Handicrafts exhibition

PESHAWAR, April 30: Pakistan Village Development Programme (PVDP) with the assistance of international welfare organisation ‘TROCAIR’ on Monday organised an exhibition where handicrafts made by the women of flood affected union council of Mohib Banda in Nowshera district were put on display.

The products of 250 women were put on display in the exhibition held in Banda Sheikh Ismail area of Nowshera. Member of the board of directors of the PVDP Naheed Zaka inaugurated the exhibition. PVDP programme manager said the organisation besides imparting different skills to 250 women of Banda Sheikh Ismail, Jabba Daudzai, Ghari Momin, Camp Koroona and Banda Miangaan also provided free sewing machines and other related materials to them.

He said the marketing of these products was under consideration, adding after consultations with business community the organisation would also facilitate the affected women in initiating their own entrepreneurship to earn honourable living for their families.—Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, April 30: After protests on the campus and outside, the University of Peshawar syndicate on Monday set aside the Academic Council’s decision to include a controversial writer’s books in MPhil and PhD courses offered by the English Literature department.

During a meeting, the syndicate decided to drop ‘Shame’ and ‘Midnight Children’ written by Salman Rushdie from the list of suggested books for PhD and MPhil courses of English Literature, according to a spokesman for the university.

“No book of Salman Rushdie is or will be included in MPhil and PhD courses of English Literature at the University of Peshawar,” Akhtar Amin told Dawn.

When contacted, chairman of the department Professor Mojeebur Rehman insisted that the matter was based on a misunderstanding.

“There was a misunderstanding. Neither these books are on our list of suggested reading nor have we a single book of Salman Rushdie in our library,” he said.

Sources in the university said the Academic Council had approved the two books for MPhil and PhD courses of English Literature but the syndicate decided to drop them from the list of suggested books without much discussion.

The inclusion of the two books in MPhil and PhD courses aroused anger on the campus and outside.

Rushdie is a controversial writer for authoring a blasphemous fiction, Satanic Verses.

Sources said the two books were part of a list presented to the Academic Council as suggested reading for MPhil and PhD courses and since the council ‘overloaded with’ the items on agenda, it approved the list without thorough examination.They, however, insisted that there were no ulterior motive behind the approval as some books were suggested for reading for the World English Literature for MPhil and PhD classes.

A source in the department said the World English Literature was a new course introduced to let students know of the contributions of non-English writers since all good books were authored by writers of the previously colonised countries.

He said some writers from India and Pakistan had recently produced better writings and the course intended to enlighten MPhil and PhD students about them.

He said the books suggested for MPhil and PhD reading included Arundhati Roy’s ‘The god of small things’, Kamila Shamsi’s ‘Broken verse’, a political fiction, and Daniyal Moheenuddin’s ‘In other Rooms, Other Wounds’, which is about women in Pakistan.

MULTAN, April 30: Police remained a silent spectator at the main gate of the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), as Islami Jamiat Tulaba activists barged in the university on Monday evening.

After entering the university, IJT activists raised slogans and reached Umer Hall. They left the university after negotiations with police. Police had been deployed at the main university gate after Thursday’s firing.

Area magistrate Majid Kareem Farooq granted bail to 50 IJT activists against surety bond of Rs20,000 each. Police produced the accused in the court after two-day judicial remand.

The university administration had lodged an FIR after IJT activists who allegedly attacked the residence of university’s resident officer, entered the university by force, resorted to firing and detained university’s chief security officer on Thursday.

Another case was lodged against PSF activists for entering Ali Hall by force, resorting to firing and hurling threats at the university administration.

Resident Officer Dr Amanullah said IJT activists broke the locks in the presence of police, but police did not stop them. He said once again police just sent IJT activists away despite the fact that they were carrying weapons. He said the university administration would again submit an application to police for legal action against the ‘miscreants’.

Gulgashat SP Shoaib Khurram said he was not aware of IJT activists’ action. “We cannot stop anyone from entering the university premises even if they are outsiders because there is no ban on the entry of outsiders in the university,” he said.

LAHORE, April 30: Some 12 civil society organisations (CSOs) have urged federal and provincial governments to fulfill their commitments regarding people’s rights enshrined in the Constitution.

They demanded establishment of independent and autonomous human rights institutions in accordance with the Paris Principles.

CSOs issued a statement after a consultation meeting held in Lahore on Monday stating that these steps are extremely necessary to upgrade the image of Pakistan and improve the deplorable human rights situation.

The organisations include: Aurat Foundation, South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Strengthening Participatory Organisation, Blue Veins, Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Minority Rights Commission, Justice and Peace Commission, Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation, Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy,
Tangh Wasaib Organization, SUNGI Development Foundation and National Commission for Justice and Peace.

“We take a serious note of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies and militants at Karachi, FATA and Balochistan,” the statement said. Necessary and immediate actions are needed to improve human rights conditions under the defined constitutional and legal framework.

The group stressed to produce the victims of forced disappearances in the court and prosecute the culprits.

CSOs appreciated the adoption of women and human rights friendly legislation such as the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace 2010, Prevention of Anti-Women Practices, Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2011, and The National Commission on the Status of Women, 2012.

The group emphasised that federal and provincial governments should take rapid steps towards implementation of these laws. It also demanded passage of the pending Bill of Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection.

CSOs strongly recommended that the government should introduce institutional mechanisms like Human Rights Commission, Provincial Commission on the Status of Women and Commission for Minorities for the implementation and protection of human rights.

CSOs also assured their support to federal and provincial governments and the relevant institutions to take comprehensive steps for the resolve of these issues.

LAHORE, April 30: Shakir Ali Museum, a subsidiary of Islamabad-based Pakistan National Council of Arts, held an impressive dance and music evening on Sunday night here at a hotel to celebrate International Dance Day, observed all over the world on April 29.

Besides Federal Minister for National Heritage and Integration Samina Ghurki, a diverse audience attended the classical and folk dance gala.

There were classical dance fanciers, students from different art institutions, theatre directors, besides film and television figures, attended the event.

The celebrations were organised by the Pakistan National Council of Arts, in collaboration with Avari Hotel.

The stage wore a lovely look. Adorned with embellishments and illuminations it also displayed portraits of leading Pakistani classical dancers.

The members of the National Performing Art Group, PNCA, clad in glittering dresses, performed very well, besides a few performances by the students of Naheed Siddique and Bina Jawad. A package of seven dance presentations was like a colourful bouquet, representing different hues of classical dance primarily.

Though the evening was a tribute to classical dance maestros of the country, none of them turned up on the occasion. Museum director Amana Patuadi, commenting on their
absence said: “Well, I think we have done our duty by dedicating an evening to International Dance Day while highlighting the importance of classical dance”.

Haider, a classical dancer, was applauded by many for his meaty performance to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Koi Tou hai Jo Nizam-e-Hasti Chala Raha Hai’. Another young dancer, Umair, came up with a modern classical fusion. Dhamal and Kathak performances were also part of the evening. A documentary on classical dance made by PNCA was also shown on this occasion.


Every day, as the sun sets, Ruqia Abbas, a schoolteacher in Lyari’s Bakra Peri area, prays for the security of her students, hoping to see them in school the next day.


“I dreamt of being a professor when I was a child, so I could spread knowledge,” said Abbas. “My dream came true, but today, I’m worried for my own safety and that of my students, because violence has reached our doorstep, and our school is closed.”


Life in Lyari has come to a standstill, as a constant threat of violence lingers, and has permeated into every aspect of daily routine.


Two private schools in the Bakra Peri alone were seriously damaged in the ongoing conflict, and many others were forced to shut down.


Hundreds of students in Lyari are now unable to attend school. And no one knows till when.


“Young children have toy guns in their hands and they play fighting games, pretending to kill each other,” said Naveed Ghani, a resident of Lyari’s Kumar Wara locality. “I’m afraid that one day, they will be holding real guns.”


He said the constant presence of heavy armed gangsters in the area, and the sporadic killings have a negative and far reaching impact on young minds.“This violence that they’re witnessing all around them will continue to affect them for years to come. Their learning capacity has also reduced,” he added.


Deapite all this, young people are optimistic, but miss the little joys and celebrations of life.Laila Jan was dissapointed at not being able to celebrate her birthday with friends and family. “I have high hopes for the future. I dream of a free, secure and prosperous Lyari, where every one is happy.”


According to a 17-year-old Adnan Jameel, Lyari young people can play a key role in the country’s future. “We must study hard in order to rebuild our country, and make it a better place for coming generations.”


But in the face of intermittent violence, resilience and optimism only go so far. “It is affecting everybody’s well-being, and I don’t see improvements coming our way any time soon,” Adnan, a Nawalane resident said.


He also complained about power and water shortages in his area.Under these circumstances, the students’ dedication to pursue their education is inspiring. “I studied very hard for my exams, despite the violence and electricity cuts,” said Yasmeen Noor, student of Best Children School in Bakra Peri.


“I never realised the importance of security, till it was gone, now I know that nothing is more important than this basic feeling,” she said. “I dream of walking in safe streets and not worrying contantly that something bad might happen to my family.”


“For years we have been a witness to killings and explosions in Lyari, but nothing like this has happened before,” said a school teacher, refering to the current situation of the area. “The politicians are working for vested interests, and nobody is bothered about our plight.”

KARACHI: At least seven people including Station House Officer (SHO) Civil Lines were killed and 16 others injured as violence continued in Lyari on Saturday, Geo News reported.


SHO Civil Lines Fawwad Khan was killed and three other police officials injured when unidentified armed men hurled hand grenade and opened fire at Kalakot police line in Lyari.


Exchange of fire between miscreants and police still continues.


Law enforcement agencies continue their operation against criminal elements in the area which was launched on Friday morning where they encountered severe resistance. Security forces were attacked with hand grenades while grenade launchers were also fired.


On Friday, exchange of fire continued throughout the day that killed seven persons, forcing the shops and businesses in the area to shut.


Crime Investigation Department (CID) police arrested several criminals and gained control of some areas, sources said.


At night, there was decline in shooting incidents in the area but on Saturday morning, heavy firing was reported again.


CID, Frontier Corps (FC), Elite Force and police were taking part in the operation.




The Board of Advances Studies and Research of the University of Karachi awarded PhD degrees to five people from the Dr AQ Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIGBE) based on their potentially groundbreaking work.


The PhDs were awarded to Dr Saboohi Raza, Dr Sitwat Zehra, Dr Saima Saleem, Dr Aaliya Riaz and Dr Qamar-un-Nisa. Dr Raza used a special technique of genetic engineering in her study called Somaclonal Variation aimed at identifying good sugarcane, while Dr Zehra was awarded the degree as she worked on Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms (PMS) and studied the variations in hormones in such cases.


Dr Saima Saleem focused on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), more commonly known as oral cancer. In her research, she found that due to the use of paan, Chalia, Gutka, Niswar and Main Puri, there is an alteration of a gene named TP53¸which is responsible for tumour suppression.


Dr. Aaliya Riaz completed her research on an enzyme extracted from a unique bacteria and named it Bacillus. This enzyme is widely used by the medicine, food, garment, paper and the ethanol productive industries.


Meanwhile, Dr Qamar-un-Nisa’s research was on a single gene named AVP1 that has a salt and drought tolerance ability. This gene was introduced in Brassica Napus (Conola) in order to develop a salt and dough tolerance property in the same species.


When people complain of their busy schedule as an excuse for not reading, Ghazi Salahuddin gives them President Obama’s example.

“During his election campaign when he got off a plane, he had in his hand a book and a finger inserted in the middle to serve as a bookmark. One cannot be busier than the president of the United States, and he still has time to read,” he smiles.


Salahuddin was given the bibliophile of the year award by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani at a ceremony hosted by the information minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira in Islamabad on April 23. The selection was made by a committee headed by Intezar Husain and included Asghar Nadeem Syed and Aqeel Rubi during the celebration of National Book Day by the National Book Foundation.


Nestled in a room, piled with books from top to bottom, he gives a modest reply, “I do not think I deserved the title. I know several book lovers who deserve the title even more. I think my show Geo Kitab played a role.”


Geo Kitab was aired by the Geo Television Network in 2009. It was an attempt to bring together authors and book lovers.“Our country does not suffer from a political and economic crisis; it suffers from an intellectual and moral crisis,” says Salauddin.


The bibliophile is distressed by the reading habits of society. He blames it on the stratified system of education in the country, and the way religion has entered every sphere of society.“Due to the different mediums of education, good education is only in the hands of the rich. The language of empowerment is English, and this particular factor deprives the native genius of the country – the person who reads in the local language.”


Education, he believes, can serve as an “equalizer” in society, which the poor man can use for upward mobility.“Religion is very important at a personal level, but when it is imposed as an ideology the problem begins. Because faith does not encourage questions, and rational debate can only be held when questions are encouraged.”He does not think the excuse that books are expensive is good enough. “So is lawn, jewellry and eat-outs.”


“I pass through big houses in posh areas of the city, with fancy cars parked outside. Sometimes I feel like knocking at their doors, and asking them for a Dewan-e-Ghalib, or Jane Austen. I am sure they do not have them. This is how literature-deprived our society is.”


The intellectual in him fails to comprehend how a person can live without reading. To him, it is as important as eating.“I tell young people if they do not read poetry how would they know what love is, how will they know what they are feeling when they do fall in love.”


The general perception is that Internet and television have resulted in the decline of the reading habit. “Are the two mediums not present in other countries? The presence of Internet has merely increased the access to books there. E-books come at your desktops, straight to your e-book readers. The form has changed, reading has not.”


Salahuddin is a man who has never been to university, yet he is a known intellectual of the city, the first editor of The News and pleasant company for anyone who fosters the curiosity within, and all this he attributes to the one thing he loves the most in life — his books.

SHIKARPUR, April 30: Four students and a teacher were wounded when one of the pillars of an under-construction classroom of a school collapsed here on Monday.

The incident took place when students came out of classes during break in Shah Latif Government Boys High School. One of the students touched the pillar which collapsed.

The injured have been identified as Hubb-e-Ali of class VI, Salman, Saifullah alias Raja Solangi and Faisal Abro of clash-IX and a teacher Ghulam Akbar Shar. Hubb-e-Ali was admitted to Civil Hospital in a serious condition. Others were discharged after being administered first aid.

Mumtaz Ali Gadani, father of Hubb-e-Ali lodged a complaint with Lakhi-Gate police station against engineer and contractors for using sub-standard materials in the structure.

ROBBERY: A shopkeeper was deprived of Rs300,000 here on Monday. Three armed bandits intercepted and deprived Ahsan Ahmed Shaikh of the amount while he was going to his shop in Stuart Ganj Bazaar. They escaped after committing the crime.