Wednesday, August 31, 2011

O-level examination,University of Cambridge, Another Pakistani student makes world record

Mr.Syed Zohaib Asad a student O-level of Beaconhouse School System, Wah Cantonment branch, has made world history by clinching 28 As in the University of Cambridge O-level exam.
Earlier Asad was declared ‘Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award Winner’ for gaining higher marks in June 2010 Cambridge ‘O’ level exams in ‘Human and Social Biology’ course.
He said  his success is because of good  guidance by his teachers and parents for providing him an atmosphere encouraging the studies.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Non-performing loans (NPLs) of Pakistani banks, 2011

 The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said growing non-performing loans (NPLs) has become a threat for financial system of Pakistan which should be taken as a challenge by monetary authorities. 

SBP lowered interest rates in the last monetary policy may be due to this factor as economic growth is very slow which results in low demand and hence higher non-performing loans.
NPLs have been continuing to grow since 2008 and now they have toughed unprecedented level of Rs 594.5 billions which should be a cause of concern for the economic managers trying to bring economy back on track, it said. Growing NPLs are result of unheard-of level of government borrowings which has choked the productive sector of the country due to crowding out effect , said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President Pak economy watch.

Zulfiqar Mirza , Press conference , allegations against MQM and Rehman Malik

Former interior minister Sindh Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza holds a press conferance at Karachi Press Club in which he puts allegations against MQM and ferderal interior minister Rehman Malik , on 28th August, 2011.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Altaf Hussain arrested in Imran Farooq murder case

Mr.Altaf Hussain self exiled leader of MQM Party in Pakistan caught escaping to South Africa by the authorities, according  The London Post reported.
The online newspaper while quoting sources said , ‘ Hussain was hiding in the Wrexham area close to Slough in Berkshire for the past few days, adding that Altaf was stopped when he was going to Heathrow Airport in a private taxi .
The News Tribe Correspondent says, the British authorities and Scotland Yard did not confirm the news posted in the London Post.
The Post said, Hussain told the authorities that, ‘he is leaving UK and going to South Africa for security reasons and personal protection’. He was told that, ‘security can be provided to him in the UK’. It is not yet clear if he is detained or taken in protective custody. Mr Hussain is a British citizen and living in self imposed exile since 1992.  He is never been to Pakistan since 1992.
The British police has not yet made things clear.

NED university of Engineering and Technology Karachi , entry test schedule announced

 Entry Test for students who are seeking admission in NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi for Batch 2011-12 will be held at the University’s main campus on 8th October, 2011 at 10:00 hours, a national newspaper Daily Times reported. 

Pakistan Olympic Association granted affiliation to FATA Olympic Association

 Pakistan Olympic Association has granted affiliation to FATA Olympic Association on this Saturday. It was much awaited that it is really a historical day for sports loving community of FATA which will now be able to play and participate in a separate contingents in both Inter-Provincial Games and National Games respectively.

This was told by Vice President of the Pakistan Olympic Association Syed Aqil Shah in a press conference here at Provincial Olympic House, Peshawar. 

National Disaster Management Authority, work done so far in recent floods

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has so far distributed about 133,000 ration packets, 17,700 tents and 40,000 blankets among flood-affectees in Sindh .It also sent two helicopters for relief work in flood-hit Kohistan district.

The helicopters will remain in Khoistan to continue rescue operation in the area and all the affected people are evacuated from the flood-hit area, NDMA Chairman Zafar Qadir told the media on Friday.

The NDMA chairman told that ration packets have been distributed among the affected people through Utility Store Corporation (USC) and Canteen Store Department (CSD) in Tando Muhammad Khan, Hyderabad, Tando Allah Yar and Mirpur Khan.

Mr. Zafar said that 40,000 blankets have also been handed over to people while 10,000 mosquito nets have been provided to affectees to save them from dengue fever and related mosquito-bite diseases.

He further told that 10,000 bottle of mosquito repellent oil have also been distributed among the people.

Atiyah Abd al-Rahman killed in Pakistan

Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan on 22nd August in Waziristan tribal belt by a drone, US administration claims.If true it is a big loss for Al-Qaeda. No proof has been made public yet.
The Libyan national who was the network’s former operational leader rose to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 spot after  Bin Laden killed in Abbottabad operation.
 Panetta said last month that al-Qaeda’s defeat was within reach if the US could mount a string of successful attacks on the group’s weakened leadership.
”Now is the moment, following what happened with bin Laden, to put maximum pressure on them,” He said, ”because I do believe that if we continue this effort we can really cripple al-Qaeda as a major threat.”

He was in his mid-30s and remained a close confidant of Bin Laden and once served as his emissary to Iran.
Al-Rahman was allowed to move freely in and out of Iran as part of that arrangement and had been operating out of Waziristan for some time, officials have said.
He was born in Libya and  joined bin Laden as a teenager in Afghanistan to fight former Soviet Union.
After  bin Laden killed US found evidence of al-Rahman’s role as operational chief, an officials have said.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Assistant Linemen of LESCO granted danger allowance

 Lesco has decided to grant a danger allowance to all 
those assistant linemen those who have successfully
 completed five years of service. 

The amount of the allowance will be Rs 5, 000 per month . 

DG of Urdu Science Board Khalid Iqbal Yasir assumes charge

 A famous literary figure Khalid Iqbal Yasir, a poet and a writer , has been transferred from Pakistan Academy of Letters and posted as Director General Urdu Science Board. He assumed the charge of the Board here on Friday,26th July,2011.
Mr. Khalid  worked as DG National Museum of Science of Technology and DG National Educational Equipment Centre as well . He has also performed the duties of DG Urdu Science Board in the past  for eight years.
He is an eminent writer and poet and has written a number of books . Federal govt has awarded him “Tamgha-i-Imtiaz” recently in honor of his literacy services .

Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Centre Oregon case

A US federal grand jury has indicted a person from Oregon on hate crime and arson charges for setting fire to the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Centre in Oregon, intentionally,  White House statement said.
The US Justice Department identified the accused as Cody Crawford. He is 24 years of age and residing at Corvallis, Oregon. According to the indictment he is charged with one count of damaging religious property and one count of arson.
The culprit allegedly set fire to the mosque during the early morning hours of Nov 28, 2010, less than two days after authorities arrested an individual in connection with the Portland Christmas Tree Lighting terror plot.
The indictment alleges that Crawford set the fire because of the race, colour or ethnic characteristics of the people associated with the mosque.
“Burning a building of worship because of hatred towards members of one religion is not just an attack on that religion; it is an attack on our core American values,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights

“The Civil Rights Division will aggressively protect the rights of all persons to worship without fear of violence or intimidation, in US.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

Son of Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Taseer kidnapped

It has been learnt that son of former governor Salman Taseer has been kidnapped in Lahore by four gunmen at gun point today.Salman Taseer was earlier killed in Islamabad by a poilceman bodyguard. He is the eldest son and was kidnapped at around 11:30 in the morning when he was going to his office. He used to live in Gulberg area of Lahore and has been kidnapped from there. No more information is known yet.

Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project, capacity etc

*Electricity generation capacity - 1450-MW
*Commissioned in August 2003
*Contributed about 53 billion units of electricity to the National Grid  to-date. 
*Registered revenues of Rs. 226.5 billion to the national exchequer to-date.
*Average cost of electricity generated by GBHP during the last eight years remained Rs. 1.08/unit, in comparison with Rs. 5.36/unit from thermal plants during the same period.
*Located on the River Indus downstream of Tarbela Dam.
*Cost of construction was about Rs. 97 billion.

IBA Karachi university wins South Asian Accreditation

The Institute of Business Administration Karachi is one among the best topmost eight business institutes in South Asia — other six from India and one more from Pakistan i-e LUMS Lahore — as it was awarded the coveted accreditation by the South Asian Quality Assurance System.
The SAQS developed by the Association of Management Development Institutions of South Asia with headquarters in Indian city of Hyderabad, evaluates the business schools in the region against the rigorous criteria and quality parameters of the European Quality Assurance System.

“SAQS Accredited”, the highest standard of achievement for business management schools, is a quality label which assures that the school has benchmarked itself with leading global schools in respect of continuous quality improvement.

Quality parameters for SAQS accreditation include institutional mission and its alignment, faculty capability and composition, curricula quality, admission and delivery system, research and executive education, global and regional network promoting connections with the corporate world and making contributions to the community, and academic and physical infrastructure.

 IBA dean and director Dr Ishrat Husain said on receiving of this prestigious award: “This is just the beginning of a long journey upon which we have embarked. The next hurdles i.e. securing the European and American accreditation are more stringent to cross that requires a bit more effort. But we will continue to do utmost to move in that direction.”

Dengue fever , may come to an end for good

Scientists have made a promising advance for controlling dengue fever, a tropical disease spread by a special mosquito when it injects virus by its bite. They've rapidly replaced mosquitoes in the wild with skeeters that don't spread the dengue virus.

About 50 million people every year get the dengue virus  in tropical and subtropical areas, including Southeast Asia. It can cause debilitating high fever, severe headaches, and pain in the muscles and joints, and lead to a potentially fatal complication. There's no vaccine or specific treatment so far.

Scientists have been trying to fight dengue by limiting mosquito populations. That was the goal in releasing genetically modified mosquitoes last year at sites in Malaysia and the Cayman Islands.

Australian scientists took a different tack, they report in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

First, they showed that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the chief carriers of this deadly virus, resist spreading that virus if they are infected with a particular kind of bacteria. Then they tested whether these resistant mosquitoes could displace their ordinary cousins in the wild, thus reducing the number of dengue-spreading mosquito  population.

The resistant mosquitoes have an advantage in reproduction. Resistant females can mate with either resistant or ordinary ones , and all their offspring will be resistant. But when ordinary females mate with a resistant male, none of the offspring survive.

For the experiment, scientists released more than 140,000 resistant mosquitoes over 10 weeks in each of two isolated communities near Cairns in northeastern Australia, starting last January. By mid-April, monitoring found that resistant mosquitoes made up 90 to 100% of the wild population.

The result is a "groundbreaking first step," J. Rasgon of the J. Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore wrote in a commentary accompanying the paper. Rasgon, who did not participate in the study, said the next hurdle is to test the idea in areas where dengue is spread constantly, rather than sporadically as in Australia. Researchers will also have to show it works against varied strains of the dengue virus, he added.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zulfikarabad , economic zone proposal

 The proposed new city of Zulfikarabad in Sindh province of Pakistan has taken a important step forward as a Chinese company has submitted a proposal to the govt in a meeting with Asif Ali Zardari to set up an economic zone in this new city and also offered to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before the forthcoming visit of the Chinese Vice President to Pakistan.
The economic zone, as proposed by the Chinese investor, will house leading investors and industrialists from China to undertake mega developmental projects in the new city project. That will be a good news for residents of Zulfikarabad.

Shahji Ki Dheri Peshawar , a Buddhist historical site identified

A joint team of Directorate of Museum and Archaeology and Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has successfully  identified and re-ascertain the exact location of the famous Shahji Ki Dheri, a historical Buddhist site in Peshawar.
A press released issued by the corporation said that the site receded into oblivion after it was rediscovered and excavated by archaeologists more than a century ago.
Located a few furlongs outside the Gunj Gate of the old Walled City of Peshawar, it is a site of extraordinary archaeological importance where an imposing stupa had once stood.
It was built during the reign of Kushan Ruler Kanishka in the 1st century . It was described in detail by Chinese pilgrims in their memoirs. Hiuen Tsang (Xuan Zang) in particular visited it during his travels in 629AD-645AD and called it the “tallest architectural building” in this part of Asia.

It is estimated that the stupa was equivalent to a height of present day 13-storey building. The adjoining monastery was associated with Buddhist divines of Vasubandhu and Parva. With the decline of Buddhism in the region, the traces of the stupa and monastery faded away.
The press release said that a French archaeologist Alfred Foucher, who was a professor at University of Paris, visited Peshawar towards the end of 19th century, and noticed two mounds southeast of Peshawar outside the Walled City. He attempted to relate them to Hiuen Tsang’s description of the place.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pakistan Railways budget deficit for 2011-12

The Pakistan Railways (PR) has become a white elephant for the nation. It has estimated a deficit of around Rs 53 billion for the fiscal year 2011-12 .

The hard earned money of the nation which it pays in taxes so that the govt should provide them some facilities and comforts in life is being wasted ruthlessly by the govt on white elephants like Railway, PIA, Pakistan steel and so many others. Alas these organizations could be run efficiently as we see them running in other countries , take India for example.

Chairman of National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq told the  media  that the Railways had prepared a deficit budget for the fiscal year 2011-12. The deficit would be more than Rs 53 billion while earnings estimated at Rs 12 billion against an expenditure of Rs 65 billion.

GENCOs to be leased to private sector on contract

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal Cabinet has  decided to give power generation companies (GENCOs) on contract to private sector for a period of 10 years in order to increase their efficiency and generate 1,243 MW more electricity.

The decision should have been taken long long ago but any how it should now be implemented immediately. It is quite clear by studies that a power company or any company being run by govt if compared with the one run by private sector with same infrastructure  and resources have been found very inefficient and resources are being wasted. I am surprised why this step was not taken long before as it has been years of heavy load shedding. 

Power shortage is currently more than 6000 MW and hopefully this step if properly implemented to help curb the issue to some extent only. Any how it is welcome but govt has to do a lot more to eliminate load shedding.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fertilizer production in Pakistan 2011

Engro Enven plant       1.3 million tons urea               20%
Engro old plant           975 k tons  urea                    
Engro NPK                  100,000 tons
FFC                           718,000 metric tons urea
FFC                           670,000 metric tons of DAP
Fatima                       500,000 MTPA urea
Fatima                       500,000 MTPA  ammonia
Fatima                       420,000 MTPA  CAN
Fatima                       664,000-M ton  NP
Pak Arab                    90,000 tons Urea,                                         
   -do-                       450,000 tons CAN,                                                                                          -do-                          305,000 tons NP                             
   -do-                       847,000 tons Multi Product
Dawood Hercules        345000 MT urea
Pak American             383,250 MT   urea
FFBL                         573,000 ammonia
FFBL                         820,000 DAP

At present Pakistan’s urea demand stands at approximately 6.2 million tons, whereas local production is approximately 5.2 million tons.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) made payments against rules

 Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) paid more than Rs 8 billions for the reconstruction of wrecked houses, bypassing the transparent accounting and payment mechanism laid down for the development of earthquake-affected areas, AGP reports.

Report of the Auditor General  for year 2010-11 says that Rs3.34 billion were paid to 26,757 households – at the rate of Rs125,000 each – in two tranches under the ‘Rural Housing Reconstruction Programme’. but the money was released by Erra’s rural housing strategy unit ‘without inspection’ of the under-construction houses.
It further reveals : “To conceal its inefficiency, Erra got the payments written off.”

The report said these payments were to be released after verification of the buildings after  ensuring that the reconstruction work was carried out in accordance with the specified ‘seismic-resistant designs’ as laid down in the procedure.
Physical ground checking was mandatory at all stages of reconstruction before making any payments.
However Erra  ignored the rules and made payments, rendering the release of both the tranches ‘doubtful’.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aiwan-i-Quaid-i-Azam Lahore

*Being constructed by the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust
*Ground-breaking ceremony held on 20th August,2011, ribbon cut by PM Gillani.
*Architect Kashif Aslam

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Election Commission of Pakistan , Preparations for next election

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to introduce water marked ballot papers in next elections in an effort to stop fraudulent votes. In the next elections, new computerized voters’ lists will be issued without pictures however the presiding officers will have lists  containing pictures.

 Secretary Election Commission informed the media that NADRA had provided the ECP with voters' lists of over 800 million people. A door-to-door campaign to verify the identity of the voters would start from August 22 this year.

After the verification process the voters' lists will be handed back to NADRA and the final lists will be issued in March, 2012. The Secretary Election Commission added that after the new voters lists are completed, repeat entries will not be possible thus pictures will not be included.

 Deputy Chairman of NADRA , Mr. Tariq Malik told that 150 million people were not identified in the old voters lists, while the 1.201 million had fake identities and 2.502 million had duplicate identities. 

Loan scheme for unemployed educated youth of Punjab , interest free soft loans

Punjab govt is soon going to launch a scheme of interest free soft loans for the educated unemployed youth with a one billion rupees revolving fund.

The revolving fund amount will be disbursed to all the districts of the province on poverty basis while the provincial board of statistics data will be used for the purpose. Under the scheme, up to Rs 50,000 interest-free loans will be given to youths to start their own business and it would be repayable in one to five years easy installments.

The steering committee on the scheme is headed by MNA Pervaiz Malik and Khawaja Saad Rafique is its member. The committee has sent its recommendations to the chief minister for final approval. The scheme will be launched shortly after the chief minister's approval. Sources said Sharief had assigned the task to the steering committee to launch the scheme in the ongoing financial year, 2011-12, at most in the second quarter of the financial year.

 NGOs will be involved  to keep the scheme transparent with minimum involvement of govt.Loans will be given and recovered by the selected NGOs on behalf of the govt and will be paid operational expenditures for processing charging and verification fee of the applicants.

Conviction rate of terrorists in Pakistan

The US State Department has issued annual report of war on terror which revealed that 11,500 terrorism incidents occurred in Pakistan during the year 2010 and majority of them in the tribal areas.

The report further said that due to ineffective laws and prosecution therefore most of the terror suspects get  free and could not be convicted. The ratio of such cases of non-conviction is about 76%, it added.

Zorlu wind farm

 Asian Development Bank will give a loan to fund the first privately owned and financed wind farm in Pakistan that is Zorlu. 
ADB is funding for the  plant to provide the much-needed additional power, improve energy security and lower reliance on hydrocarbon fuels.
Zorlu Enerji Electrik Uretim will utilize the $36.8 million loan from ADB to install wind turbines to increase the output of its wind farm located 100 kilometers northeast of Karachi, from 6 MW to a total 56.4 megawatts, an ADB report revealed.
“Acute energy shortages caused by low investment are heavily impacting Pakistan’s economic growth very badly,”  Michael Barrow said.He is director in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.
“This deal should provide a bankable template for future privately funded wind projects, and send a signal that Pakistan’s wind sector is attractive for private sector investment and financing.”, he remarked.
Pakistan relies heavily on imported fossil fuels for the bulk of its energy needs. However, this is costly, puts a heavy burden on its foreign exchange reserves, and leaves it vulnerable to supply disruptions and global price fluctuations, the report added.
The report said,” investment in new capacity has lagged, whereas demand has surged by over 40% over past five years, resulting in regular brownouts in all major urban centres and the introduction of power rationing.

Medical colleges entry test in Punjab 2011

About 35,000 students are expected to appear in this year 2011 entrance test which will be conducted on Sept 13 for medical and dental colleges of Punjab .
The University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore is conducting the test. UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Malik Husain Mubashar told a news conference on Friday that good  arrangements had been finalized for in the test.
“Special measures will be taken to make the test transparent and error-free,” he added.

He said application forms for entrance test would be available from Saturday  20th August at the UHS, King Edward Medical University, Lahore; Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore; Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Lahore; Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore; de`Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore; Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi; Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad; Nishtar Medical College, Multan; Quaid-i-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur; and Shaikh Zayed Medical College, Bahawalpur. The forms would be available free of cost. The last date for submission of applications is Sept 7,2011.
He said the students aspiring to appear from Lahore, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala and Sargodha must submit their applications at UHS; those from Multan and DG Khan at Nishtar Medical College, Multan; those from Rawalpindi and Hasanabdal at Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi; and those aspiring to appear from Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Faisalabad must submit their applications at the Quaid-i-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur, Shaikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan, and the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, respectively.
The test will be conducted in 12  cities on Sept 13 and a total of 22 centres would be set up for the purpose, three in Lahore, four in Rawalpindi, three each in Bahawalpur and Gujranwala, two in Faisalabad and one each in Sahiwal, Multan, Gujrat, Sargodha, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan and Hasanabdal.
The VC said in Lahore one centre would be established exclusively for female candidates at examination halls of the BISE. For boys, two centres would be set at the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, and the UHS, he said.The entrance test had gained extraordinary importance this year with respect to regulations of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council which assigned a weightage of 50% to the entrance test marks for the purpose of admission to all public and private medical and dental colleges in the country.

Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department Punjab meakes new rules for printing of Quran

The Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department has approved rules under the Punjab Holy Quran (Printing and Recording) Act of 2011. It has been made mandatory for the publishing institutions in the province  to be registered with the Quran Board to publish the Holy Quran.

“The govt will appoint/nominate 27 members for the Quran Board, which includes 16 Hafiz-i-Quran and 11 senior govt officials,” a spokesman of the department said.

The govt would appoint one of the 27 members as chairman of the board.

 Quran Board members will be for a period of 3 years and govt will pay each member Rs5,000 as travel and dining allowance while attending the board meeting. He said the board would also ensure getting the Holy Quran published by the publishers without any kind of error.

According to rules, the board has been empowered to seize the entire stock of the holy book if they find any error, the spokesman of the deptt further said.

Diamer Bhasha dam , US to help complete

US has provided support to complete the final stages of two hydel power projects in Pakistan: namely Satpara dam in Gilgit-Baltistan and Gomal Zam in South Waziristan Agency FATA, the State Department has told this.
“US is considering doing more in the sector,” said the spokesperson Victoria Nuland, as media reports suggested that the they would also support  $12 billion Diamer Bhasha dam project which is a very big and important project for energy deficient Pakistan.
She noted that Pakistan had requested international community’s support for development of the Diamer-Bhasha project and US would most probably help.
“We recognise that such a hydroelectric project would help meet many of Pakistan’s long-term energy and water needs for irrigation , as well as advance social and economic development,” she said.
“We are considering how we can best support Pakistan’s request, as are other bilateral donors and multilateral financial institutions.”
The US, she said, had not yet made a final decision on this big project but noted that providing support to such projects was part of a broader signature energy programme in Pakistan that the US announced in 2009.
“We continue to work with the GoP to determine how best to use US civilian assistance,” Ms Nuland further added.
If international community gives in time help to Pakistan then it will be able to complete the project well in time and this will help more than overcome the electricity shortage in the country but will provide a reservoir to store water for irrigation and flood control. This will help not only to increase the cultivated land and produce more but will also protects the plains from flooding.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Subsidy on imported urea paid by government of Pakistan , 2011

The govt of Pakistan has to give a total subsidy of Rs30 billion on import of one million tons of urea (Rs1,500 per bag) to meet the domestic requirements. Total requirement of urea for Rabi season is around 3.26 million tons and the government has to import one million tons, Vice-President of Engro Fertilizers told this to press.
He further told that about  3.26 millions tons will be consumed during the period of November and December 2011. He said that December requires 900,000 tons while domestic manufacturers might produce only 300,000 to 400,000 tons. Four to five percent reduction in urea application means loss of billions of rupees to the farmer community in terms of reduction in per acre yield .

It's a double edge sword rather a triple, on one side it hurts government revenues and balance of payments , on the second growers face shortage and high prices which reduces their per acre yield and thirdly it is extremely damaging for fertilizers companies especially new plants which are built by an investment of more that a billion dollars but facing financial problems.

Govt should accept the proposal of the fertilizer companies to divert gas from power plants to fertilizer plants and run the power plants on furnace oil and that the additional cost of furnace oil will be borne by fertilizer companies. I am unable to understand why govt has not accepted such a viable suggestion; may be they are not getting any commission in this deal.

Hafiz Zubair Ahmed Sharodi , son of Hafiz Hussain Ahmed killed in Quetta

Unidentified gunmen shot down a prominent religious scholar Hafiz Zubair Ahmed Sharodi here Thursday night.
Police officials said Hafiz Zubair Ahmed Sharodi aged  29 and son of former MPA and central leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Hafiz Hussain Ahmed Sharodi was shot dead on Abdul Sattar Road when he was going to Masjid Al-Habib along with his nephew to lead Isha and Travekh prayers. He got seriously injured and was taken to nearby civil hospital where he died .
Eyewitnesses said the attackers were standing near the mosque and escaped from the scene on a motorbike after opening indiscriminate fire on Hafiz Sahib. Police say investigations were underway to unearth real motive behind the murder but it would be premature to declare it as sectarian killing. As the news of killing of Hafiz Zubair spread, a large number of JUI activists reached hospital and staged a protest on this heinous crime.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Edhi Morgue Karachi filled with dead bodies

Edhi Welfare Trust says it is receiving 30 to 40 dead bodies these days in its morgue while in normal days it is just 3 to 4 corpses . Target killing has intensified and people of Karachi are burying dozens of bodies daily and the govt seems to be compromising on taking any right action most probably due to political motives. It seems that all the political parties are involved in this carnage. The possible reason is gaining political control on the city.

Whatever the reasons may be but one thing is sure that the govt has failed to maintain law and order. MQM blames the govt for supporting the killers but PPP says it's itself target as only yesterday a former MNA of the party was shot dead.

Business community has suffered the most while the daily wage earners are unable to earn their livelihood and they go to bed hungry every other night as business activities have almost halted or decreased due to very bad law and order. KSE has declined by almost 1400 points and one of the main reasons is worse law and order.

It's very important that now Karachi be depoliticized and also be made free of weapons without any discrimination but who will do that , the police , of course not because it is itself politicized and work under the political parties which are themselves suspected and blamed by every other person. The one option left is army which i think is quite ok as army is trusted as impartial and competent to do this this job. I think decision should be made immediately before it is too late.

The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board wants to secure its land from grabbers

It has been learnt through print media that  Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has written a letter to the Town Municipal Officer Gulshan-e-Iqbal to take appropriate action against those mafia elements  who want to occupy and grab the high value and important land of KWSB around the Race Course Ground between Safoora Chowrangik and Malir Cantt check-post, Scheme-33, Karachi East.

It's quite common in Karachi and other parts of the country too that govt land is grabbed by land mafia with sometimes the connivance of politicians and govt officials and sell the land on fake documents or otherwise use it for monetary benefits. The govt seems helpless or disinterested or may be involved in the affirs but the valuable land of the nation needs protection at every cost.

 The letter was addressed to the anti-encroachment cell and town police officer further requesting the authorities to mobilise against illegal occupation on KWSB land with immediate effect and ensure security until the boundary wall could be constructed to protect the land. It is not known that the authorities concerned have taken any action so far or not but we are hopeful that they will not sit idle.

Chairman Tehrik Sooba Hazara elected

Former district nazim of Mansehra district , Sardar Muhammad Yousaf was unanimously elected as chairman of the Sooba Hazara Tehrik late Tuesday night at a meeting attended by representatives of political parties, religious scholars, traders, lawyers and other segments of the society. 

Movement for Hazara province got impetus when former NWFP was named Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa. As most people of Hazara are linguistically different but also geographically as they live trans- Indus.

Comprising more than hundred members, the supreme council of the Sooba Hazara Tehrik was formally announced. It has members from almost all the political parties except Pakistan Muslim League N and Awami National Party from the six districts of Hazara division including Haripur, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Kohistan, Battagram and Torghar. The movement wants the end of feelings of alienation and deprivation and wants all the affairs of the area into their own hands.

An ‘Elders Council’ comprising eminent figures like Gohar Ayub Khan, Amanullah Khan Jadoon, Syed Qasim Shah, Alam Zeb Khan, Maulana Amin, Zareen Gul and Pir Kamal Shah was also formed for smooth running of the movement as the next elections are approaching near and there are echoes of creation of new provinces in the country. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waja Karim shot dead

Former MNA of PPP Waja Ahmad Karim Dad Baloch with four others people has been shot dead by unknown armed men. He was sitting in a local hotel in old city area for iftar with his friends.

MLO Civil Hospital Karachi confirmed that five people including Pakistan People's Party leader Waja Karim Dad Baloch have been killed while six others were injured seriously.

He had been elected from the Lyari area on PPP ticket. Target killing in going in Karachi unabated on in spite of MQM has rejoined govt. 

Wana Cadet College South Waziristan

The Wana cadet college will provide jobs for the area and admissions to the talented students of FATA. President  Zardari on Tuesday signed the regulation for the establishment of Wana Cadet College in South Waziristan Agency in FATA.

 President spokesman Farhatullah Babar said that the PM during his address at the Governor’s House in Peshawar on August 27, 2008, had announced the establishment of six cadet colleges to promote quality education and provide better educational opportunities to the youth of tribal areas .

Following the announcement, the government established the Wana Cadet College in South Waziristan Agency FATA which has been functional since last April.

Punjab College Rahim Yar Khan , distinction

In the current results of SSC examination announced today by BISE Bahawalpur , top three positions
 were secured by the students of Punjab College
Rahim Yar Khan.

Salient features of PTCL 3G EVO Tab

On independence day Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)  announced the launch of the Pakistan’s first 3G enabled tablet with built in EVO Wireless Broadband “3G EVO Tab”. It is a 7 inch touch screen tablet with built-in EVO service to offer wireless broadband internet on the go in more than 100 cities across Pakistan. This will be the first truly 3G service if done as promised.
It will be powered by Google Android Froyo 2.2 Operating system, 3G EVO Tab offers support for both 3G & Wi-Fi for an un-interrupted on-the-go connectivity. With a 5MegaPixel Camera, a variety of built-in applications plus access to latest Android market; 3G EVO Tab lets you browse, snap, share, communicate, navigate, play games and do a lot more on-the go; thereby making it an ideal connectivity solution for users looking for high speed on-the-go 3G connectivity on an Android platform.  PTCL 3G EVO Tablet offers convenience and speed with three diverse economy packages to suit individual needs and affordability. With a 12-month contract, customers can get EVO Tab for as low as Rs.7999 plus 12-months unlimited EVO service, all at Rs 31,999. Apart from the 12-months contract, EVO Tab also offers bundled packages based on 3 months and 6 months contract at Rs 27,999 and Rs 29,999 respectively with 3 months and 6 months of unlimited EVO service.  
PTCL hopes that it will be a good success as a lot of customers were demanding these services and the market is untapped.

Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retired) Hamid Ali Mirza to procure more transparent ballot boxes

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday approved procurement of 100,000 transparent ballot boxes to meet the future electoral needs , if there be any.
At present EC has about 300,000 ballot boxes and as such there was no immediate requirement for more boxes but  the decision was taken at a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retired) Hamid Ali Mirza in the chair to keep more ballot boxes in reserve to replace those not worth using and ensure availability of appropriate number of ballot boxes in case the number of polling stations was increased.
It was a welcome step firstly to replace all old ballot boxes into transparent one. That helped check bogus votes as a lot many used to blame that the non-transparent boxes were already filled with bogus votes, now that's over. Secondly bogus voter lists have also been replaced erasing the bogus voters from the lists on the directions of Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Now it is the duty of every Pakistani to vote for honest and patriotic candidates in the next elections. They should themselves ensure and help the authorities to conduct free and fair elections in which every citizen could vote without any fear and coercion .

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

KSE 30 index companies

The following stocks/companies are included in KSE30 index
1 PTC Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited
2 PSO Pakistan State Oil Company Limited
3 PPL Pakistan Petroleum Limited
4 OGDC Oil & Gas Development Company Limited
5 FFC Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited
6 HUBC The Hub Power Company Limited
7 MCB MCB Bank Limited
8 POL Pakistan Oilfields Limited
9 NBP National Bank of Pakistan
10 SNGP Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited
11 ENGRO Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited
12 APL Attock petroleum ltd
13 FFBL Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited
14 DGKC D. G. Khan Cement Co. Limited
15 BOP The Bank of Punjab
16 ACBL Askari Commercial Bank Limited
17 NML Nishat Mills Limited
18 FABL Faysal Bank Limited
19 SSGC Sui Southern Gas Company Limited
20 SNBL Soneri Bank Limited
21 ULEVER Unilever Pakistan Limited
22 LUCK Lucky Cement Limited
23 KAPCO Kot Addu Power Company Limited
24 UNBL Union Bank Limited
25 NRL National Refinery Limited
26 BAFL Bank Al-Falah Limited
27 Lotte Pakistan PTA Limited
28 AICL Adamjee Insurance Company Limited
29 FCCL Fauji Cement Company Limited
30 ICI I.C.I Pakistan Limited

Foreign investment in Pakistan , on a decline

Total foreign investment in Pakistan fell 60% in the first month of July of fiscal 2011-12 to $62 million, because of a decrease in both foreign direct investment and foreign portfolio investment, the SBP said on Monday.

Total foreign investment  was earlier $157.8 million in July 2010.

Foreign direct investment fell 17% in July 2011 to $91 million from $110 million in the same period last year, the State Bank told.

Pakistan's unstable security, a Taliban insurgency in the country's northwest and chronic power shortages have put off long-term investors, analysts say.

Death toll in Karachi in July was abot 300 , as Karachi is  country's main commercial hub , the law and order situation made  investors nervous and they started shunning the country's main stock exchange KSE.

Foreign portfolio investment fell 160% with outflows of $29 million in the first month of July 2011 , compared with inflows of $48 million in the same period of 2010.

Pakistan has struggled with a troubled economy since 2008 like most of the nations in the world and an International Monetary Fund (IMF) emergency loan package agreed to in November 2008 that helped it avert a balance of payments crisis and increased reserves to a healthy level. Remittances from overseas Pakistanis supported the economy a great deal and they have good increasing trend every month. Currently their average is $ 1.1 billion per month which is a very healthy sign.

Pakistan received the fifth tranche of $1.13 billion of the $11 billion loan in May 2010.  (Reuters)

Pakistan credit rating

Standard and Poor a well known credit rating company has
 lowered  Pakistan's credit rating.
The agency considers Pakistan a higher risk country
 in the region in terms of ability to meet
 its financial commitments and obligations,
 both domestic and international, and is rated as
 not being viable for investment.
 Pakistan has been rated by
 Standard & Poor's (S&P) as B- (negative).

Arbitration tribunal decision to remove cap on net hydel profit , KP govt asks center to implement decisions

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govt on Monday asked the federal govt to  remove cap on the net hydel profit and immediately start paying the province Rs42 billion annually on this account, as determined by an arbitration tribunal .
A demand to this effect was made in a meeting of financial team of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here with provincial Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mian Iftikhar Hussain in the chair.
The session was arranged to discuss the province’s financial affairs after the central  government unilaterally revised the payment schedule of arrears of net hydel profit by linking the payment to availability of resources instead of yearly disbursement as promised.
Wapda was obliged to pay  Rs110 billion to the KPK  of arrears of the net hydel power generation payable from 1991-92 to the year 2005.
PM Gilani had earlier announced on Oct 31, 2009 to dispose of this liability on behalf of Wapda by making disbursement to the province in five yearly installments starting from 2009-10. The province has so far received Rs35 billion only while the remaining Rs75 billion was supposed to be transferred to the province in three installments.
Third tranche of Rs25 billion was due in July this year, however, citing financial crisis the federal government has given the province only Rs4.1 billion till date, an official privy to the meeting told.
The prime minister had also constituted a technical committee with an assigned target to come up with recommendations in one month for working out future share of the province in net hydel profit. However, not a single meeting of the technical committee has held so far.
The minister Mian Iftikhar , who is also spokesperson for KP government, argued that capping the net hydel profit at Rs6 billion annually since 1991-92 was an injustice to the province and that was why the their stance for uncapping had been acknowledged by both the arbitration tribunal and A.G.N Qazi Committee.
The tribunal in 2005  declared that KP should be given Rs25 billion annually as its share in the profit earned on the sale of hydel power generated in the province. It had also proposed that this share should be increased by 10% per annum. If calculated as per the arbitration tribunal’s award, the province’s share by 2011-12 stands at around Rs40 billion.
The minister asked the PM to fulfill  his commitments and expedite the process to uncap the net hydel profit presently set at Rs6 billion/annum.

OMCs profit margin and dealers commission , soon going to be increased

It has been learnt that oil marketing companies sales profit margins per liter will soon be increased.The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet, which meets here on Tuesday, is expected to increase up to 47 per cent of existing profit margin to oil marketing companies (OMCs) and dealers through an increase in retail petroleum prices.
It has also been learnt that the ECC meeting, to be presided over by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, would also consider a proposal to impose Rs10 per kg petroleum levy on poor man’s fuel LPG — to jack up prices ahead of winter to boost earnings as a result of increased consumption.

Officials said the petroleum ministry had now suggested to the ECC to allow a 70 paisa per litre increase in dealers’ commission on high speed diesel from the existing rate of Rs1.50. The ministry also proposed to increase dealers’ commission on motor spirit (petrol) by 50 paisa per liter.
The proposal is to raise OMCs’ margin by 48 paisa per litre on petrol and 41 paisa per litre on diesel.
The existing margin of OMCs on petrol is Rs1.50 per litre and that on high speed diesel is Rs1.35. All petrolum marketing companies will get benefit from this especially PSO which is facing severe cash flow problems due to circular debt. It will help to curb overall circular debt problems.
 Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain has confirmed that the ECC would take up the proposal to increase compnies margin and dealers’ commission as well.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pakistan in Urdu

The national languageof Pakistan is Urdu.
Urdu pronunciation: [paːkɪˈst̪aːn] 
Written in Urdu as پاکِستان
Complete official name is written as (سلامی جمہوریۂ پاکِستان l )
The language is derived from Persian,Sansikrat Arabic and Turkish.
7% population of the country speak this language as mother tongue.

International Kungfu festival 2011 begins in China

Marshal arts have attained great importance across the world especially Asia where these sports are most favorite .

International contest of Kungfu festival has started in Chinese city of Emeishan.

Some 108 teams from countries including China, Singapore, Iran, Sweden etc are competing in the festival.

The event has attracted a great many spectators from all over the world.

USAID projects in Pakistan

US assistance under  USAID (NGO)projects created a lot of jobs for Pakistanis and Pakistani firms directly and indirectly. They carried out a lot of development projects especially in education sector but USAID this year received half a billion less funds as promised under Kerry Lugar Berman bill that authorized $1.5 billion per annum for five years to promote and enhanced strategic partnership with Pakistan. Instead of $1.5 billion during 2011, the USAID could get only $947.2 million due to across the board cut on international assistance by the US government.
US govt is facing a lot of financial trouble especially to bridge budget deficit by cut in spending but aid to Pakistan is very important and the amount is not huge therefore this cut can have serious repercussions which must be avoided. 

 USAID earlier spent $1.321 billion in 2010 and $1.147 billion during 2009 

USAID Pakistan Mission Director Dr. Andrew B. Sisson told in an interview  that despite financial constraints  the USAID has been providing financial assistance to Pakistan in various sectors.

Baloch Liberation Tigers , a new organization

 A bomb exploded in a  two-storey restaurant building in Dera Allahyar town on Sunday and killed at least 14 people and injured more than 33 .
The Baloch Liberation Tigers, a new outfit , not heard before, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Miran Baloch, a spokesman for the organisation, told media that BLT had carried out the bombing in Dera Allahyar restaurant.
“A bomb was planted inside the two-storey building of the restaurant, which was destroyed by the powerful explosion,” police officer said.
A large number of people were sitting in two halls of the Sultan restaurant, on the Quetta-Jacobabad section of the National Highway in Dera Allahyar town, when the bomb went off , destroying the entire building and also damaging some nearby buildings.
The blast was so powerful that it rocked the entire town and its voice was heard at several kilometers away.
“Five people were killed on the spot while nine others died in the district hospital,” DPO Javed
Gharsheen told the media.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

National Highway and Motorway Police (NHMP) officials awarded

Some 20 officials of the National Highway and Motorway Police (NHMP) were awarded certificates and cash prizes for their outstanding performance during the year 2010, says a press release by the dept .
Deputy Inspector General  NHMP North Zone Abbas Hussain Malik gave away the prizes to the best performing officials of N-5 North Zone in a ceremony held at North Office here on Saturday on behalf of IG NHMP Zafar Ullah Khan.
In his address the DIG urged the officers to focus on prompt help to the road users in distress. He said:
“NHMP are pioneers in introducing a culture of soft policing and the public friendly environment in the country.” He said these commendation certificates and rewards were distributed among those officers who paid a pivotal role in educating the road users as they also performed their best to introduce soft policing culture in Pakistan.
Motorway police and highway police are a good addition to the public departments which are serving the nation truly and their services and good performance is acknowledged by everybody in the country. They are expected to keep their track record and improve it even further.