Saturday, August 31, 2013

Zulfikar Aazeen paints 41 leading personalities

Pakistan News & Features Services

The city of Karachi is dotted with art galleries and more often than not, there are at least three or four exhibitions running concurrently. A few of these come as a whiff of fresh air as they appear different from the present-day trends of just abstractism and modernism, requiring of the viewer to run away with his imagination to figure out what the artist is actually trying to convey, calling for a penchant for mental acrobatics.

The Fine Art Pakistan Gallery, housed in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Phase-V, is the venue of a classy exhibition these days where artist Zulfikar Aazeen and the 41 paintings on display are those of all important personalities, having made awesome contributions in their respective pursuits and done the country proud. 

The list extends over a wide spectrum of pursuits, politics to show business, social service to the academia to poetry, and a host of others. Inaugurated on August 31, the exhibition will continue at the gallery until September 7. 

There are two paintings of a suave Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Then on to a totally diverse field, music and show business, is a coloured portrait of the late Malika-e-Tarannum Madam Noor Jahan.

Another showbiz personality featured in the series of paintings is film and television celebrity Zia Mohyeddin, a person who brought Pakistan into the limelight on the global cinematic scene by having appeared in epics like Lawrence of Arabia and having acted on the West End stage in London and Broadway in New York. 

Then another totally diverse dispensation, the realm of science and discovery, and there’s a portrait of Pakistan’s Nobel laureate Dr Abdus Salam, the only Pakistani to have received the highest global award for his contribution to physics, having shared the prize with US scientist Steven Weinberg for the Salam-Weinberg theory of gravitational force. 

Then, of course, there’s a painting of a person who is not only a source of pride for Pakistan but for the world at large, Lenin Peace Prize winning poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, a man who, through his verse, brought out the injustices, the inequalities, and the exploitation of capitalism, the exploitation of the poor by the rich.

Ali Zafar praises Anwar Maqsood’s Sawa 14 August

Pakistan News & Features Services

Ali Zafar, one of the leading showbiz personalities of the country, spared some time to come over and watch Anwar Maqsood’s Sawa 14 August at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi.

Besides being a versatile actor/singer, Ali Zafar is also acclaimed as an artistic mastermind. He enjoys performing as much as watching other brilliant plays and actors. 

Ali Zafar wholeheartedly praised the play, directed by Dawar Mahmood of Kopykats Production, as he was thrilled and excited to see it. He remains very much interested in local theatre and a big supporter of its revival. He also tweeted his eagerness for the play. 

When he entered the auditorium he found saw that it was already packed to capacity. It was so crowded that Ali Zafar had difficulty finding a seat, as all the seats were occupied. So the award winning and acclaimed actor humbly sat down on the auditorium floor to watch the play unfold. 

He was so modest and down to earth in his actions that nobody in the auditorium even knew he was there. It was only later that people realised that Ali Zafar was among them. The cast invited him on stage at the end of the play. 

He termed the play as brilliant, adding that “It’s an honour to see a play written by Anwar Maqsood. I always support local theatre. Whenever I am in Pakistan, I do visit art and cultural places.”

Anwar Maqsood’s Sawa 14 August set to be another blockbuster

Pakistan News & Features Services

Anwar Maqsood’s new stage drama Sawa 14 August, presented with the collaboration of Geo Television and Jang Group, has brought back life to the Auditorium of the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi.

It is third presentation of the versatile writer for theatre, after the Pawnay 14 August and Angan Terha, and it has made its debut on August 14, 2013.

The play would be amusing the Karachiites for a few more weeks as the cast includes some actors who had already worked for this dream team of the country’s theatre. 

After the success of Pawnay 14 August and Aangan Terrha in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Kopykats Productions has brought a sequel to Pawnay 14 August by the name of Sawa 14 August. This time it’s a new era with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and General Zia-ul-Haq face-to-face with Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. 

Anwar Maqsood once again fits over the realism in his satire and the irony of our country’s history with current times. Sawa 14 August is considered another doze of patriotism for the audience as well as a reality-check, though on a whole new level.

Directed by Dawar Mehmood of Kopykats productions, the 90-minute one-act play gives a deluded and simplistic account of more than four decades of history. 

The acting of Gohar Rasheed as Zia-ul-Haq, Wassam Waheed as Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Zahid Ahmed as Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Yasir Hussain, who plays three different characters, a Sindhi politician, a Pakhtun poet and an aged man on the railway station, spreads the message of the playwright louder. 

The efforts of the writer and the director to tell the history of Pakistan to the younger generations have generally been hailed.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Metro Cash & Carry plan to open 30 outlets in Pakistan

Pakistan News & Features Services

Metro Cash & Carry International (MCCI) has set a target of opening 30 stores in the next three years in Pakistan besides having a plan to invest in the stock exchange.

This was revealed by Jeroen de Groot, Chief Operating Officer, MCCI Germany, and Nadeem Rehmani, Director Operations, MCCI Pakistan, who called on Chairman Board of Investment (BOI), Mohammad Zubair, to discuss further investment plans of their company. 

During the meeting, the BOI Chairman shared the new government’s policy initiatives and its top priority to overcome on energy crises, security issues and attraction of FDI promotion to put Pakistan on a fast track to attain sustainable economic growth. 

Jeroen de Groot stated that the company was very much satisfied with its operations and existence in Pakistan. He said that before coming to Pakistan, they heard that it’s not the safe country due to the travel advisory, but now he suggested the foreign investors to visit Pakistan where the situation was not the same as portrayed in a section of press.

He further said that their company promotes the local market, 95% of the goods/items in the stores are produced in Pakistan and they export only five percent from Germany and other countries. 

“We have acquired the breakeven in only five years after our operations in Pakistan even our performance is better than Metro of India.,” he revealed, adding that the MCCI operates more than 700 stores in 29 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa and has workforce of over 100,000 employees with the sales in 2012 being approximately 66.7 billion Euro.

Metro Pakistan, it may be recalled, had opened its first Cash & Carry wholesale centre in Pakistan at Lahore in 2007. Thereafter, it expanded to five wholesale centers in a short span of 18 months with each centre having an investment of Rs. 2.0 billion on the average and directly employing over 320 persons and 150 for auxiliary services. Additionally about 200 persons remained employed at its head office. Metro Pakistan and Makro-Habib entered into merger for their wholesale businesses in 2012. Currently the company is operating nine wholesale centers, four of them in Lahore, three in Karachi and one each at Islamabad and Faisalabad.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Prof Dr Joachim Herzig addresses SSUET seminar on Biomechanics of Contractile Proteins

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

 The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, organized a highly informative workshop and seminar on the topic of ‘Biomechanics of Contractile Proteins’ recently.

On the occasion Prof Dr Joachim W Herzig, the visiting scholar from Germany, gave a detail presentation on the topic which continued for about two and a half hours. The session was attended by the faculty members of biomedical department of the SSUET, experts and students. 

Prof Dr Joachim, who is also a consultant to a number of pharmaceuticals companies on biology and human science, is acclaimed as an international authority in his field and advisor to number of Universities and research institutions. 

Focusing on the theories of motion among humans and animals, Prof Joachim analyzed bioinformatics predominantly focusing on three types of large data sets available in molecular biology, macro molecular structures, genome sequence and result of functional genomics experiments. 

In his presentation he compared genomics of humans and animals. He gave an overview of muscular movement, muscular structure and functions. In this regard he cited examples to show how mosquitoes fly using his wings, which are functions of his body organs which expands and contracts.

He showed that a normal mosquito wings stretches 200 times per second and that makes mosquitoes to fly. In this regard he quoted an example of human body that needs proteins and dissolve into energy for motion in the body. 

He cited the example of how a man stretches his arms and what chemical reaction takes place inside the body. He took names of number of agents and re-agents that help in dissolving proteins and calcium in human plasma that enables a man to move. 

Dr Joachim pointed out that it is an extraordinary field of human research and all major pharmaceutical companies are concentrating on producing medicines and chemicals that can help human body to do work and move. He quoted human hearts which, he said, contracts and expands as an example of myosine and proteins. 

He said that upon expansion, human heart receives blood and on contraction it circulates blood in human body. The tissues of heart are made to function like this with the help of myosine, calcium and protein. He invited researchers from Universities and institution to focus in this area of human bodies functioning, its longevity and age and observed that perhaps quality of life is likely to improve to a great extent. 

He is currently on a visit to Karachi for about a month and his lecture/talks in many Universities are available on web and anyone interested can download and start further research in this area that has great potential.

Dr Joachim also answered to a number of question raised by participants and students of bio-medical. He thanked Chancellor Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi of SSUET for inviting him to this largest private sector university. 

The guests on the occasion included Dr Shahida Qaiser, currently working as Managing Director of a pharmaceutical firm and Mr Pervez Hayat Noon, who is highly educated widely travelled and currently holding a reputed pharmaceutical company in Pakistan. 

Earlier, the SSUET Registrar, Engr Abrar Ali, gave a thorough introduction about SSUET and said that it presently has over 5500 students on its roll studying in the disciplines of Computer, Electronics, Bio-Medical, Civil, Telecom Engineering and Computer Science. 

On the occasion the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor presented bouquets to the visiting professor from Germany. 

Research opportunities at the interface if bio medicine and engineering include cell/tissue engineering use of bio materials, clinical and medical instrumentation, physiological modeling, bio-nanotechnology, cellular biomechanics, neural engineering, engineering biophysics, a number of discoveries at brain computer interface and controlled drug delivery system. The field of Bioinformatics is multi-disciplinary. With informatics providing enormous computing powers to the bioscience processes, bioscience firms are readily allowing the expansion in their IT infrastructure for R & D operations.

Foundation stone of PEC branch office building laid in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chairman of the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), Engr Syed Abdul Qadir Shah, laid the foundation stone of new building of PEC Branch Office in Karachi.

After laying the foundation, he also addressed a gathering at the site situated near Clifton. He said that the number of registered engineers and constructors in Karachi was more than any other city of Pakistan and the infrastructure/facilities needed to be developed to facilitate the large number of engineers residing in the commercial hub of Pakistan. 

The PEC Chairman observed that strengthening of branch office will not only benefit the people of Karachi but will also help in facilitating the engineering community of neighboring regions of Karachi. 

Engr Abdul Qadir Shah reiterated that the primary mandate of the PEC was to regulate the engineering qualification and work for the betterment of registered and professional engineers. He expressed the hope that the new building will become a second home for engineers. 

He also remarked that the PEC would continue to serve the nation as per the high standards set in its objectives and will play its due role in the development of the country. 

Engr I A Osmani, Senior Vice Chairman, Engr Mukhtar Shaikh, Vice Chairman (Sindh), Engr. Khadim Hussain Bhatti, Registrar of PEC, Engr G R Bhatti, Advisor PEC Karachi ,and other prominent engineers from different organizations of public and private sector were also present on the occasion.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Concept of supply chain management highlighted at SSUET seminar

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The concept of supply chain management, a new concept which is going to prove beneficial for engineers-in-making when they enter the practical life and come across with industrial and commercial businesses, was highlighted at a one-day seminar organized by the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi.

“It is a new a new field with wide applications to be applied by upcoming engineers when they enter the practical arena,” Engr Noman Ali, the visiting Regional Manager, Seimens, Saudi Arabia, pointed out in a detail presentation on the topic. 

He described supply chain management as an integrated process that spans the movement of and storage of raw materials, inventory and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. 

“It is the design planning and execution, control and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective to ensure efficient and effective use of time and resources by avoiding wastage,” Engr Noman explained adding that the ultimate objective aims to come up to expectation of customers and achieve the set targets.

The topic was particularly relevant to the students of final year who, he said, would soon enter practical life where knowledge of supply chain management would be quite beneficial to them. 

The workshop was largely attended, among others, by Vice-Chancellor SSUET, Prof Dr Jawaid Hasan Rizvi, Dean Engineering Prof Dr S M Makhdumi, Associate Dean Prof Dr Najeeb Siddiqui besides the chairpersons of various faculties, heads of departments, faculty members and students. 

In his concluding remarks Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid Hasan Rizvi, appreciated the comprehensive presentation given by Engr Noman Ali. 

Prof Dr S M Makhdumi, Dean Engineering, announced that in view of importance of the subject the SSUET would consider starting a short course on supply chain management in the near future.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Action demanded against irregularities in homeopathy

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Former Acting President, National Council for Homeopathy, H.Dr Jawed Hussain Shah, has urged upon the concerned authorities to take immediate notice of rampant irregularities in Homeopathy and the falling standard of Homeo education.

In a statement issued in Karachi on August 18, he called for initiation of immediate action against all colleges providing sub-standard education, conduct of sub-standard education and above all fake admissions. 

He reiterated his demand that the authority for conducting Homeo examinations be with drawn from the Council and entrusted to some Board or University to bring an end to ongoing irregularities and corruption. 

He pointed out that the Homeo examinations which were due to start from June 20, 2013 had to be delayed because of the in fight going on for occupying the chairmanship of Examining Body of National Council of Homeopathy and now these are expected to commence from August 20.

H.Dr Jawed Shah observed that the quality of examinations has become sub-standard and non-transparent because of acting Registrar and Acting Controller of Examination while the government-nominated Chairman was not allowed to function by a section of people having vested interests. 

He said that the majority of Council members are those who owns Homeopathic Medical colleges and are responsible for falling standard of homeopathic education. 

He demanded of all the Provincial authorities to setup raiding teams to check use of unfair means during Homeo examinations as well as the activities of ‘booty mafia.’ He said that those examination centres be sealed where use of unfair means may be allowed and the colleges involved therein be black-listed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

KCCI eager to explore untapped Suriname

Pakistan News & Features Services

Haroon Agar, President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), has expressed the eagerness to explore trading opportunities with the South American countries like Suriname.

“It is the need of the time to explore trading opportunities with South American countries including Suriname. The government has to take meaningful steps to explore this huge market where our competing countries have already entered a long time ago and enjoying handsome business,” he remarked after a recent meeting with Mr Anwer S Lall Mohamed, Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Suriname, at the Republic’s Honorary Consulate General in Karachi. The Honorary Consul General, Aziz Memon, was also present on the occasion. 

“We are already late to enter there however, Pakistan can capture its share on the grounds of its talented and skilled manpower and production of high quality products,” the KCCI President reckoned. 

“The trade between Pakistan and Suriname is nominal at the moment. Commercial counsellors and trade officers should be appointed in the South American country in order to enhance the bilateral trade. Let’s explore the untapped South American, African and Central Asian markets besides focusing on North American and European Union (EU) trading blocs,” he suggested. 

“The government should induct qualified and professional commercial counsellors who could act as the marketing managers of Pakistan and they should be given clear periodical targets for enhancing trade and investment. The regular exchange of information between the commercial section abroad and the leading chambers also played a vital link,” Haroon Agar emphasized. 

He assured the visiting envoy of the KCCI’s fullest support in respect to enhancing trade and exploring possibilities of businesses with its counterpart Surinamese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Anwar Lall Mohamed was of the opinion that immense possibilities for trade between Pakistan and Suriname did exist but they were yet to be explored. 

He disclosed that Suriname, whose population is over half a million, has an emerging economy which grew 4.5% in 2012 backed by strong growth in commodity exports and local construction activity. 

 “The IMF assessed economic outlook of Suriname as favourable and the growth is expected to accelerate due to continued high commodity prices. The economy will also benefit from large investments that are underway in the mining of gold, petroleum, bauxite and the renewable energy sectors of hydro-electric and solar,” he revealed. 

“The Government of Suriname has established the Investment and Development Corporation to promote both local and foreign investment. The targeted sectors for investment are agriculture, forestry, Water Resources, Manufacturing, Tourism, Healthcare and Housing while those for exports are agriculture, timber, gold, alumina and bottled water,” Anwar Lall Mohamed informed. 

He advised the interested investors and traders to contact the Investment and Development Cooperation of Suriname, based in capital Paramaribo, through the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

Monday, August 12, 2013

Suriname desires greater bilateral trade with Pakistan

Pakistan News & Features Services

Anwer S Lall Mohamed, Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Suriname, held a series of meetings with dignitaries and business leaders during his recent visit to Karachi, the commercial capital of Pakistan.

He called on the President-Elect, Mamnoon Hussain, at the State Guest House. Besides congratulating the newly elected President of Pakistan, who will be taking oath on September 9, he also extended him the invitation to visit Suriname. 

The President reciprocated by inviting his counterpart from Suriname, Desi Bouterse. The date of visits will be coordinated by Aziz Memon, the Republic’s Honorary Consul General in Karachi. 

Anwer Lall Mohamed also discussed with the President the possibilities to increase the import and export between the two countries aimed at enhancing trade and investment opportunities. 

Initiating the programmes of scientific research and establishing cultural ties were also considered. Then he had a detailed meeting with Haroon Agar, President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), in which the various proposals to boost the bilateral trade came up for discussion.

The KCCI President accepted the invitation to participate in the Trade Fair to be held in Suriname in November. He recognized that there existed a potential to enhance the trade between Pakistan and Suriname particularly in the fields of timber, wood, pharma products and investment opportunities. 

The visiting Suriname official agreed that the visa process should be simplified in order to boost the relations and facilitate the business community in particular. It was pointed out to him that the current visa procedure was very discouraging to tourists, business travellers and investors. 

During his four-day visit to Karachi, Anwer S Lall Mohamed held sessions with Tarek Moinuddin Khan, Chairman, OBS Pharma, and Syed Shahab Balkhi, Managing Director, A J M Pharma as both the companies showed the inclination for exporting their products to Suriname.

Shahzad Sabir, Director, K U Trading, one of the largest importers of timber/wood based products in Pakistan, called on him to explore the possibilities of joint cooperation with Suriname companies. 

Mohammad Faiz Kidwai, Director, Consultants Group, held discussions with the Suriname envoy in connection with building low-cost housing projects over there. 

Anwer Lall Mohamed, who was on his third visit to Karachi, also had a meeting with a delegation led by Haji Hanif Tayyab, President, Al Mustafa Welfare Society, and Chairman, Rotary International’s Muslims Ulema Committee, who pledged support in boosting joint collaboration efforts between Pakistan and Suriname. 

During his recent visit, he was presented a copy of Jumbo Karachi Guide, the first-ever travel guide of any city of Pakistan, having been published by Jumbo Infomedia. He was thoroughly appreciative of the book and praised it wholeheartedly.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Suriname President’s Envoy appreciates Jumbo Karachi Guide

Pakistan News & Features Services

Anwer S Lall Mohamed, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Suriname, has appreciated the publication of Jumbo Karachi Guide a copy of which was presented to him by Aziz Memon, the Republic’s Honorary Consul General in Karachi, on August 8. 

The visiting dignitary went through the various chapters of Jumbo Karachi Guide and he described it a worthy travel guide which could help considerably in Pakistan on the tourist map of the world. 

Anwer Lall Mohamed expressed his delight when informed about the phenomenal contribution of Aziz Memon in bringing out Jumbo Karachi Guide, acclaimed as the first-ever travel guide of any particular city of Pakistan.

“I am also particularly pleased to find the presence of Suriname in the book as one of the messages in the Words of Encouragement section relates to His Excellency Aziz Memon, our Consul General in Karachi,” he observed. 

“Such ventures do need the support of the institutions as well as the individuals. It’s very heartening to know that a new edition of Jumbo Karachi Guide is being printed and there are plans to bring out travel guides of other major cities of Pakistan as well. I wish the publishers (Jumbo Infomedia) the very best of luck in the project,” Anwer Lall Mohamed remarked.

Aziz Memon considered Jumbo Karachi Guide a very handy tool in business promotion as well because of its contents and presentation. He reckoned that it was comparable to the established travel guides being published in the developed countries.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Aziz Memon, KP Health Minister discuss polio eradication strategy

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Aziz Memon, National Chairman, Pakistan Polio Plus Committee, held a meeting with Shaukat Yousufzai, Minister of Health, Khyber Pakhthunkhwa, at Peshawar on July 30 in which the strategies to stop the transmission of polio in high risk areas was discussed in detail. 

They agreed that it’s the right time to act to stop the transmission of polio with 18 of the 22 cases in Pakistan arising from KPK and FATA. Charsadda, Mardan, Bannu and Nowshera in KPK are the main reservoirs of polio virus while Bara Tehsil in the Khyber Agency and North Waziristan in FATA are classified as high risk zones where polio vaccination has not been possible since June 2012. 

Aziz Memon and Shaukat Yousufzai discussed the security issues as two polio workers were gunned down in Peshawar a few weeks ago while a number of other volunteers had lost their lives in earlier campaigns. 

“The polio virus circulating in the vulnerable areas can be transmitted through the IDPs and it has the potential to spread in areas previously free from polio. Therefore urgent steps are needed to vaccinate the children and better security arrangement was sought in the high risk areas,” they resolved. 

They also assessed the possibilities of military support to administer polio drops in FATA on priority basis while also making efforts to negotiate with the religious scholars and leaders to support polio vaccination there in the larger interest of the whole community. 

Aziz Memon suggested to the Government of KPK to contact the families of polio victims and make them ambassadors to help advocate against polio in their districts. He also advised them to seal all transit points to and from FATA through establishment of permanent transit posts at entry/exit points. 

He further said that the specific bus terminals in KPK must also have polio booths to take care of the travelling children. He urged for the commissioning of polio points at all railway stations across the country. 

The KPK Health Minister appreciated the gesture of Aziz Memon for coming over all the way to Peshawar to discuss the polio issue and he pledged the wholehearted support of his government to this cause. He commended the proactive role of Rotary International in eradicating polio. 

Aziz Memon, a former District Governor of Rotary International, was also impressed by the eagerness shown by the Minister in tackling the situation on an emergency basis. 

“Shaukat Yousufzai is young and dynamic. He is also a former first-class cricketer. He has tremendous enthusiasm to contribute for worthy causes. He has realized the gravity of situation regarding polio and he has promised to act quickly. I hope that he gets the support of the Chief Minister and other authorities in order to drive polio out of the region,” Aziz Memon concluded.