KARACHI – AHAN – Aik Hunar Aik Nagar – organised an exhibition to display rural handmade products of Pakistan at the London High Commission for Pakistan, United Kingdom.
The event ‘Handmade Pakistan Exhibition’ marked the first occasion when AHAN exhibited handicrafts from Pakistan under its brand name “Handmade by AHAN” in UK.
The products on display at the exhibition represented a small segment of the vast range of handmade products ranging from regional hand embroidery, Ajrak, patch work (Rilli), accessories (apparels, home decor), lacquer art, silver jewellery and leather.
This was the first time that AHAN, a public limited company operating as subsidiary of Pakistan
Industrial Development Corporation under the Production Ministry, displayed the rural crafts of Pakistan in UK with the hope of opening further avenues for export of such products, benefiting the poor rural artisans and craft persons in the country.
The exhibition was extremely successful with dozens of visitors turning up to buy and inquire about the unique products and the stunning handiworks. Amongst the most appreciated products were embroidered truck-art cushions from Balochistan, Sindhi Ajraks and Rillis, beaded jewellery from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and lacquer items from Sillanwali.
KARACHI – Sports and play have always been considered as an extracurricular activity in schools but now due to Right To Play’s interventions in districts of Sindh, it has become an integral part of the educational curriculum and is considered as a co-curricular activity, said Umerkot District Education Officer Ghulam Mustafa Soomro, while speaking at a day-long Sindh Sports Mela held at Right To Play’s district office grounds.
The purpose of the festival was to create an opportunity for thousands of children to learn the importance of sports and play in their lives and take part in various sporting activities amidst a traditional setting.
The event witnessed the participation of 5,000 children from 40 UNICEF child-friendly schools based in Umerkot, 10 private schools, 12 government boys schools from three districts of Sindh and also saw the presence of government officials, members from fellow not-for-profit organisations like HANDS, Sami Foundation, Children’s Global Network (CGN), Right To Play District Coordinators, parents and teachers from schools and community members.
Activities such as modified table tennis, balancing the ball, balloon race, badminton, tableaus and traditional song and dance performances by children were some of the highlights which saw the highest participation of children. A sports quiz was also held for the children and the winners were presented gifts by the District Education Officer.
At the culmination of the event, Right To Play Provincial Programme Coordinator Ratan Salem thanked the children, teachers, headmistresses and community members for actively participating in the festival and making it a grand success.
KARACHI – The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) completed its three decades of existence on Tuesday as one of the leading labour resource centres in the country.
PILER was founded in May 1982, starting out as an initiative of activists from trade unions movement, academics, and professionals, focusing on labour issues in response to the emerging needs of a weakened and fragmented trade unions movement and the negative impact of the state’s flawed policies on people’s livelihoods and social protection.
In the following years, PILER continued, initiating and joining hands with labour alliances and fellow citizens’ movements, to advocate for a democratic arrangement as a means for promoting spaces for workers in the political, social, constitutional, and economic orders of the state and the region.
The labour struggle in Pakistan centres as much around the premise of basic rights as it does around the state’s declining interest and concern for the working class that comprise a large majority of the population.
The total labour force of the country stands at 57.24 million, out of which 53.84 million are employed and the unemployment rate stands at 5.42 percent. The share of three major sectors in employment stand at: agriculture 21.2 percent; industry: 25.4 percent; and services: 53.4 percent.
Apart from the lack of political will on the part of the state to promote workers rights, the biggest challenge for workers is an increasingly exclusionary economy that seeks to promote the interest of the elites at the cost of the majority population of working class. Pakistan’s expanding informal sector economy that comprises 30 percent of the economy employs 73 percent of the labour force. This essentially means that three fourth of the total population of workers has no access to basic rights as no labour law in applicable to the informal sector.
The constitution of Pakistan is strong on labour rights while the state has gone an extra mile signing a number of ILO conventions, including core labour conventions to reiterate the state’s commitment to labour entitlements. The following articles of the constitution focus exclusively on labour:
– Article 11 of the constitution prohibits all forms of slavery, forced labour and child labour;
– Article 17 provides for a fundamental right to exercise the freedom of association and the right to form unions;
– Article 18 proscribes the right of its citizens to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation and to conduct any lawful trade or business;
– Article 25 lays down the right to equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex alone;
– Article 37(e) makes provision for securing and humane conditions of work, ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and for maternity benefits for women in employment.
However, Pakistan stands miles behind in implementation of constitutional provisions as well as the ILO Conventions as less than 3 percent of the total workforce is unionised despite the constitutional provision (Article 17) guaranteeing the related right.
Less than 5 percent of the workers benefit from EOBI, PESSI, and WWF the social security systems run by the government, even though Article 28 of the constitution provides for social security for all citizens.
Labour inspection remains officially suspended in two provinces (Sindh and Punjab). The tripartite system (government, employees and employers annual consultation on labour issues) too remains weak as the last tripartite meeting was held in 2009 after a gap of many years while there is no information on the next. The Industrial Relations Order pursued by the government, and now by provincial governments following the constitutional reforms, is extremely exclusionary as it denies 80% of the workforce the right to unionisation. The entire agriculture sector that employs 45% of the workforce is regulated by no labour laws.
It is in this backdrop that the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research is initiating a series of activities to mark its 30 years.
Apart from PILER’s 30 years, May 1 is also celebrated as the International Labour Day. As Pakistan marks yet another labour day, it is important to revisit the occasion as a celebration of the relentless struggle put out by workers who have continued to seek a democratic course for the promotion of their rights, and the strength of the common citizens that stand resilient in the face of an increasingly narrow-based political and social space that have repeatedly sought to marginalise the non-
LAHORE – Renowned nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan is visiting Punjab University to address a huge gathering of students at Faisal Auditorium tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10am.
The varsity is all set to give a historic welcome to the hero of the nation and in this connection, the PU Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, Registrar Dr Khan Raas Masood, Director Students Affairs Chaudhry Iftikhar, Resident Officer Javed Sami and senior officials visited Faisal Auditorium to review arrangements.
BA/BSC DATE-SHEET FOR
MISSING PAPERS IN GILGIT: PU Examinations Department has issued date-sheet for BA/BSc Annual Examination for Missed Papers of Gilgit candidates to be held in May, said the PU spokesman here Tuesday. He added that detailed date sheet is also available at PU website www.pu.edu.pk
PUIAS LECTURER GETS PHD DEGREE FROM NETHERLAND: Punjab University Institute of Administrative Sciences Lecturer Aamir Saeed has successfully completed his Doctorate in the field of Governance and Management from University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. The Utrecht University is ranked first in the Netherlands and 48th in the world. The topic of this dissertation was “Making Sense of Policy Implementation Process in Pakistan: the case of Hospital Autonomy Reforms.” The dissertation maps the policy making and its implementation stages of the hospital autonomy reforms under which public teaching hospitals in Punjab were given autonomy in governance, administration and other related fields. Later, the implementation process of the reforms is explained in the light of various historical, political, and social factors. The thesis can be very useful in understanding the policy making and implementation processes and public-government equation in Pakistan.
LAHORE – Asthma Day is globally observed every year. In this connection, a free medical camp was conducted at Shalamar Hospital’s Outpatient Department-I on Tuesday. Patients were facilitated at the free camp through free lungs tests, blood pressure tests and chest X-rays. Awareness literature and free medicines were provided to the patients in the camp. On this occasion, Professor Dr Zafar Ullah Khan and Dr Saleem-uz-Zaman Adhami delivered healthcare awareness lectures. During the lectures, a question-answer session was also arranged for the audience. Shalamar Hospital Chief Executive Dr Rashid Ahmed also visited the camp and appreciated the keen interest shown by the patients and involvement of pharmaceuticals.
ISLAMABAD – The only zoo of the federal capital, Murgahazar Zoo, faced a major blow on Tuesday when its most valued female elephant ‘Saheli’ expired, apparently due to the carelessness of the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) staff. However, exact cause of its death will be ascertained after the postmortem report of the animal.
The female elephant of the zoo was found dead on early morning of Sunday in its enclosure. All the Marghzar Zoo officers reached the elephant’s enclosure and the zoo’s veterinary officer examined the animal and declared that the animal had expired.
Sources in the CDA, seeking anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the female elephant was suffering from an injury in one of its legs but this may not be considered as a reason behind its death. A CDA official confided that it was also feared that the animal had been poisoned as it was not for the first time when it received an injury. “It was not such a serious injury that anyone can term it a cause of its death; it is something else behind its death,” said the source. Another official said that the male elephant of the zoo has also become dangerous for the staffers and even for the visitors of the zoo as it often tried to free itself from the chains.
CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal has ordered an inquiry into the incident, headed by Administration Member Shoukat Ali Mohmand. He has also suspended two officials of the zoo, Bilal and Faiz Mohammad, who were deputed to look after the animal. The elephant was donated by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Begum Khalida Zia in 1992. Thousands of people, including Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his two sisters, Asifa and Bakhtawar, had had a ride on it when they were kids.
ISLAMABAD – Thar-Coal Project Chairman Dr Samar Mubarak Mand said sufficient coal reserves and natural resources are available in Pakistan to generate cheap electricity and gas for meeting growing demand of the consumers of this region.
Talking to a private news channel, he said there is serious need to focus on exploiting the natural resources for producing cheap electricity and gas.
Dr Samar said that Thar coal project will become operational in December 2013 and the project would bring prosperity in the country.
“Pakistan has enough coal reserves that can provide electricity to the country for more than 500 years,” he said.
Dr Mubarakmand said that the success of the Thar coal project would lead to investment from the leading international companies.
He said several foreign companies wanted to participate in the project and had shown interest.
With the completion of this project, the nation would get cheap and sufficient power supply to resolving the current pestering energy crisis, he added.
He said the new growth strategy of the country is being emphasised on power generation through coal.
He said that Pakistan holds a big amount of coal which is more than the Middle East petroleum resources.
Replying to a question he said that many countries, including Australia and China multi-national companies are taking keen interest in the energy sector of Pakistan.
He said, “We will give an advertisement for inviting the local and international companies to invest in the energy sector.”
Replying to another question Dr Samar Mubarak said “We have sufficient coal reserves in the country which can be utilised to produce electricity and gas, for 700 to 800 hundred years.”
Dr Samar said it is for the first time in Pakistan that coal gasification has been launched on commercial basis and abundant and cheap electricity would be available if it gets through.
He said the coal gasification was already producing 50000 MW around the world, as the cost of electricity per unit is relatively low.
Rawalpindi police bust kidnappers’ gang, arrest five: The Rawalpindi police have busted a kidnappers’ gang and arrested its five members including two women.
According to a police spokesman, the police managed to arrest the kidnappers’ gang members identified as Mirza Javed alias Asad, Jhanghir alias Ali, Asif alias Zabi, Zaheer, Shamila and Kinza alias Shazia.
He informed that the gang which had abducted a person namely Muhammad Siddique on April 20 for ransom, has been busted, as the police after registration of the case, traced the kidnappers while they were arrested.
The kidnapped man was killed by the gang and the body was thrown in Gulzar-e-Quaid area in the airport police precincts.
The Airport police investigated the case on scientific lines and arrested the accused.
The vehicle used for the crime was also recovered.
The physical remand of the accused has been obtained from the court, while further investigation is underway.
33 lawbreakers arrested: Rawalpindi Police have claimed to arrest 33lawbreakers including, one drunkard, three gamblers and seized illegal weapons, drugs, and liquor.on Tuesday
According to Police spokesman, Police seized 2,330 grams charas, 189 bottles of liquor, nine pistols 30 bor with 22 rounds, one revolver 32 bor with two rounds and fireworks items from the arrested accused.
The spokesman further informed that acting on a tip-off Peerwadhai police conducted a raid at a gambling den in Zia Colony and arrested three gamblers namely Ali, Rizwan and Imran. Police also recovered Rs 3000 stake money with four mobile phones and other items from their custody. All the outlaws apprehended in different raids have been sent behind the bars, he said adding, separate cases have been registered against all the accused while further investigation is underway.
KARACHI – A two day ‘Community Development Conference for Blinds’ was organised by the Young Visionaries Squad (YVS) at the Ida Rieu School for the Blind and Deaf.
YVS is working with the mission of community development through community participation and to utilise their spare time in constructive work. It aims to work for underprivileged and ignored sections of the society like special children, street kids, old ages homes, drug rehabilitation centres, flood victims and orphanages.
The event was mapped around the theme ‘Hai Jazba Junoon Tou Himmat Na Haar’ (if you have the zest then don’t lose hope). The concept was to encourage, polish and motivate the audience.
The YVS gave them the platform to show the world their talents and to tell the normal people what they are made of and what they can do. The students attending were from 6th grade-B.A course. Some of these students were partially blind and some were unable to see at all.
These students were surprisingly talented and all they needed was a medium, a path and a way to show this to the normal world, to which they are disabled and to the normal world which thinks that these students deserve nothing but pity.
Saira Saleem Abid Beli (Guinness world record breaker), Nargis Latif (Azam-e-Alishan award holder), Syed Nusrat Ali (motivational speaker), Urooj Mazhar (School of Leadership Director) were present as the speakers.
They told the students what they can do in their lives in spite of their disabilities and the hurdles that they face. The students were interviewed by the speakers individually and asked to express their future as they see it. This whole activity ignited a whole new spark in the students and motivated them to go the distance.
A speech competition based on the theme for the day was also held. The students participated with excitement and presented their views with full confidence and showed the world that they maybe blind, but their not in any manner incapable. Winners and runner-ups were awarded the prizes by the judge.
A singing competition was followed by a singing gala, where the students sang and the whole auditorium danced and clapped along. They competed and sang as much as they could. This completion was also judged and the deserving participants were awarded.
The whole event ended on a high note courtesy to the musical performance consisting of Dr Allama Iqbal’s poetry and other national songs and appreciation from the school faculty with a promise to support us for our future ventures with their school and as well as with others.
KARACHI: University of Karachi (KU) has notified
for the information of all concerned that the examination forms and fee of Regular Colleges Annual Examinations 2011 will be accepted at their respective colleges from May 2 to 17. According to a KU press release here on Tuesday Examination Fee for both MA (Previous and Final) will be Rs 2,675. All those candidates who were enrolled in 2005 or earlier shall appear in MA Previous and Final Regular (Colleges) Annual Examination 2011, as a last chance, by paying Rs 5,000 as extra charges in addition to the normal examination fee. The failure candidates of MA Previous and Final were advised to submit their examination forms separately and in case they are appearing for both MA Previous and Final then only can deposit the fees simultaneously.
KARACHI: Department of Psychology, University of Karachi is going to organise an awareness walk on cleanliness on Wednesday (today). On this occasion, trash bins will be placed at various places within the campus premises. Dean Faculty of Arts Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal will inaugurate the campaign.