23 February, 2012

Pakistan's manner of compensating its Terrorism Victims commended

Sana Jamal

Islamabad – Pakistan's positive side came to light surprisingly at a report launch on Wednesday, when speakers noted that the terror-hit country is ahead of many states in delivering compensation to the victims of terrorism and conflict at a massive scale. This point of concern was highlighted at the launch of research report on “Compensating Civilian Victims of Conflict and Terrorism in Pakistan.” The research on the existing policies and practices being adopted by Federal and Provincial governments for award of compensation to the civilian victims was conducted by Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) in collaboration with Foundation Open Society Institute (OSI). 

The report refreshingly highlighted a positive side of Pakistan. “The conflict-hit country is doing better than many states to provide relief to the victims of conflicts,” remarked Michael Shaikh, Director Country Program of Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict (CIVIC). Erica Gaston, Program Officer of OSI, appreciating the efforts of the country administration, said that “the concrete steps taken by Pakistan government in providing compensation to victims of conflicts are commendable and an exemplar for many countries.” 

18 February, 2012

Book Launch: ‘Wazir Khan Mosque Rediscovered’

Sana Jamal 
Book cover.

Islamabad – Pakistan’s treasured Wazir Khan Mosque has enchanted and inspired many by its mere magnificent look, but the latest comprehensive documentation on the Mosque is yet to charm the art lovers. The innovative book “Wazir Khan Mosque Rediscovered”, by Mamoona Khan was launched here on Friday at National Art Gallery in the presence of Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, Dr Shaukat Mahmood, Prof Jamila Zaidi and Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata, Representative of UNESCO. 

“It is for the first time that inscriptions bedecking the mosque are fully documented in this book including calligraphic styles, motifs, and designs with thorough analysis.” The book also focuses on the undercurrents of rhythm and orderliness, the hallmark of Muslim ornamental designs which lies in geometry, the epitome of which is Golden Ratio. “It highlights that Muslim artists did not limit themselves to the usual frame of decorating but keen observation deciphered the role of science as the guiding principle of the Muslim adornments” explained the author.

08 February, 2012

Argentine Tango delight Islamabad music lovers

Sana Jamal 

Islamabad – Football is apparently all that comes to the mind of a Pakistani when the name of Argentina is mentioned. However, the recent melodious concert held in Islamabad not only has altered the perceptions of Pakistanis but also proved to be a great occasion to experience the national music of Argentina: Tango.

The rhythmic Tango music, played by a guitar trio, offered an exquisite experience for the audience to enjoy the Argentine music in Pakistan at the PNCA auditorium. Rodolfo Gorosito, on guitar and vocals, Jose Armando Cataldi and de la Vega, with acoustic guitars, in the right hands, conveyed the integral feeling of tango to the listeners as the audience nodded their heads with rhythm. 

04 February, 2012

World Cancer Day: Early diagnosis can beat killer disease

Sana Jamal

Islamabad – The disease, once known as fatal and haunting enough to bring images resembling death sentence in the minds of patients, is now curable if detected at an early stage. “Cancer is dreaded by most people but the truth is that the disease has emerged as a chronic one rather a fatal disorder” said Dr. Kamran Rasheed, Consultant Medical Oncologist at a health awareness seminar held at Shifa International Hospital (SIH).

Cancer can be averted by early diagnoses and healthier lifestyles. This was crux of the presentations of the eminent Oncologists at the seminar, held to observe World Cancer Day in Pakistan where the cancer specialists illustrated causes, treatment, symptoms and prevalence of cancer.
“Early detection means less invasive treatment, less trauma, less pain, less cost. In fact early disease detection is equivalent to curable disease” affirmed Dr. Badar us Salam, Consultant Surgeon.

02 February, 2012

Iran Culture Festival begins in Islamabad

Pak-Iran strategy to highlight Islamic culture stressed

Sana Jamal
Courtesy: Google Image.

Islamabad – In a colourful inaugural ceremony, the Iranian Cultural Week started here at National Arts Gallery (NAG) of Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Thursday where the speakers urged for measures to initiate Pak-Iran joint strategy. The cultural festival, highlighting Iran’s development in the field of art and culture, social, economic, scientific technology, and defence, has been arranged to mark the 33rd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran and to commemorate the Solidarity Week.

The week-long (February 2-10) festival has been jointly organised by the Cultural Consulate of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in collaboration with PNCA featuring photographic display of development of Iran, Persian books and publications, original handwork on wood, metal, and cloth, rugs work, recitation of Quran, and and screening of feature films.

One of the prominent features of the cultural week was collection of rare Quranic manuscripts dating back to 10th Hijri. The calligraphy of the remarkable Quranic manuscripts, preserved in glass display case, was splendidly illuminated in gold, colours and medallions. “The publications on display are the collection of Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies which strives to preserve and promote Islamic culture and Persian language” told Muhammad Abbass, representative of the Institute.

01 February, 2012

US initiative on Education may soften strain ties

USAID signs 7 MoUs with Pak Universities

Sana Jamal 

Islamabad - While Pakistan-United States strategic relations continue to remain strained, cooperation in the field of education continues to grow. To reaffirm the support, Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed on Wednesday between seven universities of Pakistan and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The signing ceremony took place at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the presence of Vice Chancellors of the seven universities. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Karen Freeman, USAID Deputy Director for Pakistan, acknowledged that “Pakistan and the United States have enjoyed a long and productive relationship that spans more than 60 years and covers a variety of fields.. The MoU signing ceremony is yet another expression of the U.S. Government’s long- term commitment to help build a stronger, more prosperous Pakistan.” 

The $15 million construction initiative is aimed at building new faculty of Education buildings at the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University in Quetta; the Hazara University in Mansehra; the University of Education in Lahore; the University of Sindh in Hyderabad; the University of Karachi (KU) in Karachi; and the Shah Abdul Latif University in Khairpur (Sindh) and renovation of the Institute of Education and Research at the University of the Punjab. The construction contract has been awarded to CDM Constructors Inc. 

In a cheerful mood and pleasant environment, the representatives of the universities keenly discussed the educational problems while explaining their case for additional support from U.S. and appreciating Pak-U.S. collaboration in education sector. The professors compared the quality of education with quality of life, and hoped that the initiative would help in improving the teacher education. “Unfortunately, a large number of teachers in Pakistan are in teaching profession by chance and not by choice”, observed Dr. Pirzada Qasim, Vice Chancellor of KU. 

“The program will be beneficial in training the best young minds to the teaching profession and also help revise the curriculum” he said. Dr. Javaid Laghari, Chairman of the HEC appreciated the efforts to improve the quality of education across the country. T

he new facilities would support the implementation of two new degree programs, a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Education (B.Ed.) and a two-year Associate Degree in Education (ADE) designed by Pakistani scholars to increase the quality of teacher preparation at colleges and universities. Additionally, the new buildings would be used for the continuing education of practicing teachers. “The construction will take place over the next two year and the new facilities will eventually house approximately 2,000 students and 100 faculty members each year” informed Karen.