Monday, November 30, 2020

Ayub Khan’s era revisited by foreign expert on Pakistan

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
For the benefit of the masses in Pakistan, Paramount Books has recently published Urdu translation of the acclaimed book The Ayub Khan Era: Politics in Pakistan, 1958-69, authored by Lawrence Ziring, a Western Michigan University political scientist who was regarded as a leading expert on Pakistan. 

The Urdu book, having been titled ‘Ayub Ka Zamana; Na Qafas Na Ashyana,’ is the study of a decade that completed a cycle, from late 1958 when the army under General Mohammad Ayub Khan took control of Pakistan amidst turmoil and apprehension to early 1969 when Ayub, then a Field Marshal, was finally succumbed to the pressure and passed his authority to General Yahya Khan. 

The book can also be described as an examination of the character of Ayub Khan's rule, of his dreams of a new Pakistan, and of the reasons for his failure to execute the plans. 

It also throws light on the reasons that range from his own errors and inconsistencies in policy and performance to the weight of Pakistan's historic legacies that resisted change. 

The book is divided into two parts. The first part provides a political survey of the events, personalities, and relationships of the Ayub Khan era while the second part links the political events with the various aspects of the traditional political environment in Pakistan like the bureaucratic legacy, the rural power structure, the urban intelligentsia, that actually shape politics and that thus far have been largely unaltered by periodic changes in Pakistan's political elites. 

The author, almost half a century ago, had asserted that Pakistan could not afford another failure in its government. 

Ziring had suggested that the incumbent leaders must not repeat Ayub Khan's errors and they must initiate radical innovations or give way to those who will. 

Born in New York on December 11, 1928, Ziring has been acclaimed as one of the world's leading authorities on South Asia geopolitics, US foreign policy for the region and NATO. 

He had retired from the Western Michigan University in 2004 as professor emeritus of political science and the Arnold E. Schneider professor emeritus of international relations after having served the institution for more than 37 years. 

He was the author or co-author of dozens of books and articles on geopolitical issues, including the 2004 work ‘Pakistan: At the Crosscurrent of History’ which was hailed internationally as a concise, perceptive and lucid history of the young nation. Even after retiring from the university, he had continued his work exploring Pakistan's role in the modern world. 

Having entered college on the GI Bill after serving during the Korean War, he was the first American student to enter the Pakistan Programme at Columbia University and he visited Pakistan regularly starting in 1957. 

He was a founding member and the former president of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and for years, he prepared regular updates and end-of-year reviews on Pakistan for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He died on July 17, 2015.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Seminar highlights shortage of diabetes specialists in Pakistan

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan has too few diabetes specialists to treat the nearly 19.4 million people suffering from the disease according to the experts who spoke at a seminar at the Aga Khan University (AKU) held to announce the launch of a six-month certificate course in diabetes that seeks to expand access to the knowledge and skills needed to treat and manage the disease. The course, set to begin from January 2021, will offer the most updated and evidence-based knowledge to manage patients.

The country has only one specialist, also known as an endocrinologist, for every 200,000 diabetes patients, according to Pakistan Endocrine Society. Similar shortfalls in training and awareness of diabetes are present at all levels of our healthcare system, speakers added. 

The current deficits in managing the illness, which has no symptoms, mean that many patients often seek care when they are suffering from advanced complications from the disease. 

The new course is part of collaboration between the University, the British Medical Journal and Royal College of Physicians, London, to help doctors across Pakistan improve their theoretical and practical knowledge of the disease. 

It will include modules covering managing diabetes, its complications, lifestyle and obesity management, inpatient diabetes control and how to handle comorbidities in diabetes. The course is open to all registered healthcare professionals who hold an MBBS degree. 

Diabetes not only reduces the quality of life of patients but also puts them at risk of a range of complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, nerve damage, serious eye problems and even disability. 

A total of 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations in Pakistan occurred in patients with diabetes. 

“To reduce the burden of complications of diabetes, physicians have to be well-equipped with the knowledge to confidently diagnose the disease and refer for tertiary care in the case of a complication or inability to achieve good control of diabetes,” Professor Najmul Islam, chair, section of endocrinology, department of medicine at AKU, and course director of the diabetes certificate course, remarked. 

The experts at the seminar shared that Pakistan’s healthcare professionals often lack the expertise to manage the disease adding that short courses can bridge the gap and equip clinicians to manage the high burden of diabetes in the country. 

The model of improving knowledge through educational courses for controlling and treating diabetes has proven to be effective worldwide. The studies in United Kingdom have shown that diabetes education in healthcare professionals can help in reducing the amputation rate, a condition that can develop in both type 1 and type 2 patients.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Pak movie widely praised in China

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Pakistani movie ‘Parwaaz Hai Junoon’ has been premiered successfully in China, having earned praise from the Chinese movie lovers.

It’s for first time in the 45 years when a Pakistani film has been screened on Chinese cinema houses. 

The film had attracted a lot of attention in China even before its premiere as leading institutions like Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University and Southwest University participated in its promotion. 

According to reports, as many as 57 universities launched online campaigns to advertise the film. In addition, a large number of celebrities spontaneously promoted the film as the Chinese netizens expressed their delight at having watched the movie. 

A delegation of Chinese journalists visited the Capital Cinema, SDDYY, the largest cinema in China with a history of 70 years. 

The head of marketing for SDDYY introduced that Parwaaz Hai Junoon was a military film which succeeded in having aroused a heated discussion among Chinese viewers. 

“Compared to commercial films, this movie may not have as many gimmicks. However, it has profound significance and holds a very important place in the hearts of Chinese audience. In order to support the film industry of Pakistan and pay tribute to Pakistan-China friendship, we increased the layout rate of Parwaaz Hai Junoon,” he added.

“I had been looking forward to this film and it didn't disappoint me. It proves the capabilities of the Pakistani film industry and gives the Chinese viewers a wide exposure to the Pakistani culture. The introduction of this film before the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan is of great significance to the friendship between the two countries,” an a film lover remarked after watching Parwaaz Hai Junoon. 

Francaise Film, a famous film critic, evaluated that the quality and industrialization of the film was amazing, the portrayal of the characters was vivid and easier to resonate with the audience.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Pakistan committed for CPEC projects’ timely completion

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Prime Minister Imran Khan has declared that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a transformational project and reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment for timely completion of the CPEC projects. 

The Prime Minister expressed these views when he met the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, at Islamabad on November 11.

“The Prime Minister congratulated the Ambassador on his appointment and extended best wishes for a fruitful term,” the statement issued by PM Office noted. 

The premier also accentuated the significance of special economic zones (SEZs), relocation of industry, and improved productivity in agriculture sector. 

The Chinese envoy on the occasion expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Imran Khan and reassured China’s support in completion of CPEC projects and enhancement in industrialization and agricultural sector in Pakistan.

Monday, November 9, 2020

China to import Pakistani cherries next year

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The first consignment of Pakistani cherries is expected to arrive in China next year, Li Wei, business representative of Huazhilong International Trading Private Ltd. Pakistan, disclosed. 

The Pakistani cherries are really good, nice sweetness and quality, Wei said in an interview with the China Economic Net television (CEN) in Beijing. 

He was speaking at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) being held in Shanghai. 

In the past the Pakistani cherries could not be imported due to lack of cold chain management, market information system, packaging and processing facilities. 

In this regard, Li Wei added that China can provide technical assistance to manage orchards, while Pakistan can provide work force so that both sides can achieve win-win cooperation. China, he disclosed, was willing to help Pakistan develop cold chain technology. 

Li Wei reckoned that there was big business opportunity for the export of agricultural products from Pakistan to China.

Partnership among physicians, nurses crucial to introduce Advanced Practice Nursing

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Introducing advanced practice nursing, particularly in countries with fragile healthcare systems, will be crucial to meeting the ever-increasing needs of patients and improving health outcomes said experts at a two-day virtual conference organized by the Aga Khan University Schools of Nursing and Midwifery in Pakistan and East Africa. 

The current COVID-19 pandemic has placed nurses in the spotlight and revealed the need for nursing expertise and experience as never before. In 2020, the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, governments and healthcare institutions are being called on to support, empower and advance the nursing profession. 

Advanced practice nursing, APN, is one of the most efficient ways of delivering high-quality, affordable and patient-focused care, accessible especially to those vulnerable groups and populations living in the remotest communities where other healthcare professionals may not reach. 

However, developing policies and strategies to support the transition process in order to integrate the APN model into the fabric of healthcare systems in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda might be challenging and it will require collaborative efforts. 

Dr Rozina Karmaliani and Dr Eunice Ndirangu, Deans of the Schools in Pakistan and East Africa respectively, talked about the support required from the nursing regulatory bodies and government legislatures to build, develop and sustain the role of APNs.

“The government is working on important regulatory reforms for nursing. An important initiative that we will be taking is to improve the quality of nursing education at the graduate level that will consequently lead to better trained nurses from whom APNs will be developed in the future,” Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, remarked. 

He also highlighted the importance of a multidisciplinary partnership and collaboration amongst healthcare professionals, especially between physicians and nurses, to take this model forward. 

Afshan Nazly, President of the Pakistan Nursing Council, also present at the session, reinforced the need for cooperation and noted that embracing the APN model will be far easier if nurses and physicians work as allies, and if concentrated efforts are made to enhance the capacity and competency of nurses.

“The current Pakistan Nursing Council Act needs amendment and it should include the advanced practice nurses to make this model viable in the country,” she added. 

Global nursing leaders and APN experts from the United States, Canada and Kenya shared their experiences of pioneering this role in their respective regions and in the developing world, and the associated challenges and measures to mitigate issues. 

Chief Guest, Dr Afaf Meleis, Professor of Nursing and Sociology and Dean Emerita, University of Pennsylvania drew on her considerable years of nursing.

“From my own experience in leading APN programmes and witnessing APNs in action in different parts of the world, I want to offer you three principles vital in planning and effective utilization of APNs in healthcare: Integration of a collaborative healthcare model, of evidence-based training for APNs, of clarity of role and competencies for smooth functioning; the potential of Innovation and problem-solving skills in advanced nursing practice and Influence and impact that APNs can create in health outcomes.” Dr Maria W. O’Rourke, Clinical Professor of Nursing at the University of California San Francisco, the keynote speaker identified and shared an APN implementation framework from a more universal perspective.

“Health and illness are a complex, multifaceted experiences and to meet those needs, we need people with specialised knowledge, skills and especially, the ones who are accessible in both rural and urban settings,” Dr O’Rourke elaborated.

The University Hospital’s leadership, including Dean Medical College Dr Adil Haider and Interim CEO, AKUH, Shagufta Hassan supported this initiative and shared willingness to facilitate the integration of APNs at the AKUH. 

Dr Elissa Ladd from the International Council of Nursing’s Advanced Practice Nursing Network pointed out that hundreds of millions of people around the world are able to access quality, safe and affordable healthcare services as nurses make the largest group of healthcare providers, particularly in the primary care setting. 

“In this context, it is not surprising that an investment made on the nursing workforce can yield significant improvement in patient care outcomes,” she added. 

The event also commemorated SONAM’s 40 years in Pakistan and 20 years in East Africa. Six APN competency-building workshops were offered online and attended by nurses and midwives from Afghanistan, Canada, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, USA and the UK.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Work on KCR on track: Minister

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, has declared that the much publicized commercial project of Tijori Heights, located in Karachi’s bustling area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, had been built on Railways' land and people must refrain from any investment in it or cooperating with the builders. 

He made the announcement during a press conference at his camp office in Karachi adding that the unauthorized construction on the project had been put to halt by the railways' authorities.

"As many as 14 kilometers of the 30 kilometers of the KCR loop line, from City to Orangi stations, have been made clear and serviceable whereas further can be proceeded only after construction of flyovers/underpasses by the Sindh government,” the Railways' minister disclosed while highlighting the desperate need of civil works by the provincial government in the green line area in Nazimabad. 

The minister stated that 15 out of 40 coaches for the KCR revival project had been fully rehabilitated and the remaining 25 would be made functional in due course of time. He also indicated the floating of CPEC-based ML-1 project any time soon. 

While commenting about privatization of freight and passenger trains the minister stated that the private sector had given marvellous output during the last few weeks that might lead to complete privatization of freight operation in the near future. 

He concluded by expressing his desire for a smooth Karachi to Jalalabad freight corridor that would revolutionize the entire freight business of the country.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Nong Rong assumes ambassadorial duties

By Masood Sattar Khan 
  (Pakistan News & Features Services)
The new Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, has assumed his responsibilities and met with senior government officials in Islamabad on November 2. 

During a meeting with the Foreign Secretary, Sohail Mahmood, Ambassador Nong Rong reaffirmed the strong commitment of his country to Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. 

The Foreign Secretary hoped that projects under the China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) would be completed on fast-track. 

Ambassador Nong Rong also presented a copy of his credentials to Zahoor Hassan, Director General of the Protocol Department at Foreign Ministry. 

"It is a great honour to be the ambassador at a critical moment in future development of China-Pakistan relations,” the ambassador remarked.

Turkey adheres to one-China principle

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
China has denied it that pressured the Turkish government to remove Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's tweet that showed Taiwan's banner among those who gave a helping hand to earthquake-struck Turkey. 

Erdogan had posted a series of tweets, which included the flags of aid-givers to Turkey. The country was hit by a magnitude-7 earthquake last week. 

"Many thanks from the Republic of Turkey to all friendly nations and international organizations for their good wishes and statements of support, following the earthquake in Izmir," the Turkish President was quoted as saying. 

Taiwan's flag was found on the initial version of Erdogan's tweet, which was first found to have been deleted on Sunday. In a new version of the tweet, there was no Taiwan banner. 

“It is a fact recognized by the international community that Taiwan is not a country,” Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, stated. 

Turkey has diplomatic ties with China, so deleting the tweet with the Taiwan flag showed its adherence to the one-China principle

Sunday, November 1, 2020

LPB founder leaves for USA finally

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Founder President of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, has left for the United States of America (USA) after an extended stay of nearly a year in Pakistan on November 1. 

According to details, the LPB founder, who had originally arrived for five-month visit of his home country last November, could not return at the designated time which was in the last week of March this year as flights to USA had been suspended due to the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Although life generally had come to standstill in most parts of the world, including Pakistan, with lockdowns and social distancing becoming norms due to coronavirus (COVID-19) since the mid of March, it went to the credit of Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari to have worked passionately from home all along. 

As lockdown restrictions were relaxed after a few months, he resumed visiting the record office of LPB, a pioneering non-governmental organization in the field of education and research. He ensured the timely publication of the Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal (PLISJ) although the delivery of the quarterly magazine to its members and subscribers was affected for some time due to postal issues. 

He continued coming to the LPB office, housed in the complex of Liaquat Memorial Library, Karachi, regularly and he last spoke during the felicitation ceremony for Jumbo Publishing’s new book ‘Mayar-e-Zindagi’ on October 28. 

As in the past, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, Chief Editor, Adab Wa Kutub Khana, will now be spearheading the bureau’s activities from Pakistan in the absence of its founder and leader. 

The first lady chairperson of the Library and Information Science department at the University of Karachi, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima has been chiefly responsible for setting up and operating what has become a tastefully decorated record office of the LPB.

China confident to lift impoverished rural population by 2020 end

By Masood Sattar Khan 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
China is confident to lift impoverished rural population out of poverty by the end of this year thus achieving the UN's Sustain Development Goal on poverty eradication ten years ahead of schedule. 

The spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, has informed a media briefing in Beijing that China was committed to contributing to the global cause of poverty reduction and helping developing countries achieve poverty eradication. 

The spokesperson also urged the international community to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to ensure no country is left behind in the global poverty alleviation cause. 

In the last six years over 2.92 million registered impoverished people lifted off poverty in NW Xinjiang.