Monday, March 31, 2014

Annem Zaidi, Emaan Mahmud revel at Full Circle Gallery’s Under Cover

Pakistan News & Features Services

Under Cover, a two-person show organized by the Full Circle Gallery, Karachi, portrayed the creativity and imagination of the emerging young artists, Annem Zaidi and Emaan Mahmud. They earned admiration for their excellent work as the show, curated by Scheherezade Junejo, remained open for three weeks.

The Full Circle Gallery, housed in Block 4 of Clifton, has been rendering a great service to the cause of fine arts by showcasing the talents of the budding youngsters, besides patronizing the masters of the field. It’s a welcome addition to the city art scene, fast becoming a hub of cultural and artistic expression and engagement. 

The exhibition titled ‘Under Cover’ was the result of an investigative journey undertaken by all three parties; the artists Annem Zaidi and Emaan Mahmud and the curator Scheherezade Junejo. The trio brought together through a shared exploration of a single, rather broad idea; the investigation of different facades, surfaces and textures. 

Disparate in their individual practices and unknown to each other, the artists found themselves exploring different facets of the same subject, which was later picked up by Junejo and pieced together to complete the larger image, which resulted in Under Cover. 

Annem Zaidi’s oil paintings rendered in minute detail, with emphasis on the study of light. Her figures melted into the darkness of the canvas while the fabric draping their bodies fell into sharp relief.

In contrast to Zaidi’s paintings, Emaan Mahmud’s prints were given an inverse treatment. 

The artist began experimenting with the details achieved through the compression and manipulation of different plastic materials.

Using everyday objects, she heated the plastic to varying degrees, attempting to push the practice of transformation as far as she could. She ultimately compressed the forms she produced by printing them in order to document the changes in their textural patterns. 

This radical study of texture led her to produce a series of prints which resembled forms that no longer appeared artificial, but border on the organic. The patterns produced on the prints were raw, rough and almost fractal in nature. 

Both the artists were tapped into different windows of a broader spectrum; one which suggested that all layers, facades and surfaces were interchangeable and bipolar in nature. They could be used to hide, reveal and transform, all at once.

Darakhshan Sitaray documents women empowerment: Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen

Pakistan News & Features Services

Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen, Chairperson, Library & Information Science (LIS) Department, University of Punjab, has appreciated the publication of ‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ a book which profiles the top women library scientists of the country.

She was presented a copy of the book by the author, Dr Nasreen Shagufta, during the reception held in her honour by the Bazm-e-Akram in Karachi.

“The book is a very good contribution. It shows women empowerment in the profession and documents their contribution. It was a good idea, I am not saying because I am part of it,” Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen observing, referring to one of the chapters in ‘Darakhshan Sitary’ which highlights her own accomplishments.

‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ has been published by the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), which has been engaged in producing high-quality books and journals on the LIS-related subjects. 

The LPB was founded by Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, one of the pioneers of the profession in the country. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, a former Chairperson of the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Karachi, who is also the Chief Editor of the Bazm-e-Akram’s flagship publication, Adab-o-Kutub Khana, was the motivating force behind the publication of ‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ whose author, Dr Nasreen Shagufta, happens to be her student. 

Dr Nasreen Shagufta, Vice President, Bazm-e-Akram, has made her debut by authoring ‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ which is planned to be launched later this year.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bazm-e-Sciency Adab honours Tasleem Elahi Zulfi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Acclaimed poet Tasleem Elahi Zulfi was accorded a standing ovation by the members and guests of the Bazm-e-Sciency Adab who organized a reception in his honour at the Saleem-uz-Zaman Siddiqui Science Centre, Karachi, on March 29.

The taqreeb-e-pazeerai turned out to be a lively affair as some of the leading intellectuals enlightened the packed audience with their creative thoughts and verses. They paid glowing tribute to Tasleem Elahi Zulfi, having relocated in Canada. 

The Bazm-e-Sciency Adab, which prides itself as the only literary society in Pakistan for the people interested in science as well as Urdu literature, kept up its tradition by hosting yet another memorable evening. 

The President of the Bazm-e-Sciency Adab, Ali Zafar Khan Afridi, who is also an Honorary Advisor at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), welcomed the visiting poet from Canada and praised his contributions in the promotion of Urdu literature in North America.

Ali Zafar Afridi, who himself had recently undertaken a tour of Canada where he presided overe quite a few literary meetings, was confident that the untiring efforts of the individuals like Tasleem Elahi Zulfi will be immensely helpful in motivating young generation to turn to Urdu literature. 

The Ontario-based Tasleem Elahi Zulfi, who is also a newscaster and show host, besides being a prolific poet, delivered an impressive speech in which he recalled in what he described as the days when he used to live at PIB Colony in Karachi in the 1960s. 

Now also the President of the Urdu TV Canada, a 24/7 Urdu channel, he credited the veteran Masood Ahmed Barkati, who was also present on the occasion, for teaching the basics of writing when he had approached him for contributing in Monthly Naunehal, the most famous of all children’s magazine in Pakistan, being published by the House of Hamdard for the past six decades. 

Others who shared their views on the occasion included Aziz Ahmed Siddiqui, Dean, Ziauddin University Hospital, Javed Manzar, Financial Advisor, Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu, and poets Amna Alam and Shagufta Shafiq while Sirajuddin was master of the ceremony.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bazm-e-Akram host reception for Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen

Pakistan News & Features Services

Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen, Chairperson, Library & Information Science (LIS) Department, University of Punjab, was honoured by Bazm-e-Akram during her recent visit to Karachi. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, a former Chairperson of the Department of LIS at the University of Karachi, who is the motivating force behind the Karachi-based international forum, welcomed the eminent guest from Lahore.

She showered her with praise for the momentous efforts in boosting the profession. 

Both the Vice Presidents of the Bazm-e-Akram, Dr Nasreen Shagufta and Dr Amna Khatoon, were also present on the occasion alongwith another active office-bearer of the forum, Azra Qureshi. 

Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen was presented a copy of the latest edition of Adab-o-Kutub Khana, the flagship publication of Bazm-e-Akram, the forum named after Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, one of the pioneers of the profession in the country. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, who is also the Chief Editor of Adab-o-Kutub Khana 6, informed the Chairperson of the Punjab University’s LIS department that all was set to bring out the sixth edition the publication within the next few months. 

Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen acknowledged the overwhelming contribution the legendary Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari in the promotion of the LIS profession.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Alliance Francaise rewards budding photographers

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Massive response was received to the Localens Photography Competition, whose lucky winners were awarded prizes at the Alliance Francaise, Karachi, on March 22.

It was an opportunity for the youngsters who pursue photography as a hobby to demonstrate their creativity and talent. 

Nearly 14,000 entries were received and the judges, Jean-Francois Chenin, Director, Alliance Francaise in Karachi, Izdeyar Setna, a photographer, and Max Becherer, a freelance photo-journalist, had a challenge to meet while shortlisting 30 of these pictures which were put on display on the walls of the auditorium. 

“I have nothing to hide, these pictures were beautiful,” Chenin was quoted as saying while pointing to the wonderful pictures he had to judge. 

The participants were awarded certificates while cash and gifts were presented to the winners of first, second and third positions.

Sikandar Hayat's 'Paddy Crop' was adjudged first, Asfand Majeed's 'Roadside barbeque' second and Mehlum Sadriwala's 'The early morning walk' third. 

The Gurumandir image captured by Asfand Majeed portrayed many of the things from streets to cars and barbeque on the roadside as the youngster desired glorifying Karachi, known for its food, with his stunning picture. 

Mehlum Sadriwala won the third prize which the photograph he had clicked in November 2013 of Old Lahore. He believed that there’s an old world charm in the old Lahore city, near the Wazir Khan Mosque and the picture he took of an old man walking past was done in a poetic way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SSUET’s 17th Convocation on April 10

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The preparations are in full swing for the 17th Convocation-2014 of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, to be held at the Karachi Expo Centre on April 10.

The arrangements and related matters of the university’s annual colourful and graceful event were reviewed at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chancellor, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman. 

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, Registrar, Syed Abrar Ali, and other concerned officials were also present on the occasion. 

The Board of Governors of the University will also meet on April 9 prior to the holding of convocation. The convocation rehearsal for the graduating students will also be held on April 9 at 3 pm at the Expo Centre. 

This year about 1100 graduates of six disciplines of Computer, Civil, Electronics, Bio-Medical, Telecommunication Engineering and Computer Science besides having done their Masters will be awarded degrees. 

The results of final year students have already been announced and displayed at the university’s website. The university has announced the names of gold, silver and bronze medal winners and those securing first three top positions. 

Meanwhile, the university administration has directed all the graduating students to ensure attending the convocation rehearsal at the Karachi Expo Center at 3 pm on April 9.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lakhra to enhance power generation

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Upon the instructions of the Federal Government, the Lakhra Power Generation Company Limited (LPGCL) is assisting JICA for the feasibility study of state of the art 600 MW FBC Power Generation Plant at its Complex, located 31 kilometers off Jamshoro. 

According to the company sources, the objective is to enhance its present generation capacity from 30 MW to 60 MW by carrying out the rehabilitation work through essential major repairs of Unit 2 only at a cost of Rs 34 million during the next four months. 

Sources disclosed that LPGCL Complex has three Units of 50 MW each with a total installed capacity of 150MW, 31 KMs off Jamshoro with FBC technology, which burns low grade coal (lignite in this case) with the addition of limestone for power generations. 

In 2006 rehabilitation work was initiated by the Company for Units 1, 2 and 3 and only Unit 1 could be functional after rehabilitation. During the same year, the Federal Government decided to go for Lease Transaction of the 150 MW capacity plant and thus, the rehab work on Units 2 & 3 was grinded to a halt, forcing the Company to go for marginalizing its capacity to 30 MW from the only rehabilitated Unit 1. 

Sources further disclosed that stakeholders like the bidder and the others initiated legal proceedings in 2006, which culminated in the setting aside of the lease transaction by the apex court in August 2013. The company in quest to assist the Federal Government to overcome the energy crises has decided to go for the immediate functioning of Unit 2 at a cost of Rs 34 million. 

The company has also submitted a proposal to its mother concern i.e. the Office of GM, GENCO, for the rehabilitation of all the three Units at a total cost of 20 Million dollars, as only Unit 1 is working at declared de-rated capacity of 30 MW. The rehabilitation of all three Units shall enhance the capacity of 40 MW each to the national grid. 

It may be mentioned here that Units 2 and 3 were shut down from 2006 and 2008, respectively. The period of the job is expected to be completed within 18 months. The company will be able to recover 90 MW of capacity with an investment of 20 million dollars or 0.22 dollars per MW. The company is likely to reduce the current cost of Rs. 15.37 to below Rs. 09.50, when job done.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bazm-e-Akram prepares for publication of Adab-o-Kutub Khana 6

Pakistan News & Features Services

A lot of work has already been done in the direction of bringing out the sixth edition of Adab-o-Kutub Khana, the flagship publication of Bazm-e-Akram, later this year. 

Another meeting of the forum named after Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, one of the pioneers of the profession in the country, was held in Karachi on March 15 in which the participants were briefed about the matters relating to Adab-o-Kutub Khana 6, expected to be published by the middle of the current year. 

The motivating force behind the Karachi-based forum, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, a former Chairperson of the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Karachi, who is also the Chief Editor of Adab-o-Kutub Khana 6, informed about the inclusion of new topics in the upcoming issue of what has now become an acclaimed international journal.

She revealed that resource material in substantial quantity has already been received from the library professionals as well as renowned literary figures of Pakistan which includes a couple of articles from abroad. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima expressed the hope that the flame lit by the legendary Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari will continue enlightening the future generations and it was the moral duty of his worthy students to contribute their bit in furthering the noble cause. 

Abdul Samad Ansari, President, Bazm-e-Akram, was delighted with the turnout of the participants in the meeting and he also noted with pride their enthusiasm and passion in meeting the challenges. 

Dr Nasreen Shagufta, Vice President, Bazm-e-Akram, was showered with praise for having brought out her maiden book ‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ which is due to be launched shortly. The book has been published by the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB). 

Young and promising poet, Tauqeer Taqi, one of the members of the editorial board of Adab-o-Kutub Khana 6, recited a few verses from his recently published book ‘Anal Ishq’ which was well received by the audience. Iqbal-ur-Rahman Farooqui Qamar also shared selection of his own poetry which was thoroughly applauded.

The other members of the Bazm-e-Akram present on the occasion were Dr Amna Khatoon, Azra Qureshi, Syed Ateeb Ahmed, Mian Mohammad Saeed and Syed Khalid Mahmood.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

SSUET to start work on its 200 acres of land in Education City

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has worked out a plan to develop its 200 acres of land in the Education City for its future needs and projects.

This was stated by Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, during a visit to the land site. 

He was accompanied by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, Associate Dean, Prof Dr Najib Siddiqi, besides some members of Executive Committee of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA). 

The Chancellor said on the occasion that SSUET’s educational activities are fast expanding and development of the 200 acres of land to fulfill its future needs will have its priority. 

He said that to start with, the construction of its boundary wall will be taken hand first and his total effort will be to complete it in the shortest possible time adding that further steps would be taken after consultation with the Aligarhian colleagues and experts. 

“Our aim is to provide best possible academic facilities to both teachers and students,” he stated and added that efforts would be made to meet the financial requirements in this regard. He disclosed that only a few days back a few Aligarhias came to him and donated Rs one million. Chancellor Adil Usman announced that the university plans to introduce electrical engineering programme. 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director Procurement, Mumtaz Memon, werlcomed the visiting Chancellor and others to the 200 acres land site while Director Planning and Development Shahid Saleem informed that this Education City concept was included in the Master Plan 2005. He informed that a three-room site office has already been constructed while a parking area also developed. 

It may be pointed out  that other allottees of land in the Education City including Ziauddin University, SIUT, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Quaid-e-Azam Foundation School and Aga Khan University have already started work on their respective projects. Abdul Latif Khilji informed that plantation work at the site was already progress since 2007.

On the occasion Chancellor Adil Usman, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid Rizvi, the AMUOBA office-bearers and others also planted saplings.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Aziz Memon optimistic about making Pakistan polio-free

Pakistan News & Features Services

Aziz Memon, one of the leading entrepreneurs of the country, remains optimistic about making Pakistan polio-free despite numerous operational challenges being faced in the efforts aimed as its elimination.

“We are one hundred per cent optimistic and we will make Pakistan polio-free. This is our commitment,” the national chair of Rotary International Polio Plus’s programme in Pakistan observed in an interview with a Gulf daily on March 6.

“We have been frequently travelling to the far flung areas of the country to organize Jirgas (meetings with tribal elders) and religious scholars, all in an effort to increase awareness about the disease,” Aziz Memon, one of the leading Rotary leaders, remarked.

Rotary International has been playing a vital role in the eradication of polio throughout the world, especially in Pakistan’s tribal areas, including Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan, having allocated $100 million to Pakistan for this particular cause while its global programmes are funded to the tune of more than $1.2 billion.

‘We have mobilised all the sectors including the Rotarians and people from all walks of life. We have created six resource centres across the country. We have 14 permanent immunisation centres and one recent milestone for Rotary International was the construction of 12 Permanent Transitory Points (PTPs) at various borders of the country,” Aziz Memon observed.

“Permanent Transitory Points are the basic requirement for polio eradication because, when Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees migrate, they are a major source of spreading the Polio virus, so now they are vaccinated at these points. Besides this, we have provided the vaccine carriers with Speaking Books to raise awareness among children. We are doing quite a number of other things as well, like the cellphone project and we are encouraging our every club to have a permanent immunisation centre,” he added.

“I have been a Rotarian for more than two decades and being the National Chair on Polio, I have been carrying out my responsibilities for the last four and half years. So I have high hopes that we should be able to overcome the hurdles make Pakistan polio-free,” he asserted.

“I have just one belief that if you are working for a good cause God is with you and I have my full faith in God. I know that I am doing something thta is good and my God is with me. He helps, protects and guards me so that we can fulfil the promise we have made with the children of this world and our country particularly. And I am sure that there will be a day in our lives when no child will be crippled because of this disease,” Aziz Memon hoped.

“According to the latest figures, we have 19 polio cases reported so far in 2014 and in 2013 there were 93 cases reported throughout in the country. In 2012 we were close to realising our goal to make Pakistan Polio-free but then there were attacks on polio workers and the fresh cases reported from the areas that were inaccessible to immunisation workers but we are now hopeful and committed to end this disease because this is a war for the survival of our future generations. Our future generations are at stake. We have to do this, to end polio now,” he stressed.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Coal transportation strategy from ports to power plants finalized

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A high level meeting, held in Karachi on March 5 with Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Michael in the chair, finalized the strategy for transportation of coal from ports to power plants.

The meeting which was attended, among others, by Secretary Ports and Shipping, Habibullah Khan Khattak, Director General Ports and Shipping, Chairman PNSC, Chairman PQA and Chairman KPT, briefed the Minister about coal-based power production with focus on improving handling of coal imports their storage and transportation. 

The Minister was informed about allocation of three berths exclusively for coal handling at Karachi Port and its transportation to power houses through railway. He was told that terminal facilities have been upgraded making round the clock cargo handling and transportation possible. 

 It was pointed out that with reference to signing of agreements by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for setting up of coal-fired power plants,, preparations have been geared up at ports speedy port operations. Energy Coordinator to Chief Minister Punjab, Nadeem Aslam Choudhry, specially attended the meeting in this regard. 

On the occasion, the Minister was briefed about mega KPT projects including Pakistan Deep Water Container Port, Harbour Crossing Bridge and Cargo Village. Later Senator Kamran along with Nadeem Aslam Choudhry, was taken on a harbor cruise to witness KPT's coal handling facilities.

Qamaruddin Barakzai’s role in Ziauddin University’s success eulogized

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Glowing tribute was paid to the late Dr Qamaruddin Barakzai, a former Controller of Examinations, Ziauddin University, Karachi, in a condolence meeting held at the University’s Auditorium on March 4. It was attended by a large number of faculty members, staff and students.

Dr Qamaruddin Barakzai had been associated with the Ziauddin University for the past 16 years. He was praised for his dedication and commitment, which were an integral part of the Ziauddin University's success and growth. 

He had passed away after an acute illness in Karachi on March 1 at the age of 65. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. 

The Chancellor of the Ziauddin University, Dr Asim Hussain, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, and Registrar, Muhammad Yousuf, have expressed their deepest condolences at his demise.

While offering his condolences to the deceased's family, Chancellor Dr Asim Hussain paid homage to Dr Barakzai's services for Ziauddin University by highlighting his hard work and professional competence, recognizing that his services and contribution will always be remembered and appreciated.