30 September, 2011

WPC demands extensive role of women in Politics

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Following a round-table conference, a unanimous declaration was passed by the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, on Thursday, calling for equal opportunities for women in the public and political spheres. The Parliamentarians also agreed to build consensus among their respective political parties to provide at least 10 per cent quota for women on winnable general seats before the next elections.

29 September, 2011

Revisit of Foreign Policy urged

Published in Pakistan Observer (27 Sept. 2011)
Sana Jamal

Islamabad – In the wake of worsening Pakistan-US relations, speakers at a seminar on ‘security situation and role of media’ urged a diplomatic solution and revisiting of foreign policy. The interactive discussion on media's role, arranged by South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) at SAFMA center in Islamabad, soon turned into a debate on foreign policy of Pakistan.

Lt. Gen (R) Talat Masood, analyst, urged a “diplomatic solution to rising tension between Pakistan and the United States following US accusations against Pakistan armed forces.” He however noted that despite harsh criticism in American statements, there is a space for reconciliation. He observed that, “the relationship between Pakistan and US is going through a critical stage and both the two countries should revisit their policies to avoid strategic collision.”

28 September, 2011

Hajj – a mean to strengthen Islamic solidarity

Published in Pakistan Observer (28 Sept. 2011)
Sana Jamal

Islamabad – Prominent Islamic scholars from around the world, on Tuesday, highlighted the real message of Hajj and advised the Muslim Ummah to close their ranks to establish a unified Islamic approach against serious challenges.

Speaking at the two-day international conference on “Hajj - Unity and Solidarity of Islamic Ummah”, organized by the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Cultural department of embassy the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic scholars called for a united Muslim stand during Hajj. The conference was attended by a large number of Pakistani and Iranian scholars as well as intellectuals from countries including Afghanistan, India, China, Bangladesh and Tajikistan, are participating.

27 September, 2011

Population management can help develop nation

Published in Pakistan Observer (27 Sept. 2011)
Sana Jamal

Islamabad – Manageable population can lead to progress of the country while the uncontrolled population rise can result in shortage of basic necessities of life. This point of concern was raised at national seminar on World Contraception Day held on Monday in Islamabad.
Senator Suriya Amiruddin noted that “with a population of 177 million, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country of the world” and added that Pakistan has the highest population growth rate in the world at around 2.05% and if the populace keep mounting with same rate, Pakistan is likely to become 4rth most populous country of the world by 2050.

25 September, 2011

Structural changes in society stressed to offset VAW

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Women from South Asian region often experience and face gender inequalities due to rules of a patriarchal social system, which makes it difficult for women to seek their due rights as they have little support from the community and state. To address the concerns of survivors of violence, a number women rights activists from the region gathered at the South Asian Conference on Violence against Women (VAW) to review policies, and institutions in South Asia that have attempted to provide relief to women survivors.

24 September, 2011

Artists depict the beauty of Potohar region

Published in Pakistan Observer (24 Sept. 2011)
Sana Jamal

Islamabad – A captivating exhibition titled
“Hues from Potohar” that opened at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) display the work of prominent artists from the Islamabad and Rawalpindi depicting the splendor of Potohar region. The art show is featuring over 120 paintings and sculptures, based on imagery, striking bright tones, landscapes of Potohar region and vivacious hues weaved by artists of exquisite skills.

“The exhibition is a homage to all those who had been instrumental enriching the hues and colours of the plateau and giving Potohar a unique character of its own” said Nahid Imam, artist and director of visual arts at PNCA. On the opening day, a large number of participating artists as well as art lovers gathered at the National Art Gallery to get a glimpse of the remarkable art pieces that truly depict the Potohar’s rich historical and cultural heritage as well as its geography. Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, wife of the US Ambassador to Pakistan was also present on the occasion.

23 September, 2011

Gender Equality Impossible Without Help from Men: Plan 2011 Report

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Girls and women around the world can only win the battle for gender equality if boys and men in their lives join the cause to help improve their lives, says a new report released on Thursday in Islamabad. The report ‘Because I am a Girl: The State of the World's Girls 2011’ published by the children's rights organization Plan International, states that men of all ages - fathers, brothers, husbands - must play an active role if gender equality is to be achieved for girls and women.

Joint Struggle to counter VAW urged

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Speakers at a conference here on Thursday urged for collective struggle and structural reforms to challenge Violence Against Women (VAW) in South Asian countries particularly. The three-day South Asian conference on “Reclaiming Space: from victimhood to agency: State and civil society response to VAW” organized by Rozan in Islamabad was widely attended by women activists from all over Pakistan who were joined by delegates from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Mukharan Mai, the chief guest of session shared her own story from a victim of violence to a survivor and then an activist taking forward the movement for education of young girls. With the motto to “stop violence through education”, Mukhtaran weaved the struggle of VAW by educating not only women but also men in her region.

22 September, 2011

Mental, physical activity needed to counter Alzheimer

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Experts urged Pakistanis to remain engaged in healthy physical and mental activities to counter threats of Alzheimer disease, as “people who were less active during their leisure time nearly quadrupled their risk of developing the mind-robbing Alzheimer's disease.”

Speaking at a public awareness seminar to mark World Alzheimer’s Day arranged by Shifa International Hospital (SIH), on Wednesday, consultant neurologists insisted the government to establish dementia clinics and nursing homes. The expert panel included Prof. Mohammad Tariq from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. Ismail Khatri, Head Neurology Division SIH; Dr. Arsalan Ahmad and Dr. Azhar Saeed, both SIH neurologists. Physicians emphasized on promoting awareness of the disease amongst general public and educating physicians to screen the elderly patients for dementia.

20 September, 2011

Acid crime Bill may lapse within next 30 days

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) has expressed its concern that if the Bill against acid crimes was not adopted within 30 days, it would lapse and lose its credibility. In a statement issued here on Monday, NCSW noted that on one hand the incidents of acid crimes are on the rise in the country while on the other hand, the Bill against acid crimes, which has been passed by the National Assembly, is at a standstill as it awaits the approval of the Senate. “This significant bill may lose its credibility and would meet similar fate like Domestic Violence Bill, if it is not adopted within next 30 days” NCSW official told Pakistan Observer.

10 September, 2011

CRM stresses for Commission on Rights of Children

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - To observe and protect the rights of the millions of ill-fated children across the country, Child Rights Movement (CRM) has demanded the government to establish National Commission on the Rights of Children, since “there is nobody with a statutory status for the protection of their rights at federal level.”

09 September, 2011

World Literacy Day marked in Islamabad

Promoting a Culture of Reading in Pakistan

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Literacy is, rightly termed as ‘a bridge from misery to hope’. It is the ultimate key to open the door to progress, self learning which enhance human competencies and also help to achieve many other rights. On International Literacy Day (September 8) - a day aimed at highlighting the significance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies, several programmes were in arranged by academicians.

08 September, 2011

Remembering a great Story teller - Ashfaq Ahmed -

In this era of information technology, those old days are swiftly fading away, when children would restlessly wait for the time when their parents would tell them fascinating stories. Those stories used to be vital means of means of educating and entertaining the young generation. But regrettably, this primary activity of learning at home is losing its fame because of abandoning the habit of reading specially the Urdu literature including the great Urdu storytellers.

One of the finest storytellers of Urdu language was Ashfaq Ahmed (Aug 1925 -Sept. 2004), whose seventh death anniversary was observed with reverence on Wednesday. But the great story teller is still alive in the memories of many because of his enthralling tales with great morals which are often repeated by parents and grandparents as bedtime stories for the children.