Saturday, June 30, 2012

Alliance Francaise enlivens Karachi on World Music Day

Jumbo Editorial Team 

The World Music Day, having begun in France in 1982, is celebrated across the world. What has become special about the day is that the concerts are all free and musicians both amateur and professional share their passion with audiences in the various corners of the world. This tradition has also reached Pakistan through the courtesy of Alliance Fran├žaise.

On this day literally the whole of France could be seen with a guitar celebrating at every street corner. For them it marks the longest day of summer. Now more than 100 countries celebrate it every year on June 21. 

The Alliance Francaise in Karachi came alive with the sound of Eastern and Western music beats on World Music Day with s combo of classical and folk music, jugalbandi and fusion was presented by local and French performers. The evening began with the performance of the Karachi Vocal Ensemble, a young group who sang English vintage songs from the ’50s to the ’80s, accompanied by pianist Aisha Tariq who is a graduate from the Tashkent Conservatoire.

The Tehzeeb Trio introduced by Malahat Awan featured classical performer Karam Abbas, vocalist Mumtaz Sabzal on the banjo and Ustad Bashir Khan on tabla. 

Karam Abbas who belongs to the Gawalior Gharana, sang classical songs in Raag Rageshri and Darbari along with folk songs that featured Amir Khusrau’s kalam and Mehdi Hassan’s Duniya Kisi Ke Pyar Mein. 

The performance of Mumtaz Sabzal who plays the banjo which has been modified from the Japanese instrument taishogoto by his forefathers, was impressive and the jugalbandi between Ustad Bashir on tabla and Sabzal’s banjo delighted the crowd, young and old, with their expert playing. 

Ustad Bashir Khan, a maestro tabla player belonging to the Punjab Gharana, and who has also received the Pride of Performance award, performs regularly outside Pakistan collaborating in fusion music with foreign musicians.

The evening’s star performer was Abaji, a multi-talented musician and an accomplished vocalist and instrumentalist who uses his native as well as other instruments with equal proficiency. 

He began the performance with an Armenian instrument similar to a flute known as duduk which emanated soft, beautiful notes accompanied by beats from anklets tied to his lower leg. 

He mesmerised the crowd with his range and control of voice while singing in his unusual high and low pitched style, explaining in between that the music was soft like the Armenian people. Having introduced himself in a dramatic style he asked Ustad Bashir Khan and Mumtaz Sabzal for a fusion session and was so moved by it that he started dancing to the improvised music.

Music greats pay glowing tributes to legendary singer Mehdi Hassan

Jumbo Editorial Team 

Renowned lyricists, music directors, singers and directors paid glowing tributes to the late legendary singer Mehdi Hassan at a condolence reference held recently at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi.

They described Mehdi Hassan, who died in Karachi on June 13, as a trendsetter in the singing of ghazals who was impossibly gifted to influence people and he would be remembered for centuries. 

Indian lyricist Gulzar, Ghulam Ali, Farida Khanum and Mehnaz, in their telephonic addresses, remarked that people would never forget the great singer who influenced generations by his wonderful singing. 

 “I am terribly shocked to hear about the sad demise of Hasan, who was not only a friend of mine, but a true symbol of peace and love amongst the people of India and Pakistan. In one of my poems created in the context of Aman ki Asha promoting peace and friendly ties between the people of Pakistan and India, I have remembered my great friends like Ahmed Faraz and certainly Mehdi Hassan was also a part of that grief as his death has caused a great loss to our music and culture,” Gulzar believed.

“His singing, especially ghazals, was matchless, and all greats, including Lata Mangeskar and Asha Bhosle had endorsing this fact,” he pointed out. 

“I had sung with Mehdi Hassan on many occasions and, at these occasions especially in America, I had noticed that whenever he started singing ghazals with his freshly composed musical tunes, the audience became so emotional, delightful and enthusiastic that it seemed they were sharing the singing on a more creative level,” Ghulam Ali remarked. 

“It’s a great honour for me that I sang several duets with great Mehdi Hassan and he was kind and guided me like an Ustad,” Mehnaz recalled.

“Mehdi Hassan was a great singer who would influence generations in the field of music as he had introduced a number of fresh and unique variations in the field of classical music,” Farida Khanum reckoned. 

“He was the only singer who lived his life very creatively and took the practice of singing as part and parcel of creativity. He argued that owing to this creativity Hasan sang old lyrics with a fresh treatment as a maestro of music,” Arshad Mahmood opined.

SSUET hosts lecture on Entrepreneurship potential among youth in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 

Dr Mehtab S Karim, a distinguished Senior Fellow and Affiliated Professor, School of Public Policy from George Mason University USA, visited Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, and delivered a lecture on “Role of Youth in National Development: Examples from Karachi/Aspirations and Entrepreneurship potential among youth in Karachi”.  

In his lecture and presentation through power-point he explained that the youth plays a most important role in socio-economic development and growth of a country.

“There is a dilemma that in most of developed countries, futility has declined in the last three or four decades that resulted reduction in proportion of youth population in total population and consequently old age population has increased. Old age population needs social security, health care, etc. that needs resources,” the visiting Professor from George Mason University pointed out.

In Islamic countries, he continued, fertility has not declined to the extent as in other countries resulting that there is a bulge of youth population in age group of 10-29 years. The group is productive group and can contribute significantly to socio-economic development and political changes in the country. Recent upheaval and revolution in many Islamic countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Syria and other countries are reflective of it.  

Talking about Pakistan, he said, this country has sizeable proportion of youth population and if properly guided can be a reservoir for socio-economic development in the country.

However, for a number of reasons youth are divided on many considerations and grounds in the county that is not good for the country itself because extremism of any type results in hatred and violence, he observed.

Dr. Mehtab Kareem also held detailed discussion with Engr Z. A. Nizami, Chancellor, SSUET, talking about the possible collaboration with universities in the country and abroad.

Engr Nizami informed him that the SSUET already has collaboration with any US and UK universities and would like to collaborate with the distinguished George Mason University. Mohammad Yahya Waliullah, Director IT & Statistical Bureau, SSUET will act as coordinator/focal person in collaborative efforts.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SSUET report points out 100 vulnerable spot in Karachi during rains

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), upon the directives of its Chancellor, Engr Z A Nizami, has issued an exhaustive report on “Rain Emergency” in Karachi.

The Chancellor issued the directives following Met Office forecast about excessive rains this year hitting the coastal areas of Sindh including Karachi. 

Talking to media on June 28, Chancellor Nizami observed that whenever there is heavy rainfall in Karachi coinciding with high tides in Arabian Sea, the basic civic services like storm water drainage, water supply, sewerage, power supply, accessibility and movement within city get disrupted and daily routine life of citizens comes to a standstill during this period besides loss of life and damage to property. 

This situation, he emphasized, warrants suitable measures prior to the start of monsoon season preferably well in advance as to minimize possible miseries suffered by citizen, save the loss of life and property.

The Chancellor pointed out that considering the rainfall impact on civic service the report discuss problems and solutions thereof. 

He pointed out that the recommendations of the report are mostly experience-driven, service-oriented and at the same time, the role of civic bodies, efforts of NGOs and media coverage have also been included and can go a long way to improve on-ground situation on lasting basis adding that precautionary measures are immediately needed for uninterrupted service during rains. 

According to the report, there are 100 vulnerable spots in Karachi where flooding occurs whenever there is rainfall for which technical solutions for permanent remedy are needed. “The purpose of these works would be to improve conditions since monsoon season is approaching it is necessary for authorities to undertake proactive steps on fast track and on war footing,” he observed. 

It may be mentioned here that on the Chancellors directives, the SSUET’s Institute of Human Settlements and Disaster Management of University, has published many reports on Environment and Disaster Management as a public service activity.. The report hinted that heavy rains are expected this year and it was imperative to make full proof measures before rains start.

Considering gravity of situation and problems faced by citizen during emergency, the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) has decided to contribute towards the public service by effectively using the expertise available in the institution. 

The role of the SSUET is to serve as a think-tank through independent scientific approach to reinforce efforts of the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC), the District Administration and other stakeholders to cope with natural or manmade disaster situation. 

The SSUET has established the Institute of Human Settlements and Environment that produces research reports with recommendations on disaster management. As a part of this activity this report focuses on the heavy rainfall during 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 1010 and 2011. Monsoon season synchronizes with high tides and windstorm. 

The overall impact on civic services is covered in the report and highlights problems. Report also includes some recommendation to address the issue on lasting basis. Now that Global Warming is a real phenomenon and after experience of Pakistan Floods 2010/2011, possibility of heavy downpour can be expected. 

Common problems that arise in provision of civic services include flooding of rainwater at a number of places, shortage of water, contamination of drinking water, sewage overflows, hazards of billboards, uprooting of trees, and power failure for long duration and live wire snapping. The emergency situation has caused adverse consequences on infrastructure of city as a whole. 

The underlying weaknesses in our system, which originate from temporary solutions, do not last and break-down is common feature during emergency. Situation that occurred in past showed that local authorities are yet to get fully prepared to cope with the hazards.

It said considering difficulties faced by citizen during rains of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009-2010, City District Government Karachi (CDGK), KWSB has taken a number of measures, but, a lot of work is required in future. More efforts are needed on immediate, short, medium and long term leading to master plan of city Storm Water Drainage. 

Rainfall 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 was although rainfall runoff was of less quantity, but it was of high intensity. 

It synchronized with high tides along coastal belt and wind-storm. During Monsoon season May to August although the quantity of rain is less but of high intensity both in space and time the flow of runoff from outfalls also gets affected. 

 The report suggests that there is a need to immediately undertake and prepare a storm water drainage master plan by concerned authority in the light of pervious history. De-silting, cleaning of all nallahs and drains by the KMC and the District Administration is a continuous activity. 

The report says that keeping in view the gravity of situation discussed above it is proposed to have a conference at SSUET to review the whole scenario and to suggest future course of action.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Avanti appreciative of Karachi fans

Jumbo Editorial Team 

“Karachiites are the best! They come and they mostly pay for their tickets, watch it, understand it and finally enjoy it to the core. We really appreciate this crowd,” Javed Ahmed Saeedi, Director of the famed play ‘Avanti’ replied rather promptly to the media when questioned about the city garnering the best crowd in town. 

“The main aim of this press conference is to tell you that performing arts is still alive and this I can say with the response we have received here in Karachi,” he started off while talking to the media corps at the auditorium of the Arts Council of Pakistan which was alive and vibrant with the presence of the cast of ‘Avanti’ having taken the stage once more. 

But instead of being involved in its usual shenanigans, the ‘Avanti’ team had invited members of the press to thank them for their ongoing support and discuss the issues plaguing the theatre industry in Pakistan.

“People in Karachi are avid theatre fans. What is being showcased in Lahore these days is out of context. The changes taking place in Lahore could be blamed on the culture of cheap commercial theatre having taken root within the city,” Javed Saeedi reckoned. 

He noted that the response is greater in Islamabad than in Karachi, as more people come to view theatre with the idea that the entry should be free of charge. 

He pointed out that the theatre industry in every other part of the world is big and has government support which helps with tax collection. “It is a sad sight that although there are four theatre auditoriums available in Karachi, only the Arts Council auditorium is fully operational,” he regretted. 

He felt that despite his efforts to broaden the minds of the general public, their response to Pakistani theatre remains more or less the same, adding that there’s still a segment of society that thinks it is odd for us to be a part of the theatrical industry. 

“That trend has sort of picked up in the city so we stood on those grounds. We wanted to add many flavours to the play; besides a lot of foreigners have come over to see the play, so it is easier for everyone to understand,” he explained when inquired why ‘Avanti’ was primarily in English, with Urdu only being used in some comic scenes. 

He promised to bring another play called 'Cinder-Jatt' to the city of lights, which will be an adaptation of the fairytale ‘Cinderella’. 

The success of 'Avanti' in Karachi should encourage him and his unit to come up with an even bigger play. Such exciting plays would indeed be welcomed by generally entertainment-starved citizens of the metropolis.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Focus on research in SSUET budget 2012-13

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 

A surplus Rs 817 million budget of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, (SSUET), Karachi, for the fiscal 2012-2013 was passed at a meeting of the University’s Board of Governors held under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid Hasan Rizvi on June 23. 

In the budget the University announced a 20 percent increase in the salaries of its employees while it showed Rs 815 million as current expenditure for the next fiscal. year.

The budget shows Rs 816.89 million as current income and Rs 814.27 million as current expenditure thus making it surplus by Rs 2.63 million. 

According to the salient features, the university will spend Rs 100.52 million on development, Rs 37.6 million on the purchase of additional equipment for laboratories in all the Faculties including newly established Telecom Faculty. 

Besides, Rs 16.5 million has been earmarked for financial help to deserving students and staff. The help will come out of profits on Endowment Fund, while Rs 23.45 million would be spent on construction of new academic block and Rs 9 million for development of New Campus/IT Park at its 200 acres of land in the upcoming Education City. 

The university has earmarked Rs 1.5 million for research projects, Rs 6 million for research by faculty, Rs 1.6 million for PhD Graduate Program while Rs 3 million has been set aside for purchase of new books, research journals and equipment for its library. 

As per budget documents some 10,818 students had been awarded degrees in six different engineering disciplines since 1998 to date This year, the university allocated Rs 16.5 million for development fund and the accumulated Fund now stands at Rs 88.1 million. 

The Endowment Fund which was established with an amount of Rs 250 million in 2006 has now soared to Rs 310 million. The Board also approved the proposition of Academic Council according to which syllabus has been amended with respect to the present demands and modern trends. 

The Board meeting was attended, among others, by Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Moinuddin Haider, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, Prof. Dr. M.D. Shami, Justice Fazl-e-Ghani Khan, Engr. Muhammad Adil Usman and Cdre (Rtd) Salim A. Siddiqui.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bollywood singers Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik enthrall Karachi Gymkhana

Jumbo Editorial Team 

The famous Bollywood singers Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik rocked Karachi Gymkhana with their typically dazzling performance in what turned out to be one of the most memorable live concerts in the history of the club, founded more than 125 years ago.
There were speculations in the media that the concert might had to be postponed due to the delay in getting security clearance for the Indian singers but they just proved to be the rumours and the event did take place on the designated date of June 16. It was a joint venture of Karachi Gymkhana and Hum TV.

Both the singers mesmerized the audience at Karachi Gymkhana where a large number of their members enjoyed the musical gathering. The show will be broadcast by Hum TV at a later stage.  

"The venue was jam-packed and the show was hit. I think this was one of the most beautiful experiences I have had while performing live in Pakistan. Last year, I performed in Islamabad on my birthday and this year I performed in Karachi on my daughter Sana's birthday," Kumar Sanu was reported as saying while sharing his experience after the show.

The Indian singers visited the legendary Ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan's grave. They also reportedly visited his house to offer condolences to his family during their stay in Karachi.  

"I was experiencing mixed emotions while my visit to Mehdiji's grave. I felt lucky because I got the opportunity to visit his grave and also met his family members, but at the same time I also felt sad because I was more eager to meet him, which could not be possible," they observed.

“Mehdi Hassan’s death marked an end of an epoch in the subcontinent’s music history, they said. No one will ever be able to fill the vacuum created by his demise,” they remarked while talking to reporters.

Alka Yagnik stated that she had grown up listening to his ballads and was in love with his songs “Dono Jahan Teri Mohabbat Main Har Kay” and “Woh Ja Raha Hay Koi”. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

JCR-VIS assign IFC strength of AA to PRCL

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 

The JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co. Ltd. (JCR-VIS), approved by the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), has reaffirmed the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of Pakistan Reinsurance Company Limited (PRCL) at "AA" (Double A) for the year 2012. The outlook on the rating is stable.

The JCR-VIS rating agency, a joint venture between Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. (JCR) - Japan's premier rating agency, Vital Information Services (Pvt.) Limited (VIS) is acclaimed as Pakistan’s only independent financial research organization. 

The rating derives strength from the significant holding of Government of Pakistan in the company. Moreover, given that all insurance companies of Pakistan are mandated to offer 35% of their surplus business to PRCL in the form of cession, the company is expected to maintain a sizeable market share in premium ceded by the insurance industry. 

The JCR-VIS have taken into account the improvement in underwriting profit of the company on a timeline basis in 2011 on account of lower retrocession. While overall claims ratio has remained at prior year's level, claims performance in facultative business continues to be superior relative to that of treaty business. 

In view of this, further growth in the share of treaty business in overall business may result in upward pressure on net claims ratio, going forward. It observed that overall profitability of the Company receives strong impetus from recurring earnings on investment portfolio. 

Even though insurance debt represented more than one-third of gross premium, the JCR-VIS have noted that outstanding liabilities are adequately covered by liquid assets. 

This is the second year running that PakRe has earned this distinction in 2012. Besides, PakRe has been acclaimed the best Non-Life Reinsurance Company by Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) for 2011 for Corporate Governance Excellence Award-2011 which the Chairman PakRe, Munawwar Opel, received from the Federal Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who was the chief guest on the occasion. 

PakRe, the lone reinsurer in Pakistan is a public sector enterprise, has earned Rs.900.00 Million after tax profit announced and distributed 30% dividend to its shareholders (51% - Federal Government, 24% -SLIC and rest minority including staff of PakRe) amounting to Rs.900 Million, and six bonuses to its employees.
Its role in the economic development of Pakistan has been significant. The progress so far made signifies consolidation of our position, both at home and abroad and encourages further expansion. 

Munawwar Opel was elevated as Federal Secretary in BS-22 and appointed as Chairman, Pakistan Reinsurance Company Limited in April 2012. 

He has had the distinction of being the Acting Chief Secretary Sindh twice. He also served as KPT’s General Manager, Administration, for almost a year.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An era comes to end with demise of legendary singer Mehdi Hassan

Jumbo Editorial Team

Mehdi Hassan, who immortalized himself in his lifetime, breathed his last at Karachi’s Aga Khan Hospital on June 13. The singing legend was extremely popular throughout South Asia and Middle East besides quite a few other countries. He died of multiple organ failure at the age of 84 with his career spanning no less than five decades.

Born into a family of traditional musicians in 1927 at Luna village in the Indian state of Rajasthan, he was just 20 at the time of migration to Pakistan. He had taken up the profession of a bicycle and auto mechanic before setting his feet in the music industry. He took his time and the breakthrough came in 1957 when Radio Pakistan offered him the chance as a classical singer. 

Then he turned towards films, singing hundreds of songs for the next three decades earning fame and recognition. Many of his numbers became hits and his popularity grew in the entire South Asia. Then his ghazal singing talents mesmerized the entertainment industry and he attained iconic status. 

"We belong to the traditional Kalamt family and mine is the 16th generation which is into ghazal. My ancestors use to regale the Royals of Jaipur, Rajasthan in India. We still have remains of our home around the Amber Fort. And my earlier generations were gifted by the princely state of Jaipur to another royal household called Jhunjhunu in the faraway desert. But be it then or now, India or Pakistan, our music is the same, full of devotion," Mehdi Hassan was quoted as saying in an interview. 

He had to curtail his performances in the late 1980s due to illness, which included a serious lung condition. The severity of his illness forced him to give up all singing by the late-1990s. 

He, however, recorded a duet with the legendary Indian singer, Lata Mangeshkar, who once likened his songs to the voice of god, or an album called Sarhadein (Borders), which was released in 2011. Mehdi Hassan recorded his part of the song in Karachi, while Lata Mangeshkar's part was recorded in Mumbai. 

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar was grieved to learn about the sad demise of the illustrious singer. “A singer like him is born once in a millennium. It is my bad luck that I could not sing with him when he was healthy. Now I can only regret. With his demise the music fraternity has lost a great and legendary singer,” she remarked in her condolence message. 

The legendary Indian actor, Amitabh Bachchan, has remarked that the era of soulful ghazal singing has come to an end. 

"Deeply pained to learn of the passing away of Mehdi Hassan in Pakistan, a vocalist of immense fame and unique sonorous voice," he noted. 

"Mehdi Hassan, an entire era of soulful ghazal singing gone now left with beautiful memories and personal meetings with him. Mehdi Hassan once told me, he came from humble beginnings, and used to train and sing to the tone of the tractor sound in the fields," Amitabh Bachchan recalled. 

“There are some who are beyond the captive of time and age. One such maestro was Mehdi Hassan. He may not be amongst us physically anymore but he will certainly live forever in our hearts and minds through his ghazals and geets. His gift to all of us including my generation and many more to come is intangible in words. He was more than an inspiration. He went as the greatest living ghazal maestro and we were lucky to have him,” musician Ali Zafar noted.

Monday, June 11, 2012

GIFT University’s students organize Blood Donation Camp in Gujranwala

Jumbo Editorial Team

The students of the GIFT University, Gujranwala, successfully organized their fifth blood donation camp with the collaboration of Sundas Foundation at the STAR Institute Gujranwala Campus and the event was sponsored by TREEPAK International, Super Salt Lamps, Choice and General Asia Ceramics. 

The GIFT University students proved it once again that they are committed in saving the lives of the needy children’s that are in severe blood diseases like thalassemia, hemophilia and blood cancer. 

The energetic students of the GIFT University renewed the pledge to keep on working for the noble cause despite the hurdles and hassles coming their way. 

They believed in letting their work to do the talking and they acknowledged the support of every individual and organization helped them in making the activity successful. 

The students of the GIFT University who took part in that blood camp were Ehtesham Ahmad, Maria Dilawar, Shumail Khan, Ali Hassan, Hasnain Haseeb and Rana Haseeb-ur-Rehman. They deserved praise for having taken up the noble cause that would indeed be helpful in saving many lives. 

The spirit of the youngsters of mobilizing their energies and resources for carrying out an activity for the community needs to be recognized and it should inspire others to follow suit. 

The GIFT University, which has become one of the premier educational institutions being one of the very few universities in Pakistan to be awarded HEC’s W category, should be proud of such dedicated and proactive students who are earning them tremendous goodwill with such activities. 

The GIFT University, founded in 2002, is situated in the historic city of Gujranwala, which is set in the backdrop of lush green fields. It was the capital of the Punjab when Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled the province for almost 40 years. 

Located at about 67 km from Lahore on both sides of the famous G T Road, Gujranwala is the fifth largest city in Pakistan and the third largest city in the Punjab with a population of more than four million people.

Apex body vows to resolve problems of consulting engineers

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Chairman of the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), Syed Abdul Qadir Shah, has assured that he will leave no stone unturned in resolving the issues confronting the consulting engineers of the country. 

He held out the assurance while speaking as the chief guest at a reception hosted to felicitate Maulana Arif Kassim and Ahsan Azhar Siddiqi, on their election as Secretary and President of Consulting Engineering Association of Pakistan (CEAP) respectively. 

“The PEC, within its jurisdiction, will extend total support in resolving the problems of consulting engineers,” Abdul Qadir Shah told the gathering. 

He particularly referred to the enrollment of the CEAP members with the PEC and announced that leaving the choice with the President and Secretary CEAP, either of them would be taken on PEC’s Enrollment Committee so that no problem is faced by their members in getting PEC’s enrollment. 

He recalled that recently the PEC had invited Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to its dinner function in which the Prime Minister accepted their demands including matters related to service structure of engineers and appointment of engineers as heads of engineering sections of their respective departments. 

Referring to the issues raised by eminent consulting engineers, the Chairman PEC directed that the same should be submitted to him in writing and reiterated the assurance that PEC would solve them. 

Abdul Qadir Shah informed the audience that a Help Desk has been set up at the PEC and the Council would publicize the vacancies of engineers wherever it will come to know about their availability. He said that the PEC has asked the Consultants to appoint engineers in their respective organizations, addng that this would greatly helpful in overcoming unemployment among engineers. 

Earlier in his speech, the CEAP Secretary, Arif Kassim, called for greater unity among consulting engineers and said only a strong coordination between them would help resolve their problems. 

He urged the CEAP members to work dedicatedly for promoting the cause of the association. He also highlighted various problems faced by consulting engineers, particularly their enrolment with the PEC and demanded that consulting engineers be given representation in its various committees. 

The CEAP President, Ahsan Siddiqi, remarked that their Association has enlisted the problems faced by its members and has taken initiatives to resolve them. Earlier Mohammed Shafiq, an eminent consulting engineer, delivered the welcome address and expressed the hope that as the chief of the engineer’s epoch body, he will be able to resolve the issues faced by consulting engineers. 

The outgoing President of the Association also spoke on the occasion and highlighted various problems faced by Consulting Engineers. Besides a large number of consulting engineers from various engineering disciplines, the reception was also attended by Vice-Chairman, PEC, Mukhtar Shaikh, DG Railway’s Walton Training Institute, Qureshi, and a former civil servant, Ashfaq Memon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

KASB Foundation invite David Grier to run across Pakistan

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Chairman of the KASB Foundation, Arif Ali Shah Bukhari, alongwith with the representatives from the various components of the KASB of Group Companies, had a very constructive and fruitful meeting with David Grier, the inspirational figurehead from South Africa, who is serving humanity through his ‘Miles for Smiles Foundation’ with the objective to raise funds and awareness for non-profit organizations world-over to help thousands of children overcome poverty through life changing innovative decisions. 

Grier is one of the best known philanthropists besides being a speaker, chef and extreme adventurer, hailing from the South African city of Cape Town. 

He has also raised funds for reconstructive facial surgeries for underprivileged children, that has helped to change their lives forever. 

Although asthmatic, he has proven to the world that the limitations we impose on ourselves are only in our minds by overcoming them with ‘running campaigns’ that have sometimes been for months, with the most famous ones being running all the way on the Great Wall of China that covered a staggering distance of 4,200 kms in 98 days, besides his runs across India, Madagascar South Africa and many other such adventurous ventures to help raise funds and awareness for the needy, underprivileged and poor in our society.  

Bukhari and Grier also discussed the need to help poor children in Pakistan with childhood deformities as well as deformities caused to women of disfigurement by the throwing of acid on their faces.  

To help create awareness through which this “cursed trend” is put to an end, Bukhari also requested David Grier to “run across Pakistan – from Karachi to Peshawar” at a time convenient to him in the near future. 

Bukhari heads the KASB Foundation, a non-profit organisation which is involved in bettering the lives of the under-privileged people by providing grants for charitable purpose. 

It has continued to grow and develop as a transparent charitable organization through its highly motivated and organized structure that provides disaster relief and long-term sustainable community health services and self-support programmes that provide opportunities to the underprivileged to earn and manage their lives with self-respect and dignity. 

The Miles for Smiles Foundation was formed to assist Operation Smile in creating awareness for the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates and raise funds to perform corrective surgery on them. It has a fundamental aim, to inspire and challenge individuals to go out and make a difference in the lives of those around them, by challenging themselves to achieve the impossible and by doing so make a difference.