Monday, April 28, 2014

KFC re-launches flagship store in Karachi under new management

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The new management of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has expressed its determination to add further value to the booming global brand, already a household name in Pakistan, and vowed to take it to another level in the years to come. 

KFC Pakistan reopened its flagship store in Karachi located on the 26th Street in Khayaban-e-Badar, Phase-V, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) on April 28.

The outlet has undergone a major renovation to accommodate the consumers who frequent the famous fast food chain which is known for its in store prepared products including zingers, crispy chicken and other delicious meals. 

It turned out to be quite a memorable ceremony with the top officials of the franchisors from different parts of the globe having assembled there and they candidly briefed the media about their plans.

General Manager, Nasir Zaman, Chief Marketing Officer, Samantha Redman, and Chief Finance Officer, Everett Fieldgate, were among those present on the occasion, besides the senior management from the franchisee in Pakistan, headed by the new Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Belton. 

Speaking on the occasion, Nigel Belton, CEO of KFC Pakistan, expressed his delight at the turnout and said that such events ensure the brand name is alive in the minds of people. 

“The launch of the flagship store will encourage people to come and experience the new ambiance and improved service plus the mouth-watering products,” he observed. 

“Chicken is secondary, we are selling an experience. It’s all about the people now, we are training the best,” he added. 

“An ideal family outing revolves around experience, food and service and we desire to embed this in the minds of the people who wish to enjoy an outing in our restaurants with loved ones,” Nigel Belton remarked.  

The CEO of KFC Pakistan announced that their management plans to re image all existing restaurants within the coming two years with a couple of new stores to be opened shortly, one in Federal B Area in Karachi, another on the Islamabad to Lahore Motorway. 

KFC Pakistan, which operates 58 branches across the country, 23 in Sindh, 24 in northern Punjab, and 11 in the central Punjab, plans to expand phenomenally in all areas of the country.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Khawaja Saad Rafiq terms new locomotives as lifeline for Railways

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, has said that after many years new locomotives are being inducted into the system as they are the lifeline for the Railway system. He briefed the media corps after formally receiving nine locomotives from China at the port in Karachi.

Five engines had arrived early this month while the second consignment of four engines arrived on April 27. 

So far nine locomotives had reached here out of total 58 engines being acquired from China and the remainders would be supplied by the manufacturers by the end of the current year. 

The Minister said that a team of 50 Railway officials had been sent to China for training to operate and maintain these locomotives which will also serve as the master-trainers to guide other staff.

He said that contract for these engines was signed by the previous government, adding that that a Chinese and an American companies had jointly manufactured these locos and assured that these are of high RPM capacity made of durable material. 

A modern shed had also been built for them where the trained maintenance staff would look after them, he informed. 

He said that in the next three to four years 400 more locomotives for goods and passenger train operation and another 100 exclusively for coal operation would be needed by then.

The Railway Minister about train punctuality said: "When I took the charge of his ministry it had dropped to 10 per cent but since then it had improved to 50 percent due to discipline.” 

“The Railways was now focusing more on quality than quantity and decisions were being taken on administrative grounds and not for political considerations,” he remarked.

Khawaja Saad Rafiq was confident that the recent measures will yield the desired results and the Railways would be able to serve the people better than in the past.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pakistan, China vow to strengthen parliamentary ties

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Member National Assembly (MNA) Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, alongwith the 15-member delegation of young parliamentarians, was warmly welcomed by Vice Minister of International Department of Communist Party of China (CPC), Chen Fengxiang, in Beijing. 

Welcoming the delegation at the CPC headquarters, Chen Fengxiang stressed the need for long-term regular and institutionalized party relations between the two countries. Both sides agreed to further strengthen and deepen party to party relations and exchanges at the party level. 

It was also discussed how both parties can benefit from each other’s experiences for improving the capacity of political parties. The visit is a consequence of the MoU signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s official visit to China in July last year. 

The Pakistan Muslim League (N) delegation is being led by Party Secretary General, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra also visited China in September last year. The CPC delegation also carried out reciprocal visit to Pakistan in Febraury this year. 

Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, at a luncheon hosted by Ambassador Masood Khalid at the Pakistan House in Beijing, said that the visit provided an opportunity to both sides to discuss further strengthening of party relations between the two countries and share experience about the formation and structure of political parties in the two countries. 

Highlighting the time tested, all weather friendship he said that this was a very special trip to a China with which we have cooperation and convergence in all areas. He also visited the metro orange line in Beijing to experience and observe the Beijing transportation system. 

Pakistan’s parliamentarian delegation of ruling political party, the PML-N arrived in China on April 21 and will depart on April 29. The delegation activities started from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province where the delegation visited the grassroots organization of the CPC called CPC Primary Unit.

They also visited the Pakistan study center at the Sichuan University and held in depth discussion on formation, structure and capacity building of political parties in each other’s countries. 

The delegation comprised Muhammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhry, Mohammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Marvi Memon, Jam Kamal Khan, Dr Darshan, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha, Muhammad Tallal Chaudhry, Mariyum Aurangzeb, Saud Majeed, Mohammad Khurram Gulfam, Qazi Adnan Fareed.

Red Army veteran praises Nawaz visit; emphasizes to emulate President Xi welfare policies

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A veteran of Red Army while praising Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif for his address and participation in the Boao Forum for Asia in China said that Pakistan need to emulate the policies of present leadership of China led by President Xi Jinping to address the economic woes. 

“I was very delighted to see on television your prime minister addressing the Boao Forum and meeting Premier Li Keqiang,” remarked Zhong Ming in an exclusive interview. 

Zhong, who will turn 100-year in coming August, said that “together we (Pakistan-China) can build a harmonious society. The cooperation between the two countries will have win-win situation for both the people, he added. 

The Veteran Red Army solder said that if welfare polices of China is emulated by the present government in Pakistan, it can also help improve the lot of the common people. Zhong,on the directions of Chairman Mao Zedong served in various capacity in Red army and also assigned responsibilities in strategic important Shanxi province. 

Highlighting the grassroots level policies of the Chinese government particularly for the down trodden masses lived in surrounding counties and villages of Ganzhou in below poverty line, he said that now prosperity can be seen on their face. It was possible because of upward trajectory of the socio-economic condition of the villagers, he noted. 

Since 2012, when President Xi was holding the charge as Country’s Vice-President he had approved a number of welfare projects in Xingguo county in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. Now people even at the county level have uninterrupted electricity, well equipped schools, clinics, internet and even houses for old and retired service people. 

People interviewed pointed out that under a policy, farmers were provided new homes for which major chunk of money was arranged by the banks on the instructions of the government on very nominal interest rate. 

“We are very pleased and proud in living in new homes, as in old homes, life was miserable especially during monsoon season when we were constrained to live in mud-home where water used to creep from roof and walls," Wu Guanghuang, a 78-year old farmer of Xinfeng county in Ganzhou said. 

He had fortunately survived from the massive flooding that inundated his muddy house built within his field of tobacco crop.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

SSUET alive to rapid technological developments: Chancellor Adil Usman

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 said that the university was alive to the staggering speed at which the technology was growing and also to the multiple dimensions the technology is encompassing for its growth. 

“To keep pace with the developments we must undertake the cultivating, nurturing and mentoring of young minds, employing the best of the available human and material resources”, he said in an interview. 

He pointed out that the SSUET was established with a view to adorning the youth with the most modern knowledge and the University made them available the best choices for study in the field of modern technology. 

Since its inception, he said, this university has been performing this sacred duty of developing the youth, capable to meet the challenges of the modern world. It is due to this fact that engineer from the SSUET occupy respectable positions in National and Multi-national organizations in Pakistan and abroad. 

He observed that relevance with the main stream of modern technical education is also very essential for the University and this will be possible with continuous improvement of curricula besides adding new disciplines.

Keeping this in mind the University introduced Software Engineering, Bioinformatics and Architecture as new subjects of study and this journey of growth will go further in the subsequent years too, he added. 

Chancellor Adil Usman said that the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association (AMUOBA), the sponsors of the SSUET, can look back with satisfaction that their efforts have really been crowned with success. 

The graduates from the SSUET have earned good name for the University as well as for the country and serving honorably in the countries, which are touching the zenith of progress in Science and Technology. 

The university, he noted, stands for humanism, tolerance, progress, adventure of ideas, the search of truth and for the new breakthroughs in technology and for onward march of the youth towards ever higher objectives. “We keep promotion of human values as the keynote of schemes of our curricula and teach them importance of human values under the caption “Aligarh Movement”. 

The young graduates, he observed, must bear in their mind that they are living in the times where knowledge is the ultimate power. For them the road ahead may be long and full of perils and obstacles but the journey promises to be exciting, provided the honesty of the purpose is the guiding force.

Replying a question, Engr Adil Usman pointed out that countries in our geo-physical region have become the economic giants. This stature they have achieved through their progress in science and technology.

The engineers and technologist have played a major role in their progress. In this age of competition, if we fail to take cognizance of the marathon of advancements, we will become economically pygmies. 

“We pin our hopes in our young engineers. They have full capacity to rise to the occasion and meet the challenges,” he stated. 

The Chancellor recalled the services of late Chancellor, Engr Z.A. Nizami, and late Engr Zakir Ali Khan and remarked that “I cannot forget their memories for they were the founders of this great institution”.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pakistan’s young parliamentarians visit Communist Party HQ in Sichuan

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A delegation of Pakistan’s young parliamentarians visited Hangshui town in Sichuan province where they were briefed about grassroots structure of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The party building in the town was shown to the delegation and they also interacted with members of the local community.

Tang Wenjin, the Vice Secretary General of the CPC Sichuan Province, hosted a luncheon reception in the honour of the 15-member delegation, comprising of the young parliamentarians of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). 

Both sides discussed areas of mutual cooperation and discussed the current projects underway in Pakistan with Chinese collaboration. 

Speaking on the occasion, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, a Member National Assembly, observed that he overwhelmed by the warmth and affection extended to him and his delegation by the Chinese government and the Communist Party. 

He remarked that the Chinese investment of $30 billion which was announced during the Punjab Chief Minister’s recent visit will play a big role in prosperity of Pakistan and bringing the people of the two nations even closer. 

The delegation also visited Sichuan University and the Pakistan Study Centre based at this varsity. The professors and senior university staff members briefed the delegation about the cooperation between the University with various Pakistani universities including the Punjab University and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). 

The delegation expressed gratitude to the university administration for taking such keen interest in Pakistan studies and for enrolling Pakistani students at the university.

Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed takes charge of KPT Chairman

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed, a seasoned naval officer, has taken over as the Chairman of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) on April 23.

Having a vast experience of Navy and marine operations, he is all set to steer the port to achieve goals and objectives assigned to him by the federal government and deal with the port affairs professionally. 

With he sort of experience he brings with him, Admiral Shafqat is expected to create new avenues true to its potentials, particularly Pakistan Deep Water Container Port which is likely to attain completion during his tenure as Chairman KPT. 

Before joining KPT,, Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed was working as Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Admin) at NHQ. He has served at various Command and Staff positions including Commanding Officer PNS Shah Jahan, directing staff at PN War College, Director Naval Operations, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations) at NHQ, Director Operations and Plans JSHQ, Commander Auxiliary and Marine Warfare Squadron, Mission Commander at China for F-22 P Project, Additional Secretary at Ministry of Defence, Flag Officer Sea Training and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations and Projects). 

His career started when he was commissioned in the operations branch of Pakistan Navy in June 1978. His professional course that he undertook during his illustrious career includes Naval Command Course (USA) and National Defence Course at NDU. In recognition of his meritorious services he was also awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

China’s film industry insiders call for 3D halt

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Industry insiders at the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival 2014 are calling for an end to the 3D craze in China to ensure sound development of the market. 

"The 3D film market has grown fast in China but many films lack quality," Yang Buting, Chairman of China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association and China Film Overseas Promotional Corporation, stated. 

"If this kind of vicious competition is not contained, it will be a disaster for the 3D film market," said Yang, former chairman of the China Film Group Corporation, the largest film producer in the country. 

Yang's remarks were echoed by Paul Anderson, director of the blockbuster series Resident Evil. Anderson stated that some North American and European filmmakers should apologise for the bad 3D movies that have been released. 

"China is one of the most vibrant 3D markets," he said, but so was America in 2010, and then it collapsed in four short years. 3D films, which enhance the illusion of depth perception, became more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of Avatar in 2009.

In China, most big hits are 3D films, which cost between 100 yuan and 120 yuan (16 to 19 U.S. dollars) for a ticket. A 2D film costs about 70 yuan. To increase profits, Hollywood has been promoting 3D films exclusively for the Chinese market. 

The 2014 version of RoboCop, which debuted in February, was in 3D exclusively in China and in 2D in other parts of the world. RoboCop, with an average of 5.5 on U.S. movie review site, notched up 329 million yuan in China, or 20 percent of its global box office. 

Some industry insiders said converting 3D movies was done merely to make more money, rather than create a better experience for moviegoers. Many filmgoers have complained that so-called 3D films have poor effects and some only had 3D effects at the beginning of the movies. For some, it is an annoying distraction wearing 3D glasses. For others, it even creates nausea and headaches. 

"It's hard to enjoy true 3D films with good pictures and effects in Chinese cinemas," Yang Buting said, adding that more than 20,000 movie screens in China can play 3D films and more companies are competing to sell their 3D projection equipment, which used to cost between 80,000 yuan and 150,000 yuan. Now equipment is no more than 20,000 yuan.

"This kind of vicious competition has lowered the quality and cost of 3D films, thus upsetting viewers," he said. 

Paul Anderson recognized that it is better to give audiences a choice. "If you don't give them a choice and you deliver bad 3D products, eventually they will stop going to the cinema. American people are choosing to watch 2D rather than 3D films," he said. 

As the largest movie manufacturer in the world with the best technologies, the U.S. should not just simply convert 2D films into 3D versions to make money, said Yang, as it was cheating consumers. In order to improve the 3D film market, Chinese enterprises are beginning to seek partnerships with international players to produce high-quality 3D films. Fantasy Media Group (FMG), a Sino-Canada joint venture, was set up in Shanghai's pilot Free Trade Zone this year to boost 3D production capability in the country. 

"There is a lack of industrial standards for 3D film production in China and we are pushing for it," Ma Xiaorui, an FMG Asia regional manager, asserted. 

Eric Deren, a U.S. senior stereographer, felt that there is a tremendous opportunity to grow 3D in China and not make the same mistakes as in other parts of the world. China is in a very good position to be able to learn from all that and move forward and succeed tremendously in this area," he said.

Pakistan’s young parliamentarians arrive in China

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A group of young parliamentarians from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) arrived in Changdu, the capital city of Southwest China Sichuan province, on April 21 MNA Mohammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhry is heading the delegation that included members of the national and provincial assemblies. 

The delegation comprising two women MNAs including Marvi Memon, Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly for Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage and Mariyam Aurangzeb. 

At Chengdu, the visiting guests will inspect the party-building and the training of party officials school run by the ruling Communist Party of China. The plan also included addressing a seminar and a visit to Pakistan Study Centre. 

The delegation’s schedule also included a visit to industrial parks and besides Giant Panda Preservation Centre. On the second leg of the tour of China, the delegation will reach Beijing on April 24. 

The people of Sichuan have special love and affection for the Pakistani people as in 2008 when massive earthquake struck some counties of the province Pakistan had provided large quantity of tents and also established a mobile hospital for the affected people. 

President Hu Jintao also visited Pakistan’s mobile hospital and lauded the service of the doctors and paramedic staff deployed there. At that time, photographs of a Pakistani C13 cargo plane carrying tents for the affected people and the crew inside the plane standing to pave way to accommodate maximum space touched the hearts of the Chinese people.

Monday, April 21, 2014

PN frigate Shamsheer to participate in China celebrations drill

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan’s naval frigate PN Shamsheer has reached China’s port city of Qingdao in East China's Shandong province on April 20.

The frigate will take part along with other seven countries vessels at the 14th annual meeting of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), starting from April 22, media report said. 

“China has done an excellent work organizing this international event. I am looking forward to meeting fellow navies and learning from them," the China Daily quoted Captain Rashid Zafar Cheema, commander of Pakistan’s Navy frigate Shamsheer. 

Pakistan has been invited to attend as one of the three observers of the event, reports the paper. The Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila was due in Qiangdao on April 21 while officials from Pakistan embassy including Naval Attaché were already there. A reception has also been planned onboard PNS Shamsheer on April 22. 

To begin with, Commander-in-Chief of PLAN Admiral Wu Shengli will first to visit Pakistani ship that illustrates the close relationship between the navies of the two countries, informed sources said. 

"Our ship was built in Shanghai. Every time I sail in China I feel like I am sailing in my home waters,” Captain Cheema observed 

The vessels from countries, including Pakistan, India, Singapore and Brunei, were set to participate in a drill on April 24 to celebrate the 65th anniversary of PLAN.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

BSEK Controller rebuts press report

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) has rebutted a news item appearing in a section of the press alleging that peons and clerks were appointed as invigilators during the Matric examination.

"The report was totally false and based on supposition,” Noman Ahsan, Controller of Examination, BSEK, said in a statement. 

He said that the names mentioned in the report as peon and clerks were in fact registered invigilators in the Board. 

He pointed out that Muhammad Yameen, a name mentioned in the report is a teacher having teaching experience of 13 years and Irfanul Haq has teaching experience of 17 years. 

On the basis of their experience they were accorded the duty of invigilation, the Controller of Examination added.

Friday, April 18, 2014

ACEP election results announced

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Association of Consulting Engineers Pakistan (ACEP) has announced the results of the elections for 2014-15 whereby Engr Chaudhary Ghulam Hussain and Engr Muhammad Siddiq Essa have been declared elected unopposed as the President and the Vice President respectively. 

An ACEP announcement said that all the other office-bearers and members of the Executive Council were also elected unopposed. 

According to the ACEP results, Engr Mohammed Shafiq was elected as Honorary Secretary Engr Arif Kasam as Honorary Treasurer. 

Meanwhile, Engr Khawaja Moinuddin and Engr Abrar Ahmed were elected Council Member Multi-Discipline, Engr Dr Shuaib Ahmed, Engr Nazar Siddiq and Engr Aziz Ahmed as Council Member Civil Discipline, Engr Safwan Ali as Council Member Electrical Discipline and Engr Raisuddin Siddiqui as Council Member of other Discipline.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wasim Hashmi elected KTBA President

Pakistan News & Features Services

Syed Wasimuddin Hashmi, one of the top lawyers of the country besides being an eminent sports personality, was elected as the President of Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) in the 57th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bar held at the Regional Tax Office, Karachi on April 10.

The AGM was attended by a large number of its members, who are practicing advocates, chartered accountants, cost and management accountants and tax practitioners. 

Wasim Hashmi, a practicing advocate of High Court, has been the Vice President of the KTBA in the past. He is also the Chairman of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) besides being associated with the International Association of Lions Club which is very famous for its social activities. He has been elected as the President of the KTBA for the year 2014.

Mohammad Zubair was elected as the Vice President. He has been the Vice President of the bar in the past as well and also held various positions of General Secretary on various occasions. He has been the President of the Memon Professional Forum. He is actively involved in the professional development activities of the bar as well as in other social forums. 

Mohammad Aleem, a practicing advocate of High Court, has been elected as the General Secretary, having held this position in the past as well besides having served as the Joint Secretary of the bar. He is associated with the Dawn Group of Newspapers as a Tax Consultant. 

According to the results declared by the KTBA, Arshad Ali Siddiqui and Noor Muhammad Dawood have been elected as the Joint Secretary and the Librarian respectively while Arshad Siraj Memon, Khalid Mahmood, Mohammad Farooq Siddiqui, Mohammad Imtiazuddin Zubairi, Najam Irshad Khan, Syed Sarwar Mohiuddin, Younus Rizwani Sheikh and Zubair Abdul Sattar Mesia have been elected as members of the managing committee.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

President Mamnoon Hussain addresses SSUET’s 17th Convocation

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, advised the graduating students of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) that while they were now about to enter their practical life, they will have to commit and prepare themselves to serve the country and the nation. 

He was addressing the SSUET graduates at the university’s 17th convocation held at the Karachi Expo Centre on April 10 in which around 1300 students from the disciplines of Computer, Electronics, Civil, Telecommunication and Bio-Medical Engineering and Computer Science besides those having completed their Masters were awarded degrees. 

On the occasion, the President also presented Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to graduates who bagged first, second and third positions in their respective fields of study. 

Addressing both in English and Urdu, President Mamnoon Hussain said that convocations serve as a milestone in the life of a student and extended congratulations to the passing out graduates while they were entering a new era of life. Pointing that there was a time when focus used to be laid both on education and grooming but today there was more focus on education and not as much on grooming as required. 

He described faculty as an essential part of an educational institution with teachers being the most important factor for equipping their pupils with knowledge and asserted that only talented and merited teachers should be employed who could dispense better education. 

The President pointed out that once a teacher completes his education, he hardly find any opportunity for further training to keep pace with ever-changing knowledge and, therefore, there is need for those associated with the field of education, to establish such training-boosting institutions for teachers. 

He observed that the SSUET, which has been named after great educationist and reformer, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, is a symbol of higher education. Sir Syed, he stated, established an institution in the sub-continent, the blessings of which will continue till last. 

The President told the students that how when they are entering a practical life, this country should deserve to have their priority and they should prepare themselves to root out whatever deficiencies being faced today. President Mamnoon Hussain told the graduating students that this country was achieved after colossal sacrifices and a great blessing of Allah. 

“Value this country and make all out efforts for its progress and prosperity and play their due role to take it to new heights among world nations”.

He called upon them to respect their parents and teachers who led them to the accomplishment of their educational mission and said that this would prove beneficial to them not only here but also in the world hereafter. 

The President hoped that they would take eulogized steps for the cause of the country, the province and the city and prayed that may Allah lead them to success in their practical life. 

At the outset of his address, the President congratulated the passing out engineers and described the award of degrees from this prestigious institution an honor for them.

He described SSUET a legacy of the mission of great reformer and educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and said that the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) deserve every appreciation for establishing this university. 

“It is a matter of satisfaction that since its inception, the SSUET had distinguished itself as a prestigious institution of the country dedicated to the promotion of science and technology as was emphasized by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his message on November 27, 1947,” he recognized. 

The establishment of this university, he noted, was not a small achievement but it was due to sheer hard work and dedicated efforts. He was appreciative of the achievements made by SSUET in a short period. He advised the graduates that now when they are entering a practical life, they will face challenging tasks and they will have to stand up to the same with fierce determination as there will be no short cut to achieve success in their practical life. 

On its part, the President said, the Government of Pakistan is committed to the cause of education, particularly the science and technology which is main key progress and prosperity. Besides public sector, the government is also engaging the private sector to achieve the cherished objectives and this sector is responding positively towards the cause of nation building. 

Earlier in his welcome address, Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman remarked that the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology was established with a view to adorning the youth with the most modern knowledge and made them available the best choices for study in the field of latest technology. 

The University, he said, was alive to the staggering speed at which the technology is growing and also to the multiple dimensions the technology is encompassing for its growth.

"To keep pace with the developments we must undertake the cultivating, nurturing and mentoring of young minds, employing the best of the available human and material resources", he stated. 

Congratulating the graduates receiving degrees, Chancellor Adil Usman pointed out that since its inception, the University has been performing the sacred duty of developing the youth - capable to meet the challenges of the modern world. It was due to this fact that engineer from SSUET occupy respectable positions in the national and multinational organizations in Pakistan and abroad. 

He referred to relevance with the main stream of modern technical education and described it essential for the University.

He said it will be possible with continuous improving of our curricula and adding new disciplines. 

He shared that in 2014 new subjects of study like Software Engineering, Bioinformatics and Architecture have been added and the university will go further in the subsequent years too. 

Engr Adil Usman said the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association of Pakistan (AMUOBA), the sponsors of the SSUET, can look back with satisfaction that their efforts have really been crowned with success. 

The graduates from the SSUET have earned good name for the University as well as for the country. They are serving honorably in the countries, which are touching the zenith of progress in science and technology. 

The University, he pointed out, stands for humanism, tolerance, progress, adventure of ideas, the search of truth and for the new breakthroughs in technology. 

"We keep promotion of human values as the keynote of schemes of our curricula and teach them importance of human values under the caption ‘Aligarh Movement.’ 

The human values were so central to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s intellectual journey and educational agenda and we are proud to claim our self as custodian of his legacy, he stated.

Addressing the young graduates, he told them to bear in mind that we are living in the times where knowledge is the ultimate power. 

The road ahead may be long and full of perils and obstacles for them, but the journey promises to be exciting, provided the honesty of the purpose is the guiding force. 

Presenting his annual report on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, recalled that the SSUET was established by the AMOUBA in 1994. It was an outstanding project accomplished in the domain of education and a manifestation of AMUOBA's patriotism and concern for nation building. 

Today, he said, the enrollment which started with 222 students in 1994 has already crossed 6,500 and todate over 10,000 graduates produced since 1998. He recalled that in the first convocation in 1998, 197 students were awarded BS degrees and today over 1300 students are to receive their Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Six disciplines. 

The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that knowledge is expanding at tremendous pace and new areas of study in Engineering and related fields are emerging. This has given rise to the need for new disciplines in the Universities. The introduction of these disciplines is essential to keep pace with main stream of knowledge. 

The SSUET, he said, is fully alive to this scenario and has added three new disciplines of Software Engineering, Bioinformatics and Architecture this year. He said the university presently has 09 disciplines in its BS Programme, while the Master Programme is in 06 disciplines. The Ph.D. Programme is offered in Computer and Electronic Engineering disciplines for faculty members only. 

He said the university takes pride in the quality of its laboratories which meet international standards and it is ensured that our students have proficiency in practical work. Its eight labs have the best available equipment. He pointed out that SSUET was the first in Pakistan to introduce Bio-medical Engineering in 1996 for the benefit of healthcare services in Pakistan. 

He gave a detail outline of the departments of Civil, Electronics, Telecom and Computer Engineering. He informed that the university library has over 90,000 books and its distinction role was of a book bank for students, teachers and researchers. 

Dr Jawaid said that the university policy is that capable students are not deprived of education due to weak financial position. The University schemes of Scholarship and Financial Assistance provide help to the deserving students, who have financial problems and for this purpose Rs.56.05 million allocated in the budget. 

The Vice-Chancellor said the university has a very active sports department, which organizes teams for participation in competitions. The cricket team of university has been showing prominence at national and international levels and has the honor to give some prominent players to the national hockey team. 

He said that the university has a separate forum, Brig (R) Qamar-us-Slam Khan, Literary Art and Culture Forum which manages the cultural activities in the University and prepares students to take part in different competitions of debates, Qirat and Declamation. 

"Our students have won first prizes in many competitions held at national and local levels. Concluding, he said, the Convocation is the day of the graduates receiving degrees and gold medals which was moment of happiness and pride for their parents and guardians too," he concluded.

On the occasion Chancellor Adil Usman presented the SSUET's souvenir to the President. The convocation was largely attended by members of SSUET Board of Governors, prominent members of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association, dignitaries, members of the faculty and parents of passing out graduates.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pakistan Railways receive first consignment of locomotives from China

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Railways have confirmed having received first consignment of five locomotives out of 58 ordered with China. The five locomotives, each of 3000 horse power, were unloaded at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) on April 7. 

These would be inducted into the system after initial tests and used for operation of freight trains, Divisional Railways officials informed PNFS on the occasion.  

Presently the Pakistan Railways has been operating, on an average, three to four freight trains on daily basis and their frequency is likely to increase with the induction of the new locomotives. 

The Karachi Railways Division operated 100 freight trains during the month of March, after a halt of freight operation for three years when it came to stand still due to non-availability of locomotives, resulting in a big revenue loss to the organization. 

Each freight train is today generating revenue of 2.5 to 3 million rupees and according to sources the Karachi Railways Division earned revenue of Rs 300 million during March 2014. 

“We have the demand and the capacity to carry freight with availability of wagons and arrival of new locomotives and their induction into the system will certainly provide a boost to the freight operation resulting in an increase in the frequency of freight trains, the Railway sources stated.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Glowing tributes paid to Z A Nizami on death anniversary

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Glowing tributes were paid to Engr Z A Nizami, who was referred to as Baba-e-Karachi and Sir Syed Saani, at a big gathering organized by the Nizami family at KDA Officer’s Club, Karachi, to observe his first death anniversary.

The speakers, on the occasion, who included Administrator, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Rauf Akhtar Farooqi, former Sindh Governor, Lt Gen (Rtd) Moinuddin Haider, former Ministers Haji Hanif Tayyab, Dost Mohammed Faizi and Wasim Akhtar, Chairman Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Abdul Qadir Shah, AMUOBA members Ali Zafar Afridi and Arif Raza, former Director KDA, Rizwan Siddiqi, fiery Muslim Leaguer Azad Bin Hyder and finally Farrukh NIzami, recalled the services and the accomplishments of the late Engr Nizami in the field of education and development of Karachi. 

An emotional Dost Mohammed Faizi recalled that Engr Nizami had paid the debt he owed to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan by establishing the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) in Karachi and now we owe a debt to pay by establishing the Z A Nizami University in his memory.

His call in this regard was wholeheartedly supported by Haji Hanif Tayyab who offered his services and available resources in this regard saying that Engr Nizami had been the Hatim Tai of his era as well as Baba-e-Taaleem and Sir Syed Saani. 

In his discourse the KMC Administrator, Rauf Akhtar Farooqi, described Engr Nizami a complete personality and an institution in his right and said what he did for this ever sprawling city in his life time will remain unmatched so much so he launched 45 development schemes and no one could bring till to date the 46th scheme. 

He pointed out that those 45 schemes were not mere development schemes but establishment of 45 small towns with provision of all basic infrastructure facilities, a challenging task which no one else could do. He said that the younger generation of engineers must know about his achievements so that they could follow his footsteps.

Rauf Farooqi said that Engr Nizami's vision can be judged from the fact that as Director General for eight years he steered Karachi to its highest peak besides introducing new departments like Building Control Authority, Traffic Engineering Bureau, Mass Transit, water wing which later turned into Water Board besides streamlining the Master Plan department on most modern lines and introduced Karachi's first Master Plan. 

Former Governor of Sindh and a member of SSUET’s Board of Governors, Gen Moinuddin Haider, considered Engr Nizami a torch-bearer of the eastern traditions who set very high standards for himself and his team. 

He referred to establishment of the SSUET and observed that since its inception over 15,000 engineers have passed out from here and serving in various parts of the world. He said that the town planning of Karachi was an unmatched example of his God-gifted vision. He said he was a true educationist and his memories will always remain alive.

A former Provincial Minister, Waseem Akhtar, described Engr Nizami as a towering personality and a multi-faceted figure who, he said, will be remembered whenever the development of Karachi will be referred to and as an educationist when SSUET comes to limelight. 

He said that Engr Nizami was the one who contributed the most to the cause of promotion of education and the university established by him was fulfilling his mission of producing high-quality engineers. 

 Chairman PEC, Syed Abdul Qadir Shah, recalled his association with Engr Nizami, stating that he found him having the cause of SSUET students very dear to his heart as if they were his own children.

“He was a true legend and Karachi of today is because of his development vision. He was an all-round engineer, who stood taller than anyone else in the country,” Qadir Shah complimented.

Noted Aligarhian, Ali Zafar Qadri, talked about his and other members of the AMUOBA association with Engr Nizami and said that besides being a high quality planner, developer and educationist, he was above all a high quality human being having a good sense of humour. 

Arif Raza, another Aligarhian recalled that Engr Nizami’s services for the AMUOBA and said it was a triangle of Engr Z A Nizami, Engr Zakir Ali Khan and Brig Qamarussalam, whose dynamism led to establishment of the SSUET.

Dost Mohammed Faizi appreciated the family members of Engr Nizami for maintaining the noble traditions of their illustrious father. 

He said the nations, who forget their benefactors, go into oblivion and the best way to keep the memory of Engr Nizami alive was to establish a university in his name like the Sir Syed University he established after the name of great educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. 

He said that old students of the SSUET can play a significant role in this regard. Haji Hanif Tayyab, a former Federal Minister, recalled the achievements of Engr Nizami, particularly the development of a garden within the precinct of Quaid-e-Azam mausoleum.

He shared that Engr Nizami truly followed the Hadith of Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) that when cities become big and congested, small cities be developed nearby and he developed 45 such small towns around Karachi. 

Rizwan Siddiqi pointed out that the life of Engr Nizami could be encompassed by taking Aligarh, KDA and Sir Syed University into account. 

On the occasion Azad Bin Hyder presented his 1200-page book titled “From Sir Syed to Quaid-e-Azam” to the Nizami family and said it was Engr Nizami who inspired him to write the historic book. 

In his remarks on the occasion, Farrukh Nizami, son of Engr Z.A Nizami, gave an outline of the future plans for their illustrious father which included the establishment of Z A Nizami Educational Society, issuance of a postal stamp, compilation of book containing clippings and photographs relating to Engr Nizami besides publishing the book titled “Architecture in Islam” which their father wrote in his life time and was eagre for its launch in Saudi Arabia. 

He called for naming a city road after the name of Engr Z A Nizami and hoped that if he had done something valuable, the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), too, should play its role in keeping the memories of Engr Nizami alive, who remained its President for so long and served as first Chancellor of SSUET which today enjoys a big name in the world. The proceedings, which were largely attended by people belonging to various walks of life, concluded with singing of “Tarana Aligarh”.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pakistan eager to learn from polio-free India: Aziz Memon

Pakistan News & Features Services

The typically enlightening speech of Aziz Memon, Chairperson, Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee, was one of the highlights of the 'Polio-free Conclave 2014' which was organized by the Rotary International to commemorate India's victory over Polio.

The two-day event, reaffirming Rotary's commitment to ending polio not just in India but from all parts of the world, was held at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, India, on March 29 and 30. 

Besides the three endemic countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, the participating countries included Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. 

The representatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the top functionaries of the Rotary International were also present on the occasions along with the functionaries of other donor agencies. 

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, was the chief guest in the inaugural session held at 12 noon on March 29 while the historic Rotary’s Polio Free Conclave concluded the following afternoon. 

Aziz Memon, pursuing the mission of eradicating polio from Pakistan with missionary zeal, expressed his profound appreciation to the thousands of Rotarian volunteers for their unprecedented commitment, along with the Government of India, the polio partners and the dedication of millions of community health workers who were the implementing force in the process.

“It’s really gladdening that India is no longer a country with polio flourishing in it. The country has now completed three years without a case of polio in January 2014, earning the WHO's regional Polio-free certification,” he noted. 

“India's three-year Polio-free triumph is a huge achievement for the global polio eradication initiative, spearheaded by Rotary and national governments. This milestone in India makes the global polio-free dream a step closer while boosting the fight in the remaining polio endemic countries like Pakistan and motivating the global community to support the Polio eradication endgame,” Aziz Memon remarked. 

Representing the Rotarians of Pakistan in the august gathering, he shared that the Rotary family, despite the numerous challenges, continued working relentlessly with the Government of Pakistan and polio partners to optimize coverage of children in hand to reach to even the farthest regions of the country.

“We are also working closely with the tribal leaders in the FATA through moderate Ulemas and politicians who have assured us of their cooperation and support in getting the area children vaccinated,” Aziz Memon informed. 

“We are determined to meeting the challenge despite the heaviest of odds. We are mobilizing all our resources in achieving the cherished goal of ours. The government is on board with us and together we are marching ahead in the right direction,” he observed. 

“Rotary International is proud to see a Polio-free India. We will follow suit to make Pakistan polio-free in the near future,” he concluded while quoting the great Nelson Mandela: It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Ayesha Raza Farooq, Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, in her earlier address, expressed similar sentiments, adding that the prevailing challenges did not deter the government and the people of Pakistan will continue to fight polio with courage and a resolute commitment. 

"We have arrested the spread of the virus and restricted it to three reservoirs. Majority of cases this year and last year were from security compromised areas in the country. Most of Pakistan has been without a polio case or virus transmission for a considerable period of time," she stated.