Posts tagged ‘Pakistani’

July 1, 2011

Invisible border: Freed Pakistani children reach home

A fisherman, who was released by the Indian government, is welcomed by a relative at Cantt railway station in Karachi. PHOTO: PPI

KARACHI: 

Eleven Pakistani children, including 10 fishermen, arrived in Karachi on Thursday after they were released from Indian jails.

One of the children, who arrived at Karachi’s Cantt station, had been in Indian custody for two years, while others were arrested around four months ago.

Nine children are from Karachi while the remaining two hail from interior of Sindh. Abdul Aziz, a fisherman from Thatta, told reporters that he and 13 other boys were fishing in the open sea around four months ago when the Indian Navy arrested them. He said they were initially kept in naval custody for interrogation but were later shifted to the Jamnagar Jail in Indian Gujarat. He also said that he was not aware of his release until authorities took him to the Wagah Border.

Another released child, Narain Kohli, who works as a farmer, said he got lost in the Thar Desert two years ago while on his way to work. He was trying to return to his village in Nagarparkar when he was arrested and handed over to Indian Border Security Force personnel, he said.

Narain said he was kept in the Bhuj Jail in Gujarat and was not allowed to contact his family. Around three days ago, he was taken to a juvenile prison before being released at the border, he said, adding that Indian authorities gave him and the other children train tickets with Rs200 each for travel expenses.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2011.

July 1, 2011

first Pakistani to have genome mapped Dr Atta-ur-Rehman,


Dr Atta has become the first Muslim man with this distinction, while he is the third one among a list of renowned people in the world whose genomes have been mapped by scientists. PHOTO: FILE



MANCHESTER: Prof Dr M Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU), disclosed on Thursday that former Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rehman is the first Pakistani whose genome has been mapped by Pakistani scientists at a cost of $40,000 in just 10 months. <!–more–>


China has contributed $20,000 in the total cost of the genome project. Pakistani and Indian genomes have similarities compared to others, he said, while speaking at a press conference, held on Thursday at Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research (PCMD), Karachi University (KU).


Dr. Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Center and other faculty members were also present on the occasion.


Dr Iqbal Choudhary said that the success of our scientists on this genome project is in fact a national pride for us; they have acquired remarkable scientific achievement at a time when Pakistan is passing through a terrible time in its history.


With this historical achievement, Pakistan has taken a step forward in the genome world and joined the ranks of the few countries – the US, UK, China, Japan and India – which have successfully sequenced the human genome, he said and added that Pakistan, however, is not new in this genome world as we have already sequenced DNA of mangoes and other fruits.


“Dr Atta has become the first Muslim man with this distinction, while he is the third one among a list of renowned people in the world whose genomes have been mapped by scientists. The names of the first two persons are Prof Watson and Dr Ventor (2007), while others are unnamed.


Pakistan has become the sixth country, working on the genome projects after US, UK, China, Japan and India.


We need advanced equipments to further gain progress in this unique field; an institute of Genome will also be setup in the country soon. Millions of pages are required to write the details of genome and that the genome of the first American was mapped at a cost of $6b, across a ten year period,” he said.


It is pertinent to mention here that the research team, who mapped the genome, comprised of Dr Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and Dr Yong Zhang, head of the genomics department at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen, China, one of the leading authorities  in genomics.


Dr Kamran Azim has acknowledged the fact that the complete Pakistani genome has been sequenced for the first time, and said that this research will improve the diagnosis of disease, while the earlier detection of genetic predispositions to diseases will also be a benefit of this research. He said, “The new thing in the study was the technique which can trace back a mutation to the specific parent. We are still studying the actual genome data itself and how the genetic differences we identified may predispose this particular individual to certain diseases”, he said.

June 30, 2011

CONNECTIT 2010

With the participation of 95 companies from 12 countries, CONNECT 2009 successfully became the largest sourcing destination for the Information and Communications Technology industry. The 5th Edition of CONNECT is scheduled from 8 – 10 of May, 2010 at Karachi Expo Centre.

CONNECT 2010 is poised to bring forth international suppliers and local vendors to generate ICT business in the region. The participants will have opportunities to establish contacts with key decision makers of high value projects. The exhibition will demonstrate cutting edge technology to a targeted audience and will bring together Industry leaders seeking more efficient solutions through innovation and technology.

The event is an excellent platform for Information and Communication Technology experts for maximum exposure, establish new business leads and strengthen existing contacts with the local market. The show is well attended by IT professionals, key decision makers and entrepreneurs from across Pakistan.

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June 30, 2011

Pakistani policemen 7 indicted in taped shooting of Pakistani teen

Pakistani policemen escort arrested soldiers and one civilian to an anti-terrorism court in Karachi.Pakistani policemen escort arrested soldiers and one civilian to an anti-terrorism court in Karachi.Six soldiers and one civilian were charged with murderSarfraz Shah was shot in a public parkThe fatal shooting was caught on video

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — A Pakistani court has indicted six soldiers and one civilian on murder and terrorism charges in the death of an unarmed man whose fatal shooting was caught on video.

The seven men pleaded not guilty, said Muhammad Khan, a public prosecutor in a special anti-terrorism court in the southern city of Karachi.

Teenager Sarfraz Shah was shot and killed by Rangers providing security at a public park this month.

A chilling video of the incident was played repeatedly on national television and became the latest in a series of human rights violations that horrified Pakistanis and eroded public confidence in security agencies.

In the video, an unarmed Shah begs not to be shot. He pleads with the men carrying automatic rifles. “I am helpless,” he cries. “Please do not fire.”

Then, two shots and screams of pain. Blood streams out onto the ground beneath him.

The Rangers are Pakistan’s paramilitary force primarily responsible for border protection, but at the request of provinces, it helps to maintain law and order in cities.

Karachi police said Shah tried to rob people at a park named in honor of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto by pointing a pistol and trying to steal cash and cell phones. He was handed over to park security and then to the Rangers.

A hearing on the case begins Thursday.

Journalist Nasir Habib contributed to this report.

June 30, 2011

Pakistani community in France neglected, abandoned

The Pakistani embassy in Paris is not well connected with the Pakistani community. PHOTO: FAZAL KHALIQ

PARIS: Pakistani community in France has unlimited complaints from the Pakistani embassy in Paris and term it as alien place for them. They also criticized the staff attitude as non-cooperative and cut off from its own community.

Ahmad Jalal, member of Pakistani Community in Paris, shared his personal experience in the Pakistani embassy, told the Express Tribune, “As I applied for my national identity card in December this year but yet to get it and have no response from the embassy as well. What I believe, our embassy is not linked with majority of the Pakistanis but only with few people. Overall they are cut from the Pakistani community. Pakistani community does not have that access to the embassy which should have them. They need to integrate more with the Pakistani community.”

Narrating, a practical incident occurred when President Asif Ali Zardari was here, attending an exhibition of Gandhara Art,  he said, “The day President Asif Ali Zaradari was here, a French friend of mine called me and told that she could not get access to her library because somebody was there and they had closed all the area to the public which really created a negative image on the local about Pakistan because if other dignitaries come here, they don’t block the roads.

He also criticized PIA and said, “If you go to the PIA office you will find two Chinese attending Pakistani clients which is little strange. The PIA office doesn’t help people the way they should do comparatively other airlines are perfect by every means.

Junaid Khan, a student of Higher Education in Paris was not really happy with the embassy, while narrating his story he told the Express Tribune, “

“My passport was robbed after three weeks of my arrival to France in October, 2009. Upon requesting new passport from the Embassy of Pakistan in Paris, they issued me a new passport with six months validity and was told that five year validity passport needs verification from Pakistan and required a maximum of two months.  So I kept inquiring the embassy for my verification but even after four months, neither could I get any positive answer nor a reason of delay. Disappointing,  I went to the Pakistan embassy in Rome to get a new computerized passport which was issued in 10 days. This was a period of tension besides spending so much money, which was hardly affordable for a student.”

He also complaint about the attitude of the staff in the embassy at the customer service and said that they are harsh and un-professional and don’t give sufficient and accurate information to their citizens.

There is another issue of non availability of Bannk but the only branch of a National bank located in a walking distance due to which going there, a customer often miss then embassy time and practically attending both Bank and Embassy services is not possible.

Shaukat Hussain, a senior member of Pakistani community, who has been living in Paris for 30 years, told the Express Tribune, “Even the clerical staff of the embassy behaves negatively. When they come to office, their first priority is to seek currency rates and gets excited when the rates of dollars are higher. Though their personal offices are grand and specious but the customer service room is very much narrow with low standard facilities. The embassy provides limited tokens which can be got early in the morning. But many more people who come from out of the Paris often cannot get it and they have to stay in hotels. Then those with tokens have to wait in a long queue outside of the embassy which gives very bad impression on the passersby while in other embassies there is a proper system for their communities.

When the Express Tribune approached the embassy of Pakistan in Paris, Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui, Minister/DHM Charge d’Affari, told the Express Tribune, “If the people have genuine complaints, they have every right to speak open and we will redress it but it is also fact that sometime people make issues of non-issues. The very long standing issue people faced here was the non availability of the machine readable passport which has been solved now for them.”

Regarding token and queue issues outside of the embassy, Siddiqui negated the waiting queue complaint and said, “I have never seen any line standing here. Though with the limited resources, we try to provide best services. First we issued 25 tokens but now extended to 40. There is a proper sitting arrangement inside the embassy.”

About the delay in achieving National Identity Card he said that they did the process in time but it got delayed from Pakistan. He also said that unlike India, Pakistani embassy has not cultural centre. “We don’t have funds for cultural promotion and whatever we do in this regard, we do generate it from our own recourses.  As concerned, the culture promotion, so we arrange different activities regularly. For six months consecutively we organized exhibition of Gandhara art here in a museum but our community is not so much interested in it.”

“We have even helped and assisted our community on the off days. Whenever we come to know a Pakistani with an issue, our officers come to the office even on off days and sort out their problem.” He added.