Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jumbo Karachi Guide gains popularity

Pakistan News & Features Services

Jumbo Karachi Guide, which is the pilot project of Jumbo City Guide Series brought out by Jumbo Infomedia, has continued gaining popularity and it’s being referred to as a most authentic guidebook. 

The corporate sector in particular has supported the initiative of promoting the soft image of the country. The updated editions of Jumbo Karachi Guide are being procured and distributed in the various seminars and other events organized by many of the multinationals and corporations. 

Jumbo Karachi Guide has also found a firm foothold in the educational circles as the students and researchers, seeking information about Karachi, find it more than useful publication.

Reunion of Azeem Sarwar’s prodigies

Pakistan News & Features Services

Azeem Sarwar, having been hailed as the greatest all-round broadcaster to emerge from Pakistan, is credited to have produced quite a few historic radio programmes. One of them was ‘Aalami Sports Round Up’ whose popularity had broken all records.

Launched in 1985, the programme had become an instant hit not only in Pakistan but all across the sub-continent wherever the transmission could be heard. It’s still talked about with great reverence. 

Azeem Sarwar’s magnetic personality had inspired a lot of youngsters who were aspiring to graduate into mainstream sports journalism. 

The majority of them accomplished their goal and they are among the top-notchers in the profession, much to the delight and satisfaction of their mentor. 

Recently a get-together of Team Aalami Sports Round Up was held at the Union Club, housed in PECHS, Karachi, in which half a dozen of its members were present. Arif Afzal Usmani, now Chief Editor of the New York-based Asia Tribune Weekly, presented a momento to Azeem Sarwar on behalf of the Team Aalami Sports Round Up. Sardar Khan, Shahid Akhtar Hashmi, Abdul Rasheed Shakoor and Syed Khalid Mahmood were also present on the occasion. 

Azeem Sarwar, whose versatility as a writer, analyst, producer and commentator is considered legendary, had conceived the idea of producing a sports programme for Radio Pakistan on a daily basis in Urdu. He had visualized that having a radio programme that broadcasts the news and reports of the latest sporting action all over the world will catch the imagination of the listeners who otherwise didn’t have an access to timely information. 

He was proved absolutely right. It turned out to be a master stroke. It was for the first time in Radio Pakistan’s history that such a programme had been planned. There had been odd radio shows on sports in the past but no one before him could envision having a daily sports programme of international standard. 

Alaami Sports Round Up revolved around Azeem Sarwar but being a visionary leader, he kept inducting the youngsters who had the passion for sports and possessed the talents to transcribe and broadcast. Being a hard task master, he never compromised on quality and kept his teammates motivated at all times. 

His inspirational brilliance instilled confidence in those youngsters and urged them to do better in order to make a name for themselves in the profession of writing and broadcasting. He himself was the role model for all his teammates who always looked forward to him for guidance and support. 

Those being a part of his team considered themselves fortunate because they were able to learn a lot by getting an opportunity to work alongside him. He’s the man who encouraged the aspiring writers and broadcasters to improve their skills. It was after his training and tutoring that they joined the mainstream journalism and the rest is history.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dr Farman Fatehpuri’s wife passes away

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Salma Begum, wife of the late noted scholar, writer and critic, Dr Farman Fatehpuri, passed away in Karachi on January 29. She was 85. She was mother of Engr Syed Abrar Ali, Registrar, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi. She has left behind two sons and four daughters to mourn her death. 

Her Namaz-e-Janaza was held at Masjid Khulafa-e-Rashdeen, Block 13-D, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and largely attended, among others, by Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, Associate Dean Dr Najeeb, besides chairpersons of various departments, faculty members, engineers from various walks of life including Karachi Electric where EngrAbrar Ali had served as Director for many years, friends and relatives as well as members of Alaigarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) including its General Secretary, Mukhtar Naqvi . 

Later the burial was held at Karachi University Graveyard where her late husband dwas also resting in peace. Meanwhile Quran Khawani for the departed soul will be held on January 30 at Masjid Khulafa-e-Rashdeen while arrangements for the ladies have been made at her residence in Block 13-D Gulshan-e-Iqbal. 

Meanwhile both Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the SSUET have offered their heartfelt condolences on the demise of mother of Registrar Engr Abrar Ali and paryed to Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant fortitude to bereaved family bear the great loss. 

It may be recalled here that Dr Farman Fatehpuri had died about one and a half year back at the age of 87.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

PTCL assures cooperation to ABAD

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The President and CEO of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Walid Irshaid, has assured the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) to resolve the telecommunication issues of their members. 

The PTCL chief gave the assurance during his visit to the ABAD House in Karachi during which he had a detailed meeting with a delegation of the Association, headed by their Chairman, Junaid Ashraf Taloo.

The meeting was attended by a number of members of the ABAD and officials of the PTCL. 

“The PTCL is always willing to address the telecommunication issues of members of ABAD. The facilities like telephone and DSL boradband will be provided at the project site during the construction so that the concept of plug and play is materialized,” Walid Irshaid declared. 

The ABAD Chairman appreciated the assurances coming from the PTCL President but expressed his reservations about the infrastructure of the Corporation having becoming old and obsolete which needed to be updated on an urgent basis. 

The PTCL President revealed that his organization was already working on this matter and hopefully the improvement will materialize in the very near future. 

To a question Walid Irshaid explained that the efforts were being made to bring the standard of the PTCL at par with that of Etisalat. He said that all their services could be compared with those available in any country of the world. 

“The change has begun in the PTCL but taking into account the population and size of Pakistan it is going to be gigantic task,” he added. 

Mohammad Hassan Bakshi, Chairman, Southern Region, suggested that the sim verification should be made on annual basis to curb criminal activities. 

The PTCL President emphasized that no compromise will be made on the national security issues.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Asma Sikandar feted for long library career

Pakistan News & Features Services

Rich tributes were paid to the veteran library scientist, Asma Sikandar Khan, during a luncheon reception hosted in her honour in Karachi on January 24. Having relocated in Canada many years ago, she’s currently on a visit to her home country.

It turned out to be a big turnout of the eminent library science professionals, having spread to the various corners of the world after completing their education from the University of Karachi. 

The credit for arranging the reunion in a befitting manner belonged chiefly to Abdul Samad Ansari, who was ably assisted by Dr Nasreen Shagufta and a few other colleagues. 

Asma Sikandar, who worked for The Canadian Press for as many as 32 years, was delighted at seeing many of her former classmates and teachers after a very long time. She was modest in her brief speech, thanking everyone for turning up at such a notice. 

“I am not sure if I deserve all these generous remarks from the distinguished speakers. I have worked to the best my abilities and I am really grateful to all of you for having showered me with praise,” she remarked. 

She has had an illustrious career in librarianship. After doing Masters in Library & Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Karachi in 1974, she had a brief stint as a librarian at the Institute of Bankers in Karachi before she moved to Canada in 1977. 

Asma Sikander joined The Canadian Press, a national news agency of Canada which is headquartered in Toronto, in 1978 and worked there as a Reference Librarian until 2010 when the entity became a commercial enterprise after being a not-for-profit cooperative for nearly a century. 

Post retirement, she has been actively involved with the Islamic Foundation of Toronto where she heads a three-member library committee. She is also a member of the Canadian chapter of the Karachi University Library & Information Science Alumni Association (KULISAA) and she contributes regularly in its newsletter.

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, one of the founding fathers of library and information science in Pakistan, presented her a set of books published by the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB) while she was presented a copy of ‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ by its author Dr Nasreen Shagufta. 

Mohammad Wasil Usmani, in his thought-provoking speech, urged the library professionals to extend their support to the LPB and its flagship publication, the Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal (PLISJ) which has been published regularly every quarter for the past 45 years. 

In his concluding remarks, Abdul Samad Ansari observed that Prof Dr Nasim Fatima and Prof Dr Rais Ahmed Samdani were fully capable to carry forward the mission of Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, who dedicated his life for the cause of the noble profession. 

Zafar-uz-Zaman, Syed Irshad Hussain, Anis-ur-Rahman, Zakia Anis, Zain Siddiqui, Syeda Najma Sultana, Dr Iqbal Ahmed Khan, Azra Qureshi, Aasia Samid, Samid Baig, Bashiruddin Khurshid, Rehana Nasim, Kamran Ashar, Nasim Alam and Syed Khalid Mahmood were also present on the occasion.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SSUET hold orientation session for new academic year

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

An impressive Orientation ceremony marked the commencement of new academic session 2015 at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, with the Chancellor, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, informing the new entrants that excellent engineers and technologists can only be produced through high quality engineering and vocational teaching and training.

On the occasion, the students having been granted admission to different disciplines of engineering were provided the vision and academic guidance prior to the commencement of regular classes. 

Addressing the ceremony, the Chancellor reminded the students that education is the most powerful instrument which can change the world. People, without education, will not be able to improve their economic conditions in the present highly technological, globalized economy. 

He congratulated the students for entering into a new field of higher education and starting a new journey. 

“You are truly an extraordinary group of students with great potential,” he pointed out and said he was proud of them for having been chosen to study in the university and to pursue their academic career. 

He told them that SSUET is ranked among the best universities of Pakistan because of the development of new ideas, concepts, theories and dreams and these factors does play a significant role in the ever changing global developments.

“With the best academic environment at the university campus, you will learn from the most experienced and skilled faculty responsible to help you in your quest for knowledge. So make best use of same with complete focus on your studies.” 

Chancellor Engr Adil Usman appreciated the faculty for its commitment towards inculcating the spirit of hard work and excellence in the students. 

Welcoming the new entrants, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Syed Jawaid Hasan Rizvi, extended useful advice to students for achieving excellence during their academic pursuits. 

He pointed out that admissions have been done purely on merit and, therefore, they will have to achieve excellence. 

The Sir Syed University, he said, offers quality education with its modern laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Research activities are encouraged in the university and students are groomed in a way to face the challenges of life, he added. 

He told the students that they will now carry out their academic activities under the semester system which is fast and totally different from college system and, therefore, they will have to struggle keep pace with the speed. 

The Registrar, Syed Abrar Ali, in his remarks, pointed out that SSUET is not a private commercial institution but dispensing knowledge on non-profit basis. He said that all funds generated are spent on provision of facilities to university students. 

He informed that SSUET is spending Rs 40 million on providing scholarships for which they will have to acquire required GPS besides over 80 percent attendance. 

The Dean Engineering, Prof Dr S M Makhdumi, Associate Dean Dr Najeeb and chairpersons of all the engineering departments also addressed the students and reminded them of their responsibilities with stress on the element of punctuality, proper dressing, and good behavior.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sir Syed Tower’s construction starts with ground breaking ceremony

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The work on the multi-million Sir Syed Tower, a project of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) has started following the ground breaking ceremony at the project site. 

Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, President, AMUOBA, and Chancellor, Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), performed the ground breaking ceremony which was attended, among others, by members of the Association and its Executive Committee besides guests from different walks of life. 

The Sir Syed Tower, upon completion, will serve as academic and corporate hub to promote AMUOBA’s intellectual, cultural and academic activities. 

Addressing the ceremony, Engr Adil Usman observed that the Tower, a project to be of historical value, was being planned since long but the work could not take off earlier for some reason or the other. 

“The construction work has commenced today which is the happiest and unforgettable moment for the Aligarhians who have always cherished to follow the mission of our great reformer and educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. 

“We have successfully achieved our target with our sincere efforts and dedication and it will prove to be a dream coming true project,” Chancellor Adil Usman remarked. 

He informed that the Tower construction is being financed with own resources. But due to the financial constraints, only basement, ground and first floor would be constructed in the first phase. 

He hoped that the philanthropists will come forward and donate towards this noble project. He appealed to the Aligarhians to mobilize their personal contacts and influence to obtain funds for the project. 

The AMUOBA President said that the Sir Syed Tower is not being raised to get monetary or commercial benefits but the revenues to be generated will be utilized for promotion of academic activities and establishment of educational institutions by the Association.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Aziz Memon, Bill Gates discuss polio eradication

Pakistan News & Features Services

Aziz Memon, Chairman of the Pakistan Polio Plus Committee, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met at the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle, USA, on January 12, in which they discussed at length about the initiatives aimed at the eradication of polio from Pakistan.

The two philanthropists had a detailed discussion on the health-related projects in Pakistan with the focus on eradicating the deadly disease from the country.

Aziz Memon, who has been heading the Rotary International’s polio committee for quite a few years, apprised Bill Gates, who foundation has been generously donating for helping people lead healthy and productive lives, about the measures being taken for eradicating polio from Pakistan.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, dedicated to discovering and disseminating innovative approaches to addressing extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, remains one of the major donors for the Rotary International’s various projects.

KPT to handle bigger vessels by year end

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) will soon become capable of handling bigger post PANAMAX mother vessels by the end of this year when the first phase of deep water container port attains completion and becomes fully operational. 

This was stated by the KPT Chairman, Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed, while briefing a visiting high level delegation from National Defence University, participating in National Security and War Course 2014-15. 

On the occasion various capital intensive port-related projects came under discussion and Chairman KPT briefed the delegation on the new deep water container port which is scheduled to become functional by the end of this year. 

He informed that the new port will open new avenues for trade and commerce for Pakistan and pave way for the port to become transhipment hub of the region. He pointed out that the KPT has been playing a key role in the national trade and commerce. 

He reckoned that the development of the deep water container port was a timely decision for the Karachi Port is strategically located well set to cash on the change that has taken place due to shift of world economy towards Asia. 

The inter-active session concluded with the exchange of crests between the KPT, Chairman, Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed HI (M), and the leader of the delegation, Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas SI (M). 

The delegation was given comprehensive briefing on management, administrative areas, functions and the ongoing projects of the KPT.

Friday, January 9, 2015

KWSB launch campaign against illegal hydrants

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB), during a targeted operation, demolished five illegal hydrants and cut off over a dozen connections taken from main trunk to steal some 12 mgd of water in Mochko Goth, Ittehad Town and various parts of Manghopir. 

The action was taken upon the directives of the Sindh Information and Local Government Minister, Sharjeel Inam Memon, and the Managing Director, KWSB, Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi, who ordered an immediate operation for demolition of illegal hydrants in Baldia Town. 

The Minister had directed the KWSB to take effective measures for ensuring supply of water to citizens on equitable basis and also close down all illegal hydrants in the city’s different areas so that residents of such areas could get rid from water shortage. Instructions were also issued for taking strict action against illegal sale of KWSB water in the name of water boring. 

The Minister was of the view that these measures would ensure provision of stolen water to citizens especially those residing in areas which were affected due to shortage of water and thus bring improvement in water supply in these areas. 

The MD KWSB sternly asked Deputy MD (Technical Services) Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, Chief Engineer, WTM, Zafar Ali Palejo, Chief Security Officer, Major (R) Mohammad Nawaz Gondal, Superintending Engineer, Asif Qadri, to push up campaign against illegal hydrants and water pumping houses all over the city particularly in districts West and Central under a well planned strategy. 

He directed that all those illegal hydrants re-emerged must be demolished with immediate and strict action against those behind their re-emergence as well as water connections. 

Following the directives, the KWSB staff launched a crackdown with the help of police and razed more than three hydrants and their filling points and 6 underground water connections with the help of heavy machinery in various areas of Manghopir including Mashallah Coach Adda, Gulshan-e-Tauheed and Khairabad. 

The hydrants were openly selling 12 mgd water after stealing it from KWSB main lines. A FIR was also being lodged at the concerned police station against water thieves, a KWSB spokesman said. 

Meanwhile the MD KWSB strictly directed DMD Technical Services, Chief Engineer, Superintending Engineer water trunk main and in-charge officer hydrants to follow the Minister’s directives in letter and spirit and mobilize all available resources to elimination water theft in the city.  
It may be noted here that the Supreme Court had also taken suo moto notice against the operation of illegal hydrants.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Yousuf Siddiqi passes away

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Senior Vice President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) and the Convener of the Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT), Yousuf Siddiqi, passed away in Karachi in the early hours of January 6. He was also a former Member (Technical) of the now defunct Karachi Development Authority (KDA).

He was 78, having left behind two sons and three daughters besides a large number of friends, relatives and his colleagues in the AMUOBA to mourn his death. 

He was laid to rest at Milk Plant graveyard near Hasan Square. Earlier his Namaz-e-Janaza was offered at Masjid Baitiul Mukarram. 

The funeral was largely attended by the top officials of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET) and the AIT, faculty members besides members of AMUOBA, friends and relatives. 

The President AMUOBA and Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, has expressed his profound grief and sorrow over the sudden demise of Yousuf Siddiqi and prayed to Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant fortitude to bereaved family to bear the great loss. 

He also visited the residence of Yousuf Siddiqi and offered his heartfelt condolences to the family members. 

He termed the death of Yousuf Siddiqi as a great loss and paid rich compliment to him for his dedicated services for the causes of the SSUET and the AIT. 

“We have lost a great friend, a true Aligarhian and a close associate,” the Chancellor said while paying tributes to Yousuf Siddiqi adding that his efforts for the promotion of quality education in the Sir Syed University as a founding member were truly commendable. 

Meanwhile the Vice-Chancellor SSUET, Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi and Registrar, Syed Abrar Ali, also visited the residence of Yousufr Siddiqi and offered their heartfelt condolences to the grieved family members. 

Prominent Aligarhians and members of the AMUOBA kept visiting the residence of Yousuf Siddiqi since morning to condole the demise of their close associate. 

Yousuf Siddiqi was also the member of SSUET’s Board of Governors besides being a member of Academic Council and Finance and Planning Committee of the university.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Young Ahsan Parvez shines in Mr Lahore bodybuilding contest

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi  
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Twenty year old Ahsan Parvez made it and set a record by winning 4th position in senior 65-Category Mr Lahore bodybuilding competition organized by the Pakistan Body Building Federation at the famous Al-Hamra Hall in Lahore.

He has become the youngest position-holder in this senior class category of Mr Lahore Bodybuilding Competition 

“It was my dream to become a body builder, and I have achieved it now”, the promising youngster stated while talking to the media. 

Born and raised in the historic city of Lahore, Ahsan, said that he has already started preparations to participate in the Mr University Competition due to be held a couple of months later. 

A fourth semester software engineering student at the University of Lahore Ahsan remarked that he loved his country and city very much. 

“Since my early childhood I had an inclination to become a bodybuilder whenever I saw Arnold on my television set and I felt right at the core of my heart that I can emulate him,” he stated 

“I dreamt of being a perfect bodybuilder by seeing modern western world as it was portrayed in movies and international body building championships competition,” Ahsan added. 

He disclosed having started workout two years back when he was 18. Although it was a tough undertaking for him, his fierce determination to succeed enabled him to stay focused and achieve his goal. 

He said that his studies did not come in the way and he is confident that if he claims a position in the Mr University Competition, he will be able to concentrate more on his scholastic activities and hopefully also get scholarship from the university as he already is the topper of his batch. 

He said he worked out really hard at the fitness centre, Muscles and Fitness, owned by most respected personality of Pakistan Bodybuilding Federation, Mounas Choudery. 

“He always had faith in me and always encouraged me by saying that you can do it. He is my true inspiration my coach,” Ahsan acknowledged. 

 “I had planned to debut in bodybuilding competition at our university I was training for it under my coach. I had never planned to appear in Mr Lahore competition as a participant. But my coach has always supported me. He got my name registered for Mr Lahore competition and I have truly fulfilled his expectations,” the young bodybuilder concluded.