Thursday, December 27, 2018

Volcanic activity of Mount Anak Krakatoa increase

By Ludya Arica Bakti
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The volcanic activity of Mount Anak Krakatoa located in the Sunda Strait has continued to increase. To that end, the PVMBG of the ESDM Ministry of Geology has upgraded the status of Gunung Anak Krakatau from Alert (Level II) to Standby (Level III), with the danger zone extended from 2 kilometers to 5 kilometers exclusion zone.

People and tourists are prohibited from carrying out activities within a 5 kilometer radius of the crater peak of Mount Anak Krakatau. 

This increase in Standby status (Level III) was valid starting from 6 am local time on December 27. 

There was an eruption on December 22 but it was recorded as a small scale, compared to the eruption in the period September-October 2018. 

The results of the analysis of satellite images were known as the west-southwest slope flank collapse and avalanches entered the sea. This was the possibility that triggered the tsunami. 

Since December 22 a Surtseyan type eruption was observed, namely magma which came out of direct contact with sea water which meant that the volume discharge of magma released was increased and the crater hole enlarged. There may be a new crater hole that is close to the sea level. Since then the eruption took place without a pause. Sounds of eruption sound are heard several times per minute.

At present the eruption activity was still ongoing, namely in the form of Strombolian eruptions accompanied by throws of incandescent lava and hot clouds. 

On December 26 an eruption of hot clouds was observed. This hot cloud has resulted in rain of ash. Dominant winds lead to the southwest so that volcanic ash spreads southwest to the sea. 

The presence of several layers of wind at certain elevations leading to the east caused rain of thin volcanic ash to fall in the city of Cilegon and partly in attack at around 5.15 pm December 26. This was not deemed dangerous as volcanic ash actually fertilized the soil. 

The community anticipated using masks and goggles when moving outside when it rained ash. According to another observation, the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatoa eruption was still ongoing, continuous tremor with an amplitude of 8-32 millimeters (dominant 25 millimeters), and a banging sound was heard.

Until now, the Emergency Response Team has continued to monitor the visual activities of Mount Anak Krakatoa at the Pasuruan monitoring post, Cinangka, Serang Regency. 

"All flights are diverted because Krakatoa's ash on red alert," the air traffic control agency, AirNav, said in a release. The civil aviation authority said there are no airports affected. 

The PVMBG recommended that people and tourists be prohibited from carrying out activities within a 5 km radius of the crater peak because they are dangerously affected by eruptions in the form of incandescent rocks, hot clouds and thick volcanic ash. 

Meanwhile the Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Council (BMKG) recommended that the community not carry out activities on the coast at a 500 meter radius to 1 kilometer from the coast in anticipation of a subsequent tsunami. 

The tsunami that was raised underwater landslides due to the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatoa. People were encouraged to remain calm and increase their awareness and they were advised to use information from PVMBG for volcano early warning and BMKG regarding tsunami early warning as an official institution. 

**The writer is a freelancer based in Indonesia

AMOUBA elections suspended, enquiry ordered

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The elections of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), due to be held on December 29, have been suspended by the Government of Sindh.

“All the activities connected to forthcoming elections of Executive Committee of the association scheduled to be held on December 29, 2018, are hereby kept in abeyance till submission of the report by the enquiry officer,” Abdul Haleem Shaikh, Secretary to Government of Sindh, notified on December 24. 

“With the approval of the competent authority, Muhammad Ali Soomro, Deputy Director (Development Wing), Director of Industries, Government of Sindh, is hereby appointed as Enquiry Officer under Section 16-A of Societies Registration Act 1816 to conduct enquiry into the affairs of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association,” the notification said. 

The term of reference of the enquiry includes the determination whether the governing body of the AMUOBA is unable to discharge or persistently discharge its duties or whether the management committee of the Association is acting in a manner contrary to the public interest of its members. 

Meanwhile Akbar Ali Khan, the founder and chairman of the Zakir Ali Khan Panel of AMUOBA, has congratulated the members at the action of the provincial government 

“Following to the efforts put by Zakir Ali Khan Panel to regain the rights of vote for AMUOBA’s members in the upcoming elections, it is hereby informed that we have successfully managed to draw attention of the of the Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Sindh,” he stated in his message to the members. 

“I would like to congratulate you all on raising your voices against the wrongdoing of the existing management and stood beside us in this movement of truth and together we will regain the pride of Aligarians and AMUOBA,” he added.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ishfaq Khattak appointed KPOGCL chairman

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has appointed Muhammad Ishfaq Khattak as the Chairman of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL).

Ishfaq Khattak will be heading the 12-member board of the KPOGCL which will provide guidelines and directives for the operation of the entity. 

The other Directors of the KPOGCL include Shumail Butt, Muhammad Riaz Khan, Muhammad Arif and Tahir Azizuddin. The provincial Secretaries of Engery & Power, Finance, Home & Tribal Affairs and Planning & Development besides the Commissioner of Kohat Division will be the ex-officio members of the board. 

The notification in this regard has been issued by Muhammad Salim, Secretary, Energy & Power, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in pursuance of the cabinet division’s decision taken on November 22, 2018. 

The KPOGCL board has also been empowered to approve and supervise exploration and production activities of the company besides approving its structuring. It has been authorized to provide guidelines for entering into bidding process of offshore and onshore blocks. 

The KPOGCL Chairman, Ishfaq Khattak, brings with him vast experience of management and administration, having headed Pakistan Railways with distinction for quite some time. 

Having done Masters of Public Administration from the renowned Harvard Kennedy School, he has also served as Dean and Director of Institute of Public Policy at the Riphah International University, Islamabad.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Earthquake, tsunami rock Indonesia again

By Ludya Arica Bakti
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The joint teams continue to sweep, evacuate, search and rescue tsunami victims along the tsunami-affected areas in the Sunda Strait, Indonesia. Some of the areas that were previously difficult to access because of damaged road and covered by tsunami-washed material have been reached by the officers, vehicles and heavy equipments. 

The National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) has warned that the potential of the Sunda Strait tsunami could still occur. This is because of the eruption of Anak Krakatoa volcano which continues to occur and can re-create underwater landslides that have caused the tsunami.

"The potential for aftershocks caused by underwater avalanches is still potential because eruption activities are still ongoing," the BNPB Head of Information and Public Relations Centre, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, was quoted as saying. 

The tsunami in the Sunda Strait occurred on December 22. This disaster affected the west coast of Banten and South Lampung. According to the BNPB release on December 25, the death toll had increased to 481. In addition, 1,485 people were injured, 154 were still missing, and 16,082 were displaced.

According to Sutopo, the eruption of Anak Krakatoa volcano has been going on since last June. 

He disclosed that this volcanic eruption is of the strombolian type, which constantly throws incandescent lava and volcanic ash. 

"The type is like that and a two kilometer radius from the top of the crater is declared a dangerous zone," he said. 

The tsunami affected five districts, Pandeglang and Serang in Banten Province, as well as South Lampung Regency, Pesawaran and Tanggamus in Lampung Province.

The scientists, including those from Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics agency, have reckoned that tsunami could have been caused by landslides, either above ground or under water, on the steep slope of the erupting volcano. 

A powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August while the tsunami and earthquake that hit Sulawesi in September killed more than 2100 people and thousands of people are still believed to be buried in neighborhood swallowed by a quake phenomenon known as liquefaction. 

The tsunami on December 22, 2018 reminded many of the massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake that had hit Indonesia on December 26, 2004. It had spawned a giant tsunami off Sumatra Island, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, the majority in Indonesia. 

Meanwhile in a separate place Acehnese held remembrance and prayer together at the Aceh Government Liaison Agency office in Jakarta early on December 26 to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the coast of the Indian Ocean and devastated around 200 thousand lives in Aceh on December 26, 2004.

**The writer is a freelancer based in Indonesia

Hectic campaigning underway for AMOUBA elections

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Hectic campaigning is going on in connection with the election-2018 of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) due to be held on December 29.

At present the AMUOBA is running the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and its affiliate Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT).  

Presently the two institutions are being run by AMUOBA's President and Chancellor Jawaid Anwar who had emerged victorious in the last elections as a candidate of the Zakir Ali Khan Panel. 

However, this time during the upcoming Elections 2018, he has joined hands with the Nizami Group. 

The Zakir Ali Khan group is being headed by its founder and chairman, Akbar Ali Khan, who has formed a panel and is likely to give tough time to their opponents.

The Zakir Ali Khan group's supporters held a meeting at which Akbar Ali Khan announced his group's manifesto committing a better future for the university through far reaching reforms. 

On the occasion the names of the panel candidates for Election-2018 were also announced. 

Dr Jafar Usmani will be the Presidential Candidate while Iqbal Siddiqui, Asif Siddiqui and Tariq Sabzwari have been nominated for the slots of Vice President.

Mohsin Khan (General Secretary), Wasif Nazar (Honorary Joint Secretary), Adil Masood (Honorary Joint Secretary Sports), Hamil Jalil Zuberi (Honorary Joint Secretary Publicity), Masood Alam (Hononrary Joint Secretary Academic) and Ahsan Ghazi (Honorary Treasurer) are the other nominees of the panel. 

The manifesto of the Zakir Ali Khan group for Elections-2018, unveiled on the occasion, contained its policies for recognition plans for Aligarians and AMUOBA members, Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association Cooperative Housing Society (AMUOBACHS), 200-acre Education City having campuses of SSUET and AIT, and new projects.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Imrana Maqsood’s cookbook launched gracefully

Pakistan News & Features Services

Anwar Maqsood, a legend in his own lifetime, hosted the launching ceremony of his wife Imrana Maqsood’s newly published cook book titled ‘Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai’ at their residence in Karachi on December 20. 

It was in the fitness of things that the cookbook, published by Paramount Books (Pvt) Ltd, was launched on the eve of the 14th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) 2018 which opened at the Expo Centre the following day. 

With so much buzz going around its launch allied with its accurate timing, Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai, gem of a cookbook, is expected to be one of the hot cakes in the ongoing KIBF which will continue until December 25.

Imrana Maqsood, coming out of the shadows of her celebrated life partner, herself has become a writer of note and, after having authored so many books for children, she now seems more inclined towards penning high quality books on the subject of cooking. 

The launching ceremony of Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai, interestingly, was held over a sumptuous dinner rather than breakfast or afternoon tea. 

Besides the distinguished speakers, family and friends of the author were in attendance alongwith a few media persons. 

The great Anwar Maqsood, as usual, stole the limelight with the inimitable style of his. Dressed in a purple kurta, he mesmerized the audience in the manner only he could do.

Iqbal Saleh Muhammad, Managing Director, Paramount Books, delivered a brief but crisp speech which reflected his high intellect and sporting nature. 

Instead of taking the credit for publishing such an outstanding book, he mentioned the names of his associates, Ramsha Abid and Sana Shahid, for having worked diligently for having done it. 

Javed Jabbar, a former Senator, commended author Imrana Maqsood for coming up with yet another book, which he admitted not having read yet, but found enough indications for it to become another success story.

A prolific speaker and writer himself, he showered Imrana Maqsood with praise for her active involvement in social work and described her as a role model for women in Pakistan. 

Former Test cricketer and also acclaimed as the longest serving cricket selector, Salahuddin Ahmed, was equally generous in appreciating the writing skills of the author whom he expected to write many more books. 

Seasoned journalist Asif Noorani, who was credited to have motivated Imrana Maqsood for devoting her energies in writing books, felt proud by the good works of the author. 

In her brief address, author Imrana Maqsood thanked the audience for having turned up to make the evening memorable. She expressed the hope that the book, Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai, will be useful for people in improving their cooking skills.

Friday, December 14, 2018

AKU inaugurates anatomy, surgery learning studio

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Aga Khan University (AKU) Medical College cut the ribbon on its new anatomy and surgical skills lab, introducing the latest available learning aids in an enlarged space for students to learn about the human body structure, and enable residents and practicing physicians and surgeons to rehearse difficult and complicated surgical procedures before performing them on real patients.

The opening of the Anatomy and Surgery Learning Studio, which coincided with the AKU’s 35th anniversary, took place as a new cohort of students prepares to join the university renowned for preparing its graduates to be innovative thinkers, collaborative clinicians and critical problem solvers. Anatomy is a cornerstone of medical education. 

The renovation of the old Anatomy Lab and adjacent spaces to create additional teaching and learning spaces has integrated state-of-the-art technology and interactive learning with the classic anatomy dissection experience to better prepare students to become great clinicians. 

Medical, nursing, dental students and other disciplines allied to medicine will all learn about human anatomy in the new Learning Studio using different approaches including didactic lectures, practical sessions based on models, prosected materials, radiological images, cadaveric dissection as well as newer methods using interactive computer-based software.

The Learning Studio also features BodyViz, the latest in anatomy software that will allow students, both undergraduate and graduate, to explore and better understand anatomical concepts. 

The software fuses advances in visualisation technology with the accuracy of radiology, as it renders interactive 3D visualisations directly from MRI and CT data on a laptop, PC and iPads. 

It integrates easily into all levels of anatomy curriculum and medical training; supplements anatomical study done through cadaver and can support preoperative planning. 

“Our Anatomy and Surgery Learning Studio is the most advanced educational environment to learn and teach anatomy as well as surgical skills in Pakistan; it will forever change the way we educate about the human body at the Aga Khan University," the outgoing Dean of the Medical College, Dr Farhat Abbas, remarked at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

The new Sstudio was initiated by ideas from our faculty and made possible by a generous gift from a long-standing supporter of education at AKU. 

In recognising the donors, Dr Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University said: “Excellent academic programmes, such as ours, are dependent on excellent educational resources, including people, learning spaces and technology. While honouring our past accomplishments, we are also looking to the needs of our students who are learning in an ever-changing environment for education and medicine to produce the highest qualified professionals.” 

Facility tours and demonstrations were provided to highlight the technology and resources available to medical students who will learn hands-on about anatomy and pathology.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Bazm-e-Akram cordially welcomes its mentor

Pakistan News & Features Services

Bazm-e-Akram continued its tradition of warmly welcoming Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, Founder President, Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), and Founder Editor, Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), in whose name the forum has been established. 

Bazm-e-Akram, whose flagship publication Adab-o-Kutub Khana has been creating waves, organized the welcome reception in the honour of Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari on November 22. 

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari has returned from North America, after having spent nearly eight months there. He is scheduled to spend four busy months in his home country before flying back in March next. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, one of the most revered library scientists of the country and the motivating force behind running Bazm-e-Akram, in her welcome speech, praised her mentor and teacher for having guided her and all his other students with dedication. 

 Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, a former Chairperson of the LIS department at the University of Karachi, once again credited Prof Dr Nasim Fatima for having kept the bureau (LPB) and the journal (PLISJ) afloat even during his absence from the country

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari and Prof Dr Nasim Fatima have been hitting the headlines over the years for their academic and scholastic excellence. They have authored numerous books on the subject besides having written hundreds of research articles and papers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Adab-o-Kutub Khana’s two editions published in 2018

Pakistan News & Features Services

Adab-o-Kutub Khana, the flagship annual publication of Bazm-e-Akram, a literary and social forum of the library scientists, named after Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, has moved a step ahead by having a couple of editions during the calendar year of 2018.

The 10th edition of Adab-o-Kutub Khana, brought out on the eve its due date of publication in January 2018, has been followed by its11th edition within a span of a few months. 

The Chief Editor of Adab-o-Kutub Khana, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, one of the most revered personalities to have emerged from the arena of library and information science, now has to take the decision whether to make the publication biannual or revert to its annual periodicity. 

Having worked with missionary zeal over the years to strengthen and expand the forum of Bazm-e-Akram besides improving and regularizing its flagship publication, she faces another arduous task of making the tough call. 

While the former Chairperson of the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Karachi has been extremely successful in motivating the library professionals, otherwise infamous for not looking beyond their own nose, in writing and contributing for Adab-o-Kutub Khana, there are some other challenges to be met before she could decide its periodicity in future. 

Her perseverance and inspiration have resulted in the generation of high quality content in abundance for Adab-o-Kutub Khana but the final decision in this regard could be hinged to the other resources. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima deserves to be complimented to have kept Bazm-e-Akram and Adab-o-Kutub Khana afloat despite the heaviest of odds. She had revived Adab-o-Kutub Khana in 2011 and it has been published every year since then. 

Adab-o-Kutub Khana-11, despite being published within months of the previous edition, contains most of its usual ingredients of prose, fiction and poetry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Arif Habib shares recipe for Pakistan’s economic revival at ESUP

Pakistan News & Features Services

Arif Habib, one of the top entrepreneurs of the country, shared the recipe for the revival of Pakistan’s economy is keynote address at a gathering of the English Speaking Union of Pakistan (ESUP) held at Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi, on October 23.

Aziz Memon, President, ESUP, formally introduced Arif Habib before the latter came up with a detailed presentation of the ailing economy and the proposed corrective measures to put it back on track.  

While Arif Habib’s thought-provoking points captivated the audience, which also included foreign diplomats, for more than an hour, the question-answer session was equally enlightening as the relevant queries were replied in detail by the chief guest of the evening. 

Arif Habib emphasized on declaring ‘export emergency’ in the country in an effort to boost the foreign exchange reserves, advising the government to take the necessary steps on a war footing. 

He also threw light on the benefits of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which he felt could be the game changer for the economy of Pakistan.

At the end of his speech, Arif Habib was presented a graceful plaque by the ESUP President, Aziz Memon, who himself moderated the question-answer session. 

The proceedings were conducted by the ESUP Secretary General, Majyd Aziz, while the vote of thanks was presented by the ESUP Vice President, Tariq Ikram, a former Chairman of the then Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), later renamed as the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

Monday, October 15, 2018

Media section highlights college magazine Viqar-un-Nisa

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Government Viqar-un-Nisa Post Graduate College for Women in Rawalpindi has demonstrated its proactive approach by keeping pace with the times as it has been maintaining its Twitter and Facebook pages, showcasing its activities on a regular basis. 

The recently published annual magazine of the college titled ‘Viqar-un-Nisa’ has a segment by the name of ‘Media Section’ which documents the press clippings as well as the pictures of the various events organized by them during the period under review. 

In fact the Government Viqar-un-Nisa Post Graduate College for Women also has in place an entity by the name of The Media Club, which is a healthy sign reflecting the desire to share their activities not only with their own students but also communicate it to the education fraternity worldwide. 

The coverage of their college events in leading television channels and eminent newspapers of the country seems to be the result of consistent hard work and sound planning on part of their authorities for which they deserve accolades.

The college Principal, Prof Dr Saira Mufti, and the Incharge College Magazine, Prof Dr Huma Zafar, alongwith their entire team, deserve to be complimented for having brought out the latest issue of ‘Viqar-un-Nisa’ which has also been distributed to the relevant circles including media. 

Like any other high-quality college magazine, ‘Viqar-un-Nisa’ is also studded with contents which are interesting as well as informative.. The editorial boards of Urdu and English must have worked industriously to put together such a wonderful publication. 

There are all kinds of ingredients and flavours with pieces of serious literature as well as articles of humour and satire. There are short stories besides research articles, essays, interviews, quotations, historical facts, poetry, fiction and so many other things. 

The publication of ‘Viqar-un-Nisa’ justifies the mission statement of the college in letter and spirit. 

“At Government Postgraduate Viqar-un-Nisa College for Women we help and encourage the students to nurture her talents and overcome shortcomings by providing appropriate, curricular and extra-curricular education, which enables the student to develop her personality and equips her to face the challenges of life. The future is in the hand of these daughters who in the long run have to rear families.” 

Indeed the role of an educational institution today is beyond pursuing academic excellence and it are the colleges like this one which truly motivate and empower its students to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and productive members of an ever-changing global society.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

PLISJ completes 49 years of publication

Pakistan News & Features Services

By bringing out the October-December 2018 issue (Volume 49, Number 4), the Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), a quarterly publication of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, has successfully completed 49 years of its journey.

The PLISJ, over the years, has earned recognition as being one of the leading research journals of the country which has also been hailed abroad by the library professionals. 

The LPB, a non-governmental body of library scientists, has lived up to its tradition of bringing out the PLISJ in time and the latest issue has also arrived well before time. 

Although the office of the bureau has been moved from Federal-B-Area to KDA Scheme 33 during the last quarter, there was no delay in the publication of the journal's latest issue which seemed quite remarkable. 

The PLISJ Chief Editor, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, who is also the Founder President of the LPB, and the Deputy Chief Editor, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, have continued working with their trademark passion and zeal to keep afloat both the entities despite facing numerous challenges. 

The October-December 2018 issue of the PLISJ remains to be rich in content, with the graceful title making it more attractive. As in the past issues, there are contributions from eminent library scientists and scholars from different parts of the country as well as abroad between the covers.

Monday, September 24, 2018

President Arif Alvi inaugurates Polio NIDs

Pakistan News & Features Services 

The President of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, and the Federal Health Minister, Aamer Mehmood Kiani, inaugurated the Polio NIDs in Islamabad on September 24.

The Director General, Health, Chaudhary Mushtaq, welcomed the President of Pakistan and thanked him for taking out time for this noble cause. 

The Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication (EOCPE), National Coordinator, Rana Mohammad Safdar, was also present on the occasion alongwith the functionaries of the various partnering organizations. 

Aziz Memon, Chair, Pakistan Polio Plus Committee, expressed the hope that the newly elected government will remain proactive in eliminating the deadly disease. 

Pakistan has now started its final push towards the interruption of the poliovirus with the first nationwide door-to-door vaccination campaign of the 2018-19 low transmission season in all districts other than Sheikhupura and Orakzai. The vaccinations in those two areas was due to start a day later, as an urs will be held in Sheikhupura and a procession is scheduled in Orakzai for September 24.

The campaign, according to the authorities, fully synchronised with Afghanistan to ensure effective vaccination of mobile children as well. 

The vaccination programme targets 38.6 million children under the age of five, including approximately 19.2m in Punjab, 8.9m in Sindh, 6.8m in KP (including the tribal districts), 2.5m in Balochistan, 700,000 in Azad Kashmir, 237,000 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 330,000 in Islamabad. 

It will be spread over three days, plus one or two days for catch-up work, and five days plus two catch-up days in core reservoir areas. 

Vitamin A supplement is also being administered to around 35m children aged between six and 59 months during this campaign along with the OPV, aimed at boosting immunity against all infection diseases including measles. 

A total of 260,000 personnel are participating in the campaign across the country which includes 26,169 area in-charges, 7,958 union council medical officers and 190,950 mobile, 10,271 fixed and 11,998 transit team members. The EOCPE has also declared having deployed 40 experts to facilitate preparedness by local teams in priority areas.

Meanwhile, according to a newspaper report published on September 23, Poliovirus that originated in the Northern Corridor in Afghanistan’s cities of Kandahar and Helmand, has been detected in various Pakistani cities including Rawalpindi. 

The EOCPE National Coordinator was quoted as saying the virus had been detected in Peshawar and other cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well. 

“This shows that there is a threat because of the virus, which is travelling with people from Afghanistan to Pakistan, so we need to ensure our children’s immunity level is high to keep them safe from the virus,” he stated. 

A total of 14 cases have been reported near the border in Afghanistan, as polio vaccination campaigns cannot be held in some provinces for security reasons. The area where the poliovirus originated can be detected through DNA testing.  

“Three cases have been reported from Balochistan, but all three were reported from one district and two adjacent union councils. Such cases are considered a single case, as the same virus attacks the children. The fourth poliovirus case was detected in Charsadda in an 18-month-old child. Although the child was affected by polio, he was not paralysed because he not only received all the doses in the routine immunisation but also in door-to-door campaigns,” Dr Safdar explained adding that the children have to be vaccinated as long as the virus exists to keep their immunity levels high. .

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Aziz Memon calls on Federal Health Minister

Pakistan News & Features Services

 Aziz Memon, Chair of the Pakistan Polio Plus Committee, and a member of International Polio Plus Committee, called on the Federal Minister for National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, in Islamabad on September 19.

Dr Salman Ahmed, a famous singer and activist, and Dr Asad Hafeez, Director General, Health, Government of Pakistan, were also present in the meeting. 

The meeting was described as productive as the Federal Minister expressed his eagerness to keep pace with the momentum of progress Pakistan has made so far on polio. 

Aziz Memon emphasized the need to improve Routine Immunization in Tier 3 and 4 as well as monitoring and surveillance as positive samples have been identified in Islamabad (ICT & CDA) and Rawalpindi.

He also informed that positive environmental samples continue to surface in Karachi’s Machhar colony and Gadap which was an alarming situation and the need to improve conditions of hygiene and sanitation was mandatory. 

“The border areas are sensitive and it is crucial that every child is vaccinated due to the influx in transient population from Afghanistan. The cold chain management in Balochistan and Sindh needs attention,” Aziz Memon remarked. 

He revealed that Rotary International has contributed US$1.8 billion since 1985 and more than US$200 million in Pakistan alone, to achieve polio eradication. This year alone Rotary announced US$96.5 million worldwide, inclusive of US$ 21.7 million for Pakistan.

He continued, to say that ‘’it would be a credit for this government when polio is eradicated during your tenure.” 

He also spoke on the appointment of a Prime Minister’s Focal Person to lead the programme. 

Aziz Memon emphasized, that the Focal Person must be close to the Prime Minister and plays a positive role and in addition he also urged the Minister to hold a PM Task Force meeting to keep an eye on urgent and important matters. 

He inquired the Federal Health Minister if polio was in the Government’s 100-day agenda to which the Minister reassured and replied ‘it is on top of our agenda. 

At the end the National Chair requested the Federal Health Minister to advise the Prime Minister to inaugurate the September NIDs in Islamabad and the President to inaugurate in Rawalpindi, and the four Chief Ministers to inaugurate the NIDs in their respective provinces.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Devika’s Mind Game deemed a perfect guide for self improvement

Pakistan News & Features Services

Versatility is the name of the game for the Hyderabad-based Devika Das who has hit the headlines once more with her third book ‘The Mind Game’ having received critical acclaim on Amazon. She has also authored '7 Vows of Marriage' and 'Reminiscence'.  

Having master’s degree in business administration, Devika is a prolific writer who has already authored three books. She is also into acting, having participated in various plays staged by Sarthak Theatre Group, Jaipur, and helped them in other voluntary activities. 

Quite remarkably besides having gained an experience of over five years in content writing she also experimented with different roles such as Administration Management, HR Management, Logistics, and Financial Sales, prior to selecting writing as her prime profession. 

With the standout qualities of willingness to learn, diligence, attention to detail, and translating ideas into words quickly, Devika helps organizations increase growth and revenue through concerted efforts in content marketing. 

The Mind Game, published by Blue Rose Publishers, New Delhi, has been acclaimed as a motivational book which could be a source of inspiration for people of all ages.

It is a kind of self-improvement guide that talks about how to manage emotions wisely, and lead a powerful, but stress free life.

Devika has been lauded quite emphatically for producing such a wonderful book that has earned five stars from some of the learned reviewers. 

“It is a brilliant piece of work! Devika Das was able to take an everyday subject which is generally taken for granted by us and turn it into a compelling read. I definitely recommend 'The Mind Game' for all, and especially for the participants in my workshops,” Aditya Sisodia, Co-founder, Recruit Wheels, was quoted as saying. 

"Devika really writes things from a practical point of view. She is one of the most evolved women I have met who thinks of life deeply. We all are following the heard, without questioning the reasons to what we do and why we do. She finds the right answers. Devika's writings always give you a sense of freedom while reading. This is one amazing book I have read,” Sahiba Sethi, Founder, Hello Meets, noted. 

The Mind Game authored by Devika Das is one book that’s being recommended for everyone seeking improvement in his or her life.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Paramount Book Fair 2018 concludes

Pakistan News & Features Services

After being the talk of the town for the past nine days, the 30th edition of the Paramount Book Fair concluded at the head office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in Block 2 of PECHS, Karachi, on September 9. 

As usual, the Paramount Book Fair 2018, inaugurated on September 1, attracted massive crowds throughout nine days which provided the opportunity to the thousands of students, professionals and bookworms to get hold of their favourites books and other reading material at generous discounts.

One of the features of the Paramount Book Fair 2018 was the continued participation of students and teachers of numerous educational institutions like Aga Khan University, Dow University of Health Sciences Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Benazir Bhutto University of Technology and Skill Development, Iqra University, Indus University, Army Public School, Fazaia Intermediate College, Bahria College, Foundation Public School, Karachi Cambridge School, Karachi Public School and St Patrick School. 

The management of Paramount Books facilitated all its customers warmly and there were competitions held every day for the children visiting the Paramount Book Fair 2018 who get a chance to participate in lucky draw scheme and there are a couple of winners of Book Hamper prizes worth Rupees 5,000 each daily. 

It may be recalled that Iqbal Saleh Muhammad, the acclaimed doyen of publishing and bookselling in Pakistan, had started the Paramount Book Fair three decades ago with the objective of catering to the scholastic needs of every segment of the society.

70th Frankfurt International Book Fair 2018 from October 10

Pakistan News & Features Services

The 70th edition of the Frankfurt International Book Fair (FIBF), Frankfurter Buchmesse in German, will be taking place in Germany’s magnificent city of Frankfurt from October 10 to 14, 2018 with the registration and display copy deadline being September 12.

Hailed as the world's largest trade fair for books, based both on the number of publishing companies represented, and the number of visitors, it is also regarded as the most important book fair in the world for international deals and trading. 

The five-day annual event in mid-October is being held at the Frankfurt Trade Fairgrounds. The first three days are restricted exclusively to professional visitors; the general public attend the fair on the weekend.

Several thousand exhibitors representing book publishing, multimedia and technology companies, as well as content providers from all over the world gather in order to negotiate international publishing rights and license fees. 

The FIBF is organised by Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH, a subsidiary of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association. More than 7,300 exhibitors from over 100 countries and more than 286,000 visitors were reported to have attended it in 2017.

This year the FIBF will be celebrating its 70th anniversary. For those connected with books from all over the world and the international publishing and media industry, it will once again be all about printed and digital content and the relevant topics for the coming year. 

The book fair is the most important international marketplace for content, as well as a key trendsetter for society and a major cultural festival. 

Georgia will be the FIBF guest of honour this year. It will be an opportunity to discover Georgia’s diverse culture and literature.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Greater weekend discount on offer at Paramount Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

In order to facilitate the big crowds over the weekend, the discounts have been enhanced upto 75% in the ongoing 30th edition of the Paramount Book Fair, being organized at the head office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in Block 2 of PECHS, Karachi. 

The Paramount Book Fair 2018, which was inaugurated on September 1, is set to conclude on the evening of September 9. 

Thousands of students, professionals and bookworms have already availed the opportunity by having visited the Paramount Book Fair and many more were expected over the weekend.

The visits by the contingents of the prestigious educational institutions like Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Iqra University and Foundation Public School highlighted yet another eventful day in the Paramount Book Fair. 

The students and teachers from Aga Khan School, Saifiayah Boys School, The Intellect School, Korangi Academy, Badri High School, Dreamland Montessori School and Fazaia Intermediate College also visited the fair in good numbers. 

The Paramount Book Fair has remained a major source of action for the medical students and the practicing doctors in particular as Paramount Books, with a history of 70 years in the bookselling industry and their large penetration across the country, happens to be the market leaders in medical publishing.

The teams of doctors and students of the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) have already visited the Paramount Book Fair alongwith those from Indus Hospital Department of Pediatrics. 

A contingent from the Benazir Bhutto University of Technology and Skill Development, Khairpur Mirs, also visited the Paramount Book Fair, taking their time to select books from a huge collection on offer. 

The students and teachers had earlier arrived from Karachi Cambridge School, Karachi Public School, Head Start School, Morning Glory Grammar School, Madarsa-e-Saifiah, St Patrick School, The Anchorage School, KITH Schooling System, The Fahims School System, The Light Stone School System and Ilmesters Academy. 

Besides the competitions being held for them, offering prizes, there are added incentives for the school students as they get a chance to participate in lucky draw scheme and everyday there are a couple of winners of Book Hamper prizes worth Rupees 5,000 each.

Pakistan, China to upgrade strategic ties

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan and China, having enjoyed decades of brotherly relations, have reiterated their resolve to upgrade all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and take it to new heights while giving a thrust to key areas of economic, trade and defence. 

The two neighbouring countries have agreed to form a joint mechanism for curbing terrorism and poverty, increasing exports, creating jobs and promoting education.

They have also expressed convergence of opinion that social and economic development would be an important area under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cooperation between the two countries. 

Addressing a joint press conference, with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Islamabad on September 8, after their delegation-level talks, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, remarked both countries were supporting each other on various international fora and shared common principles on different international and regional issues, asserting that enhancing the all-weather strategic partnership with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. 

“CPEC will remain a priority for the government. It’s a proof of how seamless the Belt and Road initiative can become with the help of all stakeholders. We are proud of Pakistan and China's friendship which has withstood every test," he assured. 

“CPEC has not inflicted a debt burden on Pakistan, rather when these projects get completed and enter into operation, they will unleash huge economic benefit and these will create considerable returns to the Pakistani economy. This has helped increase the economic growth by 1-2 percent and has contributed 70,000 jobs in Pakistan,” the Chinese Foreign Minister stated. 

"China will give a lot of sustenance to encourage imports from Pakistan. We have decided to strive for a greater balance in the two-way trade. China will earmark subsidiaries to encourage imports from Pakistan and will send more coalition teams to Pakistan. We will also broaden the market access to Pakistan's competitive agricultural products," he added. 

The delegation level talks took place at the Foreign Office where the visiting Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, accompanied by three ministerial level representatives, met with Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Chinese series launched at Paramount Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

‘Learn Chinese with Me’ is a series composed of four volumes each of which contains student’s book and workbook designed for the students whose native language is English. 

It has been launched during the ongoing 30th edition of the Paramount Book Fair, being organized at the head office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in Block 2 of PECHS, Karachi. 

‘Learn Chinese with Me’ emphasizes functional use of the language with sentence patterns and grammar in the context of everyday activities. The textbook includes plenty of exercises to keep students interested and to deepen their understanding of Chinese. 

The launch of the Chinese book series coincides during the Paramount Book Fair with the visit of China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, currently in Islamabad where he is having meetings with Pakistan’s dignitaries.

Paramount Books had previously brought out a popular book titled ‘Chinese Made Easy’ which was authored by Syed Hasan Javed. The book provided guidance to people desiring to use basic conversation in Chinese for everyday use.

Imran Khan invited as guest of honour at China International Import Expo

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China has extended an invitation to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to be the guest of honour at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) due to be staged in Shanghai from November 5 to 10, 2018. 

The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, met his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in Islamabad on September 8where he extended invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan to be the guest of honour at the CIIE. 

China and Pakistan also agreed to strengthen the strategic cooperation in a one-on-one meeting between the two Foreign Ministers.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman, Dr Muhammad Faisal, informed the delegation-level talks between the two delegations led by the two foreign ministers were also held at the Foreign Office. 

"Chinese State Councillor Yi underscored Beijing’s firm support to Pakistan’s socioeconomic progress and development," the FO spokesperson said. 

"China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), economic cooperation, cultural and educational exchanges and regional situation were discussed during the meeting," the spokesperson added. 

Shah Mahmood Qureshi assured the Chinese minister of his country’s support of CPEC, reassuring that it was important for Pakistan’s socio-economic development. 

China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, is on a three-day visit to Islamabad during which he is scheduled to meet the President, the Prime Minister, the National Assembly Speaker and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

Friday, September 7, 2018

Students, professionals horde Paramount Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

The students of the various prestigious educational institutions as well as the professionals of different fields continued to turn up in large numbers in the ongoing 30th edition of the Paramount Book Fair, being organized at the head office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in Block 2 of PECHS, Karachi. 

With the curtain due to fall on the nine-day event on September 9, the queues at Paramount Books are becoming longer as the visitors hustle to go through the vast collection of high quality books on display which are being offered on generous discounts.

The medical students and the practicing doctors in particular are being seen in larger numbers as Paramount Books, with a history of 70 years in the bookselling industry and their large penetration across the country, happens to be the market leaders in medical publishing. 

The teams of doctors and students of the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) have already visited the Paramount Book Fair alongwith those from Indus Hospital Department of Pediatrics. 

A contingent from the Benazir Bhutto University of Technology and Skill Development, Khairpur Mirs, also visited the Paramount Book Fair, taking their time to select books from a huge collection on offer.
The students and teachers also arrived from Karachi Cambridge School, Karachi Public School, Head Start School, Morning Glory Grammar School, Madarsa-e-Saifiah, St Patrick School, The Anchorage School, KITH Schooling System, The Fahims School System, The Light Stone School System and Ilmesters Academy. 

The educational institutions to have visited the 30th Paramount Book Fair earlier were Aga Khan School (Kharadar), Aga Khan School (Garden), Aga Khan Higher Secondary School (Karimabad), Mama Parsi School, Generations School, Beacon Askari School, Al-Jamea-Tul-Safiah, Veritas Learning Circle, Wisdom House School, The Educators, Frobel Education System, The Green Island, Bay View Academy, The Academy Gulshan, Army Pubic School (APS Faisal), Badri High School, Green Island Foundation School, St Patrick's High School, Karachi Cambridge School, Notre Dame Institute of Education, Jinnah University for Women, Bahria College Karsaz, Saifiya High School and JS Academy. 

Besides the competitions being held for them, offering prizes, there are added incentives for the school students as they get a chance to participate in lucky draw scheme and everyday there are a couple of winners of Book Hamper prizes worth Rupees 5,000 each.