Monday, February 26, 2018

Dewan launches Daehan Shehzore in spectacular ceremony

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
)Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan is fast coming back on its real economic track and would be looking at its future in the year 2018 when its GDB will be close to 6 percent as against 5.3 percent in 2017. 

He was speaking as chief guest at the grand launch of Shehzor truck, the most popular light commercial vehicle produced in the automotive history of Pakistan with over 50,000 units in operation.

Shehzore has become the generic name for pickups in the country, Dewan Muhammad Yousuf Farooqui, Chairman, Yousuf Dewan Motor Company remarked in his welcome speech at the launch of Daehan Shehzore at the Mohatta Palace Museum on February 25.

Ahsan Iqbal recalled that there was a time when big industrialists and businessmen would be speaking about relocating their industries and concerns to Canada and Dubai and smaller ones to Lahore but today they are coming back to Karachi and Pakistan because of the peaceful conditions and positive investment climate here. 

He said that today international media including Economist and Finance Times are describing Pakistan as the fast emerging economic nation more because of much peaceful conditions today when present government responded stubbornly and cleared our territories of terrorists and subversive elements because of sacrifices of the armed forces and the nation. 

He recalled when the country faced acute power crisis just 5 years back and within four years of this regime, there is a turn around and Pakistan is rising and brought back on the world's economic map. He said in four years the government added 11000 MW of electricity to the national grid and constructed a record number of highways and motorways.

He informed that at present the government is constructing 1600 KM of motorways and will have 2200 KM of motorways by 2019 as against 1400 KM in India. 

"Time has come now to focus on the prosperity of our people and future economic boom", the Minister stated adding that now it is for our entrepreneurs to take advantage of infrastructure developed and they have the potential for this. 

He pointed out that with the steps being taken by this government Pakistan will be among the top 20 world economies by 2025 and top 10 by 2030 provided the country maintained the continuity of economic development with political stability.

Ahsan Iqbal while referring to the development of automotive industry assured of his government's all out support and cooperation for the industry and hoped that all the business groups of Pakistan will make fast advancement to achieve the desired objectives.

“The government through the Automotive Policy is fully committed to extending full support to the local automotive industry of Pakistan. The policy has already attracted significant investment of over US$ 800 million,” he observed while congratulating Dewan Yousuf and his team for their relentless efforts to revive their automotive assembly plant.

Earlier in his speech, Dewan Mohammed Yusuf Farooqui, Chairman Yusuf Dewan Motor Company said that reproduction of Shehzo was made made possible by the acquisition of Brownfield status from the Ministry of Industries and Production, a landmark achievement.

He said our collaborators the JVA and Kolao Group will help us keep our promise of delivering only the best quality vehicles to our trusted customers as we stay committed to contributing our best to our motherland’s socio-economic development.

He described th day as the most special day of his life and Dewan Group.

Speaking on the occasion, Oh Sei Young, Chairman, Kolao Group, and the joint venture partner in Daehan-Dewan Motor Company, expressed the confidence that the Daehan Shehzore pickup will achieve the desired results.

He assured that the Kolao Group will consistently provide total support to the JVA in achieving the mutual objective of regaining market leadership in its segment.

“The government through the Automotive Policy is fully committed to extending full support to the local automotive industry of Pakistan.

The policy has already attracted significant investment of over US$ 800 million,” he observed while congratulating Dewan Yousuf and his team for their relentless efforts to revive their automotive assembly plant.

It may be recalled that Yousuf Dewan Companies, one of Pakistan’s most prominent business houses, had entered into a joint venture with the Kolao Group of South Korea in April 2016.

The new joint venture, Daehan-Dewan Motor Company, unveiled Daehan Shehzore, setting up its automobile assembly plant in Sujawal.

The launching ceremony at the Mohatta Palace was nothing short of spectacular. The cultural programme, featuring performances by the local as well as the South Korean artists, followed by the musical concert provided glamour to the evening at the most historical of venues.

Dewan’s Shehzore set to rule again

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Daehan-Dewan Motor Company (Pvt) Limited, a joint venture company, launched new Shehzore 1-ton pickup in a memorable ceremony at the Mohatta Palace Museum in Karachi on February 25. 

It marked the return of Yousuf Dewan Group’s return in the vehicle production market. 

Shehzore had been a famous commercial vehicle in the last decade. In between 1996-2004, the third generation of Hyundai Porter or H100 was produced globally and now Shehzore has made a comeback with the fourth generation Porter. 

The pickup will have same Hyundai engine and will be quite similar to Hyundai H100. The diesel engine of the vehicle is 2.6 liter. It comes with air-conditioning, stereo, power windows, power steering and much more.

Under the Brownfield Category from Engineering Development Board (EDB) Dewan had received approval to start vehicle production in Pakistan. 

After the Shehzore pickup, the company is planning to introduce Sports Utility Vehicle besides passenger car. 

The all-new pickup is equipped with a diesel engine as previous Shehzore pickups. Moreover, the dimensions of the pickup are 5145mm Length, 1740mm Width, and 2020mm Height. 

Additionally, it has a wheelbase of 2430mm. The vehicle produces 77.9 horsepower at 4000rpm; furthermore, the engine produces 166.7Nm torque at 2200rpm. 

The newly launched Shehzore is equipped with air conditioner, which was not present in previous Shehzore pickups. The vehicle houses power steering while the other features include Ventilated Discs with Dual Piston Caliper (front), Duo-Servo Drum (rear) in brakes, Double Wishbone and Torsion Bar (front), Leaf springs (rear) in Suspension and 65-litre fuel tank Previously Shehzore was a Hyundai vehicle while now it will be used for a Daehan vehicle. 

The loading pickup was regarded highly successful in the past due to its performance. Now it will have direct competition in the local industry with Pak Suzuki’s recently launched a pickup by the name of Mega Carry.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Book on Abdul Wahab Saleem published

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), the Karachi-based non-governmental body of library scientists, has recently brought out a book on one of its patrons, Abdul Wahab Saleem, who had passed away in the United States of America (USA) in last October. 

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, the Founder President of the LPB, has himself edited the book titled ‘Abdul Wahab Saleem’ in which glowing tributes have been paid to the late philanthropist by the various persons living in different corners of the world. 

Abdul Wahab Saleem had become famous in the literary and library circles for his generosity in facilitating and supporting the publication of books related to different fields. 

 He was passionate about reading books as well and owned a personal library which housed collection of thousands of titles on various subjects. He himself authored a book which was warmly received.

PLISJ enters journey of 49th year

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), a quarterly publication of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, has entered into its journey of the 49th year by bringing out the January-March 2018 issue (Volume 48, Number 1) which saw the light of the day at the designated time. 

The PLISJ, regarded as one of the leading research journals of the country, has succeeded in bringing out four issues every year since its inaugural publication 48 years ago.  

The LPB, a non-governmental body of library scientists, has been publishing the quarterly journal as well as other books related to the profession on self-help basis for decades. 

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 worked extremely hard to keep both the entities intact despite the desired lack of support from the various stakeholders of the profession. 

The January-March 2018 issue of the PLISJ is rich in content, also having an Urdu section. It contains contributions from eminent library scientists and scholars.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Azeem Sarwar’s tribute to Qazi Wajid

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Azeem Sarwar, having become a legend in his own lifetime for his exceptional all-round broadcasting skills, paid glowing tributes to Qazi Wajid, one of the finest exponents of acting, who passed away recently. 

“Acting came naturally to him. He was a very intelligent person besides being a born artist. He had started his journey with a children’s programme at Radio Pakistan Karachi in 1956 and remained associated with it all along. His radio programmes like Qazi Jee Ka Qaida and Hamid Mian Kay Haan to name a few became household names,” Azeem Sarwar, who himself had started his career as a teenager at Radio Pakistan in 1958, recalled.

“Qazi Wajid was a versatile artist with acting being his forte. He was a willing listener who absorbed advice gracefully and improved in leaps and bounds as the years went by. He worked at Radio Pakistan as staff artist as did the likes of Ahmed Abdul Qayyum, Abdul Majid, Ameer Khan, S M Saleem, Mahmood Ali, Mughal Bashar, Arshe Munir and Akhtari Begum,” the former deputy controller of Radio Pakistan added. 

Azeem Sarwar, who made Radio Pakistan proud with his accomplishments as script writer, presenter, producer and commentator, has had fond memories of having worked alongside the great Qazi Wajid.

“It was always a pleasure to work with him. We were proud to be a part of the institution (Radio Pakistan) which groomed talent and provided solid platform to budding artists. All the biggest and celebrated artists of Pakistan performed for Radio Pakistan, be it poets, musicians or literati,” Azeem Sarwar, who worked at Radio Pakistan for 44 years, remarked. He’s credited to have launched the blockbuster programmes like Aalami Sports Round-up and Subha-e-Pakistan whose popularity rewrote radio history.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

UNICEF, AKU embark on National Nutrition Survey

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A country-wide survey to collect information on the nutritional status of women and children, food security and household water quality is about to begin under a joint collaboration between the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, the Aga Khan University and UNICEF. 

For the first time, the 2018 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) will collect data at the district rather than provincial level, providing targeted insights about the areas that face the greatest nutrition challenges besides barriers to adequate food intake and nutrition-related health status, according to speakers at the NNS launch ceremony at the Aga Khan University on February 12. 

The NNS will also see researchers analyse the country’s progress in nutrition since 2011, the year of the previous survey which found that more than half of all households in Pakistan suffer from food insecurity, in other words are hungry or face the threat of hunger. 

The 2011 survey also found that 44 per cent of children are stunted, too short for their age, and noted that the indicators of mother and child nutrition had not improved in the decade leading up to 2011. The study will see information gathered from 115,500 households, with field teams going door-to-door in villages, towns and cities across the country. 

The data to be collected includes blood and urine samples which will highlight the presence of key minerals for growth and good health; height and weight measurements to detect development delays; and an assessment of the state of household drinking water quality and sanitation facilities which can cause illness and malnutrition. 

Field teams will also collect information on household income, gender empowerment, education levels, and breastfeeding practices which are known to have an impact on nutrition indicators. 

“Poor nutrition in the crucial early years of a child’s life triggers irreversible mental and physical defects that have a lifelong impact on a child’s productivity, immunity against disease and earning capacity as an adult,” Dr Atif Habib, assistant professor in the department of paediatrics and child health at AKU, remarked. 

“Malnutrition also has a vicious, multi-generational impact since malnourished mothers are more likely to have underweight children. This survey will analyse Pakistan’s progress on a variety of fronts that influence nutrition and will enable us to design targeted interventions to boost the health of our young women and children,” he added. 

UNICEF’s Field Office Chief, Sindh, Cristina Brugiolo noted that insights from the survey would help Pakistan develop evidence-based initiatives to achieve targets under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which call on countries to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030 and to address the causes of preventable deaths in newborns and children. 

“Good nutrition lays the foundation for healthy, thriving and productive communities and nations. The scale of the nutrition problem in the country necessitates the need for regular monitoring. Findings from the National Nutrition Survey will show provincial and federal governments where they can make the quickest and highest-impact gains. UNICEF is happy to share how such programmes can be scaled up,” she added. 

The fndings from the survey are also expected to shed light on the impact of the 2011 decision to devolve responsibility for health from federal to provincial governments. 

Dr Baseer Achakzai, director of nutrition at the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, said that the 2018 survey would be the largest such survey in the country. 

He added the findings of the survey would help the government of Pakistan to assess how the country’s nutrition indicators have changed following the introduction of provincial nutrition support programmes and in light of other social safety net schemes such as the Benazir Income Support Programme and other province-level initiatives. 

The data collection phase of the survey is expected to take eight months with stakeholders gathering to assess the data at monthly intervals. 

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources are also acting as technical partners on the National Nutrition Survey.

The other speakers at the event included Dr Salman Kirmani, chair of the department of paediatrics at AKU, Dr Sher Baz from the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination; Dr Iftikhar Mallah from the Sindh health department, and Dr Naveed Bhutto from the Sindh Nutrition Support Programme.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Canadian, Pakistani researchers collaborate on molecular biology

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

New research into the molecular structure and genetic make-up of tumours is enabling more targeted cancer treatment, said experts attending the 3rd Annual Surgical Meeting Surgical Oncology-Evidence and Practice at Aga Khan University.

Molecular analysis of brain tissue is revealing the distinctive ‘signature’ of tumours that are otherwise of a similar type and stage, according to speakers who noted that a partnership between Pakistani and Canadian researchers is resulting in the transfer of knowledge and skills stemming from this novel research. 

The faculty from Aga Khan University is currently working with researchers on the tumour boards of the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Canada, to explore how these molecular insights can enhance the treatment of complicated cases of brain cancer. 

“Insights from molecular biology are helping oncologists select the most suitable course of cancer treatment and more accurately predict the response to targeted therapy. This will ensure optimal treatment for each tumour and a longer, better quality of life for each patient,” Dr Shahzad Shamim, an associate professor at AKU’s department of surgery, said. 

The experts from 14 countries around the world gathered at the two-day multidisciplinary conference to explore the latest developments in cancer surgery, diagnostic, pathology and treatment. 

The sessions at the conference also highlighted innovations in reconstructive surgery which were helping restore the function of organs affected by the spread of cancer. 

The speakers noted that techniques such as intra-operative monitoring enabled surgeons to stimulate parts of the spine to quickly and painlessly detect areas that can be reconstructed. This means that damaged areas of the spine, which were previously deemed too dangerous to operate on, can now be mended and rebuilt. 

The experts added that similar technological advances in orthopaedic surgery meant that high quality implants can be used to replace bones and joints damaged by the spread of cancer, thereby helping preserve essential body functions. Robot-assisted surgery was another prominent theme of the conference. 

While the experts noted that the use of robots in the operating theatre can enhance the precision of surgeries, they added that the process of learning how to work with technology was typically very demanding in terms of time and difficulty. 

“There are about 148,000 new cases of cancer in Pakistan every year. Bringing together experts from around the world promotes the sharing of advances across the field of oncology which will boost our chances of detecting the disease in early stages and deliver more effective treatment for cancer patients across the country,” Dr Masood Umer, an associate professor in AKU’s department or surgery and chair of the conference, remarked.

The conference’s objectives are in line with global efforts to achieve targets under goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Target 3.4.1 of the goal calls for special efforts to reduce deaths caused by cancer by a third by 2030. 

The 3rd Annual Surgical Meeting was organized in collaboration with the European Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the International Journal of Surgery. 

The conference’s inaugural session was preceded by a day of 25 workshops and symposiums at the University’s Centre for Innovation in Medical Education. 

Over 300 participants were in attendance over the two-day event which also saw the launch of a book consisting of 15 unique stories of Pakistani cancer survivors, families and physicians who have battled the disease.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dr Seemin Jamali presented Trauma Care

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Dr Seemin Jamali, Executive Director, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Karachi, was presented a copy of the book ‘Trauma Care’ by its author Dr Muhammad Saeed Minhas, Associate Professor of Trauma and Orthopedics Surgery at JPMC.

Appointed Executive Director of the JPMC last April, Dr Seemin Jamali, has been one of the most popular physicians, having headed the emergency department with distinction for several years. Her caring attitude towards the patients in particular has been particularly admired. 

Dr Saeed Minhas is Fellow of College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP) in Orthopaedic Surgery, having done his basic training in Accident & emergency, Chest surgery, General surgery, trauma and Orthopedics. 

Besides his teaching commitments to under graduates and post graduates in Orthopaedic surgery he is actively involved in training Primary trauma care program not only in Pakistan but in many counties of the world. 

He is giving trauma training to doctors, nurses, paramedics, motorway officials and combating soldiers. He is also leading Volunteers training program in trauma and disaster for medical students. 

He has to his credit number of original research articles published in medical journals. He is also the author of Pre hospital primary trauma care manual in English and Urdu for first responders. He has also compiled a manual of Trauma, Accident & Emergency for medical students and young doctors.