“My parents decided to move to Tehran hoping it would provide us better educational opportunities,” Alizada said. “But we were not allowed to study at Iranian state schools,” she recalls. Alizada was admitted to elementary school run by Afghan refugees for their children. “The discrimination I suffered in Tehran as a child is expressed in some of my current artwork,” she says. “I began to wonder whether there was something wrong with me.”In the spring of 2002, Alizada and her family returned to Kabul since there were no schools in Iran for Afghans to enroll for a higher education. “We left Afghanistan to pursue education and we returned…to pursue it,” she recalls. “Our return coincided with the American intervention in Afghanistan… the country was still in a state of war.” After Alizada completed grade 12 from a private school in Kabul, her principal encouraged her to apply for admission at Beaconhouse National University (BNU) under the SAARC scholarship programme that was later renamed the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute for South Asian Arts scholarship. Alizada got the scholarship in 2008. “My family was initially worried about me travelling to Pakistan but later gave in,” she says. “I was always curious about Pakistan…I had read about Benazir Bhutto in grade 10 and wanted to learn more about the country she belonged to. Lahore’s heat was the first thing that struck me upon arrival in September 2008,” she says. “I was unfamiliar with the languages spoken at the university,” Alizada says. “It also took me a while to adjust to the spicy food and power outages.” A greater challenge was obtaining annual visa renewal. Salima Hashmi, the dean of the School of Visual Arts and Design, helped smoothen the process, she said. Alizada’s photograph shortlisted out of a total of 280 entries from SAARC countries, will be displayed along with 24 other shortlisted artworks at different World Bank offices in South Asia from September this year to May 2013 after which they will be displayed in Washington DC between June and July 2013. Alizada hopes to get a job at the Kabul University. She also looks forward to art exhibitions in Kabul and Lahore later this year. She said that the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan had several misconceptions about one another due to political differences. “Perhaps…the youth of both countries can help overcome them.” On concluding her arts education, she says, “It feels like finally going to bed after a long, hard day.” Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
مقتل القيادي الصدري عبد الستار البهادلي المتهم الاول بمقتل عبد المجيد الخوئي ومكتب الصدر يتهمون العصائب..
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By Ahmed Rayyan - Jun 25th, 2012 (No Comment) 8 The scandals of mediagate and anchorgate have heated up a lot of debate on the ethical responsibilities and professionalism of media and its influential workers across the industry but the two television channels were singled out eventually for creating chaos in making public opinion against the judiciary. Geo News and Dunya TV both got the opportunity to throw mud at each other after journalists and anchors of TV media outlets were observed criticizing the role of media outlets supporting the agenda of of Malik Riaz Hussain, the real estate magnet. Though the battle was not new between the two TV channels but it reached at the height after the issue of Arsalangate, which was highlighted by media persons of both sides including Shaheen Sehbai, Najeem Sethi, Kamran Khan, Mubashir Luqman and Mehar Bukhari. However the battle was old as more than three years old when the Dunya TV launched its transmission and hired leading journalists, newscasters and anchorperson of the Geo News for their current affairs programs. . . . Dunya TV Asma Chaudhry One of the leading correspondents and producers of Geo TV who did reporting in parliament on Geo News joined Dunya TV and become anchor of its current affairs program “In Session”. She is now associated with Dawn News. . . . . Absar Alam He was bureau chief of Geo News and leading political correspondent. He received handsome offer from Dunya TV and move to new channel as Director News though he later joined Aaj TV. Veena Malik She is being called as Queen of controversies nowadays but she was the hostess of a political satire show “Hum Sub Umeed Sei Hain”. Later she joined Dunya TV and become hostess of the program “Miss Dunya”. Javed Iqbal One of the most familiar and favorite face of the Geo News has joined Dunya TV as newscaster. He rejoined Geo News but quit it again to be anchorperson of Dunya TV show “News Watch”. Aniq Naji Aniq Naji is quite unfamiliar but he always works on serious issues of the society and politics. He has hosted morning show on Geo and played a leading role in the investigative documentary program “Bandd File”. He also left Geo to join Dunya TV upon which he has been presenting an investigative documentary program “Talaash”. Dr Younas Butt The famous comic writer, screenwriter and humorist, Dr Muhammad Younas Butt, had been producing at all time favorite show “Hum Sub Umeed Sei Hain” from Geo News. He has introduced a new style of political satire in his show and explored many new actors for different roles. But he joined Dunya and now producing a show “Butt Tameezian”. Besides there are many names who had been associated with Geo News for quite long period later moved to Dunya TV in pursuance of better opportunity. Among them there were newscasters, reporters, Non-linear editors, producers and technical staff. Though there were many people who joined Dunya TV from different outlets but the impact on Geo News was seen significant after its leading team members quit it to join Dunya TV and then tussle has been continued since now. Geo News Geo News as pioneer among private TV channels has always a good team of reporters, anchors, newscasters but it was not only seen cautious with Dunya but took revenge from it as well. Though it picked out a couple of journalists from Dunya TV but they were the most influential people having good viewership and programs’ rating on their previous channel. Najam Sethi and Muneeb Farooq Najam Sethi, a heavyweight journalist, had been gaining popularity as an analyst on Dunya TV in this program ““Najam Sethi Show”. The rating and popularity of the program was quite improving and it became one of the leading current affairs programs of Dunay TV in which he with his fellow anchor Muneeb Farooq not only presented ‘logical’ analysis of national and international political issues but also broke stories of the upcoming events. The pair of two anchors was hired by Geo News obviously on handsome package but more importantly from Dunya TV, its rival media outlets. Their program was rebranded as Aaps Ki Baat and its format was slightly changed from their previous show. Aftab Iqbal Aftab Iqbal, who was considered as one of the famous anchors in the media industry, earlier hosted a favorite comical talk show “Hasbe Hal. The program with its unique format and content gained an extraordinary popularity among the viewers to become a top rated show of the electronic media. He later moved to Geo News and started hosting a unique show “Khabarnaak”. The two shows of Dunya TV was quite popular which brought it among the race of leading TV outlets due to its contents and anchorpersons, however, the show Hasbe Hal retained its popularity with its main character Azizi (Shoail Ahmed). Paid documentary of Bahria Town The race of rating and talk shows does not seem to be over yet but both channels have made handsome money while airing paid documentary or long-duration advertisement of Bahria Town, which has been broadcasting during the transmission of Geo News and Dunay TV for nearly one month. The role of anchors and journalists working in these media outlets certainly cannot included in that case but the management and owners of the two outlets must be involved in making money and contesting each other in getting business from the owner of Bahria Town.
Posted by Thaqalain at 7:09 PM
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wed, May 16 03:44 AM EDT * Gladstone LNG hub may drain east coast gas supplies * Miner Rio Tinto says having problems securing gas supplies * Some domestic buyers press for government intervention * Gas producers say higher prices to boost supply By Rebekah Kebede and Sonali Paul ADELAIDE/MELBOURNE, May 16 (Reuters) - Australia is on its way to becoming the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas, but industrial consumers on the country's east coast are worried gas producers will ship so much to Asia's booming economies that domestic supplies will be tight. East coast gas will flow to international buyers via three multi-billion dollar LNG projects under construction near Gladstone and due to open in 2014 and 2015. Exports will drive up the price of gas, which previously had no outlet other than the landlocked regional market. Big gas consumers such as power generators, miners and manufacturers will have to match Asian prices to keep gas at home, but are concerned even that may not be enough to beat buyers in China, Japan and South Korea to secure supplies. Gas producers may find selling large volumes in single long-term deals is potentially more attractive than splitting up the volumes for many shorter-term deals to local consumers. "We are looking at a gas supply shortage," New South Wales resources and energy minister Chris Hartcher told reporters. "We need assurances from producers around price structure and security of supply and we have no guarantee on either right now," Hartcher added an industry event in Adelaide, noting New South Wales state has a million customers using gas, Big consumers such as power generators, miners and manufacturers in the east, home to the bulk of the population, are pressing the government to ensure their access to supplies. "Gladstone is going to be like a giant vacuum cleaner for the East Coast gas market hoovering up all the gas it can get its hands on," Michael Fraser, chief executive of power firm AGL Energy, said in a speech last month. He said annual demand for east coast gas could more than triple from about 12 million tonnes now to 46 million tonnes if the projects underway at Gladstone and another on the drawing board are completed. Miner Rio Tinto and fertiliser maker Incitec Pivot , which needs gas to produce ammonia, have raised concerns about supply and prices, with manufacturers calling for producers to be made to keep some gas for domestic supply. "Rio Tinto is actively seeking gas in the Queensland market for the 2015 period (and beyond), but is finding it difficult to secure firm offers for future supply, largely due to uncertainty with many producers balancing reserve growth, existing contract commitments and market expectations," the company said in a submission to the government's energy policy review. Producers are already seeking export-type prices for long term gas contracts to manufacturers. Suppliers are asking Incitec Pivot for double current prices or more in negotiations for new contracts, Incitec spokesman Stewart Murrihy said. Electricity producers have also faced hurdles in locking in supplies, according to the National Generators Forum (NGF), an electricity industry association. Gas producers are reluctant to commit to new supply contracts from the time Gladstone projects are due to come on line, preferring to see if they can sell into export markets or achieve a higher price domestically once exports start. "If you're a local gas producer in Australia and you have the option of selling your gas into an LNG manufacturer or selling it domestically, then you'll want to get a price that's commensurate with what the LNG projects are willing to pay," Peter Strachan, an analyst with Stock Analysis in Perth said. Hartcher said that the state government has yet to decide on policy steps aimed at guaranteeing supplies. It is considering options such as requiring gas producers to reserve some volume for domestic supply or introducing a royalty scheme that would give producers incentives to supply the local market, he said. Australia's resources minister is due to complete an energy policy review later this year focusing on energy security. "I am paying close attention to the suggestions that there are difficulties in negotiating long term gas supply contracts," Martin Ferguson told Reuters on the sidelines of a trade event. Both Ferguson and Hartcher said they would like to see the issue resolved by encouraging producers to pump more gas. One of the obstacles to doing that is opposition to the development of unconventional gas in Australia on environmental grounds. Much of the gas reserves on the east coast are unconventional, such as coal seam and shale gas. Farmers and environmentalists have banded together to protest against drilling due to concerns about its impact on water supplies. PRICES DOUBLE On the other side of the country, Western Australia has already seen gas prices rise to near parity with export prices. Gas there sold for around A$9.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) last year, nearly double the price in Sydney and around four times the price in some other eastern state areas, according to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics. Prices have risen there despite the Western Australian government's requirement for producers to keep 15 percent of gas from new developments for the domestic market. Producers say high prices in the east would encourage them to develop more fields. "We passionately believe that (reserving supply) would be the wrong thing to do," Santos Chief Executive David Knox told reporters this week at an industry event in Adelaide. "Australia has plenty of gas in the ground ... to unlock the molecules we need good prices." Santos, operator of one of the Gladstone projects, would prefer to see a scheme that provided incentives for supplying the domestic market, Knox said.
Posted by Thaqalain at 8:03 PM
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Updated 4 hours ago [PPP nominates Makhdoom Shahbuddin for new PM] [Print] ShareThis109 73 18 Email0 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has nominated the name of Makhdoom Shahbuddin for the office of Prime Minister, sources said. According to the sources, the decision was taken in a meeting of senior leaders of PPP held here on late Tuesday under the chairmanship of President Asif Ali Zardari. The meeting also decided that the National Assembly session would be summoned on Thursday for the election of the leader of the house, sources added. Earlier, sources said that former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had expressed reservations over the name of Shahabuddin during the meeting of coalition partners. Coalition partners entrusted President Asif Ali Zardari to nominate new prime minister. Et tu, Hassan Nisar? By Saeed Qureshi - Jun 18th, 2012 (1 Comment) 5 Karachi: If Hassan Nisar is also one of the recipients of the graft money from Malik Riaz, the Pakistan’s billionaire property tycoon: then it definitely betokens the demise of fair journalism in Pakistan. His name is there in the list with the soul-dampening information that, “ he received 1 Crore and 10 Lakhs Rupees: Money transferred from Account Title Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited, Account Number42279-2 at Habib Bank Limited, LDA Plaza Branch, Lahore, Code 1315, SWIFT: HABBPKKAX315 10 Marla Plot in Bahria Town. In the TV Talk appearances as a guest or as a host in his own popular program “Choraha”, or in his Jang columns, he unleashes an avalanche of blistering censure against the corrupt individuals and agencies in Pakistan. He is adored and acknowledged as one among the whole crowd of journalists for scathing views and tongue lashing against a whole range of corruption, greed, moral degeneration and a failed system of governance. He is the most aggressive and unsparing critic of the incumbent government and the power wielders and their sleazy exploits in self-aggrandizement and money grabbing. His defiant rhetoric did not spare the army generals, the bureaucrats, the highly placed government functionaries and exploitative business magnates and classes for plundering Pakistan at the cost of the peoples’ burgeoning woes. But all of a sudden , his image looks so besmirched and hollow that one tends to believe as if his assertion of moral principles and manifestation of pious platitudes was a mere charade that has been lifted in such a freakish fashion. The fundamental question stands out that why this former Bahria Town boss was squandering big chunks of money on a bunch of leading and most prominent journalist whose programs are watched both in and outside Pakistan by countless people. Understandably it was to purchase their loyalties in favor of the exploitative groups, lobbies and individuals whose front man is Malik Riaz. The charge could be credible that the perks and grafts given to Arsalan Iftikhar was aimed at silencing or blackmailing the chief justice for going soft on the gubernatorial cases pending against the powerful persons. Human suffer from temptations for worldly pleasures and enticements and Hassan Nisar is no exception. But what is intriguing or painful is that he was an icon among the journalists for his fiery exhortations against the evil forces. A drastic downgrading from that sublime stature is not only mind boggling but squarely distressing for his admirers. How is he going to cope with this sordid turn of events is too hard a feat to be conjectured correctly? The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Accepting verdict, PPP begins hunt for new PM Shahabuddin reportedly frontrunner; key party meeting today. By Zia Khan Published: June 20, 2012 An emergency meeting of coalition partners was held in the Presidency on Tuesday.PHOTO: APP ISLAMABAD: Surprisingly, confrontation does not seem to be the option the embattled government has opted for. It has opted, instead, for pragmatic planning after two emergency meetings – first of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s Central Executive Committee and then of the leaders of coalition partners. Hours after the country’s top court rendered the longest-serving elected prime minister of Pakistan disqualified, it was finally decided to elect a new prime minister to replace Yousaf Raza Gilani. Consequently, a crucial National Assembly session for the vote is expected within the next couple of days. While speculation is rife, no official confirmation has come on the candidate. Leaders of coalition partners empowered President Asif Ali Zardari to nominate anyone from his party to become the next premier and assured him of their full support for the elections, likely to take place on Thursday. Top leaders from the allied parties decided not to go into confrontation with the judiciary and the verdict was accepted despite private reservations on it. Gilani, after being apprised by the legal team, refused to go for an intra-court review of the decision – and a presidential pardon for Gilani was also decided against. The new PM A participant of the high-level huddle told The Express Tribune that some names were discussed at the meeting but the final decision would be taken at the parliamentary party meeting of the ruling party when it meets today (Wednesday evening). According to media reports, during the day, some stalwarts from PPP were being considered as replacement for Gilani. The most probable among them was Makhdoom Shahabuddin, a party leader from southern Punjab. South Punjab, or the Seraiki belt, is the region the PPP is targeting for the upcoming general election — making the candidature of Shahabuddin stronger and giving him an edge over other contenders. An insider told The Express Tribune that Shahabuddin’s name had been finalised and none of the government allied groups raised any objections to it. Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar was the other candidate to be the next prime minister for the remaining nine months of the PPP’s tenure, scheduled to end by March next year. Mukhtar was a strong candidate for the premiership after the PPP won the general election back in 2008, but could not make it to the top slot. Hailing from Gujrat district of central Punjab, Mukhtar is considered to be an arch-rival of the leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) — the largest of PPP’s allied group. He won against PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in 2008 in one of the most closely-fought contests. Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah, a PPP diehard from its stronghold of Sindh, was also in the limelight for the top slot — with some officials claiming that he was being backed by a majority of the party. But the problem with Shah’s selection is that the PPP can not afford to give all the important slots to the same province. Some media reports suggested the PML-Q was lobbying for former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. But a participant stated that, neither was his name considered, nor did the party push for it. No early elections According to insiders present at the meeting, the president had ruled out any possibility of calling for fresh parliamentary polls at any cost, saying he would not bow down to the forces out to derail the democratic system. “I know democracy is under threat from all sides but [no one can] force us to hold early elections. I will not run from the battleground,” an insider quoted Zardari as telling the leaders of allied parties. “Over my dead body… As long as I live, nobody can force us to dissolve the government even a day ahead of our term,” Zardari said in a defiant tone, insinuating that his party members should be well prepared for a long political and legal battle. CEC meeting Earlier in the day, the president held emergency talks with central leaders of the PPP. “Though we have reservations about this judgment, we will take advice from the allied parties and legal experts and will then chalk out a strategy for the future,” Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told reporters after the meeting. “The Central Executive Committee has advised all party workers to remain calm and show patience and not to protest against the verdict,” he added. Asked whether the PPP was considering a presidential pardon for Gilani, the information minister said “no such suggestion is under consideration”. PPP Secretary General Jehangir Badar said the party’s executive committee had given Zardari “complete authority… to take any decision after taking advice from the allied parties”. (Read: A judicial coup?) Published In The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2012. == Profile: Shahabuddin’s journey His portfolios include the treasury, planning and development, health and textiles. By Kashif Zafar Published: June 21, 2012 Makhdum Shahabuddin's nominated by President for PM elections. BAHAWALPUR: Despite his background as a student of law, Makhdoom Shahabuddin has made a name for himself primarily as a politician and agriculturalist – his portfolios at various times throughout his career include the treasury, planning and development, health and textiles. He hails from Mianwali Qureshian, an important political centre in Rahim Yar Khan and is known to be more interested in finding jobs for the unemployed rather than the development of the region – he is responsible for the employment of hundreds during the time Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has remained in power. He is the Sajjada Nasheen of the Darga Sharif Makhdoom Hameeduddin Hakim in the Meo Mubarak village. Shahabuddin matriculated from Sadiq Public School Bahawalpur, spending his first intermediate year at Government College Rahim Yar Khan before migrating to FC College Lahore. His close ties to Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi are on account of their time spent studying with him in FC College. After his graduation, Shahabuddin studied law at Punjab Law College Lahore. While Shahabuddin’s political career started with the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), he largely witnessed success as part of PPP. He contested his first election from NA 148 in 1988 with the PML ticket, losing to his uncle contesting the constituency with a PPP ticket. Contesting the same constituency in 1990 with the PPP ticket, Shahabuddin defeated his cousin and was elected as a member of the National Assembly. In 1993, he won the constituency’s seat again, defeating his uncle Makhdoom Ruknuddin, and served as the treasury minister in Benazir Bhutto’s government subsequently. Shahabuddin was elected as the chairman of the Southern Peoples Party, when President Asif Ali Zardari, as acting PPP chairman, established a separate chapter for southern Punjab. He is also part of PPP’s central executive committee. Before Yousaf Raza Gilani’s disqualification as premier, Shahabuddin was part of his Cabinet as textiles minister. Published In The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2012. ========= Pakistan president nominates party loyalist for PM ReutersBy Qasim Nauman | Reuters – 1 hr 28 mins ago * Email * * * Share0 * * Print ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's president has nominated ruling party veteran and textiles minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin to replace the ousted prime minister, state media reported on Thursday, in an apparent bid for continuity ahead of elections due early next year. The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani ineligible for office for refusing to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, triggering a new crisis in nuclear-armed Pakistan. At the time, a senior aide to Gilani said only parliament could dismiss the prime minister, raising the possibility of a confrontation between court and government, but by nominating a new man the president has accepted the ruling and backed away from a fight. Shahabuddin is expected to file his nomination papers on Thursday. The ruling coalition has a comfortable majority in parliament, which meets on Friday in an extraordinary session to elect a new prime minister. Shahabuddin will face mounting public frustrations over a staggering range of problems, and a Supreme Court chief justice who prides himself on standing up to Pakistan's most powerful players. Gilani's removal is likely to heat up the Pakistani political arena, where the civilian leadership, the powerful military and the Supreme Court square off against each other at the expense of a public longing for stability and a stronger economy. Pakistan's relations with the United States, which provides it with billions of dollars in aid, are at their lowest point in years. Taliban militants still pose a major security threat, despite numerous army crackdowns. The economy is struggling and analysts predict Pakistan will again have to turn to the International Monetary Fund to keep it afloat. Chronic power cuts, which triggered violent protests this week, show no signs of easing. Shahabuddin, who enjoys smooth ties with coalition partners, was seen as a safe bet for the ruling Pakistan People's Party, which is gearing up for a general election due early next year. But the former deputy finance minister will likely face the same pressures as did Gilani from Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to reopen old corruption cases against Zardari. Thousands of corruption cases were thrown out in 2007 by an amnesty law passed under former military president Pervez Musharraf, paving the way for a return to civilian rule. Two years later, the Supreme Court ruled that agreement illegal, and ordered the re-opening of money laundering cases against Zardari that involved Swiss bank accounts. Gilani and his government refused to obey the court's order to write to Swiss authorities asking them to look again at those cases, arguing that Zardari had immunity as the head of state. The United States is hoping for stability in Pakistan so that Islamabad can engage Washington and work to improve ties damaged by a series of events, most recently a NATO cross-border raid in November which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan closed supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan to protest against the attack, and negotiations on re-opening the lines are deadlocked. (Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)