Thursday, January 31, 2019

Commissioner Karachi meets SCSW delegation

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shallwani, has said that city administration would provide all possible support to the Commission on Status of Women  to achieve  its objective for the  social, economic, political and legal rights of women  .

He appreciated the idea of establishing the Sindh commission on Women Status and observed that it would help achieve the goals of the government initiative to provide women equal opportunities in society.

He was talking to a four-member  delegation of Sindh Commission on the Status of Women headed by Nuzhat Shirin which met him at his office.

The meeting discussed various programs  to be organized by the Commission in coordination with the city administration.

The Commissioner was appreciative  of this initiative and assured of his office’s full support. He also appreciated the idea of organizing   programs  by the Commission for celebration of  Women Day to be held on February 12 in the city.

The Chairperson Nuzhat Shirin gave an overview of the SCSW activities  carried out in its first year and shared the Commission’s newsletter with the commissioner..

She informed that SCSW is going to observe the day on Feb 12 on a  under large-scale. The  celebrations in this regard will be held at Arts Council Karachi.This year, theme  will be “Women’s Resistance Against Discrimination”, 

The event will recall not only historical women’s movement but will also discuss how far Sindh has come close  in achieving gender equality, the current struggles and challenges faced along with solutions.. 

The event will also feature women from different professional backgrounds and provide a platform for women to interact and learn from one another. 

An award ceremony has also been planned for achievements made in various fields, including education, health, law, science & technology, banking, politics, women’s rights activism, performing arts and literature by  senior women professionals and mid-career level professionals. 

It will also be an economic opportunity for small scale businesswomen to showcase their products and services, an opportunity for women’s rights organizations to highlight their work while women artists to have a platform for performances. 

Nuzhat Shirin also shared the research and SOPs developed on safe houses by the Commission, as per orders of the High Court. She urged Commissioner Karachi to establish a model safe house for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Karachi based on the SOPs developed by the SCSW. 

The delegation also emphasized the need to improve women’s mobility in the city. It was suggested plying of women dedicated buses on specific routes during work hours to facilitate women  access to city's business centers as well industrial units.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

World Bank delegation visits DMC Central

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A delegation of the World Bank, headed by Rajul A Wasthi, Senior Urban Immovable Property Tax (UIPT) specialist, called on the DMC Central Chairman, Rehan Hashmi, to discuss as to how Urban Immovable Property Tax can be devolved to DMCs and which at present is being collected by KMC.

The five-member delegation members included Property Tax Consultants Wayaitgrant William Mcclusskey. 

The objective of the WB delegation was to explore the tax collection capacity of DMC Central and increase the tax collection through Global Information System (GIS). 

Earlier Chairman DMC Rehan Hashmi, informed that because of paucity of funds the tax collection staff could not be provided required training. 

The delegation members stressed that departmental efficiency can be enhanced through the use of computers. 

The delegation visited DMC Central on the Sindh Government's request and gathered the required data as well as finding out tax collection capacity. They told Chairman Rehan Hashmi that after this meeting further line of action will follow in the next meeting. 

The Municipal Commissioner, Mohammed Fahim Khan, Director Taxation, MIrza Asif Baig and Deputy Directors Taxes of all four zones were also present which lasted for over an hour.

Haj balloting held at AIT

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The second Haj Balloting of Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT), Karachi, was held on January 25. The Convener Managing Committee of the AIT alongwith other members of the committee were present on the occasion. 

Muhammad Siraj of Maintenance department and S M Nasir Ali, Sports Officer, were the two lucky candidates whose names were taken out in the draw while the names of Obaid Akhtar (caretaker) and Muhammad Shahzad Khan (Transport department) were picked as back-up candidates. 

In case any successful candidate became unable to perform Hajj due to any reason, the back-up candidates in serial order will be allowed to perform Haj in their place. 

All the above candidates were advised to submit a copy of their passports to the Administrative Officer to check their validity.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Mending Kids’ Hearts: Children dying preventable deaths from congenital heart disease

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan shares a statistic with India, China and Indonesia: these four countries are home to half the children born with heart defects worldwide.
In Pakistan, a child born with a hole in the heart, known as congenital heart disease (CHD), is now healthier and living longer. But survival depends on how severe the defect is, how quickly it is diagnosed and how well it is treated. 
With most births taking place in rural communities, the number of babies born with heart defects is unclear – an estimate suggests that more than 60,000 infants with a hole in their heart are born each year. About half of these young patients will have a critical CHD and require surgery to survive one year. 
The Aga Khan University Hospital has stepped in to assist these children and their families. Its Mending Kids’ Hearts campaign, now in its fourth year, offers help and hope to those without financial means by covering the cost of quality surgical and medical care of children needing hospital procedures. 
Since the launch of the campaign in 2016, over 1,800 paediatric patients have undergone cardiac procedures at the University Hospital - a majority of whom received financial assistance of nearly PKR 400 million. 
To expand the reach of the Mending Kids’ Hearts campaign, this year AKUH is targeting 300,000 individuals through a camp in collaboration with Aga Khan Maternal and Childcare Centre, Hyderabad. The aim of the camp is to treat children who are overlooked by the health system, and to ensure that they get diagnosed and treated at the University Hospital in time.
Dr Babar Hasan, Service Line Chief of AKUH Children’s Hospital said: “We are now closer to our goal of saving over 1,000 children with CHD each year by 2020. At this rate, we are hoping to exceed our targets. None of this would have been possible without the support of our community which has stood by us in our mission to provide high quality care to young children regardless of their financial background.” 
The Mending Kids’ Hearts campaign has been working to raise both awareness of paediatric CHD and funds to support patients through the AKUH Patient Welfare Programme. 
Its most recent fundraising event saw supporters of life-saving corrective CHD surgeries gather at the Karachi Golf Club on Sunday to compete in AKUH’s signature golf tournament to enable access to quality cardiac care.
The four-man Texas Scramble format was won by the UMA team comprising of Khalid Jamil Siddiqui, Asad I. A. Khan, Khurram Khan, and Arshad I. A. Khan with a gross score of 58, 14 under par on the championship course.

General Body meeting of PIA Retired Employees Association (PIAREA)

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The PIA Chief has assured the PIA's retired employees 
that their pension will be increased in near future'

This was disclosed by General Secretary PIA Retired Employees Association 
(PIAREA) while addressing the  General Body meeting of the association.

He informed the members of some of the PIAREA achievements gained after 
a long struggle which included increase in PIA pension in 2013, free medical 
facilities for disabled sons/daughters of Retirees, abolition of Federal Excise 
Duty (FED) on free tickets to issued to Retirees, extension of medical facilities etc. 

He said successful efforts were made against proposed  privatization of PIA,

Earlier, he informed that no one will be appointed as Association's office-bearer 
for whole of life in future whereas efforts while efforts will continue to seek more
facilities for retired employees..

At the meeting, presided over by Chairman, PIAREA Zulfikar Ali, the newly elected 
unopposed office bearers of PIAREA, also took oath as office bearers. 

On the occasion the General Body also approved the Annual Report unanimously. 
and expressed their full cooperation in the PIAREA's struggle for restoration of  their 
rights .

The newly elected office bearers who took oath were;
Senior. Vice President: Chaudhry Muhammad Azam, Vice Presidents: Parvez Farid
Muhammad Aslam Malik, Mohammad Khan Sial, General Secretary: Syed Tahir 
Hasan Chiefy. Organizing Secretary: Shaikh Abdul Majeed, Finance Secretary: 
Rehman Khilji, Welfare Secretary: Nisar Ahmed and  Joint Secretary: Muhammad Yousaf

Sunday, January 27, 2019

AKU breaks ground on a new research building for women and child health

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Aga Khan University celebrated the groundbreaking of a new Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health (CoEWCH) building on its Stadium Road campus today.

The new 149,000-square-foot building will consolidate the role of the CoEWCH as a focal point for the University’s research and policy advocacy efforts that aim to generate new insights into Pakistan’s interconnected health challenges in support of national development priorities for women and child health.

“The Centre will be the first of its kind in low and middle income countries,” said Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, founding director of the CoEWCH and co-director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health in Toronto, at the groundbreaking ceremony. “It will enable us to expand and enhance the University’s study of the social determinants that shape and impact the well-being of children and women: the underlying conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work.” 

The CoEWCH brings together experts from the fields of medicine, public health, liberal arts, nursing and education and provides training opportunities on priority issues related to women and children. 
“Pakistan may have missed the Millennium Development Goals and targets for maternal and child health,” Professor Bhutta said. “However, the Sustainable Development Goals offer a huge opportunity for value added work across disciplinary boundaries. The CoEWCH will continue to work in a concerted manner to help women and children in Pakistan and other developing countries live healthy and meaningful lives.”

Speakers at the event noted that the CoEWCH will focus its work on priority topics of concern affecting Pakistan’s development such as why malnutrition is chronic and widespread in many parts of the country, how to alleviate the impact of gender inequality and insecurity on the country’s health, and the most worthwhile interventions to enhance the well-being of our ‘bulging’ youth population. 

The new facility will be based over three floors and will house three state-of-the-art laboratories for microbiology, epidemiology and nutrition; a research data management unit; faculty offices and dedicated spaces to build the capacity of young researchers in the field. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a key partner of the CoEWCH.

Over the past 10 years, the University’s researchers in maternal and child health have collaborated with national and international partners to generate vital evidence into the country’s most pressing health issues. 

Their work has led to the introduction of life-saving vaccines into Pakistan’s Expanded Programme of Immunization, validated the effectiveness of 56 low-cost interventions to tackle deadly preventable diseases, championed reforms in the Lady Health Worker programme and presented the most detailed insight of the country’s nutritional challenges through three cycles of Pakistan’s National Nutrition Survey. 

Other speakers at the event included AKU President Firoz Rasul and Sadruddin Hashwani whose Hashoo Foundation donated to the facility. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Two New Champions Asif, Salma emerges on the scene in Hub Rally Cross 2019

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The  sixth edition of Hub Rally Cross 2019 saw two new champions Asif Imam and Salma Khan emerging on the horizon after sensational and intriguing competition at the Max Dirt Arena in Hub on the border of Sindh. Asif from Karachi, who had been managing and developing the Max Dirt track won the "A" Prepared Class event. He  clocked 8 min 33 sec to grab the major title while veteran racer Nadeem Khan finished second with Irfan Mian clinching third position in the field of seven racers.

     "It was bit surprise for me that I drove well despite little practice on the track and for this my thanks to Almighty that I achieved this," Asif told reporters after the presentation ceremony.

      " May be absence of few top racers like Nadir Magsi,  Sahibzada Sultan Muhammad Ali and Asad Khoro helped me to take away the title which I was not expecting," he maintained. On the other side Salma Khan of Peshawar, now based in Islamabad, while  driving with co-driver Nadeem Khan took 9 min 13 sec  to wrap up the long standing domination of Tushna Patel. 

Salma was driving over 5000 CC vehicle while Tushna got 2800 cc powered vehicle. Asma Asif  finished third in 12min02sec."Though I am newcomer, I have been appearing in few national events in the recent past. But I am absolutely delighted to win the title. 
          It was for the first time  a lucrative purse of over Rs. One million prize money was distributed among the winners of different categories. Vice Chairman of Indus Motor Company Yuji Takarada was the chief guest on the occasion distributed some
prizes with Chief Organizer Shujaat Sherwani, veteran racers Sarfraz Dhanji, 
Nadeem Khan and other guests of honor.
         Special awards went to Aamir Magsi for fastest track drivers in prepared category and 
Mansoor Haleem in Stock category. Hundreds of motor racing followers and locals watched the thrilling action. 

Following are results:
Prepared "A": 1. Asif Imam 2. Nadeem Khan 3. Irfan Mian. 
Prepared "B": 1. Aamir Magsi 2. Sahibzada Bahadur 3. Muhammad Dhanji
Prepared "C"  1. Shiraz Qureshi 2. Kashif Khan 3. Beberak  Magsi
Ladies:            1. Salma Khan  2. Tushna Patel 3. Asma Asif
Stock "A":        1.Mansoor Haleem 2. Ahmed Imam 3. Mir Nawaz
Stock "B":        1. Ronnie Patel 2. Naveed Wasti  3. Umar Farooq
Stock "C"         1. Beberak Baluch 2.  Nasir Khan 3. Shad Ali Khan

Friday, January 18, 2019

Prof. Dr.Sohail Sabir visit to Pakistan

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Prof. Dr. Sohail Sabir, head of Chemistry Department, Aligarh Muslim University India has arrived here on a visit to Pakistan.

In Karachi he was hosted a dinner by Zakir Ali Khan Panel which was constituted to contest Elections-2018 of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA). at the residence of Akbar Ali Khan, founder and Chairman of ZAK Panel. 

In his speech on the occasion Dr Sohail Sabir said that while in Pakistan he felt delighted for being among the elite of  Aligarhians and Alumni of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He thanked Akbar Ali Khan and Mrs Khan for providing him this opportunity of having an interaction with them.

Speaking about the Aligarh Muslim University and its current state of affairs, Prof Sohail informed that at present the university's students strength is around 30,000 and the university has 20 spacious halls to accommodate them.

Dr Sohail, who is the Chairman of AMU's scholarship committee and Chairman AMU Alumni Association India, extended an invitation to the guests to come to Aligarh for a visit to AMU for which   he assured of extending them every assistance in getting a visa besides their stay there.

On the occasion Engr  Anwar Ali, Vice-President AMUOBA, recalled his visit to Sydney, Australia, and his meeting with Dr Azhar Amin Nomani, a senior Alumni of AMU. He said they held discussion on the activities of Aligarhians rendering valuable services in various parts of the world and the need for forging greater coordination between them to further promote Aligarhians-related activities.

On arrival at the residence of Akbar Ali Khan, the visiting professor was warmly welcomed and present bouquet by Mr and  Mrs  Khan while Dr Jaffer Nazir Usmani presented the book "Rawayat-e-Aligarh" which was written by late Zakir Ali Khan during his life time. Another book on Zakir Ali Khan titled "Zakir-e-Sir Syed", which was written by noted scholar Dr Islahi from Aligarh, was also presented to visiting Professor.  Anwar Ali said  Dr Jaffer was over-whelmed by reading that book and remarked that he felt himself as he was in Aligarh.

In his speech on the occasion , Sqd. Ldr. Nafees Rabbani spoke about the history of AMUOBA and the establishment of Aligarh Institute of Technology, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology and multi-storeyed Sir Syed Tower under its banner in Karachi and said its credit goes to legendries like Late Zakir Ali Khan and  Z.A. Nizami.

The dinner was largely attended by prominent members of Aligarh fraternity, their wards, Alumni of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, a number of members of AMUOBA's Executive Committee besides nominated members of ZAK Panel.

Prominent among the guests on the occasion included Tariq Sabzwari and Engr Anwar Ali, Vice-President Engr Wasif Nazar, Joint Secretary and Engr Mohsin Khan, Treasurer AMUOBA,  

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New office bearers of PIAREA declared

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chairman, Election Commission of the PIA Retired Employees Association (PIAREA), Najamul Ghani, has announced the final list of the candidates upon the completion of the election procedure. 

According to the notification of the new office bearers of the PIAREA, having been elected unopposed for a term of three years, M Yunus Kakakhel will be the President and Syed Tahir Hasan will be the General Secretary. 

Chaudhry Muhammad Azam has elected as the Senior Vice President, Parvez Farid, Muhammad Aslam Malik and Mohammad Khan Sial are the three Vice Presidents while Shaikh Abdul Majeed has been elected as the Organizing Secretary.

Abdul Rahman Khilji, Nisar Ahmed and Muhammad Yousuf have been elected to the posts of Finance Secretary, Welfare Secretary and Joint Secretary respectively. 

The PIA Retired Employees Association (PIAREA) is a registered body of retired and ex-employees of all sections and departments of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), from Pay Group I to X and above.