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.

Monday, January 14, 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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Thousands visit HOPES Health Expo in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Around 20,000 people from different corners of the city, besides quite a few from other parts of the country, visited fourth edition of the HOPES Health Expo which was held at the Karachi Expo Centre on January 6. 
Help of Patients in Exigency by Students (HOPES), a non-political patient welfare organization managed solely by the undergraduate medical and dental students of the Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC), lived upto the reputation of organizing the Health Expo successfully for the fourth time running.
The smartly turned up KMDC students did the job passionately and enthusiastically to facilitate and satisfy the large number of visitors at the HOPES Health Expo, who were offered free consultation and awareness sessions on more than 20 medical and dental specialties.

The trained volunteers from all over the city managed more than 20 types of free screenings which were made available with the collaboration of Pakistan’s reputed institutions like Indus Hospital, Chughtai Lab and Help International Welfare Trust.

A First Aid Training workshop was organized in collaboration with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society along with a workshop on article writing and statistical analysis.

The core stability clinic by the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) earned the best stall award for being the most informative and audience engaging.
There were fun games and activities for every age group. Towards the end of the day, there were two free cataract treatments awarded to the expo participants via lucky draw along with a trip to the north of Pakistan.

The visitors recognized and appreciated the efforts of HOPES and pledged to join hands with them to carry forward the mission of making healthcare free and accessible for all.

HOPES, a student-run organization based at Abbassi Shaheed Hospital since 1994, has been providing free of cost medical and diagnostic facilities to the patients of Abbassi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases and Karachi Medical and Dental College. They are believed to have dispensed medicines worth more than Rs 105 Million during its 25 years of existence

Monday, January 7, 2019

Probe into AMUOBA affairs begins

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Sindh Department of Industries and Commerce, has started an enquiry into the affairs of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), acting upon the complaints registered by some of the Aligarhians. 

In the wake of this enquiry, the results of the AMUOBA Elections 2018, which were held on December 29, were also withheld and will be announced only after the enquiry is completed.

According to the complainants, in view of serious violations of association bylaws, irregularities and corruption in association affairs, the High Court of Sindh and the Secretary of Ministry of Industries and Commerce had ordered to conduct inquiry due to which the Association’s election result has already been withheld and sealed.

Meanwhile in compliance of court order, the Inquiry Officer has taken the charge of AMUOBA Head Office at M R Kiyani Road, Karachi, since January 2 in order to conduct immediate inquiry, notice of which had already been displayed at the Association’s office. 

All Associate/Life/Ordinary members of AMUOBA have been advised to submit their complaint/observation or any grievance with regard to the Association's day to day affairs, matters, staff and office bearers in person or in writing to the Inquiry Officer during the office timings of 9 am to 5 pm on working days.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

AMOUBA elections suspended, enquiry ordered

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The elections of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), due to be held on December 29, have been suspended by the Government of Sindh.

“All the activities connected to forthcoming elections of Executive Committee of the association scheduled to be held on December 29, 2018, are hereby kept in abeyance till submission of the report by the enquiry officer,” Abdul Haleem Shaikh, Secretary to Government of Sindh, notified on December 24. 

“With the approval of the competent authority, Muhammad Ali Soomro, Deputy Director (Development Wing), Director of Industries, Government of Sindh, is hereby appointed as Enquiry Officer under Section 16-A of Societies Registration Act 1816 to conduct enquiry into the affairs of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association,” the notification said. 

The term of reference of the enquiry includes the determination whether the governing body of the AMUOBA is unable to discharge or persistently discharge its duties or whether the management committee of the Association is acting in a manner contrary to the public interest of its members. 

Meanwhile Akbar Ali Khan, the founder and chairman of the Zakir Ali Khan Panel of AMUOBA, has congratulated the members at the action of the provincial government 

“Following to the efforts put by Zakir Ali Khan Panel to regain the rights of vote for AMUOBA’s members in the upcoming elections, it is hereby informed that we have successfully managed to draw attention of the of the Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Sindh,” he stated in his message to the members. 

“I would like to congratulate you all on raising your voices against the wrongdoing of the existing management and stood beside us in this movement of truth and together we will regain the pride of Aligarians and AMUOBA,” he added.

Ishfaq Khattak appointed KPOGCL chairman

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has appointed Muhammad Ishfaq Khattak as the Chairman of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL).

Ishfaq Khattak will be heading the 12-member board of the KPOGCL which will provide guidelines and directives for the operation of the entity. 

The other Directors of the KPOGCL include Shumail Butt, Muhammad Riaz Khan, Muhammad Arif and Tahir Azizuddin. The provincial Secretaries of Engery & Power, Finance, Home & Tribal Affairs and Planning & Development besides the Commissioner of Kohat Division will be the ex-officio members of the board. 

The notification in this regard has been issued by Muhammad Salim, Secretary, Energy & Power, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in pursuance of the cabinet division’s decision taken on November 22, 2018. 

The KPOGCL board has also been empowered to approve and supervise exploration and production activities of the company besides approving its structuring. It has been authorized to provide guidelines for entering into bidding process of offshore and onshore blocks. 

The KPOGCL Chairman, Ishfaq Khattak, brings with him vast experience of management and administration, having headed Pakistan Railways with distinction for quite some time. 

Having done Masters of Public Administration from the renowned Harvard Kennedy School, he has also served as Dean and Director of Institute of Public Policy at the Riphah International University, Islamabad.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Hectic campaigning underway for AMOUBA elections

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Hectic campaigning is going on in connection with the election-2018 of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) due to be held on December 29.

At present the AMUOBA is running the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and its affiliate Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT).  

Presently the two institutions are being run by AMUOBA's President and Chancellor Jawaid Anwar who had emerged victorious in the last elections as a candidate of the Zakir Ali Khan Panel. 

However, this time during the upcoming Elections 2018, he has joined hands with the Nizami Group. 

The Zakir Ali Khan group is being headed by its founder and chairman, Akbar Ali Khan, who has formed a panel and is likely to give tough time to their opponents.

The Zakir Ali Khan group's supporters held a meeting at which Akbar Ali Khan announced his group's manifesto committing a better future for the university through far reaching reforms. 

On the occasion the names of the panel candidates for Election-2018 were also announced. 

Dr Jafar Usmani will be the Presidential Candidate while Iqbal Siddiqui, Asif Siddiqui and Tariq Sabzwari have been nominated for the slots of Vice President.

Mohsin Khan (General Secretary), Wasif Nazar (Honorary Joint Secretary), Adil Masood (Honorary Joint Secretary Sports), Hamil Jalil Zuberi (Honorary Joint Secretary Publicity), Masood Alam (Hononrary Joint Secretary Academic) and Ahsan Ghazi (Honorary Treasurer) are the other nominees of the panel. 

The manifesto of the Zakir Ali Khan group for Elections-2018, unveiled on the occasion, contained its policies for recognition plans for Aligarians and AMUOBA members, Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association Cooperative Housing Society (AMUOBACHS), 200-acre Education City having campuses of SSUET and AIT, and new projects.

Earthquake, tsunami rock Indonesia again

By Ludya Arica Bakti
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The joint teams continue to sweep, evacuate, search and rescue tsunami victims along the tsunami-affected areas in the Sunda Strait, Indonesia. Some of the areas that were previously difficult to access because of damaged road and covered by tsunami-washed material have been reached by the officers, vehicles and heavy equipments. 

The National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) has warned that the potential of the Sunda Strait tsunami could still occur. This is because of the eruption of Anak Krakatoa volcano which continues to occur and can re-create underwater landslides that have caused the tsunami.

"The potential for aftershocks caused by underwater avalanches is still potential because eruption activities are still ongoing," the BNPB Head of Information and Public Relations Centre, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, was quoted as saying. 

The tsunami in the Sunda Strait occurred on December 22. This disaster affected the west coast of Banten and South Lampung. According to the BNPB release on December 25, the death toll had increased to 481. In addition, 1,485 people were injured, 154 were still missing, and 16,082 were displaced.

According to Sutopo, the eruption of Anak Krakatoa volcano has been going on since last June. 

He disclosed that this volcanic eruption is of the strombolian type, which constantly throws incandescent lava and volcanic ash. 

"The type is like that and a two kilometer radius from the top of the crater is declared a dangerous zone," he said. 

The tsunami affected five districts, Pandeglang and Serang in Banten Province, as well as South Lampung Regency, Pesawaran and Tanggamus in Lampung Province.

The scientists, including those from Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics agency, have reckoned that tsunami could have been caused by landslides, either above ground or under water, on the steep slope of the erupting volcano. 

A powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August while the tsunami and earthquake that hit Sulawesi in September killed more than 2100 people and thousands of people are still believed to be buried in neighborhood swallowed by a quake phenomenon known as liquefaction. 

The tsunami on December 22, 2018 reminded many of the massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake that had hit Indonesia on December 26, 2004. It had spawned a giant tsunami off Sumatra Island, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, the majority in Indonesia. 

Meanwhile in a separate place Acehnese held remembrance and prayer together at the Aceh Government Liaison Agency office in Jakarta early on December 26 to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the coast of the Indian Ocean and devastated around 200 thousand lives in Aceh on December 26, 2004.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

AKU inaugurates anatomy, surgery learning studio

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Aga Khan University (AKU) Medical College cut the ribbon on its new anatomy and surgical skills lab, introducing the latest available learning aids in an enlarged space for students to learn about the human body structure, and enable residents and practicing physicians and surgeons to rehearse difficult and complicated surgical procedures before performing them on real patients.

The opening of the Anatomy and Surgery Learning Studio, which coincided with the AKU’s 35th anniversary, took place as a new cohort of students prepares to join the university renowned for preparing its graduates to be innovative thinkers, collaborative clinicians and critical problem solvers. Anatomy is a cornerstone of medical education. 

The renovation of the old Anatomy Lab and adjacent spaces to create additional teaching and learning spaces has integrated state-of-the-art technology and interactive learning with the classic anatomy dissection experience to better prepare students to become great clinicians. 

Medical, nursing, dental students and other disciplines allied to medicine will all learn about human anatomy in the new Learning Studio using different approaches including didactic lectures, practical sessions based on models, prosected materials, radiological images, cadaveric dissection as well as newer methods using interactive computer-based software.

The Learning Studio also features BodyViz, the latest in anatomy software that will allow students, both undergraduate and graduate, to explore and better understand anatomical concepts. 

The software fuses advances in visualisation technology with the accuracy of radiology, as it renders interactive 3D visualisations directly from MRI and CT data on a laptop, PC and iPads. 

It integrates easily into all levels of anatomy curriculum and medical training; supplements anatomical study done through cadaver and can support preoperative planning. 

“Our Anatomy and Surgery Learning Studio is the most advanced educational environment to learn and teach anatomy as well as surgical skills in Pakistan; it will forever change the way we educate about the human body at the Aga Khan University," the outgoing Dean of the Medical College, Dr Farhat Abbas, remarked at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

The new Sstudio was initiated by ideas from our faculty and made possible by a generous gift from a long-standing supporter of education at AKU. 

In recognising the donors, Dr Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University said: “Excellent academic programmes, such as ours, are dependent on excellent educational resources, including people, learning spaces and technology. While honouring our past accomplishments, we are also looking to the needs of our students who are learning in an ever-changing environment for education and medicine to produce the highest qualified professionals.” 

Facility tours and demonstrations were provided to highlight the technology and resources available to medical students who will learn hands-on about anatomy and pathology.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pakistan, China to upgrade strategic ties

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan and China, having enjoyed decades of brotherly relations, have reiterated their resolve to upgrade all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and take it to new heights while giving a thrust to key areas of economic, trade and defence. 

The two neighbouring countries have agreed to form a joint mechanism for curbing terrorism and poverty, increasing exports, creating jobs and promoting education.

They have also expressed convergence of opinion that social and economic development would be an important area under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cooperation between the two countries. 

Addressing a joint press conference, with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Islamabad on September 8, after their delegation-level talks, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, remarked both countries were supporting each other on various international fora and shared common principles on different international and regional issues, asserting that enhancing the all-weather strategic partnership with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. 

“CPEC will remain a priority for the government. It’s a proof of how seamless the Belt and Road initiative can become with the help of all stakeholders. We are proud of Pakistan and China's friendship which has withstood every test," he assured. 

“CPEC has not inflicted a debt burden on Pakistan, rather when these projects get completed and enter into operation, they will unleash huge economic benefit and these will create considerable returns to the Pakistani economy. This has helped increase the economic growth by 1-2 percent and has contributed 70,000 jobs in Pakistan,” the Chinese Foreign Minister stated. 

"China will give a lot of sustenance to encourage imports from Pakistan. We have decided to strive for a greater balance in the two-way trade. China will earmark subsidiaries to encourage imports from Pakistan and will send more coalition teams to Pakistan. We will also broaden the market access to Pakistan's competitive agricultural products," he added. 

The delegation level talks took place at the Foreign Office where the visiting Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, accompanied by three ministerial level representatives, met with Shah Mahmood Qureshi.