Thursday, February 28, 2013

Anwar Maqsood's Aangan Tehra thrills on stage too

Pakistan News & Features Services 

Anwar Maqsood’s Aangan Tehra, which mesmerized the audience in the 1980s when the Pakistan Television (PTV) was the sole source of ‘quality’ entertainment for the masses in the country, has proved thrilling on stage too.


The venture of the young and dashing entrepreneur Dawar Mahmood of KopyKats Productions of staging it at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi has turned out to be another success story. 

KopyKats Productions, formed by a group of young people from Islamabad under the dynamic leadership of Dawar Mahmood, had earlier rewritten the history of theatre in Pakistan by successfully persuading the legendary Anwar Maqsood to make his stage debut with Pawnay 14 August. 

Aangan Tehra, starring Salim Nasir, Shakeel, Arshad Mahmood, Durdana Butt and Bushra Ansari, had become the talk of the 1980s as the comic drama serial mocked the integrity of an upright civil servant, the frustration of a wife who subsists on bare necessities and her husband’s strong sense of morality and the vanity of a classical dancer turned domestic servant who continues to serve without being paid. 

There’s a different cast, however, for Aangan Tehra on stage and it includes most of those who were part of Pawnay 14 August with the inclusion of Khalifa Sajeeruddin, who is playing Pi-jan Chaudhry, originally played by Arshad Mahmood in the televised version. The most hilarious role is for the young Yasir Hussain whose deep voice reminds many of Salim Nasir. Talal Jilani has tried to do justice with the role of Mehboob Ahmed while Harem Farooq acts as Jahan Ara.

Investment by Yamaha to create 45,000 jobs in Pakistan

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Japanese automobile giants, Yamaha Motors, have decided to invest heavily in Pakistan which is expected to create 45,000 jobs for the locals with the transfer of technology in manufacturing of motorcycles and exclusive training institutes being run by the company, vendor skill capability and capacity also to be developed in due course of time. 


According to a media release issued by the Board of Investment (BoI), who facilitated the deal, Yamaha Motors, had submitted their project proposal in October 2009 to establish estate of the art motorcycle assembling/manufacturing plant at National Industrial Park in Bin Qasim, Karachi on 50 Acre with an FDI of US$150 million. 

This modern plant, to work under the auspices of Yamaha Motor Pakistan Limited, will assemble/manufacture the global acceptable models with Euro-II and Euro-III compliance which are not yet manufactured in Pakistan. 

The annual production of motorcycle is around 1.8 million in Pakistan but they are mainly for domestic models with exports being negligible. This plant will bring the opportunity not only for the export motorcycles but also vendors will be able to export their parts as well.

KMC aims to complete Jinnah Terminal flyover construction in May

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) aims to complete the construction of the Jinnah Terminal flyover on Shahrah-e-Faisal by the end of May.


The Karachi Commissioner, Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi, who also holds the additional charge of the KMC Administrator, visited the site of the under-construction flyover on February 27 and reviewed its progress. 

Hashim Zaidi was confident that the Jinnah Terminal flyover would be opened for citizens during the current fiscal year, adding that the pace of construction of all under-construction developmental projects would be accelerated. 

Upon completion the flyover, being built at a cost of Rs289.782 million, would facilitate vehicular traffic going towards the airport, the National Highway, the Port Qasim, the Export Processing Zone and the Pakistan Steel. 

The Jinnah Terminal flyover is being built using the box-girder technology, requiring more time to complete the construction work, instead of using the conventional girder technology for building bridges. It would consist of three lanes and nine spans, while it would be 570 metres long and 10.5 metres wide with a couple of U-turns also be built along the flyover to save travelling time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Foreign diplomats advised to tap into regional markets

Pakistan News & Features Services

The President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Haroon Agar, has urged the designated consul generals and commercial councilors of Pakistan abroad to explore untapped African, Central Asian and South American markets besides focusing on markets of USA and European Union.

“Pakistan’s competing countries have already entered into our unexplored markets long time ago, and are enjoying handsome business,” he said while talking to the visiting consul generals and commercial councilors to the KCCI office recently. 

He reiterated that the business community believed the appointment of trade officers to be purely on merit. He hoped that the gap between Pakistan’s commercial councilors and trade bodies in the country would be bridged while inducting the energetic professionals from private sector on merit and with effective liaison. 

The KCCI President emphasised on the regular exchange of information between the commercial section abroad and the leading chambers. He urged that the trade officers abroad should provide consultative service to businesses from both Pakistan and respective countries to organise single country exhibition. 

Pakistan have recently appointed new consul generals and commercial councilors to Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Vancouver, Paris, Madrid, London, Manchester, Prague, Rome, Athens, Berlin, Hague, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Sydney, Seoul, Baku, Cairo, Logos, Abu Dhabi, Tehran, Dhaka, Nairobi, Casablanca, Jeddah, Riyadh, Port Louis, Kandhar, Kabul and Hong Kong.

Pakistan businessmen urged to focus on regional trade

Pakistan News & Features Services

The President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Zafar Bakhtawari, has reckoned that there’s a lot of potential in trading with regional countries and blocs like Saarc, Asean, OIC, and Central Asian republics which needed a strategy of engagement with regional countries to maximise mutual economic and commercial benefits in order to offset the impact of global recession.

The ICCI President made these remarks during a recent meeting with the Secretary General of Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Iqbal Tabish, in Islamabad. 

He cited the example of Asean regional bloc, which has a population of approximately 600 million and is significantly contributing to the world’s GDP. 

He emphasized that promotion of regional trade also offered promising benefits to the industry as it would enable it to source raw materials from the region that would ultimately reduce the cost of production and create opportunities to improve economies of scale. 

Iqbal Tabish observed that the government should focus on industrial growth to bring the country out of current economic stagnation and create new employment opportunities.

Pak-German vocational training to commence in May

Pakistan News & Features Services

The inaugural committee meeting of the German-Pakistan Training Initiative (GPATI) in Karachi on February 26 has set May 1, 2013 as the formal date for the take-off of the training programmes under the initiative.

This was announced during the meeting by Tilo Klinner, German Consul-General in Karachi, in the presence of the heads of a large number of cooperating Pakistani companies, heads of vocational training institutes and other relevant organizations. 

The project aims at facilitating the development of apprenticeship training cooperatively delivered by selected German companies operating in Pakistan and private Pakistani technical training providers. 

The idea behind the project is to make use of the presence and commitment of the large number of German companies in Pakistan to develop a workable approach to cooperative training, modeled after the German training approach. 

The graduates of the vocational training institutes (VTIs) are expected to attain a good balance of the essential ingredients of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and work experience. 

The purpose of the GPATI programme is to implement a pilot cooperative training programme in Pakistan for German and other European firms operating in the country, and their local partners.

Ladies Fund announce new scholarships

Pakistan News & Features Services

Despite the blocked roads and traffic congestion in the area, the media launch of the 5th Ladies Fund Women's Awards turned out to be a well attended session with the presence of eminent panelists Jehan Ara, Zeenat Ahmed, Rabia Rafiq, Rabia Khan and Maheen Khan and fabulous entrepreneurs Nazneen Tariq Khan, Pomme Amina Afzal, Shamain, Rabia Garib and Tehmina Khalid.

It was disclosed that the 5th Ladies Fund Women's Awards ceremony would be held at Mohatta Palace Museum in Clifton, Karachi, on March 2. 

Tara Uzra Dawood announced four scholarships for girls to attend Iqra University and one international fellowship for Rabia Rafiq to attend the World Business Dialogue in Colonge, Germany. 

There was also an announcement of seven international scholarships for Pakistani girls to attend American universities for summer programmes by the Ladies Fund, established in 2007 as an initiative to provide financial security to women and to promote and train women entrepreneurs.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SSUET students invent device for advance payment of power usage

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

A group of students of Electronics department of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) have devised a system of payment of electricity bills in advance through application of GPRS system. 

The system will bring reduction in the human resource, the expenses incurred on meter reading and ward off public complaints regarding issuance of bills not matching the meter reading. 

The ‘Pre-paid Digital Energy Meter’ has been devised by the six-member group consisting of Zohaib Saleem Abbasi, Syed Arif Raza, Mohammed Aqib, Nabeel Tariq, Kashif Hameed and Afnan Ahmed. 

According to the group members they used Ethernet Module USRTCP 232T, PCB designing, Discreet components, Power Supply, LCD Digital Analogue Meter, Micro Controller Censers, Internet Device besides other component parts in the project preparation. 

They considered the project  fully micro-controller thatcan easily be installed in any house. Besides making payment of electricity charges in advance, one can determine through IPS address on an interne the balance of electricity to be used and to plan saving. 

The consumer will get a warning through alarm as to the exhaustion of the amount paid for power consumption and thus would help get power supply as per need and budget requirement. 

Through an innovation, advance payment could also be made through scratch card which would help overcome utility interference. The group said the project has cost them an amount of Rs 21,000 which they paid from their own pocket. 

They said they will continue to give demonstration of better performance, provided they get government cooperation.

SSUET nominee selected for Best University Teacher Award

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has selected Prof Dr Syed Faisal Ahmed Bukhari, Associate Professor, Department of Computer System Engineering, Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, for the Best University Teachers Award for the year 2011. 

Prof Dr Bukhari’s nomination was approved in the meeting of the HEC’s Main Awards Committee held in Islamabad. 

The Award consists of a certificate and cash prize of Rs 100,000 and will be conferred upon awardees in an award ceremony to be held shortly, HEC said. 

The parameters considered for the award included minimum five years of continuous service as a regular teachers in a recognized university; minimum qualification MS/M.Phil degree from a HEC recognized university, not more than 65 years of maximum age and that the nomination was received through Vice-Chancellor and Selection Committee. 

The HEC said that the evaluation for selection was done keeping in view the above parameters and weightage to qualification, teaching, research and co-curricular activities and these were fully met by Prof Dr Bukhari from amongst the nominations received from SSUET.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Anzer Rizvi leaves for Japan to attend JICA Urban Transport training programme

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Divisional Superintendent Railways, Karachi, Anzer Ismail Rizvi, has left for Tokyo, Japan, to attend 15-day Urban Railway Development, Operation and Management Training Programme being organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from February 14.

  The programme will be attended by a total of 13 Pakistanis including seven from the Pakistan Railways. 

In a brief interview, prior to catching a connecting flight to Bangkok, Anzer Rizvi pointed out that the further development of Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan with its population of over 18 million, will be the focal point of discussion in the upcoming programme. 

“The city is the centre of economic and trade activity. However since Urban Mass Transportation system has not been properly managed here, it is facing traffic congestion as well as air pollution. The JICA has been working on the preparatory study to revitalize the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) with an aim of improving current urban transportation system,” the Divisional Superintendent remarked. 

“Based on the JICA’s evaluation of past railway projects in other countries, it was found essential to ensure appropriate operation and management of the railway and have a well established organizational structure that will be the in charge of the railways,” Anzer Rizvi explained.
  To assist the project, he added, the JICA proposed capacity development of professionals as well as their organizations that will be involved in the KCR project.  

He recalled that Japan has its long history of running various successful urban railways and the training program will be implemented with the purpose to provide participants with opportunities to learn specific knowledge concerning urban railways and contribute to the introduction of urban public transport and the solution of the urban transportation problems by administrative management in their respective organization. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has promoted Anzer Rizvi into Grade 21 and he received this information hours before starting his journey to Japan.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

DG SBCA Manzoor Qadir grieved

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The soyem of mother of Manzoor Qadir, Director General, Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), was held at his Clifton residence in Karachi on February 10.

As the funeral on February 8, the soyem was largely attended by people belonging to various walks of life including government officials, builders, developers, professionals and city's elite. 

Eminent ulemas in their sermons on the occasion highlighted the importance of mother in one's life, the relationship between human body and soul and the need for making preparations for the world hereafter. 

Earlier Quran Khawani and Dua-e-Maghfarit were offered for the departed soul.

Prominent among those present in the gathering were Provincial Ministers Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, Pir Mazharul Huq, Sharjeel Inam Memon, former Minister Zulfikar Mirza, Advisor to Chief Minister Rashid Rabbani, Special Assistant Waqar Mehdi, Political Advisor Abu Bhai, former Minister Pappu Shah, General Manager Administration KPT Rauf Akther Farooqui, DG LDA Agha Maqsood Abbas, Director Master Plan Iftikhar Qaimkhani, former Director Master Plan Ateeq Baig, Chairman ABAD Anwar Gagai, Arif Habib, Dost Mohammed Faizi, former Chairman ABAD Hafiz Butt, Naveed Zubairi, Special Secretary Local Government Suleman Chandio, Masroor Ahsan, Mohammed Asim and Haider Bhai.

Eminent scholars participate in SSUET Milad

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Eminent scholars participated in the gathering organized by the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET) to celebrate Eid Milad-un-Nabi at the university’s Bashir A Malik Auditorium on February 9.

Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Bukhari, Haji Mohammad Hanif Tayyab, Prof Abbas Hussain and Allama Dr Kaukab Noorani, delivered enlightening speeches on life and message of Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him). 

Noted poet Khummar Farooqui and famous Naat Khwans, Mahmood-ul-Hasan Ashrafi, Haris Kamal and Waqas Tariq Sherwani recited Naats while the university students recited verses from Holy Quran, Hamd and Darood Shareef. 

Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Bukhari threw light on the virtues of humanity and the unique position bestowed to Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) by Almighty Allah.

Haji Mohammad Hanif Tayyab mentioned that Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) had advised the world more than 1400 years ago to set up new cities because the existing cities would continue growing and become more and more populated in future. 

Prof Abbas Hussain recalled that Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) graciously participated in the household work with the members of the family besides visiting the ailing persons and personally offering condolences to the grieved families. 

Allama Dr Kaukab Noorani touched the subject of Shab-e-Mairaj, the blessed night when Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) was spiritually transported to heaven and he reached a high stage of nearness to Almighty Allah, beyond ordinary human comprehension. 

The ceremony, conducted by Mehwish Patel, began with the recitation of Holy Quran by Hafiz Mohammad Ali, was largely attended by the faculty members and students of the SSUET.