Monday, March 30, 2009

Gul Bahao’s fuel pack could run power plants: Nargis

KARACHI: Nargis Latif, Managing Trustee of Gul Bahao had a detailed meeting with Vice-Chancellor of Hamdard University Dr Nasim A. Khan at the university campus at Madina-tul- Hikmat where she gave an elaborate account of Gul Bahao’s Research Centre in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
Nargis claimed that the centre has succeeded in providing answers to problems of waste management of one of the largest cities of the world i.e. Karachi. What is more, several of the products developed there are geared towards changing the economy as well.
According to her, Gul Hahaos latest innovations include fuel pack, a low cost energy sources for running power plants, and Choora Chara, fodder for livestock.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Illegal exam center scam termed “the tip of the iceberg”

Karachi: The raid on illegal examination center in Shah Faisal Colony Karachi on Thursday was just the tip of the iceberg as such malpractices are widespread in various areas of Karachi, said sources in Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), adding dozens of ‘agents’ are working to provide their illegal services to students for getting desirable results in Matriculation exams.

“Black sheep in BESK mint up to Rs100 million every year by extending their services wealthy and influential students and their parents to get them good grades in exams in connivance with corrupt staff and officials. A student has to pay about Rs3000 for getting ‘passed marks’ or above in one paper while up to Rs20000 for getting all papers cleared. For getting better grade a candidate has to pay a bribe of about Rs5000 per paper.”

Illegal exam center scam termed “the tip of the iceberg”

Karachi: The raid on illegal examination center in Shah Faisal Colony Karachi on Thursday was just the tip of the iceberg as such malpractices are widespread in various areas of Karachi, said sources in Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), adding dozens of ‘agents’ are working to provide their illegal services to students for getting desirable results in Matriculation exams.

“Black sheep in BESK mint up to Rs100 million every year by extending their services wealthy and influential students and their parents to get them good grades in exams in connivance with corrupt staff and officials. A student has to pay about Rs3000 for getting ‘passed marks’ or above in one paper while up to Rs20000 for getting all papers cleared. For getting better grade a candidate has to pay a bribe of about Rs5000 per paper.”

Illegal exam center scam termed “the tip of the iceberg”

Karachi: The raid on illegal examination center in Shah Faisal Colony Karachi on Thursday was just the tip of the iceberg as such malpractices are widespread in various areas of Karachi, said sources in Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), adding dozens of ‘agents’ are working to provide their illegal services to students for getting desirable results in Matriculation exams.

“Black sheep in BESK mint up to Rs100 million every year by extending their services wealthy and influential students and their parents to get them good grades in exams in connivance with corrupt staff and officials. A student has to pay about Rs3000 for getting ‘passed marks’ or above in one paper while up to Rs20000 for getting all papers cleared. For getting better grade a candidate has to pay a bribe of about Rs5000 per paper.”

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) nabs 7 from Karachi passport office

KARACHI: As many as seven people were arrested after Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided passport office here on Tuesday.According to FIA sources, the people were arrested over corruption allegations including bribing for preparation of fake passports and many others.

Some persons managed to escape during raid while FIA also seized documents from passport office, sources added.When contacted, Director FIA Karachi Circle Meer Zubair confirmed Geo news the FIA raid on passport office but refused to confirm any arrest.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fire breaks out in textile mill in Ahsan Abad Karachi

KARACHI: A fire broke out in a textile mill near Gulshan-e-Maymar on Tuesday. Fire fighters have reached the scene and trying to douse the fire.

According to fire brigade sources, fire engulfed three floors of the building and half of the building has been collapsed.

Six fire brigade vehicles are trying to extinguish the fire whereas snorkel and more fire tenders have been called at the scene.

CCPO asked to control crimes in public transport

Karachi: On Pasban Help line’s application Provincial Ombudsman has ordered CCPO Karachi to take action against the looting incidents in buses and coaches of Karachi.
A Pasban press release here Monday said dozens of Karachits had complained to Pasban Helpline against growing looting incidents in the buses, minibuses and coaches. It was also reported that in some cases bandits were injuring and killing on resistance.
The release said citizens particularly mentioned five towns namely Lyari, Kaemari, Site, Baldia, and Orangi where on average 15 incidents of looting passengers were being reported daily.
Later on Pasban’s request, the Provincial Ombudsman ordered CCPO Karachi to take action in this regard.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ghazal maestro expected to be released soon

Renowned ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan, admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) on February 12, 2009 for weakness, fever and disorientation, may be discharged over the next few days once doctors determine he is stable enough to return home. Dr Aziz Sonawala, Consultant Neurologist, AKUH and Mr. Hassan’s physician since 2001, said “when he arrived, Mr. Hassan was diagnosed with sepsis, or a generalized infection, for which he has been treated. Multiple specialty teams cared for him, similar to his previous hospital visits. Though he remains weak, he will hopefully be discharged soon.” The family has also arranged for a 24-hour nurse at his home.
Mehdi Hasan was born in 1927 in a small village, Luna, in the princely state of Rajasthan, India. Growing up in a family of singers - both his father and uncle were traditional singers - allowed him the opportunity to practice his talent daily, even when he was not singing professionally. (National Courier Report)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Karachi will have 50 buses specially for female passengers: Jadoon

KARACHI: Out of total number of buses that KPTS will bring on roads, 50 buses would be exclusively earmarked for women passengers and will have female conductors.
This was stated by Sindh Transport Minister Akhtar Hussain Jadoon while replying to a supplementary question during question hour in Sindh Assembly on Wednesday. He said that transport problem in Karachi will continue to persist unless new buses are inducted. He said that with 1:1500 bus- population ratios, Karachi still needs an additional number of 10,000 buses.
Replying to the main question of Arif Mustafa Jatoi, the Transport Minister said that for Karachi-Sukkur route, 70 permits have been issued for air-conditioned and 06 permits for non-air conditioned buses out of 296 and 61 permits sanctioned for this route.
To a supplementary, he said that after devolution plan, the powers to check violations by transporters rests with the Home department and which earlier were with the transport department. He said in case if any complaint is brought to the notice of transport department of route permit violations, the same can be referred to DIG Traffic and DIG Motorway for action. Replying a supplementary question, Mr Jadoon informed that at present permits are issued to vehicles of up to 1982 model, but efforts are continuing to ensure that new model vehicles are brought on roads. He said people would get rid of obsolete buses only when new buses are inducted. To another supplementary, the Minister said that DIG Highway has been asked that while checking a vehicle’s registration book, the route permit issued to it is also checked.
Replying to another question of Arif Mustafa Jatoi, the Transport Minister informed that in all 107,762 vehicles holding route permits are operating on Urban routes in Karachi City as Public Transport Vehicles. He said these include 2598 buses, 5935 mini-buses, 3372 coaches, 230 buses (KPTS), 42 Buses (UTS) (AC), 220 buses (UTS), 24209 Taxis (Black/Yellow), 23095 Taxis (Yellow Cab), 43,325 2-stroke auto rickshaw and 4736 4-stroke CNG rickshaws.
Jadoon informed that fare for stage carriage is determined by Government in pursuance of the provision of Section 45 (I) (iii) & (ii) of Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965
He presented the annexure showing fare structure of the public service vehicles. (RT)

Monday, March 16, 2009

City urgently needs 10,000 buses: KTI chief Syed Irshad Bukhari

At least 10,000 new buses are required in the city on an urgent basis to resolve problems faced by commuters, especially women, who are the worst sufferers in daily commuting, said Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) President Syed Irshad Bukhari.

He said that the federal government should facilitate the transporters in buying these buses by providing them subsidy, adding that the problems of city commuters would stay till the new buses are brought in.

According to Bukhari, Mass Transit Cell Director Zahir-ul-Islam has suggested that transporters would bear 20 per cent cost of new buses, while the government would finance remaining 80 per cent.

He said that they had proposed that this ratio should be turned into 10:90, under which transporters should pay 10 per cent. “I have also given assurance and guarantee for returning all loan to the government, if our proposal is accepted,” he said.

Bukhari said that large buses were also not given new permits in the city, which was also a part of the problem. Although thousands of minibuses were plying on illegal routes all around the city, the government was not giving new route permits to large buses, he said. The route permits should be allowed to both small and large size buses in the city to facilitate the citizens, he added.

He said that the KTI also wanted to resolve traffic problems in the city, and were ready to cooperate with new Traffic DIG Khurram Gulzar in launching a drive against male commuters travelling in female compartments.

Bukhari said in the past transport associations had also cooperated with late Traffic DIG Yamin Khan in such drives against violation of traffic rules.

Talking about the issues faced by female commuters in the city, he said women compartments should always be restricted for women commuters, and no male commuter should be allowed travelling in these compartments.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March Restricted; Detentions At Karachi Toll Plaza

KARACHI: Police have started detaining the participants of Long March at Toll Plaza, Super Highway Karachi, reported A Pakistan News here Thursday.

Heavy contingent of police, ranger and other law enforcement agencies is present at the Toll plaza that has been sealed off for vehicles to prevent lawyers’ long march from continuing its journey towards Hyderabad, the first stop of the rally destined at Islamabad.

Police started detaining lawyers and political activists, belong to Jamaat-i-Islami, Tehreek-i-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and other nationalist parties, attending the march when they arrived at Karachi Toll Plaza at Super Highway.

Lawyers and political workers also scuffled with the law enforcers who brutally tortured the detainees. Police also baton charged the participants of long march at some points, says the channel.

Former Amir JI Karachi Mairajul Huda Siddiqui, President Sindh High Court Bar Association Rashid A Rizvi and Ex-President Supreme Court Bar Association Munir A Malik are also among the detainees arrested from the Toll Plaza.

SP Gaddap Town informed A Pakistan News that the participants of Long March will not be allowed to cross Toll Plaza. Police have also said to be possessed warrants of 11 top lawyers present in the march.

Police personnel snatched the keys of the vehicles present in the Long March

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Karachi Bloggers Pledge to Lift Pakistan’s Image Online

About 30 bloggers meet up at the Royal Rodale on Friday the 6th March 2009 for a discussion on how they're all playing a role in activating a different part of Pakistan to the local and international audience. Anyone who was there, and the few who had joined them through the live webstream on and Skype, would probably agree that the discussion went places and was full of emotion. And why shouldn't it be? Blogging is about the personal expression - Activism is about the personal belief. Put both together and you're bound to have fireworks.
Much discussion was spent on the political blogging and the debate whether or not the personal opinion should influence the masses who don't realize the difference between an opinion and a verified story, a lot of really interesting points of discussion were touched upon. A few points are highlighted for further thought and archiving:

- A lot of the individual efforts need to come together.
Everyone means well, but rather than break up the audience and split their already-attention-deficient time, consolidate and collaborate. But for that to happen, you also need to have the need to let go and share the fame or whatever reason you want to engage in the greater good.

- You can't stop the negative image.
Pakistan isn't the only country in the world that has a negative side - every country does. The reason it's more 'in your face' right now, is because we don't create as much hype or excitement about the good stuff. Farzal's resolve to create a place where we can share the "talking points" list about what we have, will help generate a content deluge for this.

- Fariha and Farhan Chawla's point to blog about problems and solutions was also liked. Point one finger at a problem, and you'll have 3 fingers pointing back to you, making you a part of the entire equation! If you don't know the solution, reach out to someone else on the Blogosphere who CAN perhaps suggest a solution. This brings us back to the collaboration concept.

- Badar Khushnood shared a great deal of examples on what is already being done in Pakistan and abroad and how bloggers are taking the level of engagement up to a whole new level. Work together and complement bloggers who have different specialties. A very valid point to get the tech bloggers (Umair, Imran and others) who are in a position to help others more effectively promote content, to work together.

- Make a change, one at a time. A lot of the "resolutions" we requested the bloggers to create, seemed quite generic. Rather than digesting the entire world and winning the Nobel prize, let's be the change one person at a time. Change the mindset of one person or one friend. Litter one piece of garbage less. Start with one and work your way up. You'll be able to keep track of the progress.

The meet went on for a long time and different people appreciating various parts of the discussion. Perhaps the need here was just to get into a room and talk. The more platforms for discussion are created, the more discussion we will have, creating more empathy for the other perspective. Believe it or not, everyone has an agenda. We all know what we want to do for the promotion of Pakistan and we're all essentially doing similar activities to get there. Having more open discussion to assess exactly where we're all coming from, is essential. After all, we need to know where we're coming from, to know how to get to the destination together.
Check video of this event here: -

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

KANUPP restores power supply to KESC

KARACHI: The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) has restored electricity supply to KESC on Monday. KANUPP was shut down on January 24, 2009 for routine maintenance work. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Spokesman Tariq Rashid said that KANUPP was started and synchronised with the KESC grid at 8:50 am on Monday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Drive against substandard medicines

Sindh Minister for Health Dr Saghir Ahmed has directed Drug Control Administration to expedite drive against substandard and noxious medicines and continue it till the achievement of better results.

He directed Secretary Health, Sindh Drug Administration, Drug Testing Laboratory and Karachi Drug Administration to forward cases pertaining to substandard and toxic drugs to Drug Courts, so that people involved in such malpractice could be punished.

Dr Saghir instructed that legal action should be initiated against the medical stores involved in drug rules violation, adding that samples of medicines should be sent to Drug Testing Laboratory, and cases of substandard, unregistered and medicines sold with fake names be sent to Drug Courts. He said no political pressure should be accepted in this regard. He strictly warned that action should be taken against the derelict drug inspectors.

Meanwhile, reviewing the last year’s progress report, Dr Saghir informed that in 2008, substandard and toxic medicines worth Rs60 million were seized and 34 accused were arrested, while 96 cases were registered.

PM wants end of governor-rule in Punjab

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said he is also against the imposition of governor-rule in Punjab.

Speaking in the Senate of Pakistan here on Monday, Gilani said confrontation between political forces of Punjab and Sindh would harm democratic process in the country. The pm said the PPP has rendered great sacrifices for freedom of expression and restoration of judiciary. He urged all political forces to work together for socio-economic turnaround in Pakistan.

Gilani said the PML-Q has to play a pivotal role in Punjab and political parties should respect each other’s mandate. He termed the government a ‘musical chair’ saying that any party clinching majority in Punjab should have right to form the government.

The prime minister said the government had no objection to lawyers’ long march, however, he maintained it should be peaceful.

Sharmila urges measures for curbing violence against women

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister’s Adviser Sharmila Farooqui has said that the increase in incidents of setting women on fire is extremely alarming.

It is most imperative that the culprits be brought to justice as soon as possible. This is particularly urgent in order to curb the trend of setting women ablaze and protecting the women from being subjected to cruelty by husbands, said Farooqui, while talking to Daily Times during her visit to Civil Hospital, Karachi’s Burns Ward to see a burns victim, Saima.

Farooqui said that Saima’s former husband, Nadeem, who has been recently released from jail after three years imprisonment, went to Saima’s house and tried to forcefully take her with him. However, when she refused to do so, Nadeem poured gasoline on her and set her on fire.

She has suffered burns to 65 percent of her body and doctors say that her chances of survival are not very high. She has a 14-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son. If Saima dies, her children will suffer greatly, hence, philanthropists of the city should come forward and take the children into their custody.

I have also dispatched a formal letter to the Sindh chief minister to aid Saima and talked to police officials for prompt arrest of the accused, she said.

Meanwhile, Saima, who had gained consciousness, appealed to the Sindh government and City District Government Karachi and philanthropists to adopt her children, saying that if they are not adopted, their futures will be destroyed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dozens of dolphins trapped near Karachi beach

Apparently chasing small feed, dozens of dolphins were washed ashore and got trapped near the Karachi beach, while some sustained injuries as fishermen tried to put them into water.

" Dolphins usually travel in groups and probably the were chasing small fish for feed and got washed ashore and trapped on the beach,"Mir Hussain an environmentalaalist protection agency said.

Television channels reported that no WWF official was present at the Gaddani beach to help protect and free the dolphins properly." Some of these dolphins were wounded as the local fishermen who were trying to free them and put them back into water didn't know how to handle them," Mohammad Shah of the Pakistan Fisherfolk forum said.

Two kinds of dolphins, the indus and blind dolphins, are found in Pakistan's indus waters and are declared protected and rare species by the World Wildlife Fund.

He said unfortunately there were no dolphin experts in Pakistan and the local fishermen used nets and shovels to move the dolphins some of whom were quite heavy." They were around two dozen dolphins that got trapped on the beach many of them have now been freed," he said.

Friday, March 6, 2009

KBCA moves Govt. for its court & Police station

The establishment of a Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) Court and a KBCA police station, and conferring magisterial powers to senior officials will help stop illegal constructions, and end disputes between builders and allottees, KBCA Chief Controller Manzoor Qadir said.

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, he said this while presiding over a meeting of officials of the Authority. He further said that the summary of the plan has been sent to the Sindh government.

He also said that problems are being faced due to a shortage of technical staff in all 18 towns of Karachi, and added that recommendations have been made for the appointment of 400 technical staff in this regard.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Low intensity blast in Karachi

Karachi: A low intensity bomb exploded near Tariq Road in Karachi today, sources said.

However, no causalities have been reported so far.

The law and order situation in the neighbouring country Pakistan has been on the verge of total collapse following series of attacks in the several parts of cities.

On Tuesday, at least six Sri Lankan cricketers were injured and five policemen were killed when 12 militants attacked the bus near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ban on teachers’ unions withdrawn

KARACHI: The Sindh government has withdrawn the ban imposed on teachers unions in the province during the tenure of former Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, announced Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Karachi Press Club, Haq said that there is a vast difference between the ideology of the present and past governments, adding that he will do everything within his power to resolve the issues of teachers.

He also announced that the provincial government will also withdraw the appeal it had submitted in the Supreme Court against the verdict of the Sindh High Court (SHC). The SHC had rejected the ban imposed by Rahim’s government and, later, the then government had challenged the verdict in the apex court. Haq went to say that he will fight as a lawyer for the rights of the teachers and they will be given all allowances, equal to the teachers of other provinces.

Responding to a question, he claimed that his department has opened at least 2,500 closed schools. He also said that the government was implementing a transparent policy for the appointment of teachers, under which, only candidates securing at least 61 marks will be selected.

The minister said that monitoring committees are being constituted to check the performance of schools and journalists will also be included in the committees. Haq added that he had issued directives to the district education EDOs to ensure the maintenance of school buildings before any tragedy transpires.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hamara Karachi Festival: ‘Donkey-cart racing is pride of the city’

KARACHI: Donkey-cart racing is the pride of the city and this sport is kept alive by the youth of Lyari.

Acting City Nazim Nasreen Jalil said this while addressing the participants of the donkey-race at Kothari Parade in Clifton on Sunday.

Talking to Daily Times, Saddar Town Nazim Muhammad Dilawar said that Jalil has given cash prizes including Rs 10,000, Rs 7,000 and Rs 5,000 for first, second and third positions respectively while the rest of the contestants were given Rs 500 each. The acting city nazim has constituted a four-member committee that will single out the top class donkey cart racers. In this regard, it has been decided that donkey cart races will be held every three months and leading performers will be subjected to exclusive trials and the best performers in the trials will be given cash rewards on regular basis, said Dilawar. Pakistan Sports Donkey Cart Race Federation organised the donkey cart race, under the Hamara Karachi festival 2009, which started from Gul Bai in Keamari Town and ended at the Jehangir Kothari Parade in Clifton. The participants covered a distance of seven kilometers. The race was started by Keamari Town Nazim Muhammad Humayun Khan at Gul Bai on Sunday afternoon.

The donkey cart race was participated by 35 people. Pir Muhammad won the race reaching the finish line in just 13.2 minutes, Saleem Japani secured the second position as he reached the finish line in 13.4 minutes and Asghar Badshah came third for reaching the finish line in 13.7 minutes. On the occasion, the youth of Lyari performed traditional folk dances and played songs. MQM City Council members and Donkey Cart Race Federation’s Honorary General Secretary Sheikh Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui were also present.