Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Auto policy to attract European car makers

ISLAMABAD, July 25: The government expects major investments from European car manufacturers including Renault, Volkswagon and London’s Black-Cab in response to its new auto policy that will break the "monopolistic culture" being followed by the Japanese auto firms.

Informed sources told Dawn that the "Auto Industry Investment Policy - New Entrants in the Car and Light Commercial Vehicle Sector" has been designed to do away with the distortion in the market created by the Japanese auto firms. "The industry has developed a monopolistic culture, is averse to fair competition and jealously guards against any attempt by a new player wishing to enter the market, despite a large demand-supply gap creating distortions in the market," writes the ministry of industries and production.

It says that the auto industry in Pakistan and car and light commercial vehicle sector was dominated by the Japanese companies "which follow similar policies on manufacturing, introduction of models, technology and prices". [...]

Pakistan 'building new reactor'

A nuclear monitoring institute in the United States has published satellite images of what it says is a new nuclear reactor being built in Pakistan. The Institute for Science and International Security (Isis) said that it could produce enough plutonium to make 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year. Pakistan's foreign ministry refused to comment on the charges, saying the Khushab nuclear site was well known.

A spokeswoman said that Pakistan was not pursuing any kind of arms race. The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says Pakistan is unhappy about Washington's recent agreement to share civilian nuclear technology with India. She says, contrary to the foreign ministry statement, analysts in Islamabad have warned that unless Pakistan gets a similar deal, or there is a policy of regional disarmament, conditions for a new arms race could be created. [...]

Polish diplomat ‘feels like a Karachiite’

KARACHI: A western diplomat extolling the virtues of Karachi — considered by many of its own citizens a city of turmoil — should be music to many an ear. But Polish envoy does exactly that.

Serving as Poland’s consul general in Karachi since 2004, Ireneusz Makles has come to appreciate Pakistani food, especially the barbecued chicken at Karachi’s Lal Qila and BBQ Tonight. “Karachi is a very safe city despite western media’s illustration of it as a dangerous city.”

“I like Karachi very much,” said a very friendly envoy representing the European Union’s sixth largest member country in Pakistan’s commercial capital. “I am impressed with Karachiites. They are very generous, friendly, open-hearted, reliable and very hospitable.” [...]

Monday, June 12, 2006

Branding Pakistan

Recently I came across a group of Pakistanis who have personally taken the mission of improving Pakistan's image in Western Media. The group is called Association of Pakistani Professionals (AOPP) and considers itself as "an independent group working to ensure the dissemination of accurate information regarding U.S.-Pakistan relations." The group has a simple one-point agenda of depicting a broader and cleaner image of Pakistan and project the true picture, usually ignored by mainstream media. They intend to accomplish this task by "helping Americans develop a deeper understanding of Pakistan and the South Asian region in general." With more than 550 Pakistani professionals under their umbrella, the group is poised to achieve its goals.

Usually it is quite common to see a number of people who come together once in a while for a cup of coffee or simple networking, however, AOPP seems a par above such organizations. They recently held a very successful event, Branding Pakistan, in order to address the serious problem of negative publicity that Pakistan has been receiving in the Western Print and TV media. Pakistan indeed needs an image makeover. It's not something that the government can carry about on its own but it also requires a personal effort on our part. Especially for the Pakistanis living abroad in Canada, USA, Europe, Middle East, etc. We all need to do our part in projecting the positivity we have to offer. It's true that there are many negative elements working against Pakistan, however, we need to bring the few positive ones and project ourselves.

The event received a good amount of attention from the Print Media. You can access the articles written about this event at this link for more details on the discussions that were carried out during the event.

And for the readers who intend to contribute towards the AOPP's goals, please do contact them. Their website, www.aopp.org has all the details. The group is also an excellent networking opportunity for journalists, writers and columnists who can meet other professionals in that capacity. However, you can also contact me in case you need more details on accessing AOPP.


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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Anger - a silent killer

Patience is the word we hear so much that we now have become its absolute opposite. Yes we have become impatient even to listen to a simple word like patience. All we think, finally becomes our action so it won't be wrong to say that we have so much anger stuck in our mind that it only gets its way out through our actions and unfortunately there is no end of stock here.

We stubborn souls will not agree, still there is always room for improvement. Scientific studies have proven that anger has a direct negative impact on our health, and can be a root cause for many diseases including the cardiac ones. To make you realize the harm that you are causing to yourself by being angry is a very difficult task but lets take a look at the body chemistry which might highlight such facts that can scare the heck out of you. The tears out of happiness, sadness and anger all have different chemicals. When you cry out of anger, you can see the most harmful chemical formation in the fluid. Similarly, when you are angry you exhale poisonous breath. This doesn't mean you are only excreting the toxics, you are also developing them inside your body. These are the alarming signs which shows the injustice that you are doing to yourself.

If you are wise enough, then you should have already understood the hazards but now the next problem in question is how to refrain oneself from anger? And the magic spell to the freedom is '6 seconds'. It is as easy as it sounds because it only requires practice. The practice of shifting your concerntration for 6 seconds from the object of hate to the object of love. Six seconds of silence is all we need. Next time whenever you feel angry shift your focus from that person or thought and think about something you love, think about God, think about nature or simply see the positive aspects of the person in question. You will see the results as after those initial six seconds, your anger automatically starts to drop in intensity. One step at a time and you will eradicate this bad habit of yours with the blessings of God. Both life and relationships are precious, so try to treasure them.

-Raheel Lakhani

Originally Posted at,
H.O.P.E. [v2]


For more info regarding anger management and emotional stability, Visit:
6seconds.org

Karachi in the middle of Violence - again!


And even in our sleep,
pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart.
Until, in our own despite,
against our will,
comes wisdom to us
by the awful grace of God.

Aeschylus - 3rd century Greek Poet


Lets hope that wisdom does come to us and this sad event is not turned into a sectarian issue that may result into more violence and bloodshed in our beloved country - Pakistan.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Discussing women in Islam

"There are misconceptions regarding the status of women in Islam, said Ihab El-Kady, an associate professor at UNM.

Citing the Quran, he talked about women's roles in Islam. He said the first chapter of the Quran tells a story similar to that of Adam and Eve. Eve doesn't take the blame for committing the first sin of mankind. El-Kady said they were both tempted, and they were equals. "You can't inherit sins," he said. "In the Islamic point of view, everybody is responsible for the sins they commit."

El-Kady stressed the importance of judging a religion by reading the scriptures, not by the actions of the people associated with the religion. Another reason to read the scriptures, he said, to decide for yourself what is true.

El-Kady said Islam gives women rights. He said Islamic women have always been equal enough to fight in wars."Women fought from the rooftops while men fought in the streets," he said. "It's cowardly to put women in front of the men. Women weren't drafted. They were kindly asked to participate."

He said it was a woman who first sacrificed her eyesight for Islam, the first to be martyred, the first to die outside Arabian borders fighting for her religion and the first to get a government-sponsored bank loan.

He said women have the right to work, provided it doesn't interfere with their ability to raise a child."You don't degrade women because they are precious," El-Kady said. "And you don't degrade men because they are also precious."The dress codes are also similar for both genders, he said, except for skirt length and the women's headdress.

"If you're puzzled over women's headdress, think about it," he said. "Why do nuns wear headscarves? Why does (Virgin) Mary wear it?..." [...]

Source: The Daily Lobo [2006,Mar.29]

The State of Muslims Today

A religion should not be judged by its followers, but by its preaching and its values. In today’s world, people believe Islam preaches violence, intolerance and hatred towards people of other beliefs. I am going to endeavor to rebut their misconceptions through a historical journey of the Islamic empire.

The word Islam has its roots in the word "Salam", which means peace. Once again, a population of 1 Billion plus people can not be bundled up under the title of terrorism, judging by the acts of a small number of people. In order to understand the violent nature of certain Muslims, one must rationally approach the reasoning behind their reactions. One must understand what it is that has separated the so-called "Islamic Nations" from each other, despite the fact that Islam emphasizes heavily on unity.

When Muhammad (PBUH) passed away, the Islamic empire, which was at that point mostly centered around Arabia, began to fall apart. It was the power of his message that kept the Arab tribes together, who for generations associated their religious beliefs with Idols. [...]

Source: The Daily 49er

Monday, April 10, 2006

Welcome Message!

Greetings, fellow bloggers! The objective of this blog is to bring together progressive, educated, opinionated and knowledgeable Pakistani bloggers so that they may bring forth their perspectives on global issues. The goals of this site will not be limited to news, although, it will occupy a large portion of the ultimate objective we will strive to achive. We hope in the process we will all learn and share from the experiences and opinions of each other. Sit back, and enjoy the ride! Pakistan Zindabad!

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