring the 1973 Constitution to its original form and tilting balance of power in favour of Parliament.

The 18th amendment was approved by 292 votes in favour and no votes against, among those present in the 342-member national assembly, announced Speaker Fahmida Mirza.

The bill now needs approval of the Senate to become law.

Members of parliament celebrated their approval of the 102-clause bill with a prolonged thumping of the desks in front of their seats in the chamber.

"It is a matter of celebration for all the democratic parties. Feelings of joy are visible in the house," said Mirza.

"This is a historic day for all of us," she said.

A joyous parliament received on Friday much-awaited proposals for landmark constitutional reforms that restored its lost power and a genuine parliamentary system after its repeated mutilation by military dictators.

Among the major changes emerged from the bill's approval are transfer of some existing presidential powers arbitrarily assumed by former president Pervez Musharraf to the prime minister. They include dissolution of the National Assembly and appointment of chiefs of armed forces' and provincial governors.

The changes include repeal - with some acceptable exceptions - of the Musharraf-era 17th Amendment that validated his decrees, abolition of a concurrent list of subjects to give more autonomy to the provinces, renaming the North West Frontier Province as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They also include removal of the bar on more two terms of a prime minister or chief minister.

Formation of Judicial Commission for appointment of judges and removal of former dictator Gen. Zia's name from the Constitution were among other amendments approved by the House.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jashn-e-Baharan to commence on Saturday

Two-day ‘Jashn-e-Baharan’ Festival will start from April 10 (Saturday) at the Art & Craft Village near Chand Tara, Shakarparian, as part of the CDA’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

The family gala is being managed by Mass Comm Solutions in collaboration with the Jang Group as the media partner of this mega event, says a press release issued by Potohari Art & Craft Village here on Wednesday.

The first-of-its-kind festival is likely to attract thousands of participants from the twin cities and adjacent areas to bridge the gap in festivities in the federal capital, and would provide out-of-home entertainment opportunity to the general public, particularly families.

The festival, being celebrated after a long recession in festivities due to the law and order situation, includes art and craft exhibitions, shopping stalls, kite-flying, food stalls, traditional swings, drum beating competition, live music, magic show, pony ride, face painting and puppet show.

Kite-flying will be arranged by the management inside the venue, banning the use of metal wire. “This innovative idea can lead further to safe ‘basant’ celebrations in future,” said Parveen Malik, Member Management Committee of Art & Craft Village and President Indus Heritage.

Potohari Art & Craft Village is the culmination of a vision, jointly shared by CDA and Indus Heritage Trust. The concept projects a rich heritage culture of Pakistan, which is as old as human civilisation itself. The ‘Village’ is the forerunner of similar outlets throughout the country that would provide a snapshot of the cultural identity of our great nation, Parveen Malik said.

She said the Art & Craft Village aims to serve as a 

showcase for the nation’s traditional craft and handloom heritage, and provide Islamabad with a unique shopping and entertainment experience, thereby building a demand for Pakistan’s traditional products and make the country’s dynamic ethnic legacy within reach.

It provides an income generation, retail outlet for artisans and creates a potential for them to share their craft and reap benefits, without being exploited and preserves Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage through design development, advice and support to make traditional crafts more marketable.

The Village also provides a market space as well as accommodation at subsidised rates for crafts persons from all over Pakistan. Themed on a rotational basis, it will give an opportunity for visitors to appreciate the unique art & craft traditions of Pakistan, Parveen Malik said.

It provides local and international artists with studio facilities and affordable space for exhibitions and accommodation at the planned ‘Artist’s Retreat’ in addition to arranging workshops for students in arts, crafts and performing arts, she said.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shoaib’s ‘first marriage’ not valid under international law

Wednesday, April 07, 2010
LONDON: International expert in foreign marriages, Barrister Amjad Malik commenting on Test cricketer Shoaib Malik’s alleged marriage with Ayesha Siddiqui has said that any nikah if it is conducted on phone is automatically not valid under international and Pakistani law if, its construction is not clear and parties are not identifiable and if it is not registered at local registrar’s office within limited time frame by nikah registrar who performed the nikah ceremony under the Family law ordinance.

Amjad said if the nikah was not registered, it was not valid under Pakistani law. He spelled out five scenarios with regard to Shoaib’s betrothal to Ayesha.

A) It is not clear whether parties were present in one identifiable assembly and offer and acceptance was exchanged in front of two witnesses who could witness parties to marriage offering free consent and where an amount of dower was set as per Islamic law (if both are Muslims). As no witnesses to marriage have come forward, it raises concerns on the construction. If the requirements have not met then that may make the construction of marriage more doubtful.

B) If the requirements are met but nikah is not registered, then it may confine it to a mere ‘Shariah marriage’ but not recognised as valid under Pak law thus in international law as if a marriage is not recognised in the eyes of law where it was conducted then it is not valid in the eyes of international law (as both are living in two different countries).

C) If the marriage is conducted properly, and it is consummated, however in the absence of registration mere ‘shariah talaq’ will end the marriage.

D) If the nikah is conducted properly, and is registered within time frame but it not consummated, then each party may claim nullity that marriage is not consummated. That will be through a court of law where jurisdiction is not disputed. In current case Sialkot (Lahore) or Hyderabad High Court could be the court where matter may be brought for adjudication of (1) construction of marriage, (2) nullity, and or (3) divorce.

E) If nikah is conducted properly, construction is not disputed, and registered locally within time, and consummated only then a court divorce is required to dissolve a marriage. Court would be where both parties are habitually resident and or a high court of a party initiating process. In the absence of consensus high court where nikah was performed, it is a pure civil question.

The barrister further stated that in the Shoaib-Ayesha situation, hearing both statements in media, Nikah forms were signed but both parties were not present in one assembly. Shoaib says he never met his intended wife. He is doubtful about the identity, if he is doubtful then evidence of witnesses and imam conducting nikah is crucial whether they could identify the bride in that nikah forms, so construction is an issue. Secondly there is a doubt of the identity of the bride whether it is Ayesha or Maha. This needs to be clarified.

Thirdly, as claimed, if Shoaib has never met the girl in nikah, then consummation is doubtful too, and fourthly from statements it appears Shoaib has not got the original nikah form which he signed, which makes registration doubtful too so registrar office statement will be required where nikah was allegedly performed, and as both parties are resident of two different countries, then jurisdiction of which court will conduct adjudication of civil issue of facts will also be an issue as both parties may dispute and international law requirements will have to be met on who will hear the civil case.

Barrister Malik said any court having jurisdiction may have to find on facts on the issue of construction of marriage, parties to marriage, whether the marriage was conducted at all and if it did, whether it is valid under law of the land, then under international law whether it was registered and consummated, and what will be the process to end it if the finding is that the marriage is not shariah but a valid one if that stage arrives at all. 

Students eager to learn about future business prospects

Scores of students and representatives of multinational companies attended the Industrial Open House 2010 organised by the Centre of Placement and Training of Iqra University here on Tuesday.

The aim behind organising the event was to highlight corporate social responsibilities in joint ventures and promote strong relationship between academic institutions and industry. 

The industrial show was an ample opportunity not only for the students of Iqra University, but also for all other higher learning institutions operating in Islamabad to develop interaction with leading business concerns in the country. 

Over 30 multinational companies and financial institutions working in different sectors including telecom and commerce set up their stalls where their representatives were providing useful information to students, who were anxious to learn about future prospects. The event lasted all the day from morning till evening in which students along with their CVs had walk-in interviews by Human Resource executives of various companies. Some of the students who visited these stalls to evaluate their skills and learning were lucky enough as they were offered job internships on the spot after brief interviews. Thirty projects were put on display by the students studying in various disciplines including management sciences, art and design, social sciences and computing and technology. Sales representatives of multinational companies were also engaged to project their brands among the students, who showed interest in presentations given by them with the help of multi-media and digital projectors. 

A celebrity corner was set up where visiting celebrities from political and business fields expressed their views and answered the questions raised by students. 

A discussion forum, broadcast live on a local FM channel, was also held in which heads of various public and private departments were invited to share their views and experiences with the audience. 

Syed Umair of Iqra University, who worked enthusiastically to make the event a success told ‘The News’ that academia-industry collaboration, which is common in developed countries, but non-existent in Pakistan, is a win-win prospect for both universities and industries. He said Industry-University linkage is a frequently used terminology among industries, academics, and the government and its importance has been widely recognised and well established. 

“It is considered a vital instrument of growth that has direct and far reaching implications for the national economy. The concept has successfully evolved in the developed world. Some developing countries have also made visible efforts to have this linkage working under institutionalised system. Necessity for this linkage is also being felt in Pakistan for quite some time,” he said. 

Umair said it is encouraging that the universities are conducting industry-related short and medium-term courses that can help form a good platform for initiating long-term collaborations. 

China Pakistan - Green & red flags say it all

The main hall of Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), jam-packed with young boys and girls waving red and green flags, revived the spirit of Pakistan-China relationship, as Change-in Education in collaboration with Pakistan-China Institute organised National Youth Conference in a vibrant way here on Tuesday.

Themed ‘Pakistan and China Partners in 21st Century,’ the conference was attended by 400 people, including leading academics, foreign delegates, educational speakers, dignitaries, intellectuals, media from both countries and a large number of youth. Pak-China Institute Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed chaired the event.

The conference was aimed at urging the youth to recognise their potential, as youth on both sides of the border are untapped resource that need to be educated and informed to further strengthen the already strong relationship between Pakistan and China. The keynote speakers for the conference included Dean International Studies Peking University China Wang Jisi, Executive Director for Change-in Education Faisal Mushtaq, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of China Yao Jing, eminent mediaperson Hameed Haroon and Chairman Higher Education Commission Javaid R Leghari. 

In their inspiring speeches, the panel talked about the importance of Pakistan and China relationship and the need for taking this relationship further by strengthening and collaborating more youth to youth contact. They highlighted the enormous opportunities especially through education and information exchange that exist and can be availed in the development of youth of Pakistan and China. 

Terming the next century as century of Asia, Senator Mushahid Hussain said that United States depends on China for its economy and on Pakistan for its security in Afghanistan. He said that changing scene of world politics has replaced the concept G-20 with G-2 with China and United States as main international actors. He said that next year Pakistan will celebrate the 60 years of its diplomatic relationship with China. “The next year will be celebrated as Pakistan-China relationship year,” he said urging youth to learn Chinese language, as it is the language of prosperity, friendship and progress.

Faisal Mushtaq highlighted the significance of numbers in Pak-China relationship and said that together the population of Pakistan and China make 21 per cent of the world’s total population. He reiterated the need of youth empowerment through education and said that collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese youth can change the picture of this region. 

Agreeing to the notion that future will belong to G-2, Dean International Studies Peking University China Wang Jisi said that the G 2 will be China and Pakistan because they are good friends and trusted partners. He said that both countries have great potential and face similar kind of challenges. “China is still a developing country and have long way to go to ensure prosperity for every citizen,” he said.

He said that Pakistan and China should support each other at international forums. He said that future of the region is in the hands of youth. He stressed the need to improve and strengthen society-to-society relationship to fully utilise the potential of youth of both countries.

Hameed Haroon said that more facilities to learn Chinese language should be created to improve relationship between the two countries. Terming it biased information; he said that whatever we learn about China is from the articles of western news agencies. “You should read more Chinese literature to learn lessons from Chinese development,” he advised youth. 

Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Javaid R Leghari said that HEC is planning to send 10,000 students from vocational to PhD education to China over the next five years. 

He disclosed that a Chinese mobile phone company is establishing telecommunication university and a plant to manufacture mobile phones in Hazara. At the end, mementos were distributed among the panellists and organisers. 


Wi-tribe Wireless Internet Services are down in Islamabad from yesterday. The whole day users of the wi-tribe was calling to the customer services but they got no response in return which is not a good sign for brand new company which claims business in more than 3 countries.
Still their services are down and nothing has been solved yet. Already some complaints from users are registered against them regarding they have remove the usage history from their accounts. There service always went very slow in the last 10 days of the month.
We hope the company will improve their services and especially the customer calling support which is very hard to get in these days.