30 November, 2010

Buddha shows the way to Peace and Tolerance

Zeenath Khalid’s paintings carry message of Peace, Tolerance and Serenity

Report by Sana Jamal published in Pakistan Observer (29 Nov. 2010)

Islamabad -‘Buddha’s Way-Aman Ka Rasta’ (way to peace) was the theme of the exhibition of inspirational paintings by Zeenath Khalid at Nomad Art Gallery in Islamabad.

The exhibition was part of two-week activism campaign for elimination of violence against women and organized by Nageen Hyat of Nomad Art Gallery in collaboration with UNIFEM.

Ms. Alice Shackleford, Country Programme Director of UNIFEM – Pakistan inaugurated the exhibition. The purpose of the exhibition is to promote elimination of violence while recognizing our power of faith so that all can live together in peace, she said. “The different colours of the paintings remind viewers about different religious, cultural values and beauty of Pakistan” said Ms. Alice Shackleford.

The inspiring collection of the self-taught artist, Zeenath Khalid consists of a series of oil paintings on canvas depicting the life, colour and spirit of Buddha’s teaching based on peace and harmony. The painting of the ‘Golden Buddha’, ‘Sufi Mystic’, ‘Reclining Buddha’ and ‘the Journey’ not only soothes the viewers but each painting tells a story of serenity allowing the onlooker to take a leap into the serene life of Buddha.

26 November, 2010

Hotline for Children’s Grievances established

Published in Pakistan Observer (25 Nov. 2010)
Sana Jamal
ISLAMABAD: “No lawyer, no fees, just call and complain” was the simple and effective message to the vulnerable children of Pakistan by Children’s Complaint Office (CCO), a unique organization working to address children’s grievances.

CCO, the first children’s ombudsman office in South Asia established by Wafaqi Mohtasib and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) receives and resolves complaints from or on behalf of children whose rights have been violated by a federal department or agency.

Media person learnt this while attending a workshop organized by CCO to engage media in highlighting the issues of vulnerable children in Pakistan and also and to explain the working mechanism of CCO to the public through media.

The Child ombudsman has received 272 complaints till now since Aug. 2009. Out of which 90% complaints have been redressed within a period ranging from 3 - 6 months.

The basic purpose of CCO is to receive, examine and investigate complaints made by or on behalf of children and young people. Besides, the organization also aims at promoting children’s rights and welfare; create awareness about the child rights issues in Pakistan and to take proper measures to solve the issues.

Children Parliamentarians of Pakistan demand due rights

Published in Pakistan Observer (25 Nov. 2010)
Sana Jamal
ISLAMABAD: The Children Parliament Pakistan has called for establishment of a separate ministry to care for children’s rights, firm action on child labour issue and to ensure equal treatment for women at grass root level.

This has been stated in a resolution adopted by the Members of the Children’ Parliament Pakistan in Islamabad Wednesday during the one-day session of the Rawalpindi Regional Assembly (RRA), Punjab.

Arslan Latif, Speaker of the Regional Assembly, Rawalpindi said “CPP is a platform which provides opportunity to the children of Pakistan to present their problems and submit suggestions for evolving policies on child rights.”

Children’ Parliament Pakistan (CPP) is an initiative of Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), supported by Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development (SDPD). The idea of the parliament was conceived in 2007 and put into practice a year later.

Talking to Pakistan Observer, Marvi Sirmed, National Project Manager of SDPD (UNDP) said that parliamentary procedure should not only be kept to the parliament but it should be made part of our lives. “The basic aim of this project was to politically aware the children hence making them responsible citizens who are aware of their rights and duties.” This is an awareness campaign to bring attitudinal changes in our behaviour towards democracy, she added.

‘Chief Minister of RRA’, Hamid Ali briefing about the achievements of CPP in Chakwal said that, “We have collected information about 204 vulnerable children in Chakwal and have also sent a proposal to construct an institution for them.”

Explaining the democratic system to the elected parliamentarians, Former Speaker of Children Parliament Bakht Jamshed said “Democracy is a system which gives voice to common man”.

Three hundred Members of the CPP from 30 districts of Pakistan are serving as the representatives of the children of Pakistan in 10 Regional Assemblies. The Assemblies holds 2-3 meetings annually to discuss the pertinent issues and come up with the resolutions in order to ensure the rights of the children in Pakistan.

22 November, 2010

Security personnel sacrifice their Eid for others

Originally Published in Pakistan Observer (Nov. 20, 2010)
Sana Jamal
While the whole nation celebrated their Eid by sacrificing animals and enjoying Eid with their families, thousands of security forces and policemen had to spend their holidays on duties remaining alert against a possible terror threat.

On Eid-ul-Azha (Festival of Sacrifice), the guardians of the nation had to sacrifice their Eid for others as Eid holidays of police personnel and officials were cancelled because they were directed to remain on duty to prevent any unforeseen mishap.

Men in blue uniforms in Islamabad were present vigilant at all important intersections of the city keeping a check on almost all vehicles passing ensuring the possible safety of the citizens. These precautionary measures were part of the comprehensive security plan chalked out by the local administration and police due to fear of terrorism to avoid any unpleasant incident.

Moved by the spirit of our policemen a taxi driver Rizwan ul haq said “These are our unsung heroes who leave no stone unturned for our security.”

20 November, 2010

Born in Pakistan, crowned in China

Pakistan women’s cricket team has finally managed to silence its critics
under captain Sana Mir (R) following the Asian Games glory. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan women cricketers created history when they won the events first-ever cricket gold at the Asian Games after an emphatic ten-wicket win against Bangladesh in the final.

Nida Rashid who excelled with an all-round show was the player-of-the-final as the team gave Pakistan the first gold in Guangzhou after grabbing silver in wushu and a bronze in snooker.

The cricket team, with an indifferent year behind them following a mixture of success and failure, continued their superb form in the tournament and, after opting to field, put up a good bowling performance to dismiss Bangladesh for a mere 92 in 20 overs.

Rashid took four wickets after conceding 16 runs off her quota of four overs while captain Sana Mir grabbed a brace. Bangladesh captain Salma Khatoon was the top scorer for her side with 24 while Rumana Ahmad, with 16, was the only other notable scorer.

Pakistan replied strongly and achieved the target without any loss in 15.4 overs with openers Rashid putting in an all-round effort, partnering Javeria Wadood at the top of the order. Rashid struck an unbeaten 51 off just 43 balls while Wadood, who smashed the winning boundary, scored 39.

“It’s the most memorable moment of my life,” Nida told after guiding her team to victory. “I will not forget this win for the rest of my life. We came here with an aim to win the gold medal and I feel proud to have played an important role in my team’s victory.”

16 November, 2010

Baqra Eid Mubarak

15 November, 2010

'Women Journalists Pakistan' formed

To provide a platform to the women journalists working in print media, electronic media and radio the female journalists have formed an association ‘Women Journalists Pakistan’ (WJP) to address their problems and provide women journalists with special incentives to retain them in journalism.
In this regard a ceremony was held at the National Press Club on Saturday wherein female journalists from different media organizations registered themselves with the association and got advice from senior journalists.

As a first step, women journalists, after a couple of consultative and interactive meetings have decided to form a group that would address the above mentioned problems of those working in this field. These meetings and debates have led to the formation of Women Journalists Pakistan which is a non-political and intellectual based forum that aims to provide a platform to the women journalists working in print media, electronic media and radio.

Remembering Hasan Nasir

Hasan Nasir was a left-wing revolutionary student and leader of working class. Though he passed away on Nov 13, 1961 after being tortured by the then administration at the Lahore Fort, but he is still a symbol of inspiration of the country’s youth.

Yousuf Hassan, a writer and a poet remembering Nasir on his 50th death anniversary said,
“He belonged to a well-off family of Hyderabad (Deccan) but it was his cultured background that made him a people’s friendly leader. He fought to realize the dream of democratic Pakistan and struggled for the rights of working class till he succumbed to death in 1960.”
Yousuf stressed that Pakistani nation must not forget the struggles of a revolutionary leader who dedicated his life to promote the struggle of blue-collar class of this country.

Hassan Nasir was not just a leader but was also a revolutionary poet and to date he remains a youth hero in Pakistan to this day.
After Indo-Pak partition, Nasir migrated to Pakistan where he soon started to represent the oppressed and downtrodden people and initiated a campaign to bridge the gap between haves and have-nots.

Despite hailing from an aristocratic family of Hyderabad Deccan, he opted to take up the cause of the oppressed. He was arrested in 1960, put in a cell in the Lahore Fort and reportedly tortured to death. ‘He died for a good cause, but I know I have many more sons who will carry on the fight for which Hassan Nasir gave up his life’ were the words of his mother at Nasir’s demise.

14 November, 2010

Book on Militancy launched

Published in Pakistan Observer (14 Nov. 2010)

Sana Jamal

Islamabad — Journalist Zahid Hussain says, Lal Masjid tragedy triggered the wave of suicide bombing and terrorism in Pakistan and the death of Ghazi Abdul Rashid has not helped end terrorism in the country.
He was speaking at the launching ceremony of his book titled “The Relentless Rise of Islamic Militants in Pakistan: The Scorpion’s Tail” on Saturday. He said that that Lal Masjid operation had inspired him to write a book to unfold the realities behind series of terrorism acts in Pakistan.

03 November, 2010

Culture, Music paint real image of Pakistan

Published in Pakistan Observer (3 Nov. 2010)

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Music and Art, the two delicate medium of expressions of feelings were combined brilliantly at the inaugural ceremony of World Music instrument and Music Painting exhibition titled ‘Silent Decibels’ here at National Art Gallery, Islamabad. ‘Silent Decibels – The art of music’ was held to display 47 paintings of two Pakistani Visual artists, Amna Ismail Pataudi and Sana Kazi Khan. Amna Pataudi specializes in watercolour painting while Sana Kazi is a miniature painter.

Journalists discuss self-accountability

Media of Pakistan should resolve the discrepancies within media, issues of unethical reporting and overreaction by free media.These views were expressed by media professionals at a national seminar on “Media, Democracy and Public Interest: Issues and Options” held on Tuesday in Islamabad, organized by Society for Alternative Media and Research (SAMAR).