Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Swiss government accelerates relief efforts

The outgoing Consul General of Switzerland in Karachi Martin Beinz has said that his government is accelerating efforts to provide aid to the victims of the gruesome recent floods in Pakistan.

Speaking at a reception held in his honor by the President Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Association (SAMEA) at the residence of its Executive member Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui recently he hoped that Pakistan will overcome the calamity with resilience while the whole world stands behind with the aid being flown in rapidly.
President Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Association, Zafar Iqbal presenting crest to outgoing Consul General of Switzerland in Karachi Martin Beinz at Iftar dinner at the residence of its Executive member Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui, Syed Farukh Mazhar and others also seen in the picture. 

The diplomat who is on his way to his new assignment after completing his tenure of over 3 years to Chicago USA recalling his stay in Karachi as memorable and exciting and hailed the business community particularly SAMEA for close coordination and doing utmost to promote bilateral business with his country and offered his help to further increase the bilateral trade.

Earlier President SAMEA Zafar Iqbal in his opening remarks lauded the interaction and efforts of the outgoing diplomat and said that his readiness to promote the small businesses were exemplary and hoped a bright future for his future career.

On this occasion the Consul Generals from Japan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Vietnam, Germany along with former Senator Iqbal Hyder and large number of SAMEA office bearers and members were also present.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rotary helps flood victims in Pakistan: Aziz Memon

By Mohammad Nazakat Ali

“From raising funds to distributing life-saving shelters, the Rotary clubs worldwide, together with the local clubs, are proactively assisting flood victims in Pakistan day and night to help those in need.”

This was observed by Mr Aziz Memon, Chairman, National Polio Committee, Rotary International, who has remained the Governor of the Rotary clubs in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the other day.

“The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, one of the largest humanitarian service organizations in the world, is accepting member contributions to its Pakistan Flooding Recovery Fund to support long-term recovery in the affected areas, which have sustained billions of dollars in damage according to the Pakistani government,” he disclosed.

“The Rotary clubs are also providing immediate humanitarian assistance to flood victims, which the United Nations estimates to be more than 17.2 million people. The Rotary members in both Pakistan and Afghanistan are working together besides facilitating the international clubs,” Mr Aziz Memon said.

“Among the first international relief to reach flood victims in Pakistan was ShelterBox. a UK-based disaster response organization supported by Rotary clubs worldwide. More than 1,900 ShelterBox tents and 600 ShelterBox kits, each containing a 10-person tent, a water purification system and other survival necessities for up to six months, were pre-positioned in Pakistan in June following predictions of a particularly bad monsoon season,” the Rotary official added.

In partnership with the French Embassy Islamabad and National Disaster Management Authority Pakistan, Rotary members distributed the ShelterBox kits to the hardest hit areas.

John Leach, ShelterBox Head of Operations, said: “The need for shelter in Pakistan is growing by the day. We need to get more aid in as quickly as possible. By working with our international partners we can make this happen.”

ShelterBox is sending 5,000 water filtration units and 2,500 water containers to flooded areas. More ShelterBox kits are due to arrive in Pakistan soon.

A Rotary club in Houston, Texas, USA, filled two 40-foot shipping containers with relief supplies, and is coordinating with Rotary clubs in Pakistan to deliver them to Karachi, where local clubs will help distribute the goods.

A Rotary club in Multan, Pakistan has established five flood relief camps at local hospitals. Rotary members are collecting tents, household items, food, and medicine.

Experts warn of a second wave of deaths from water-borne diseases such as cholera unless flood victims have access to supplies of fresh drinking water. World Water Works, a Rotary-club sponsored relief organization that provides disaster victims with water purification tools, has sent more than 600 boxes to the southern province of Sindh. Hugo Pike, chair of World Water Works and a member of the Rotary club in Avon, England, says each box contains a water purification kit that can supply each member of a family of four with about 2 quarts of drinking water every day for a year.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary’s global membership is approximately 1.2 million men and women who belong to more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rotary recognition brings smiles

By Syed Khalid Mahmood 

It was quite a big day for me on August 21 as I was presented a Certificate of Excellence by two of the leading Rotary personalities of the country, Aziz Memon and Syed Shahab Balkhi. It was deemed as a great honour for our Rotary Club of Karachi Airport as well.

Obviously every award as a significance of its own but the Rotary recognition is something that’s dearer to the heart because of the noble causes being pursued by this leading international voluntary organization of which I have been a member for the past six years now.

There was even greater pleasure to have received the award from a man called Aziz Memon, who has been one of my role models for the last many years. He was not only responsible for motivating me to join Rotary in 2004 but he has remained an inspiration all along with his deeds and words.

Different people have different reasons to know Aziz Memon because he has been blessed with such a versatile personality and for whom the sun never sets. He starts his day at office before 9 each morning and trust me he has the same energy level when we meet him late at night in various ceremonies.

His time management, besides quite a few other outstanding qualities, is truly incredible and I am sure we need to learn from him. He has set very high standards for himself but most importantly he meets the challenge with a smile.

Aziz Memon had rewritten the Rotary history when he was District Governor in 2007-2008. Now Shahab Balkhi has also taken over the reigns at a historic time, having become the first Governor of the newly founded District 3271, covering Sindh and Balochistan.

The visit of Aziz Memon and Shahab Balkhi to Rangoonwala Community Centre, where Rotary Club of Airports convenes its weekly meetings on Saturdays, on August 21 was a Red Letter Day in the history of our club.

The Club President, Anwar Jabeen Qureshi, was both happy and relieved. So was the Club Secretary, Shah Mohammad Anwar. Both these gentlemen had worked extremely hard to put the acts together in making the necessary arrangements for the visit of the two dignitaries at a rather short notice.

The other members of the club present on the occasion were Abdul Hamid, Mohammad Nazakat Ali, Shamim Khan, Wasim Yousuf, Sameer Baig and Mahmood Nawaz.

Besides the award presentation by Aziz Memon, there was a full board meeting chaired by Shahab Balkhi as it was also the Governor’s Official Visit to the club.

The Governor, who was generous enough to recognize our project of Mobile Library & Resource Centre in his speech in the installation ceremony on July 10, had a lively interactive session and he was thoroughly impressed by the efforts being made by the club.

He agreed that once the pilot project of Mobile Library & Resource Centre became ready our club will be in much better position to seek partner corporate organizations to spread it further.

He was informed that our club will be actively participating in community service by providing equipments to needy schools and colleges, donating books to educational institutions and public libraries, donating sewing machines to needy women, donating equipments to charity hospitals, holding free eye camps and medical clinic and holding career development seminars for youth.

Friday, August 20, 2010

An introduction of Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF)

Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF) is a non-profit and social organization, which believes in equality for all children in need regardless of race, religion, national origin or social position. We cooperate with people and organizations from all cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds in our efforts to bring relief and hope to those in need. We welcome the cooperation and assistance from like-minded individuals, businesses and organizations in helping the poor and disadvantaged.

Hundreds of children who have been abandoned or who are orphans survive on the streets of Karachi by eating from bins, begging, stealing, or by prostitution. Various charitable organizations try to deal with the care, feeding and education of these children, in dedicated homes and orphanages. But many of these children have become wild after spending many years in the streets, where physical strength and violence is the only way to survive. As a result, they cannot easily adapt themselves to the strict regulations of such homes, usually refusing education and its constraints and, after a period of a few days or a few months, many of them return to the streets with an even bitter feeling.

Successful re-insertion of these children in the society is a lengthy process, which requires patience and dedication. Furthermore it can only be achieved through considering each child personally, taking into account the specificity of his own painful history and complicated background. In many cases, charitable organizations, which are few and far between, are confronted with large numbers of street children and are thus incapable of providing adequate help.

We believe that these children in spite of their backward situation and somehow a social behavior, possess in themselves rare qualities and immense resources (which are needed to survive in the streets), which make them a potential wealth that should not be neglected.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Formation of ICAP Flood Relief Fund

As the country completes its 63 years of existence, the nation is struggling to come to terms with the worst disaster in its history. The devastation caused by the catastrophic flash floods and torrential monsoon rain in Pakistan is more than that of Haiti's January 2010 earthquake, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake combined. The floods have killed 1,600 people so far and affected 15 million people in total.

In wake of the massive suffering and the large scale loss, Abdul Rahim Suriya, the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, recognizing the huge magnitude of the disaster and foreseeing the massive after-effects has formed an “ICAP Flood Relief Fund" to support the flood victims.

He has requested ICAP members, their employers and Audit firms to contribute generously to this fund and help our fellow citizens in their moment of plight. The contributions are to be made in the name of ICAP (Flood Relief Fund) -Account number 20311-714-107398 of Habib Metropolitan Civil Lines Branch Karachi.

Rise up and play your role. Your generosity might just save someone's life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kalu Current and 6 drug traffickers killed in Shanti Nagar operation

File Photo
Police and Rangers carried out a joint operation in Shanti Nagar area near Dalmia and killed 7 members of drug and land mafias including a proclaimed drug trafficker Kalu Current in Shanti Nagar area near Dalmia.

Heavy cache of arms was also recovered and seized during the operation.

DIG East Ameer Shaikh told private News channel that a clash had been going on for the past four days between a group of drug trafficker headed by Kalu Current and land mafia group of Haji Aslam in which guns and hand grenades were heavily used.

Heavy contingents of police and Rangers began operation against the clashing groups early Sunday morning during and performed door to door search in the area, recovering a large quantity of arms including hand grenades, police uniforms and number plates of vehicles.

During the operation, Kalu Current, a proclaimed drug trafficker of Shanti Nagar was killed along with his six accomplices. Their bodies were shifted to Jinnah Post-graduate Medical Center.

Over 50 suspects were also taken into custody during the crackdown against the drug mafia.

The road from National Stadium to Dalmia Road was closed for traffic when the operation was underway.

Home Minister Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza appreciated the successful operation conducted jointly by police and Rangers and announced Rs500,000 for the teams of police and Rangers who took part in the crackdown.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

HRCP demands political parties join hands to end Karachi mayhem

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed serious concern on Wednesday over the spree of killings unleashed on Karachi after the assassination of a lawmaker, and called upon all political actors to do everything within their power to end the bloodshed in the city and settle their differences in a non-violent manner.In a statement issued on Wednesday, HRCP said: “Karachi has once again descended into the now familiar mayhem, with nearly 70 people dead and another 200 injured. As the murders, torching of vehicles, shops and pushcarts continue, the citizens have been left to fend for themselves.

The assassination of Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Raza Haider is condemnable indeed, but the subsequent killings on the streets of Karachi are equally unpardonable. While MQM’s grievances are understandable, their tendency to blame one party for anything that goes amiss would not help. It is now painfully obvious that there are many actors, including terrorists trying to fish in troubled waters, who can start mischief and then sit back as Karachi degenerates into violence.

The government has responded in what has become a typical and a stereotyped manner, naming names first and ordering investigations later. It appears that the government considers its primary obligation is not to protect the lives and property of the people but to issue statements listing possible offenders after the crime has been committed. Little wonder then that the aggrieved parties have not taken the official assertions seriously and have proceeded to go after the perceived perpetrators.

It is an undeniable fact that all parties and groups in Karachi are armed to the teeth and have developed a taste for slugging it out at the slightest provocation. The government’s capacity, rather the abject lack of it, has been totally exposed. The only thing that can redeem the situation is an agreement and an unequivocal commitment by the political parties that they will not resort to violent means, nor display their firepower and street power to settle disagreements.

They also must move to ensure an across-the-board de-weaponisation drive in the port city and somehow try to make up for the utter inability of the government to protect the most basic of human rights of the people.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

MQM MPA Raza Haider shot dead in Nazimabad area

By S J A Jafri
KARACHI: Raza Haider, MQM leader and Haq Parast member Sindh Assembly and his guard Khalid Khan were assassinated here yesterday evening in Nazimabad area.
According to the details, unknown armed motorcyclists fired shots at Raza Haider and his guard when he was preparing to attend a funeral prayer at Jamia Masjid of Nazimabad Block No 2. An MQM worker Arslan was also killed in the incident.
Raza Haider, received a bullet in his head which proved fatal and he died when on his way to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. The guard Khalid Khan later succumbed to his injuries while receiving medical aid at the hospital.
Raza Haider was elected from PS-94 Karachi 6.
Separate incidents of firing were reported in different parts of the city shortly after the fatal attack on MQM leader. The incident sent a wave of fear and panic across the metropolis, as shopkeepers pulled down their shutters in view of any violent reaction by enraged people.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik condemned the incident, urging the people to remain calm. He termed the targeted killings in Karachi as a ‘latest tool’ being used to destabilize the country. Rehman Malik urged MQM leaders to wait for investigation and called upon the people to observe restraint.
He said he would soon hold a meeting with MQM leaders. MQM leaders Babar Ghauri and Haider Abbas Rizvi expressed profound grief on the tragic incident. “It would be difficult to put a cap on the chapter opened (today),” Babar Ghauri asserted.

Altaf demands high-level probe into killing of Raza Haider
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Chief Altaf Hussain yesterday called for a high-level probe into the murder of Raza Haider, MQM leader and a Member Sindh Assembly, who was shot dead by unknown assailants here last evening. Strongly condemning the killing of the MQM MPA, Altaf termed his killing as a big tragedy, said a statement issued by MQM here.
Altaf Hussain said MPA Raza Haider was one of the oldest and honest worker of the party and his murder is a irreparable loss for the MQM. He also condoled with the bereaved family members and said he himself and all activists of the MQM share their grief. Altaf has called upon the government to immediately arrest the culprits.

Karachi killings ‘attempt to destabilize city’: MQM
KARACHI: MQM leaders Babar Ghauri, Haider Abbas Rizvi and Faisal Sabzwari expressed profound grief on the killing of MQM MPA Raza Haider along with his guard here in Nazimabad yesterday.
“It would be difficult to put a cap on the chapter opened (today),” Babar Ghauri asserted. Talking to a local news channel they said the tragic incident was to destabilize the city, which is the economic hub of the country.
Unknown armed motorcyclists fired shots at MQM leader and MPA Raza Haider as well as his guard when he was preparing to attend a funeral prayer at Jamia Masjid of Nazimabad Block No.2. Raza Haider died while he was being shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. His guard succumbed to the bullet wounds later in the hospital.

President, PM strongly condemn MQM MPA killing
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have strongly condemned the killing of Raza Haider, MQM leader and Member Sindh Assembly, who was shot dead by unknown assailants in Karachi last evening.
The President and Prime Minister in their separate messages expressed shock and grief over the unfortunate incident and directed the concerned authorities to investigate the tragic happening and take all necessary steps to bring the culprits to justice.
They conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family and prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss with equanimity.

Raza Haider’s funeral today
KARACHI: MQM leader and Member Sindh Assembly, Raza Haider’s funeral prayer will be held here at Jinnah Ground near MQM Headquarter today.
He will be laid to rest in Azizabad’s graveyard.(NC Report)