Friday, August 31, 2018

Barrister Sarah installed as Rotary President

Pakistan News & Features Services

Barrister Sarah Asim Khan was installed as the President of the Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan for the Rotary year 2018-2019 in a graceful ceremony at DHA Beach View Club, Karachi, on August 29.

Akhtar K Alavi, a Past District Governor of Rotary International, who is the Chair for Council of Governors, RI District 3271, did the honours by decorating Barrister Sarah with the Presidential sash. 

Muhammad Owais, Assistant Governor, RI District 3271, was also present on the occasion. Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan is one of the clubs in his domain for the current Rotary year. 

Jahangir Moghul, the Charter President of Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan as well as a Past District Governor, continued to be the moving spirit in boosting the club with his vast experience and generosity. 

It was a proud moment for Barrister Sarah, a dynamic and young Rotarian, who desires to take her Rotary Club to another level.

As she mentioned in her address, after being installed as the youngest President of Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan, the team she will be leading comprises of highly motivated and seasoned Rotarians. 

The installation ceremony was praised by both the visiting dignitaries, PDG Akhtar Alavi as well as AG Muhammad Owais, who assured their full support to the club on behalf of the Rotary International’s District 3271. 

The meeting was called to order by Past President Syed Khalid Mahmood, who is also the Vice President in the present team of Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan. 

The meeting, being moderated by Secretary Waqas Moghul, was invoked with the recitation of Holy Quran by Rotarian Zeeshan Amin. It was followed by the national anthem. 

After her installation, Barrister Sarah presided over rest of the meeting which lasted nearly an hour. 

Following the session of speeches, the dignitaries were presented bouquets and Rotary pins were awarded to the new members of Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan. 

The vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Amin Noor who also made the announcement for opening of dinner.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Akthar Alavi’s Rotary services eulogized

Pakistan News & Features Services

Akhtar K Alavi, a Past District Governor of Rotary International, who is the Chair for Council of Governors, RI District 3271, was eulogized during the installation ceremony of Barrister Sarah Asim Khan, President, Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan, at DHA Beach View Club, Karachi, on August 29.

Akhtar Kurban Alavi, more famous as Akhtar K Alavi, acknowledged as one of the Leading Lights of Rotary in Pakistan, did the honours by installing Barrister Sarah Asim Khan as President of Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan for the Rotary year 2018-2019. 

His introduction was presented by Past President Syed Khalid Mahmood, who had served as the Secretary of RI District 3271 in 2015-2016. 

Following is the text of brief profile of PDG Akhtar Alavi presented on the occasion: 

A member of Rotary Club of Karachi since 1981, he was elected its President in 1991 and earned the award for the outstanding President by the then District Governor.

After winning a keenly contested election, he served with distinction as the District Governor of RI District 3270 (Pakistan and Afghanistan) in 1995-1996. 

At that time Herb Brown was the President of Rotary International and our own Jahangir Moghul was the President of Rotary Club of Karachi Mehran. 

He then served as the Fiscal Agent for District 3270 for six years. 

A Multiple Paul Harris Fellow and a Benefactor, he has continued serving the cause of Rotary with the same intensity for nearly four decades now. 

He has been Rotary International President’s Representative to the District Conference in Western Australia besides being the District Officer over various years, including delegate to the Council on Legislation. 

He was one of top ten winners out of 500+ districts in the Calgary Challenge Award for Membership Growth, award presented at the Rotary International Convention in Calgary, Canada in 1996. 

The Winner of the prestigious Service Above Self Award as well as the winner of Citation for Meritorious Services Award, he served as the Regional Public Image Coordinator for Zone 6B for 2 years, having conducted joint district seminar in Kochi, India.

Presently he is the Chair for Council of Governors, District 3271, besides being the District Membership Chair since last year. 

His areas of special interest in rotary are known to be water and sanitation and he has held district and club chair positions for several years.  

Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan, founded in 2004, has had very special relationship with PDG Akhtar Alavi even before it was born. 

As the Fiscal Agent he was very humble and gracious in having guided us all along in the process of charter which was duly received in November 2004.

Fast forward to 2015-16 when our Club held the leadership role of the District, without mincing words, let me declare here that PDG Akhtar K Alavi was our Go-to Man throughout our tenure. 

His wisdom, honesty and activism helped us in making the tenure of District Governor Jahangir Moghul as the most memorable one in the recent past. 

As the District Conference Chair he was chiefly responsible for having transformed what had then become a routine event to a stunningly successful and animated affair. 

Professionally, PDG Akhtar Alavi is revered as the doyen of the insurance industry in Pakistan. He has served the profession for more than half a century now. An Associate of Chartered Insurance Institute -ACII (London), he is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Allianz EFU Health Insurance Ltd while he worked with EFU General Insurance Ltd and Adamjee Insurance Ltd in the past.

China opens military installation for public

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Two military barracks in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, have opened to the public recently, offering displays of their equipment as well as wrestling, rope walking and rock climbing.

More than 3,000 people attended the events on the morning of August 15, part of a national plan aimed at bringing the military and citizens closer together by opening more than 600 barracks to the public. 

The two barracks in Wuhan belonged to the People's Armed Police Force and the PLA Air Force's Airborne Corps. Officers and soldiers performed demonstrations of their combat skills, such as wrestling and bayonet fighting, and displayed weapons and equipment used in training - things rarely seen, let alone touched, by members of the public. 

In the barracks yard of the airborne corps, the main site of the activities, sweating participants gathered around parachute packs, waiting for a chance to wear them, even though the temperature was around 35 C.

Others took the chance to talk with soldiers, asking them how the weapons and equipment on display worked and what they were used for.  
"I'm a military fan and have been considering joining the People's Liberation Army, so I wanted to learn more about their equipment," Liu Zhenhao, a sophomore student, remarked. 

He had learned about the open day from an announcement at his university while he was required to pass a short national defense knowledge test to qualify for the visit. 

Li Qian, a 65-year-old retiree, scored 92 out of 100 points in the test. A fan of both the military and photography, he took photos of the soldiers from different angles throughout their performances.

"I learned more about both the military equipment and their developments by participating in the activity. I will share the photos and what I learned today with my family," he said. 

Zhu Hao, 27, a soldier from the Air Force barracks, was in charge of introducing some of the equipment, which he had been training with for eight years. 

"Many people have seen similar equipment in TV dramas or movies, so they were interested to know more about it. We hope people can get to know us better through activities like this," Zhu stated. 

The plan to open more than 600 barracks to the public, announced last month, covers four of the PLA's five branches - the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force - and the People's Armed Police Force. 

To help the public better understand the achievements of China's national defense reform and developments in its military, the barracks will be opened during major festivals and on commemoration days. 

"We hope the public will be able to truly see what the military and its soldiers are like," Zhu added.

Paramount Book Fair completes three decades

Pakistan News & Features Services

All is set for the 30th edition of the Paramount Book Fair to be organized at the head office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in Karachi’s bustling area of PECHS, from September 1 to 9. 

The 30th Paramount Book Fair 2018 promises to be yet another scintillating event and, as usual, thousands of bookworms are expected to avail the opportunity of getting hold of high quality publications at generous discounts. 

Paramount Book Fair has been one of the most after events of Karachi for the past three decades. 

Held every year around the same time, it has continued to attract a large number of book lovers to dispel the impression that the reading habits were declining in the metropolis.

There are people of all ages and income groups who reach out for the annual event and spend a lot of time on selecting books, charts and other publications of their choice.

In fact, Paramount Book Fair has been a reason of causing traffic congestion, particularly in evenings, because long queues of cars, motorcycles, vans and even rickshaws are on the roads competing for the available parking slots. 

Such is the interest created by the publications on offer, allied with the incentive of heavy discounts, which brings the people from every nook and corner of the city and they could be seen more than happy doing the shopping in the safe environment of Paramount Books. 

The management of Paramount Books remains eager to facilitate the visitors and the dedicated staff is assigned the duty of taking care of their needs.

Monday, August 27, 2018

PN Central Library celebrates Independence Day

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Pakistan Navy Central Library (PNCL), an acclaimed public library of Karachi, continued its tradition of having celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day with the usual passion and warmth. 

The library was decorated with balloons, flags and buntings in the colours of green and white which made the surroundings graceful.

The colourful posters and standis also highlighted the significance of Independence Day.

The library gifted bangles and badges to the members besides having served refreshment to celebrate this occasion. 

Prominent among those having attended the ceremony were Cdre Ihsan Qadir (R), Cdre S N Faisal (DG PMM), Cdre S Zakir (R), Lt. Cdr. S A Zaidi (R), Director PNCL, and Capt Irfan (R). 

Huma Mannan Butt, Chief Librarian, PNCL, and Afshan Khan, Research Librarian, welcomed the dignitaries and guests.

China hails Indo-Pak participation in SCO Peace Mission exercises

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China has hailed the participation of Pakistan and India in the Peace Mission anti-terrorism exercises of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson declared on August 27 that their country welcomed the joint Indo-Pak participation in the SCO Peace Mission. 

The week-long exercises were held in Russia and for the first time two neighbouring countries under the banner of the SCO participated, spokesperson Hua Chunying remarked at a regular media briefing in Beijing. 

The Ministry of Defense officials of both the country said that they believe that the two sides can learn from each other, which is a unique opportunity to exchange experiences.

The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that they welcomed the joint participation of India and Pakistan in the anti-terrorism exercise under the SCO framework.

“Pakistan and India are important countries in South Asia. The stability of bilateral relations is of great significance to the peace and development of the region and the world,” she said 

“We sincerely hope that the two countries will strengthen bilateral and dialogue and cooperation within multilateral mechanisms such as the SCO, improve bilateral relations, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability,” she added.

The six-day SCO drills, which have brought the two countries together for the Exercise Peaceful Mission 2018, will continue till August 29 at Chebarkul town in Chelyabinsk Oblast in Russia. 

The exercise is aimed at enhancing cooperation between member states to deal with the growing threat of terrorism and extremism. 

Around 3,000 soldiers from Pakistan, India, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan are taking part in the exercise. 

The Pakistan contingent comprises 110 members, while the strength of the Chinese contingent is of 748 personnel. The 200-member strong Indian contingent has 167 Indian Army personnel including four women officers and 33 personnel from the Indian Air Force.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Well-deserved Lifetime Achievement award for Prof Dr Nasim Fatima

Pakistan News & Features Services

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, one of the most venerated library scientists and scholars of Pakistan, was presented yet another Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments over the years in a recently held librarians’ moot in Karachi. It is yet another feather in her cap.

She has been hailed as an institution in her own right, having earned fame and distinction in a professional career spanning quite a few decades. 

She has received numerous awards, shields and certificates from various institutions during this period. 

Her own Alma Mater, the University of Karachi, had decorated her with the prestigious ‘Nishan-e-Azmat’ award in 2004 while she was honoured by the Pakistan Library Association (PLA) in 2006 and 2011. 

The Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), during their Golden Jubilee Celebration ceremony in 2016, had presented her the coveted ‘Outstanding Professional Achievement Award’ in recognition of her meritorious role in building the institution. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima holds the distinction of being the first woman to secure doctorate degree in the field of Library & Information Science and she’s also the first woman to have headed the department of Library & Information Science at any university of Pakistan. 

She is the Chief Editor of the famed scholarly journal, Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal (PLISJ), which is being published quarterly by the LPB for the past 50 years. 

An author of 45 books and 80 research articles, she is also the moving force behind Bazm-e-Akram, a literary and social forum of library professionals, whose flagship publication ‘Adab-o-Kutub Khana’ has become a sought after annual document for the past one decade. 

Besides serving the profession of Library & Information Science with distinction, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima has also made significant contribution in the promotion of Urdu literature.

Pakistan may achieve autarky with China’s hybrid wheat

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Under the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative, the research and cooperation between Pakistan and China in research of hybrid wheat has been continuously promoted. The achievements will not only benefit the farmers in Pakistan, but also open up a new path for China's agricultural science and technology to go global. 

Recently, at the Peshawar Agricultural University, a scientist informed media that since last year, he planted hybrid wheat from China in his own home. The effect was unexpectedly good. 

"After starting to grow hybrid wheat, I found that the yield of hybrid wheat was more than doubled, so was his income. I am very happy because I can send the children to school. I will advise my relatives and friends to plant hybrid wheat,” he was quoted as saying. 

At present, 44% of the arable land in Pakistan is used to grow wheat, and the Naan Pakistanis eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, are made of wheat, wheat. Production is related to food security throughout the country.

However, Pakistan's wheat monoculture production is below the world average, and Pakistani agricultural scientists have been trying to introduce higher yield wheat varieties. 

In 2016, the experts from Peshawar Agricultural University learned that the application technology of the hybrid wheat developed by the Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences was in the forefront of the world, and actively sought the Beijing Hybrid Wheat Engineering Technology Research Center under the Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences to request cooperation. 

Muhammad Arif, a professor of agronomy at Peshawar Agricultural University, told reporters that the reason why Beijing hybrid wheat was chosen is because the technology of Beijing hybrid wheat is unique in the world. 

“The world is studying hybrid wheat, but so far no country had achieved such great success as China,” he declared. 

“Beijing Hybrid Wheat is a pioneer in the world of hybrid wheat technology, through which it is easy to mass produce hybrid wheat seeds without much labor. This technology is different from the world. The technology of other countries, this is a set of China's own technology system," he added. 

Since 2010, under the joint support of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Beijing Municipality, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Pakistan Foundation Committee, the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry/Beijing Hybrid Wheat Engineering Technology Research Center and the Sinochem Group, in cooperation with Wheat Seeds (Beijing) Company Limited, a hybrid wheat test base was established in Lahore and Peshawar, to create new hybrid wheat varieties suitable for Pakistani applications. 

At the same time, the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences also specially built the Yunnan Yuanmou Hybrid Wheat Test Base to conduct simultaneous testing with the Pakistani side. After seven years of hard work, in 2017, the trials at Peshawar Agricultural University achieved remarkable results. 

Professor Arif said that if Beijing hybrid wheat is promoted to the whole of Pakistan, it will save a lot of cultivated land for the country.

“Pakistan planted more than 9 million hectares of wheat nationwide, with a total output of 26 million tons and an average yield of more than 2,700 kilograms per hectare. With the help of the team, Chinese hybrid wheat can easily reach 6,000 kg per hectare, which is more than twice that of our local production. If our target output value is 26 million tons of wheat, then we can save after the introduction of Chinese hybrid wheat. A large amount of land is used to grow other agricultural products,” he remarked. 

At present, Peshawar Agricultural University is conducting further experiments on hybrid wheat in Beijing. At the same time, Pakistan Jiade Agricultural Research and Services Company Limited is also involved in the demonstration and promotion of hybrid wheat in Beijing. 

As early as 1999, the company introduced Chinese hybrid rice and achieved large-scale industrialization in Pakistan. In 2012, Jiade Agricultural Research and Service Company Limited, which tasted the sweetness, signed an agreement with China Hybrid Wheat Seeds (Beijing) Company Limited to introduce Chinese hybrid wheat for market development in Pakistan. 

The company's president, Shahru Malik, said that Pakistan has benefited a lot from China's One Belt, One Road initiative and hopes that China-Pakistan agricultural cooperation can benefit both countries at the same time. 

“The Chinese government under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road initiative. Policies have been developed to help and promote seed planting in Pakistan, because in agriculture, the production of hybrid seeds and conventional seeds is the most valuable part of agriculture and the most expensive part because it requires huge imports and huge manpower. And efficient regulation. So I think China's policies are good for Pakistan. At the same time, we have fertile land and a suitable climate and good education level. I think these can help our country and China," he said. 

Zemir Awan, former Science and Technology Counselor of the Pakistani Embassy in China and now the Deputy Director of the China Studies Center of the National University of Science and Technology of Pakistan, is the promoter of the China-Pakistan Hybrid Wheat Cooperation Project and the continuous cooperation between China and Pakistan in the framework of the Belt and Road framework. 

“The One Belt, One Road is a Chinese dream, and it is also the dream of Pakistani people. It is not only beneficial to China, but also beneficial to the whole world. Any country joins the Belt and Road will live with greater prosperity.

China’s hybrid wheat production is high, and Pakistan hopes to increase production, which is beneficial to Pakistani farmers, beneficial to the country, and beneficial to our food security. Therefore, we hope to strengthen cooperation with China in wheat hybridization,”

Saturday, August 18, 2018

China reiterates supporting Pakistan on CPEC, deepening bilateral ties

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has reiterated his country’s support to Pakistan for accomplishment of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

"China is willing to support Pakistan to uphold its sovereignty and right to development and make joint efforts with Pakistan to boost the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as well as to deepen the bilateral all-weather strategic cooperative partnership," Wang said while meeting with Chairman, Senate of Pakistan, Sadiq Sanjrani, in Beijing. 

Pakistan has just held a successfully general election, Wang said, adding that he believes Pakistan's national construction would gain new achievements under the new government. 

Reciprocating the sentiments on behalf of government and the people of Pakistan, Chairman Senate, Sadiq Sanjrani, said that his country would always uphold the friendly policy towards China, a consensus that reached between the two sides.

The Chairman Senate, leading a 9-member parliamentary delegation, pointed out that the strengthening of relationship between the two countries is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy. 

"The new government is ready to work with China to push forward the construction of Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor," Sanjrani was quoted as saying by the Chinese state media. 

The members of the delegation include Senators Mrs Nuzhat Sadiq, Sitara Ayaz, Muhammad Akram, Dilawar Khan, Kauda Babar, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Barrister Muhammad Ali Khan Saif and Mirza Muhammad Afridi. Secretary Senate, Amjed Pervez Malik. 

Earlier, the Chairman Senate and his delegation were accorded a warm welcome upon arrival at the airport. The Vice Chairman, Chinese Foreign Affairs Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, Han Fangming received the chairman and his delegation. 

Pakistan's Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid and other senior officials of Pakistan and China were also present on the occasion.

Special teams study China’s model of poverty reduction

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, who had cited examples of China's poverty alleviation programme during an interview with the Chinese media, has already moved in this direction by sending a special team to China for in-depth study of its poverty reduction model.

The globally-admired initiative which China had undertaken has enabled millions of people to escape from poverty and Pakistan’s new leadership also considers it a way forward in this regard. 

The representatives of the ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI), have already visited China's Yunnan province where the local government briefed them how they attained the poverty-reduction goals, said a report appeared in, a news web portal. 

Pakistan, one of the forefront countries supporting New China in its initial opening-up years, is today being repaid by assisting it in becoming a trade and economic hub on the Arabian Sea. 

The two countries are natural partners and support each other on matters of international politics and economy. That is why Imran Khan is now banking on the goodwill of the past for a stable and far-reaching cooperation in the future.

The new Pakistani government has a single major agenda of bringing the economy back on track. 

Imran Khan, whose political party emerged victorious in the country's recent election, appears ready for some drastic moves, and building on China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is one of them. 

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship BRI project, is the largest Chinese investment in Pakistan to date. Often termed a game changer, the US$62 billion mega-project involves a massive financial inflow into Pakistan to promote infrastructure, energy and trade development and create many jobs.

Imran Khan has promised continued support to CPEC involving all sectors of Pakistani society. While he has taken up the challenge of turning State-owned companies into profit-generating machines, his plan also has the potential of engaging private industry to ensure success for the CPEC.
The national cricket hero-turned-politician laid out his intentions for engaging with Pakistan's closest ally in an interview with the Chinese newspaper the Guangming Daily last month. 

He considers the CPEC as a medium and long-term project, pledging to guarantee the corridor's construction so that both Pakistan and China benefits. 

Imran Khan’s party has identified several areas where cooperation with China will be expanded. 

Clean energy is one area where his neighbour has achieved monumental success. After the industrial boom, China was faced with heavy pollution which had to be tackled by taking radical measures. 

The new Pakistani government also plans to focus on developing indigenous resources and promoting local value-addition approaches. 

This can be worked out by establishing more vocational training institutes in Pakistan and sending young people to China to acquire higher education and better skills. If this goes as plan, the indigenous resource pool will witness augmented benefits from engagement in CPEC projects.

Pakistan has immense manufacturing potential owing to ample availability of raw materials. As the incoming government looks to revitalize Pakistan's industry on modern lines, companies will eventually be looking for global consumption and should be ready for integration with various global supply chains. 

The CPEC and BRI specifically aim to achieve this. Being trade routes in the classical sense, they will provide transportation facilities that can help remodel local industry centers into globally-competitive economies. 

As proclaimed in Khan's election manifesto, he intends to focus on partnerships in development projects undertaken by Chinese entities. This will increase the transfer of knowledge to local firms, improve the skill level of the workforce and bring about sustained results. 

Joint ventures will be encouraged, which will also help Chinese companies to benefit from the local knowledge of their Pakistani partners.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rotary announces US$96.5 million to end polio

Pakistan News & Features Services

Rotary International has announced nearly US$100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.

The announcement came as Nigeria marked two years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, following four reported cases in 2016. 

“Nigeria has prevented further cases of wild poliovirus thanks to the improved surveillance and rapid response protocols Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have supported, particularly in Borno,” Dr Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee, disclosed. 

 “We must remain vigilant about maintaining political and financial support to ensure strengthened immunization practices as we redouble our efforts toward ending polio in Nigeria and around the globe,” he added.

Concurrently, Pakistan has made strides in reducing reported cases of wild poliovirus, having lowered its case count from 306 in 2014 to only eight reported cases in 2017. 

“Nigeria’s progress proves that halting the spread of wild poliovirus is possible,” Aziz Memon, chair of Rotary’s Pakistan PolioPlus Committee, recognized. 

“Although we currently have a record low number of reported cases of polio in Pakistan, we must remain vigilant about implementing the rapid response and surveillance protocols Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have established and focus on accelerating our efforts toward eradicating polio,” he remarked.

While significant strides have been made against the paralyzing disease, wild poliovirus is still a threat in parts of the world, with 10 cases in Afghanistan and three cases in Pakistan this year so far. 

As long as a single child has polio, all children are at risk, which underscores the need for ongoing funding and political commitment to eradication. 

In order to support polio eradication efforts in countries where polio remains endemic, Rotary is allocating the majority of the funds it announced today to: Afghanistan ($22.9 million), Pakistan ($21.7 million), and Nigeria ($16.1 million). 

Further funding will support efforts to keep 12 vulnerable African countries polio-free: Cameroon ($98,600), Central African Republic ($394,400), Chad ($1.71 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo ($10.4 million), Guinea ($527,300), Madagascar ($690,000), Mali ($923,200), Niger ($85,300), Sierra Leone ($245,300), Somalia ($776,200), South Sudan ($3.5 million) and Sudan ($2.6 million). Africa will also see $5.8 million in funding for surveillance activities and $467,800 for technical assistance.

Additional funding will go to Bangladesh ($504,200), Indonesia ($157,800), Myanmar ($197,200), and Nepal ($160,500), with an additional $96,300 funding surveillance in Southeast Asia. 

The remainder of the funding ($6.6 million) will go to the World Health Organization (WHO) for research activities. 

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million a year to be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amounting to $450 for polio eradication activities over a three-year period. 

To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion to fight the disease, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio immunization program, PolioPlus, in 1985.

In 1988, Rotary became a core partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Gates Foundation  joined at a later stage.

Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 22 confirmed in 2017. 

Rotary brings together a global network of community leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. 

It connects 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

Friday, August 10, 2018

China-Pakistan relationship to remain unchanged: Media

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chinese media has stressed that the change in government in Pakistan, following the results of the recently held general elections, would not affect the bonding between the two friendly countries.

China's top official news portal,, known for its contents reflective of its government policies, has highlighted the portion of the victory speech of the Prime Minister in waiting, Imran Khan, in which he pledged to learn from China to combat corruption and promote economic development. 

In over four-minute English language video commentary, Wang Xiaohui, however, clarified that it’s difficult to judge the policies of Pakistan's new administration, just from the television broadcast. 

Tracing the background of Pakistan’s World Cup winning cricket captain, the Chinese analyst has considered Imran to have risen above the traditional politics in the country. Imran, who transformed into a brilliant cricketer during the tour of Australia in 1976-77, after having made his international debut in England in 1971, though had no political background.

Quitting cricket on a high, soon after bringing home the World Cup in 1992, he had entered politics in 1996 by founding his own party. He became a parliamentarian in 2002 and now he is all set to become the new Prime Minister of Pakistan. 

"In this respect, China as Pakistan's all weather friend for half a century can and should provide help and support within its capacity,” Wang asserted. 

“In the past a number of cooperative projects between Pakistan and China including the most important China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were initiated that had brought vast opportunities to uplift of Pakistani economy including provision of employment and industrial development,” the Chinese analyst reckoned. 

“There may be some differences between the two countries on individual projects of CPEC, however, these are entirely business like and can only be resolved through friendly consultations and equal consultations,” he added. 

“The CPEC involves the common interests of the two countries over the coming decades and will not be reoriented with the change of government. There is no reason to dub it. But in any case the iron friendship between China and Pakistan will remain unchanged", he concluded.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Overseas students, including Pakistanis, set to take up part-time jobs in China

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The overseas students, including over 20,000 Pakistanis, in China are set to be benefitted from the revamped policy of Beijing allowing international students to take up part-time jobs. 

China will allow international students at Chinese universities nationwide to take part-time jobs during their studies to make the country's higher educational system more attractive, the Ministry of Education said in a statement provided to China Daily on August 7. 

The government of China has been introducing a number of exploratory changes allowing international students in Beijing and Shanghai to take part-time jobs or internships off campus as long as they obtain approval from their academic institutions and the entry and exit administrative authorities. 

In 2016, the Ministry of Public Security had implemented new policies to allow foreign students recommended by their host universities in Beijing to take part-time jobs with companies in the city's Zhongguancun Science Park or become involved in entrepreneurship in the area, where they get an annotation of ‘entrepreneurship’ added to their student visa. 

With around 22,000 Pakistanis studying in Chinese universities, China has now become the largest destination for Pakistani students seeking overseas studies, an official revealed while giving break up including 3,000 students were completing their PhD degrees while others are studying engineering, economics, management, agriculture, medicine, information technology, communication and other majors. 

One of the major reasons for Pakistani students to be attracted to Chinese universities was that they were confident of getting employment after their studies in projects being completed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship initiative of Belt and Road Initiative. 

According to statistics released by the Chinese Ministry of Education, more than 200,000 students from 64 countries along the Belt and Road Initiative were studying in China. 

The number of pupils studying in China from countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road has increased greatly under a series of preferential policies, an education officials said.

Hassan Daud appointed CPEC projects spokesperson

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, Government of Pakistan, has appointed Hassan Daud as the spokesperson on matters related to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 

The ministry, through a statement, has announced that Hassan Daud, who is Project Director of the CPEC Support Project, will be authorized to issue statements on status of CPEC projects to all forums if required after due approval. 

“All concerned including center of excellence CPEC (PIDE) are advised to acknowledge this in view of importance and coherence of CPEC arrangements”, the statement said adding that any official participating in CPEC related event should coordinate with CPEC secretariat ministry of planning for updated information on all CPEC related activities. 

When contacted by PNFS, Hassan Daud vowed to keep the media posted of the developments regarding the CPEC projects as and when they happened. 

“Whenever an activity takes place in this regard and we have newsworthy stuff to share we will do it right away,” he stated in a brief chat. 

The CPEC, a framework of regional connectivity, will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republic, and the region. 

Having founded peace, development, and win-win model for all of them, it is deemed as a journey towards economic regionalization in the globalized world. The CPEC is considered to be a hope of better region of the future with peace, development and growth of economy.