A Day in Life of Pakistan
The 84th Academy Award ceremony was special for Pakistan - it was the day when Sharmeen Obiad Chinoy became the first Pakistani ever to win an Oscar for her country. Beaming and jubilant Sharmeen raised her Oscar award and proudly dedicated it to the women of Pakistan. She has won the Oscar for Best Documentary (in Short Subject category) 'Saving Face' which is about the menace of acid throwing in Pakistan, specially on women. She shares her award with the co-director of the documentary Daniel Junge. Read more about Sharmeen in the celebrity section.
On night between 25-26 November 2011, the NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan, ostensibly the US troops and helicopters, attacked a Pakistan Army check post at Salala, Waziristan and as a result 26 soldiers including two officers were martyred. This is second such incident in which the NATO forces have targeted well established military posts of Pakistan on suspicion of being Taliban outposts. The incident has had since then a very negative fallout with the closure of NATO supply convoys from Pakistan. The US-Pakistan relations have also been on their dangerously lowest point with no visible signs of improvement as USA fails to apologies to Pakistan for this gruesome incident.
The night between the 30th April and 1st May 2011 would be remembered by the world as a big victory in its War against Terrorism when a US heliborne operation attacked a big compound with high walls in the Bilal Town, Kakul, Abbottabad Pakistan and killed none other than the much sought and hunted Osama Bin Laden. The attack that lasted for forty minutes cost the US one Apache helicopter but it was worth the gain. The operation has however raised many an eyebrow both within and without Pakistan about Osama's presence just a few kilometers away from one of the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy and many a regimental centre of Pakistan Army. Both the Pakistan Army and ISI have showed their ignorance about Osama's presence so close to Kakul and also about the US operation, which they claim to have been a big surprise fort them. But many people don't buy this story and are skeptical about the entire gory episode. Only till will tell the real story and facts, but for now, OBL is dead and it is hoped his death will usher in peace rather than stepped up violence and militancy.
On 27 January 2011, a strange drama was staged in Lahore where an American, later known as Raymond David, killed two motorcyclists in an act of “self defence” near the Qartaba Chowk (Mozang Choongi) in bread daylight. Firing from inside his car, he fired 14 bullets through his car windscreen, killing both the motorcyclists instantly. He then got out of his vehicle and took photos of the dead from his mobile phone camera. Sensing gathering of people at the scene of incident, he immediately called for “backup”. When the backup came loaded with four other Americans, it crushed another motorcyclist to death and then fled from the scene. Raymond David is in police custody while it is feared that the other Americans have left Pakistan the same day. A new debate has sprang up about the American’s status, which the US Embassy claims to be that of a diplomat and the US is pressing hard on Pakistan to release its “diplomat”, while the said American has not been previously registered as a diplomat at the time of entry into Pakistan. The case is in the Lahore High Court and time will tell what becomes of the case.
10th September 2010: Aisam ul Haq Qureshi of Pakitsan made history at US Open 2010 when he paired with Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic reached the final of mixed doubles. Although the pair lost the final, Aisam made history of being the first Pakistani ever to reach the final. Not on this, he paired with Indian Rohan Bopanna also reached the final of men's double and gave a superb performance of team play. However, their opponents, the Brayan brothers, winners of the men's double titile consecutively eight times previously won. But Aisam again made history of being the only Pakistani to have played the final of the men's double at US Open. It was a proud moment to see Pakistan national flag fluttering at the Arthur Ashe stadium for the first time in the history of US Open and Pakistan as well. Aisam surprised the audience with his emotional speech at the end of the men's double final when he said, “I feel there’s a very wrong perception of Pakistan as a terrorist country. We are a very peace-loving country and we want peace as much as you. Since September 11, every time I come to the States or Western countries, I feel people have the wrong impression about Pakistan as a terrorist nation. There are extremists I think in every religion but, just because of them, you can’t judge the whole country as a terrorist nation. I just want to get this message across as a Pakistani.”
28th July 2010: At around 10 AM this morning, an airbus of air blue flight ABQ-ED 202 coming from Turkey via Karachi to Islamabad crashed on the slopes of Margalla Hills, overlooking the capital city Islamabad. The plane was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members on board. All aboard unfortunately could not survive. At the time of crash, the weather at Islamabad was heavily overcast and it was raining. Usually the landing approach to the Benazir International airport, Islamabad is much away from the Margalla Hills. But due to heavy low clouds, it is speculated that the pilot may have flown towards the Maragalla Hills and crashing in the process. But real cause of crash is too early to ascertain. Pakistan has declared a day of national mourning and the national flag will fly at half mast on 29 July to pay homage to the victims of the ill fated aircraft.
For the rest of the world, the modest achievement by Naseem Hameed, a female memeber of Pakistani athletes at South Asian Federation (SAF) Games recently may not be a big feat. But for Pakistan, it is a giant leap as for women athletes and women participation in international sports events is concerned. The 22 years old clocked 11.81 seconds, 0.12seconds ahead of Sri Lanka’s Pramila Priyadarshani, and clinched a gold medal for her country in the women event of 100 meter race. Not only she became the fastest women of South asia, she also became the first female athlete to win the race in Pakistan's sports history. It may be added that Pakistan’s Shabana Akhtar won two gold medals for long jump in the 1993 and 1995 SAF Games.In recognition to their superb performance and bagging golds, President Zardari appointed Nasim Hameed and woman karate master of South Asia Sara Nasir as Ambassadors for sports in Pakistan. A reward of Rs 1 million each has also been announced for Nasim and Sara.
16 December 2009 - A day in life of Pakistan: The day when the Supreme Court of Pakistan unanimously annulled the most controversial act of a military ruler – the NRO. An order due to which many a criminals were granted amnesty and heinous crimes of money laundering, fraud, murders and other misdeeds were absolved of the committed crimes. Now people of Pakistan can hope for justice.
December 4th was yet another lamenting day when almost 40 innocent people were killed while 75 others sustained injuries when heavily armed terrorists, with two of them later blowing themselves up stormed into a mosque in Rawalpindi Cantonment area during Friday prayers. As many as 75 people were injured while all the four assailants were also gunned down as the security personnel returned the fire during the shootout at the Parade Lane Mosque near Qasim Market area of Rawalpindi Cantonment on Friday noon. The dead included 17 children, 10 civilians and nine Army personnel. The Army personnel embracing martyrdom were Major General Umer Bilal, Brigadier Abdul Rauf, Lieutenant Colonel Fakhar, Lieutenant Colonel Manzoor Saeed, Major Zahid, Major (Retd) Shoaib, Naik Masood, Sepoy Abdul Qayyum and Sepoy Sarwar. Besides a number of children and relatives of army officers living in the Parade Lane also perished.
Just a day after when some 49 people were killed in a bomb blast in the crowded bazaar of Peshawar, a private Suzuki van filled with more than a half dozen militants, dressed in Army's camouflage uniform (one reportedly wearing the ranks of a major) barged into the first military check post outside the GHQ in Rawalpindi and all of them disembarked and started firing - a few of them ran towards the second check post from where the guards returned fire killing three of the militants. One still escaped and ran towards main gate and killed a brigadier and severely wounding a colonel (who also later died in the hospital), before being gunned down by the security guards. Till filing of this report, reportedly more than two militants have taken a refuge in the security office near check post number one and keeping the security staff as hostages. In the meantime, the Islamabad Police raided a house on GT Road where they were informed that in the morning a few residents of a rented house left in the Army uniforms. From the house, pencil sketches of GHQ and Army/Police uniforms have been recovered. Taliban have taken responsibility for, this is also seen as an attempt by the Taliban to reassert themselves after recent setbacks in the Swat region and the death of their leader Baitullah Mehsud. The Army launched a massive operation on the building where the militants were keeping over 40 hostages in the morning of 11 October at about six. After lot of gunfire and a few explosions, four militants were killed and almost all hostages freed at the cost of two Army commandos. One militant was apprehended injured, who is believed to be the master mind of the entire episode. So ended yet another attempt b y the militants to create unrest in the country.
Guinness World Records - Most trees planted in 24 hours by a team of 300 People
On Wednesday 15th July 2009 Guinness World Records Adjudicator Aadil Ahmed attended the world record attempt for the Most Amount of Trees Planted in 24 Hours by a Team. The event took place in Keti Bundar, Thatta District which is about 200km southeast of Karachi in Pakistan. The event was organized by the Ministry of Environment (Government of Pakistan) and was part of their planned initiatives to mark 2009 as the National Year of Environment in Pakistan. The event was in collaboration with the Forest Department Sindh and the National Bank of Pakistan. The team of 300 planters who consisted of local community members who had experiencing of working in the costal area were carefully selected and well prepared for the event. Due to nature of the land which was being used the planters knew they had a difficult task on their hands as they had to plant as many tress as they could before the tide came in, as once the tide was in planting would have to stop for a few hours. Mudflats were chosen as the location for this event as this is the best location for the type of tree which was planted. There were 15 teams consisting of 20 members, each team was given a dedicated portion of land to work on which was clearly marked out with flags. The event took place on 2 islands which were next to each other and a total of 795.85 acres of land were planted on for this record attempt. The event started at 6.45am and by 7.35pm it was all over, the previous record which was held by India who had planted 447,874 trees on 12-13 June 2009 and was achieved by the 21 JAT Regiment (Indian Army) at the Shrigram Reserve Forest in Dhubri, Assam, had been broken. Read More ...
21 June 2009 will be remembered as one of the happiest days of Pakistan history when amid threats of militants and suicide bombings, the Pakistan cricket team beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in the final of T20 Cricket championship at Lords cricket ground, UK. While bowling against Sri Lanka, the three wickets claimed by Abdul Razzaq put the Sri Lankan team off balance. Then came Kamran Akmal opening for Pakistan and scored very valuable 23 to give a good start to Pakistan. But it was Shahid Afridi whose impressive 54 runs made Pakistan win the coveted trophy - something Pakistan badly needed - a happy news after War on Terror and its ill effects on Pakistan. Read More ....
Pakistan, A Popular Outsourcing Destination?
Rachael King June 04: Pakistan has become the 20th most attractive outsourcing destination, according to consulting management firm A.T. Kearney. Even as concerns increase about Pakistan’s stability and the growing displaced population due to ongoing military operations with the Taliban, the country made a significant jump on A.T. Kearney’s 2009 Global Services Location Index released May 18. Pakistan went from #30 in 2007 to #20 in 2009. The index ranks the top 50 countries worldwide for locating outsourcing activities including IT services and support, contact centers and back-office support. Countries are measured on 43 different attributes related to financial attractiveness, people and skills availability and business environment. Yet, cost is a huge motivator for many companies and is one reason that places like Pakistan score so highly. When the same index was released in 2007, about 40% of its weighting was given to the financial attractiveness of a country. Read More ...
March the 16th 2009 would go down in the history of Pakistan as a day when the crumbling hopes of a brighter future for Pakistan suddenly took a brighter turn, amid street protests and the Long March towards Islamabad, when the Prime Minister announced reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. The address, which was supposed to be at 2 am Pakistan Time, was late by many hours but the subtext was true to the rumors that had been circulating in Pakistan all day. Suddenly, the entire nation was jubilant - the whole environ changed from despair to hope for a better future. The deposed CJ takes charge of his office on 21st March when the term of sitting CJ Mr Dogar expires. For now, Pakistan badly needs an independent judiciary - let us wait and see if this dream comes true in days to come.
3rd March 2009 will be remembered as a unforgiving day in the history of International Cricket and that of Pakistan when a bunch of gunmen masked gunmen armed with rifles and rocket launchers ambushed the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team near Liberty Market, Lahore, wounding at least two players and killing five police officers. Footage from the scene Tuesday showed the team’s white van with its front window shattered as security officials tried to gain control of the scene in an intersection. Security concerns have plagued Pakistan for years and some foreign sports teams have refused to play here. Quite obviously the visitors hurriedly packed and left for home in an chartered plane and thus plunged any hopes of revival of cricket in Pakistan - at least for now. On the other hand, the terrorists, regardless of their grievances, have succeeded in crushing national morale and also eliciting a passive ambivalence from our populace, who have no idea how to deal with such terrorists, except at the most, verbally condemn their actions. Who is behind the scene, only time will tell. May be it is an Indian revenge of Mumbai mayhem, or TTL's response to Sri Lankan governments tightening of the noose around them or even local Taliban. And if these are from within, then the terrorist safe-havens where terrorists OR their sympathizers are present, should be mowed down with extreme prejudice by utilizing all resources at the disposal of the State, the armed forces and other security forces. Any action started right now, would have reasonably widespread public support. The President, PM and lawmakers need to stress that the militants do not wish Pakistan well and we cannot afford to be ambivalent anymore towards how to deal with them. No one has the right to take a life and challenge the writ of the state, regardless of the enormity of their grievances. We have already wasted much time looking for ad hoc solutions.
September 2008 was a sad day when a suicide bomber tried to storm the main
building of the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad with his explosive laden dumper
truck. At least 40 people were killed in a suicide truck bombing. The attack
came just hours after new President Asif Ali Zardari - who faces a serious
challenge in reining in Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants - delivered his first
address to parliament, which is just a few hundred metres away. Smoke and
flames were shooting out of several floors of the ruined hotel. An AFP
photographer saw mutilated bodies amid the carnage, before police and fire
officials pushed back the media in case the building came down. The powerful
bomb left a huge crater, around 6m deep at the hotel's main entrance.
View the video clip of the truck trying to storm into the barrier. Mr Hashwani, the hotel owner, has vowed to rebuild the hotel within six months.
|On Wednesday 29 October 2008, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province, killing at least 170 people and leaving thousands homeless. The earthquake hit northern and central parts of Balochistan affected 35,600 population among which 3,375 have been displaced, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said. 200 houses were completely destroyed in 30 villages in Ziarat. The aftershocks of the earthquake further added to miseries of the survivors, which rattled their minds and caused more losses in the quake-stricken villages, the sources said, adding the survivors passed difficult times on Wednesday night on open grounds in the chilly weather. landslides in some parts of the quake-hit and mountainous areas caused roads blockade which further complicated the relief operation.
Benazir Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated on Dec. 27, 2007 in a suicide attack on a political rally. Ms. Bhutto, who was 54 at the time of her death, took over the leadership of her father's party and became the first woman leader of an Islamic country when she was first elected prime minister in 1988 at the age of 35. She served a total of six years in office before being dismissed in 1996 amid widespread charges of corruption against herself and her husband. She took up residence in London. In the summer of 2007, with the encouragement of Washington, she entered into power-sharing talks with Gen. Pervez Musharraf, but no deal was reached, and Ms. Bhutto returned to the country in October in an ambiguous position, not quite allied with General Musharraf and not quite opposed. When he imposed emergency rule in November, she waited several days before denouncing the move. She was leading a rally for her Pakistan People's Party in the parliamentary campaign and hoped would restore her to power early in 2008. The photo to the right is just a few minutes before her death(AP Photo/APTN)
Photo courtesy AP/APTN and Arslan Sheikh
Nestlé opens new milk factory in Pakistan, its largest milk reception plant in the world
Kabirwala (Pakistan), March 16, 2007: General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé, today opened a state-of-the-art milk processing plant in Kabirwala, Punjab. The plant, Nestlé's largest milk reception facility in the world, has a processing capacity of 2 million liters of milk per day, which will rise to over 3 million liters in coming years. General Pervez Musharraf and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe also presided over the first graduation ceremony under a unique public-private partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Nestlé, which aims to train 5,000 women involved in farming in Pakistan. This partnership is a further illustration of Nestlé's model of creating shared value, whereby both companies and the societies in which they operate emerge as winners. Since Nestlé started investing in Pakistan 18 years ago, the company has established the country's largest milk collection network. Today, Nestlé collects milk from 140,000 farmers over an area of 100,000 square kilometers in Punjab who, as a result, receive over CHF 120 million per year directly from the company.
Pics Lahore Marathon - Courtesy the daily Dawn
The third Lahore Marathon was held on 14 January 2007 at Lahore, in which some 30,000 men and women athletes, including 50 from 15 foreign countries, participated despite objections from some parties and groups over women's participation in the event. The Lahore international marathon, which was first held in 2005, also had 10-kilometre, five-kilometre (three miles) and three-kilometre races. The marathon carried a total cash prize of $115,000. The president, General Pervez, was also present on the occasion and said that Basant spring festival would also be celebrated in the same spirit. The 42.195 kilometers race was won by Ethiopian Kama Amressissa in 2 hours 15 minutes and 26 seconds, improving his previous year's record of 2 hours and 21 minutes. In the women event, Danoba of Ethopia reached the finishing line after 2 hours, 32 minutes and 54 seconds. Muhammad Azhar of Lahore won the wheel chair race, covering 3 kilometres distance in 13 minutes and 27 seconds. Noor won the visually impaired race.
MULTAN, July 10 2006: A Lahore-bound Fokker F-27 of PIA perished into a wheat field minutes after take off from Multan airport, along with all 45 people on board, including five crew members, two judges, of the Lahore High Court, two army brigadiers, and the VC of the Multan (Bahauddin Zakariya) University. The plane took off at 12 noon, and lost contact with the control tower within minutes and crashed in in the Sooraj Miani locality of the city. According to an eye witness, the plane went tumbling down. The plane first hit the mango trees and then hit electricity wires before slamming into the wall of the orchard and hit the ground with a huge thud. Then we heard some faint voices crying for help from the wreckage, but fire immediately engulfed the entire wreckage," he said. Another eyewitness, Dr Ilyas whose house is close to the crash sites, reached the scene of accident after 15 minutes and found heap of dead bodies lying one over the other, charred and beyond recognition. In August 1989, another PIA Fokker, with 54 people onboard, crashed in northern Pakistan - its wreckage was never found. In 2003, Pakistan's Air Force chief, Air Marshall Musahf Ali Mir, his wife and two air vice-marshals were among 16 people killed when the PAF Fokker crashed in north-west Pakistan. PIA has seven other Fokker in its fleet. The aircraft that crashed was bought four decades ago. Late last year, PIA ordered seven new ATR42-500 modern turboprop planes from French company Avions de Transport Regional to replace its ageing Fokker aircraft. The federal cabinet in its decision on 12 July has decided not to use the remaining Fokker fleet of PIA for the passengers and would be used for freight and goods services.
On 30 January 2006, more than 10,000 Lahorites, along with many foreign athletes ran the second Lahore Marathon. There were three races, one 42.5 kilometres long marathon, and two mini marathons of 11 and 5 kilometres for people from all walks of life, gender and ages. Two Ethiopians won the 42 and 11 kilometres events. Besides there was a 3 kilometres mini marathon for the handicapped / blind. Despite some threats from the religious parties to disrupt the event if women ran beside men, the Punjab Government made elaborate security arrangements to forestall any such hindrances and the event went by without any mishap. The message is clear - Pakistanis believe in an outward looking approach to participate in healthy activities. The encouraging part of the event was that besides men, a large number of females of all age groups also participated in the event including the 42 kilometres marathon - a few even finished within the allocated time.
25 January - 2006 A Day in Life of Pakistan - when an
all female crew PIA Fokker operated from Islamabad
to Lahore & Multan.
The team was captained by Miss Ayesha Rabia, co-pilot Sadia Aziz, and
flight attendants Shazia Kauser and Tauseef Ashraf. The passengers on board did not know of
the First in Islamic
making crew till it landed at Lahore airport and the crew was
garlanded by the local PIA staff for their land mark achievement.
Captain Ayesha Rabia Naveed, 48, already has 6,000 hours' experience
flying as a co-pilot with Pakistan International Airlines, now aims to
captain larger jet airliners for the national carrier.
The morning of 8th October 2005 was no different from the previous mornings for many decades in Pakistan till about 8:50 am when a powerful earth quake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale jolted Pakistan's northern areas of Balakot, Mansehra and many parts of Azad Kashmir (Pakistan administered part of Kashmir) including its capital Muzaffarabad, beside Rawlakot and Bagh. Within next ten minutes, the entire cities perished and turned into piles of rubble. As the daily scores rose, an estimated 100,000 lost their lives, 3-4 millions became homeless, including over 80-90,000 seriously wounded. A majority of the people who died consisted of school and college students. Read More ...
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