Sunday, June 30, 2019

Eminent engineers conferred IEP Lifetime Achievement awards

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

In accordance with its traditions, the Institution of Engineers Pakistan (IEP) celebrated the Engineers Day in a befitting manner and recognized some of the eminent engineers of the country. 

The IEP organized the Engineers Day 2019 ceremony at the NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, on June 29 and the auditorium was packed to capacity as 20 engineers, having distinguished themselves in different vocations were conferred Lifetime Achievement awards. 

The accomplishments of the award winners, picked by a jury headed by Engr Prof Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, Vice Chancellor, NED University, were narrated loudly and clapped generously as they reached the podium to receive the shields. 

Those conferred IEP Lifetime Achievement awards on the occasion included Engr Syed Raza Akhlaq, Engr Amir Farooq, Engr Muhammad Saleem Raza, Engr Syed Salahuddin Ahmed, Engr Neelofar Hameed, Engr Asif Rizvi, Engr Salman Ansari, Engr Abdul Rauf Tabani, Chairman, Engr Taufiq Bilwani, Engr Muhammad Khan Minhas, Engr Syed Khalid Mahmood, Engr Muhammad Ali Shehaki and Engr Farhat Ishtiaq.

The presentation party on the stage included Engr Sohail Bashir, Chairman, IEP, Engr Prof Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, Vice Chancellor, NED University, Engr Syed Jamshed Rizvi, Senior Vice Chairman, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and Engr Muhammad Shafique, Vice Chairman, PEC. 

In his welcome address, Engr Sohail Bashir, Chairman, IEP, recalled that the Institution was established on May 7, 1948 at Chittagong, the then East Pakistan with the blessings of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

“Every year we celebrate the founding day as Engineers Day throughout Pakistan. Presently our headquarters is located in Lahore. We have more then 50,000 members in 11 centres including one in Saudi Arabia. We also have a very active sub-center in Bahrain and a new sub-center at USA-Tri States comprising of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut,” he informed. 

“The IEP caters for all disciplines of engineering and it represents Pakistan in the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), Federation of Engineering Institutions of Islamic Countries (FEIIC), Federation of Engineering Institutions of South and Central Asia (FEISCA), Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council (ACECC) and Commonwealth Engineering Council (CWC). We also have collaboration agreements with more then 40 engineering institutions around the world,” the IEP Chairman added. 

“Engineers are the catalyst of change and engineering does provide a noticeable physical change in the surroundings of the society through manifestation of improved industry and national assets which are developed and maintained to satisfactory working condition to the benefit of the society,” he remarked. 

“I take this opportunity to emphasis that self-reliance should be the corner stone in all scheme of works. The Institution is more than willing to advise the government on all relevant aspects for the optimal utilization of local human and material resources in the national projects,” Engr Sohail Bashir declared. 

Engr Prof Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, Vice Chancellor, NED University, also delivered a thought-provoking speech on the occasion, in which he advised the policymakers to seek input from the engineers in particular for working out solution to the economic issues confronting the country. 

“The engineers have spearheaded the turnaround in many countries. They can do the same in our country if pressed into service. Time and again the engineers have delivered as they primarily happen to be trouble shooters,” he reckoned. 

Paying tribute to the galaxy of engineering luminaries, who were recognized at the night, the Vice Chancellor of the NED University looked forward to continue producing many more stalwarts from engineering institutions in future.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Samina Fayyaz’s Fitna captivates audience

Pakistan News & Features Services

Fitna Ik Azmaish, a romantic Urdu novel authored by Samina Fayyaz, has been captivating the audience with its touching content having massive appeal. 

The novel has narrated the bitter realities of life, including pains, hardships and challenges, which one has to endure and overcome to become stronger and successful. 

Samina Fayyaz has lived upto her reputation of writing well and the new novel is another feather in her cap. 

Fitna Ik Azmaish, brought out earlier this year by the Lahore-based Ilm-o-Irfan Publishers, is spread over 272 pages and is priced Rupees 600 per copy.

It can be ordered directly from the publishers or its copies can also be obtained from the major booksellers all over Pakistan. 

In order to reach the global audience, Fitna Ik Azmaish has also been made available digitally. 

The Urdu novel can be conveniently accessed and downloaded, free of cost on the website of Sohni Digest.

Monday, June 17, 2019

SBCA directed to demolish illegal buildings

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has been given go ahead to start demolition action against illegally constructed buildings.

The go-ahead signal was given at a meeting held, in pursuance of orders of Supreme Court, under the chairmanship of Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani. 

Among others the meeting was attended by Director General, SBCA, Iftikhar Qaimkhani, Deputy Commissioner, South, Mohammad Salahudin and Deputy Commissioner, East, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Additional Director General SBCA and Chairman, SBCA Task Force, Ashkar Dawar, Directors Demolition and senior police officials. 

The area Deputy Commissioners were directed to monitor the campaign and provide support to the department. The implementation of demolition action will be carried out by the committee which will function at subdivision level and would be headed by assistant commissioners, concerned official of SBCA and police representatives. 

The SBCA force would identify such buildings required to be demolished and thereafter the demolition action committee headed by the assistant commissioner would plan action under the guidance and overall supervision of the concerned deputy commissioner.

Director General, SBCA, Iftikhar Qaimkhani briefed the meeting about the plan and informed that a task force has been formed under Ashkar Dawar, Addtional Director General, SBCA, for the implementation of the orders of Supreme Court. 

He said that the Task force has undertaken a survey of illegal under-construction and unoccupied buildings for demolition and to take other measures with the support of city administration. 

According to him altogether 326 such structures have been identified for demolition while action will also be taken against buildings raised in violation of buildings bylaws. 

Giving details, the SBCA DG informed that 31 illegal buildings have been identified in Gulberg Town, 72 in Liaqatabad Town, 13 in New Karachi Town, Six in North Nazimabad Town, 13 in Gulshan Town, four in Jamshed Town-I, 52 in Jamshed Town-II, 28 in Saddar Town-I 26 in Saddar Town -II , 54 in Lyari Town, in Malir Town, 4 in Korangi Town, 4 in Landhi Town and 3 in Bin Qasim Town. 

The meeting discussed the mechanism to be adopted for demolition operation and decided SBCA will ensure that all required legal formalities and building laws were fully followed and transparency was maintained. 

The Commissioner emphasized upon the SBCA officials to strictly follow building laws and maintain transparency. 

He warned that the SBCA would be held responsible for any complaint against of its officials for involvement in any illegal activities and favoritism and in any such case and the official, if found guilty of any offence, will be taken to task.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Commissioner reviews KCR revival

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The progress of encroachments removal from tracks of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), being carried out on the orders of Supreme Court for revival of KCR, was reviewed at a meeting chaired by the Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shalwani.

It was decided to continue the on-going operation against illegal encroachments on the KCR within 50/50 feet of both Right of Ways (ROWs) as per joint and collective plan chalked out on May 14 by the Pakistan Railways, Anti-Encroachment cell, local police and district administration. 

The Commissioner advised the Railways authorities to cancel leases of all their commercial entities within 50 feet ROW and remove them immediately without any further notice delay with the help of police and district administration.  
The respective Deputy Commissioners also briefed about progress of ongoing operation. They informed that operation within limits of their respective districts will be started as per plan to engage the people of the area to remove their illegal settlements and shift to safer places.

Commissioner Iftikhan Shalwani directed all DCs to carry out regular patrolling in their respective jurisdictions to ensure that the operation goes on in full swing and take steps to remove or demolish all commercial structures immediately. 

He said as per the SC direction no leniency will be shown to anyone in this regard and it would be implemented in letter and spirit. 

He sympathized with the affectees but said that they would be compensated or resettled with a proper rehabilitation plan to be submitted by the Pakistan Railways during the next week to Sindh government for implementation as per policy and commitment. 

Earlier the members of civil society and affectees of KCR led by Karamat Ali, Jibran Nasir, Faisal Edhi and others shared their views with the Commissioner before the review meeting on KCR. 

They apprised the Commissioner about their grievances and issues of affectees and asserted that it is the state responsibility to provide shelter to displaced people 

They dispelled the impression of being opposed to the KCR revival but they desired the plan to be implemented judiciously and not at the cost of people. 

The Commissioner assured them that their issues will be resolved as per the SC directions but also made clear that they have to comply with the SC directions in letter and spirit.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Commissioner visits YMCA, assures support

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shalwani, undertook a detailed visit of the YMCA following a decision of the Supreme Court for removal of all encroachments and banning the commercial activities there.

Present during his visit were Assistant Commissioner, Aram Bagh, Muthair Watto, Principal, YMCA, Mushtaq Masih, Secretary, YMCA, Babur Paul and Director, Anti-Encroachment, KMC, Bashir Siddiqui. 

The YMCA Principal, Mushtaq Masih, informed the Commissioner following a SC decision, the YMCA has been participating in curricular and non-curricular activities since 1905. 

He stated that after 2007, these activities had to be stopped due to grabbing of the area of YMCA, However, now following the SC order and support lent by local administration, the organization planned to resume its academic activities. 

The Commissioner told the principal that after the Supreme Court's decision, the administration has fully cooperated to implement the same and now the whole community can serve more effectively in its traditional curricular and non-curricular activities like hockey, cricket, football and swimming.

He assured that regular consultation will be maintained, which will help restore the status of the institution's historical status. 

Commissioner Shallwani went round the auditorium, school, technical training building, library and a 50-room hostel and other parts of the YMCA. 

He was informed that an amount of Rs 45 million was lying with the Nazir of the court since 2007 and the same will now be utilized to carry out repair and renovation of the buildings including its hostel. 

Assuring of his full support, the Commissioner asserted that the amount will be utilized prudently for repair of schools, developing a landscape for recreation and leisure activities.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Khawaja Naveed clarifies news report

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News and Features Services)

Khawaja Naveed Ahmed, the defence counsel for accused in the 530 acres of land illegal allotment case, has clarified a news item appearing in a section of the press and electronic media alleging that he helped two accused in the case to abscond from the court after their interim pre-arrest bail order was recalled by a Division Bench of the Supreme Court. 

Khawaja Naveed, one of the most respected lawyers of the country, has clarified that the accused were on an interim pre-arrest bail for the last about two years and had attended Supreme Court as well as trial court at every hearing. 

According to him five witnesses in this case had been examined and the two accused had never missed any date of hearing. 

He stated that after recall of their interim pre-arrest bail, they were going to trial court to surrender themselves where the case was proceeding. 

He further stated that there was no point of their absconding because they had submitted cash security of Rupee five lac each which is still lying with the court. They could not imagine to abscond as their security was already with the court. 

Khawaja Naveed described the news as misleading and said the fact has been twisted to make it sensational. He said it’s a normal practice and we surrender the accused after their pre-arrest bail order is recalled or may be rejected.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Sindh government rolls out typhoid conjugate vaccine

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The children in the Lyari neighbourhood of Karachi, one of the areas worst-hit by the typhoid outbreak in Sindh, are receiving their first dose of the typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV), the latest vaccine to be included in Pakistan’s routine immunization programme. 

The staff from Aga Khan University (AKU), working in partnership with the Sindh government, will inoculate over 100,000 infants and children between the ages of six months and 15 years by administering the vaccine at public and private sector schools and hospitals based in one of the city’s most densely populated towns. 

“This is the first step in a mass immunization campaign for Sindh. The vaccine is the most effective way to curb new cases and to protect children from a disease which is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to treat,” Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Sindh Health minister, remarked. 

Pakistan is the first country among low-income nations eligible for funding from GAVI, a global, public-private partnership committed to increasing access to immunization to include TCV in its nationwide schedule of vaccines against 11 preventable diseases. 

The decision is in line with the country’s commitment to end outbreaks of water-borne and communicable diseases in its efforts to meet goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Deaths and complications from typhoid were rare over the past 15 years but the ongoing outbreak has put an unprecedented number of children at risk,” Farah Qamar, an associate professor in paediatrics and child health at AKU, stated. 

“Efforts are underway to address the root cause of the outbreak failings in our water and sanitation system but in the meantime this vaccine represents the best way to save lives,” she added. 

Researchers from the AKU will analyze the data from the Lyari drive to understand factors determining the acceptability and efficacy of the vaccine which, in turn, will enable its successful rollout across the country from October 2019. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has disclosed that over 5,000 cases of XDR typhoid have been reported in the province to date. 

The scale of the outbreak led the Sindh government and private sector partners, such as the AKU and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, collaborating to launch an emergency vaccination drive in Hyderabad in January 2018. 

The faculty and staff at the AKU microbiology laboratory first detected the typhoid outbreak in blood culture tests from Hyderabad in October 2016. They collaborated with epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists from the University’s department of paediatrics to bring the matter to the attention of local government, the WHO, the US National Institutes of Health, the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the UK-based Wellcome Sanger Institute. 

Since then, the university’s researchers and its partners have collaborated on a number of studies to understand the genetic make-up of the typhoid strain, to ascertain risk factors for its geographic spread and to assess the safety and efficacy of TCV in an emergency outbreak situation. 

Data and policy implications stemming from these studies were shared with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan and the federal government’s National Technical Advisory Group. 

This led to a successful application for funding from GAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation resulting in the permanent inclusion of TCV in the country’s nationwide immunization programme, a win-win situation for stopping the spread of a preventable disease.

KMC directed to facilitate displaced shopkeepers

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shalwani, has advised the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to finalize the issue of 403 shopkeepers of Zoological Garden Market displaced during anti-encroachment drive launched on the orders of the Supreme Court.

“Concrete measures must be taken to provide alternate place to the affected shopkeepers for their business on priority basis,” he said in a meeting with the representatives of the affected shopkeepers of the Zoological Garden Market at his office. 

The delegation was led by its Vice President, Misbah-ul-Shams, General Secretary Asif Shahzad, Joint Secretary, Muhammad Munaf, Muhammad Intizar and Muhammad Asif. Deputy Commissioner South, Syed Salahudduin, and Deputy Director, KMC, Muhammad Alamdar, were also present on the occasion. 

The delegation apprised the Commissioner about their grievances and informed that they were displaced from their businesses on January 5 with a promise that they will be provided alternate place for their business.

However, despite the lapse of six months, they have not been compensated as yet nor accommodated at any other place. 

Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shalwani, gave them patient hearing and assured that their problems would be solved on priority basis. 

He told them to remain open minded to accept the substitute place as per policy and record which will be given to them after due verification. 

He directed Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) to check the available record and submit report in this regard.

He also directed DC South to identify the alternate place for placement of affected shopkeepers. 

The Commissioner directed KMC to hold a meeting of affected shopkeepers with the Mayor and Municipal Commissioner to sort out their issues and to conduct a proper survey for alternative places. 

The DC South was told to keep vigil against illegal encroachments and check fruit carts near parking plaza, which might turn a permanent market and create problems in future.