Friday, February 28, 2014

Shahid Ahmad Khan on Jumbo Karachi Guide

Pakistan News & Features Services

“Over the years many countries and cities have been publishing fabulous travel guides with great success however we were not in that league. It’s very heartening indeed that one such guide has also seen the light of the day in Pakistan.”

“Jumbo Karachi Guide has made an impressive start by putting together invaluable information in handy and presentable format. Even more gladdening is the upcoming publication of its second edition which clearly indicates that it’s here to stay.” 

“Every traveller to Karachi will surely like to have a copy of Jumbo Karachi Guide whenever visiting this vibrant city which is also rich in culture. It will be the easiest way to know about the important places that are worth visiting in Karachi.” 

“Jumbo Informedia has brought Karachi in the category of important and famous cities of the world where such publications are available regarding the interesting places with detail knowledge of the culture and traditions of the city.” 

“Such guides go a long way in boosting trade and tourism. They play an integral part in the growth of the country’s economy.”

PLISJ enters 45th year of publication

Pakistan News & Features Services

The January-March 2014 issue (Volume 45, Number 1) of the Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), a quarterly publication of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, has maintained the tradition of coming out during the stipulated time.

The PLISJ has braved the heaviest of odds with hints of conviction and has now entered 45th year of its publication with the current issue.

The missionary zeal with which their team is working indicates that they could continue bringing out the future editions of the journal in time as well.

The PLISJ, primarily due to its high-quality content, has made a big reputation and its articles are quoted in various references internationally.

The latest edition of the PLISJ has a rather attractive cover with purple background. There are coloured photographs printed on the other cover pages as well which supplement the high-quality articles between the covers.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bazm-e-Akram honours Bushra Jaswal

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Bazm-e-Akram, a literary forum founded by the luminaries in the field of Library and Information Science (LIS), hosted a luncheon reception in the honour of Bushra Almas Jaswal, Chief Librarian and Assistant Professor, Ewing Memorial Library, Forman Christian College, Lahore, during her recent visit to Karachi.

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, the founder of the Bazm-e-Akram and a former Chairperson of LIS department, University of Karachi, welcomed the eminent LIS professional from Lahore and requested her to write for the Pakistan Library & Informational Science Journal (PLISJ), being published by the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB). 

Dr Nasreen Shagufta and Dr Amna Khatoon, Vice Presidents of the forum, also extended their greetings to Bushra Jaswal as they had a detailed session aimed at boosting the LIS profession across the country. Azra Qureshi, ex-Chief Librarian, Aga Khan University Hospital, was also present on the occasion. 

The meeting took place at the PLA Sindh Centre, housed in the complex of Liaquat Memorial Library, Karachi, on February 24. 

During her recent visit to Karachi, Bushra Jaswal also held meetings at the Sindh Archives Information Center and the Mushfiq Khawaja Research Information Center.

She discussed her various projects at length with Prof Dr Nasim Fatima and requested her to provide Urdu subject headings. Together they also paid a visit to the Academy of Letters Sindh.

Bushra Jaswal took keen interest in different collections acquired by the Academy and appreciated Agha Noor Muhammad Pathan’s project of cottage libraries in Sindh. 

She undertook a visit of Liaquat Memorial Library in the company of Dr Nasreen Shagufta. They discussed matters of mutual interest with the librarian, Bashir Abro, who took them to a tour of the library and briefed them about its salient features.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Aziz Memon remembers Haji Abdul Razzaq

Pakistan News & Features Services

Aziz Memon, one of the leading entrepreneurs of the country and an icon in the field of community service, has paid glowing tribute to Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob, the founder of ARY Group, who passed away after a protracted illness recently.

“Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob, besides being a visionary businessman, was also a great social worker who cared for the society. I had the good fortune of having interacted with him on numerous occasions and always found him a humble and noble person,” Aziz Memon, Vice President, United Memon Jamat (UMJ), recalled. 

“Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob was one of the founders of the World Memon Organisation (WMO) and he worked enthusiastically for its cause all along. He believed in working with missionary zeal and inspired others with his leadership qualities. He will surely be missed,” Aziz Memon felt. 

Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob was the owner and chief executive officer of the country’s prominent business group, which includes gold trading, communications and the television network.

Monday, February 24, 2014

SSUET Chancellor condoles death of Fasih Iqbal, Haji Razzaq

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi,, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, has expressed his grief and sorrow over the sad demise of ex-Senator senior journalist and Editor Baluchistan Times Syed Fasiq Iqbal.

In separate messages, the Chancellor also offered his condolences over the sad demise of Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob, the founder of ARY Group and a philanthropist. 

The SSUET Chancellor paid homage to both of them for their valuable services in the fields of journalism and social life. He prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant fortitude to bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss. 

The founder of the ARY Group, Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob, passed away after a protracted illness recently. He was 69. He was the owner and chief executive officer of the country’s prominent business group, which includes gold trading, communications and the television network. He also headed the World Memon Organisation (WMO) for quite a few yearss.

Senator Syed Fasih Iqbal was a renowned journalist, chief editor of daily Balochistan Times and daily Zamana Quetta, publisher, former president of APNS and CPNE and a former senator. 

He passed away after a brief illness. The funeral prayer for the departed soul was offered at Masjid-e-Bilal, in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi, while his burial took place in Quetta the following day. 

The death of Syed Fasih Iqbal has been termed as a loss to the newspaper industry of Pakistan and the services rendered by him for the cause of journalism have been lauded.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Security plan for railway stations, tracks prepared: IGP Railways

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Inspector General Railway Police Syed Ibn-e-Hussain has said that a plan for ensuring foolproof security of railway tracks, railway stations and trains has been prepared.

Addressing a news conference at the office of the Divisional Superintendent Railway Karachi, on February 18, he said that the security plan has been divided into three parts. 

He said that the Railway police are getting assistance from local police, Rangers and intelligence agencies for ensuring the protection of travellers and trains. Secretary Railway Board Aftab Akbar, DS Railway Karachi, Nisar Memon, DCO Railway Karachi Shoaib Adil, Shamim Shirazi, SP Railway Karachi and other officials were present. 

The IG Railway Police said that special trollies are being prepared for patrolling by Railway police and other Railway officials on the tracks, which will be equipped with metal detectors. The Railway officials will also be deployed on the trollies and they will be in contact with the district police, he added. 

He said that this matter has been discussed with the Chief Secretary Sindh who has assured provision of facilities at the Railway stations for the checking of travellers. Sindh Bomb Disposal staff will assist the Railway Bomb Disposal unit, he added. 

Ibne-Hussain said that the IGPs Sindh and Punjab have provided 200 policemen each for the patrolling of the railway tracks. While the DG Rangers Sindh has also assured full cooperation in this regard, he added. He further said that intelligence agencies have also promised cooperation in information sharing. 

The IG Railway Police informed that the jammers are also being installed at the trains on trial basis. In the first phase, jammers will be installed in Jaffer Express which runs between Quetta and Rawalpindi, he added. Ibne-Hussain said that advanced equipments are being purchased to further activate the Railway bomb disposal unit, and arrangements are also being made for the training of the staff. 

He said that at all major railway stations CCTV cameras are also being installed, adding that commandos have been deployed at 10 trains and stations. He said that action will be taken against encroachments at railway lands, adding that police and Rangers will conduct search operations in the areas along the railway tracks. 

The federal government had appointed Ibne-Hussain, DIG National Highways and Motorways Police, as IG Pakistan Railway Police in order to promote corruption-free, public-friendly, safe and service-oriented atmosphere. 

SSUET’s board appreciates financial management

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Board of Governors of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, met under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi ,and approved the recommendation of the selection committee regarding faculty members of Architecture and Civil Engineering. 

The meeting also approved the recommendations of Finance and Planning Committee regarding employees’ contributory Provident Fund statute and removal of anamolies and rationalization of pay scales.

The meeting reviewed with appreciation the university’s financial position for the period from July 1 to December 31, 2013, and the steps taken for streamlining and proper management of its financial resources. 

The Board also appreciated the university and its management for their concerted efforts for its future development and particularly had a glance over under construction buildings including Block-E named after its founder Chancellor Z A Nizami besides construction of additional floors in Block-H. 

The introduction of three new programmes from current academic year which earned overwhelming response was also appreciated. 

Earlier the Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman also met the members of the Board and discussed with them his vision about development of the university. 

Among others, the meeting was attended by Lt Gen (Rtd) Moinuddin Haider, Dr A Q Khan, Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti, Prof M D Shami, Additional Secretary Education, Sindh Government, and Mohammed Yusuf Siddiqui.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sahira Kazmi visits Jumbo Infomedia stall at KLF 2014

Pakistan News & Features Services

Sahira Kazmi, one of the celebrated showbiz personalities, visited the stall of Jumbo Infomedia on the third and final day of the 5th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF 2014) which concluded at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi, on February 9.

Acclaimed as a prolific actress, director and producer, the versatile Sahira Kazmi was highly appreciative of the idea of the Jumbo City Guide Series which, she reckoned, would indeed go a long way in putting Pakistan on the tourist map of the world. 

Sahira Kazmi was presented a copy of Jumbo Karachi Guide, the pilot project of the Jumbo City Guide Series, which she described as worthy effort. She expressed her delight at learning that Jumbo Lahore Guide, Jumbo Islamabad Guide, Jumbo Peshawar Guide and Jumbo Quetta Guide will also be published later this year. 

“It’s really gladdening that someone has finally taken up this task of developing information about the various cities of our country, having enormous value. I hope that it becomes a permanent feature in future,” she was quoted as saying on the occasion. 

Similar sentiments were expressed by the majority of the visitors of the KLF 2014 who specially converged on the stall of Jumbo Infomedia when they came to know about the Jumbo City Guide Series.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jumbo Infomedia sets up stall in KLF 2014

Pakistan News & Features Services

Jumbo Infomedia, having initiated the Jumbo City Guide Series with the purpose of digging up the latest information about the various cities, has set up a stall of its own at the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF 2014), being held at Karachi’s Beach Luxury Hotel from February 7 to 9. 

Jumbo Karachi Guide, the pilot project of the Jumbo City Guide Series, already made quite an impression and the announcement of the publication of Jumbo Lahore Guide, Jumbo Islamabad Guide, Jumbo Peshawar Guide and Jumbo Quetta Guide has been welcomed wholeheartedly by the bookworms as well as the corporate sector. 

Jumbo Karachi Guide was greeted warmly in the past couple of editions of the KLF at the stalls of the some of the leading booksellers but it’s for the first time when Jumbo Infomedia has set up an exclusive stall at the festival.

All set for KLF 2014 to shoot on February 7

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Beach Luxury Hotel of Karachi, housed on the shores of the Arabian Sea, is buzzing once more. For the second time running they are playing host to the much talked about Karachi Literature Festival whose fifth edition, KLF 2014, gets underway on February 7.

The settings are perfect and the weather just nearly ideal for the visitors to enjoy their stay in the arena. As in the past, the Oxford University Press (OUP) has made elaborate arrangements to hold the event in a most spectacular fashion. 

The preparations at the venue had started quite a few days ago and everything appeared to have been done in orderly fashion by the designated deadlines. The festive look and the literary feel one got at entering the hotel was truly outstanding which reflected awesome planning and brilliant execution by a team of committed professionals. 

The KLF 2014 will be having all the usual features that have remained associated with it since its inception in 2010. The added attraction would be the stall of Jumbo Infomedia, who will be displaying Jumbo Karachi Guide besides announcing the Jumbo Lahore Guide, Jumbo Islamabad Guide, Jumbo Peshawar Guide and Jumbo Quetta Guide. 

Jumbo Publishing will also be represented prominently with their standout sports books quite likely to catch the imagination of the large number of visitors at the KLF 2014. 

Over 180 Pakistani and 34 international authors, poets and academics are expected to be there at the KLF 2014. Renowned historian and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Dr Rajmohan Gandhi will be the keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony. The award-winning novelist, Kamila Shamshie, and the Pakistani BBC broadcaster, Raza Ali Abidi, will be the keynote speakers at the closing ceremony. 

The KLF has also instituted awards to be given to authors for three different prize categories: KLF-Coca-Cola Best Non-Fiction Book Prize, KLF-Embassy of France Prize, and KLF Peace Prize. The panel of judges for the prizes includes some of Pakistan’s most eminent critics, writers and scholars, who have short-listed three books for each prize category. 

Ashish Nandy, Kuldip Nayar, Mushir ul Hasan, Moni Mohsin, Amjad Islam Amjad, Asma Jahangir, Amar Jaleel, Attiya Dawood, Bina Shah, Bushra Ansari, Fehmida Riaz, H.M. Naqvi, Hamida Khuhro, Kishwar Naheed, Maleeha Lodhi, Mohammed Hanif, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Shehzad Roy, Uzma Aslam Khan, Zehra Nigah, Zia Mohyeddin and Zubaida Jalal are among the many literary luminaries, academics, and journalists due to participate in the KLF 2014.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Advocacy Board convenes first meeting

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The first meeting of the Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) Advocacy Board was held to have an overview of the GDM in Pakistan. The Board has been constituted under the project “Gestational Diabetes Millitis Prevention and Control Program – Pakistan.’ 

The idea was approved and supported by the Baqai Medical University. Dr Shabeen Naz Masood, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and M.S of Sobhraj Maternity Hospital, has been actively involved in proposing and initiating the project. 

The proposal was approved by the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF). It is a WDF funded project. The project has guidance and mentorship of Prof Zahida Baqai, Vice chancellor of Baqai Medical University and Prof Noor Jehan Samad. The project has now collaboration and support of professional colleagues from across the country. 

The GDM is a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health in Pakistan and Women with GDM become the ideal group for primary prevention of diabetes, as women with GDM are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as are their children. 

The diagnosis of GDM offers a unique opportunity in identifying individuals who will be benefited by early therapeutic intervention with diet and exercise to delay or even possibly prevent the onset of diabetes. Large scale studies on GDM have not been conducted in Pakistan. However smaller studies have reported a prevalence of 3.3 % 3 - 8%. Globally, fifteen per cent of pregnant women have GDM. A prevalence, as high as 9.9% - 17.8% has been reported from Tamil Nadu, India. 

Considering the ethnic commonalities and similarities between Pakistani and Indian populations, it would not be unjustifiable to believe that actual prevalence of GDM in Pakistani women may be much higher than reported. Moreover, Type 2 diabetes is now occurring at much younger age, in our population which also indicates towards a higher prevalence of GDM. 

Above all, we do not have a recent data on the prevalence of GDM in Pakistani population. Moreover, complication rates in Pakistani GDM subjects have been found to be higher , as compared to their Western counterparts, possibly due to poorer glycaemic control1.Maternal complications included pre-eclampsia (19%), polyhydramnios (4.6%), and threatened abortion (3.4%) while fetal complications included macrosomia (13.1%), intrauterine growth retardation (7.1%) and intrauterine deaths (5.3%).

The meeting was informed that the government allocates a very limited annual budget for health sector. This allocation becomes further meagre when women and child health is involved. The limitation of resources is the major hindrance to the formulation and implementation of wide range health policies. 

It was observed that eradication and control of infectious diseases is the foremost priority in government health policies. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes and GDM are yet very low on the priority list with no structured national policies or strategies regarding GDM care or prevention. There are no GDM action plans in the country as a whole while GDM was mostly managed by the individual physicians or institutions in the public or private health sector. 

The meeting was told that viewing the current status of GDM care in Pakistan and realizing an immediate need for initiating efforts for its improvement, the GDM project was thought of. It was informed that main objectives of this 3 years project are to create awareness in the community, regarding GDM, to train health care professionals in prevention, screening, diagnosis and management of GDM, to institutionalize GDM screening and to organize integrated GDM services. 

The meeting was briefed about planned project activities and their outcome and views and suggestions of the participants obtained. It was informed that the Public Awareness Programs on GDM includes educating 5400 women; public Awareness Campaign on GDM through print and electronic media, sensitizing further 100,000 people; Development of awareness literature on GDM; Training courses in GDM for doctors, Midwives and paramedics involved in obstetric care, training 1620 health care professionals in GDM care; establishment of three major GDM centres and 30 minor GDM clinics; Screening of 13050 pregnant women for GDM. Estimated identification of nearly 1696 women as having GDM (at an expected prevalence rate of 13% in South Asians) 

The programme also involves dietary and educational counseling, management and monitoring of identified GDM cases and establishment of the GDM Advocacy Board, consisting of eminent obstetricians, diabetologists, and leaders of public opinion in the very context. It was informed that efforts for institutionalizing the routine screening for GDM among pregnant and development of “GDM Reference Manual” will a major constituent of the program. 

The meeting was informed about the strategies and approach for the prevention and management of GDM, The meeting noted the barriers and challenges to early detection of GDM in the wake of Unawareness, particularly in the female population; lack of training of health care professionals; Non- affordability on the part of people; Resource constraint in the society and non-involvement of health authorities.

In her remarks, the chairperson Dr Zajida Baqai, Vice-Chancellor, Baqai Medical University called forDevelopment of multidisciplinary approach for screening and management of GDM in Pakistan with frequent communication and close collaboration between Diabetologists and Obstetricians. 

For achieving national coherence and collaboration for improving GDM care in Pakistan it was agreed on involving obstetricians and diabetologists from across the country, Involving primary care physicians, besides involving journalists from print and electronic media, philanthropists , pharmaceutical industry, initiating more and more joint GDM projects in the country with the support of international bodies.

The meeting was informed about developing “National GDM Guidelines” for the healthcare professionals and recommendations to the health authorities.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sir Syed University organize Jalsa-e-Seerat-un-Nabi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, has said that the Seerat of Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (Peace be upon him) and the Quran are essentially synonymous.

"Quran is the mirror in which the full-fledged life picture of the prophet can be seen. We shall be following the Holy Prophet, if sincerely following the Quran in its totality,” he observed during his address at the Jalsa-e-Seerat-un-Nabi organized by SSUET's Literary Art and Culture Forum.

Engr Adil Usman said if the seerat quality of Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (PBUH) is imbibed in our lives, it can transform impossibility into possibility. 

“Our Holy Prophet extracted mankind from darkness into light by leading them to Deen-e-Islam. He established the first welfare Islamic state in Madina and gave a new turn to the human history,” the Chancellor remarked. 

Engr Adil Usman pointed out that success can be achieved with total "Tawakkal" on Allah and by imbibing the seerat of Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in our lives 

On the occasion Allama Dr Noor Ahmed Shahtaaz, Director Shaikh Zaid Islamic Centre, delivered an enlightening speech on the life and message of Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him). 

“We cannot have access to Allah without pursuing the guidance provided by the Prophet. No knowledge is against knowledge, and Islam appreciates every kind of learning. There is no harm in getting knowledge, but, of course, in begging. It is by nature that every man wants freedom. The Prophets were not against human freedom, but they set certain boundaries of freedom,” Allama Noor Ahmed Shah Taaz stated. 

Famous Naat Khwans Mahmood-ul-Hasan Ashrafi, Muhammad Haris Kamal, Haris Ahmed and Osama Farooqui enlightened the guests with soul-stirring naats. 

Earlier the SSUET students, Shah Zaib Rehmani and Tayyaba Fasih, in their speeches in English and Urdu respectively highlighted the Seerat of Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH). On the occasion students of the university presented Qaseeda’e Burda Shareef and Salam. The event concluded with the Dua by Allama Mufti Naeemi of Darul Uloom Naeemia.