The 24-year-old female car mechanic driving change


Since picking up a wrench as one of the first female car mechanics in Pakistan, Uzma Nawaz has faced two common reactions: shock and surprise, and then a bit of respect.

The 24-year-old spent years overcoming entrenched gender stereotypes and financial hurdles en route to earning a mechanical engineering degree and getting a job with an auto repairs garage in Multan.

“I took it up as a challenge against all odds and the meagre financial resources of my family,” Nawaz told AFP.

“When they see me doing this type of work they are really surprised.”

Women have long struggled for their rights in Pakistan and, especially in rural areas, are often encouraged to marry young and devote themselves entirely to family over career.

“No hardship could break my will and motivation,” she says proudly.

The sacrifices cleared the way for steady work at a Toyota dealership in Multan following graduation, she adds.

Just a year into the job, and promoted to general repairs, Nawaz moves with the ease of a seasoned pro around the dealership’s garage, removing tyres from raised vehicles, inspecting engines and handling a variety of tools — a sight that initially jolted some customers.

Pakistan’s NUST university wins UAS Challenge 2019 drone competition


20th June 2019: North Wales

Pakistan’s National University of Sciences and Technology’s team AirWorks Beta won the UAS Challenge 2019 drone competition, which attracted teams of young engineers from the UK and abroad to a “fly-off” at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in North Wales.

Results of UAS Challenge 2019:

2019 results and image gallery

  • Grand Champions: NUST AirWorks Team Beta, Pakistan
  • Runner up: Hibernica Liberandum, Queen’s University Belfast,
  • Third place: Team Flytanic, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Most Promise: University of Southern Denmark SDU Eagles
  • Best Design (sponsored by GKN Aerospace): Bath University Team Bath Drones
  • Innovation (sponsored by Bombardier): Southampton Team VOLTA
  • Safety and Airworthiness (sponsored by Frazer Nash Consultancy): NUST AirWorks Beta
  • Best Business Proposition (sponsored by the Welsh Government): NUST AirWorks Alpha
  • Scrutineers’ Award: NUST AirWorks Team Beta, Pakistan
  • Media and Engagement Award: NUST AirWorks Team Alpha and Team Beta, Pakistan  (joint winners).

Pakistan: World’s fastest retail market (Bloomberg)


Image: Courtesy

‎September‎ ‎28‎, ‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎00‎ ‎PM
By Faseeh Mangi

Pakistan’s burgeoning youth and their freewheeling attitude toward rising incomes have turned the nation into the world’s fastest growing retail market.

The market is predicted to expand 8.2 percent per annum through 2016-2021 as disposable income has doubled since 2010, according to research group Euromonitor International. The size of the middle class is estimated to surpass that of the U.K. and Italy in the forecast period, it said.

Pakistan’s improving security environment, economic expansion at near 5 percent and cheap consumer prices are driving shoppers to spend up big. Almost two-thirds of the nation’s 207.8 million people are aged under 30, according to the Jinnah Institute, an Islamabad-based think tank.

“We have a new millennial shopper at hand. They don’t mind spending to have the kind of lifestyle they would like,” said Shabori Das, senior research analyst at Euromonitor. “It’s not like the Baby Boomer generation where savings for the future generation was important.”

Pakistan’s retail stores are expected to increase by 50 percent to 1 million outlets in the five years through 2021, Euromonitor said. Its three biggest malls, Lucky One in Karachi and Packages Mall and Emporium Mall in Lahore, opened in the past two years.

Did you know: Pakistan ranks in the Top 25 out of almost 200 World Economies

April 28th 2017: We randomly stumbled upon these rankings (on Wikipedia) which show, that according to all major databases, Pakistan ranks in the Top 25 out of almost 200 World Economies. This essentially means we rank in the Top 12.5th percentile in terms of size of economy. For a Change can we stop underestimating ourselves? 🙂

Top 25


Pakistan most “underrated” economy: Bloomberg

pk_cheersFeb 6, 2017 5:00 PM EST

Each year I perform the exercise of picking what I think is the most underrated (and overrated) economy in the world. Past winners have included Germany, Mexico and, more recently, the Philippines. The designation is tricky, because it can go to an ailing country with an excessively bad reputation or maybe to a known star with virtues beyond what people understand. This year I see a clear winner: Pakistan.

Most of Pakistan’s developments are fairly positive. For instance, the stock market has put in a good performance, rising 46 percent over the last year. Emerging-economy equities are not in every way representative of how the broader economy is doing, but again we are talking “underrated” here.

Gross-domestic-product growth has hovered in the range of 4 percent and now may be reaching 5 percent. That’s not going to rival recent Chinese performance, but it is enough to put the economy on a fairly positive path. Since 2002, the rate of poverty has fallen by half, and over the past three years the rate of terrorist deaths has declined by two-thirds. It’s now the case that 47 percent of Pakistani households own a washing machine, up from 13 percent in 1991, and retail is booming more generally.

On the macro side, inflation is not a problem, the country has staved off a foreign-exchange crisis, and it is rebuilding its reserves. The debt-to-GDP ratio is high at more than 60 percent, but the country has graduated from its adjustment program with the International Monetary Fund and appears to be in a stable fiscal state.

Or consider the comparison with India. India has established a reputation as one of the world’s most dynamic and rapidly growing economies. Yet until 2008, Pakistan and India had roughly comparable per capita incomes. The two countries have a common history and a lot of common culture. Is it crazy to think that Pakistan might pull even once again?




Chaiwala’s humility an inspiration

While many are swooning over, Arshad Khan (Chaiwala)’s eyes, we at were more impressed by his humility and sense of purpose in the interview below. Yes, there are rumours and clips that ‘Chaiwala’ has become a model and taken to the TV screen, but we would rather freeze frame on this interview where, in response to being asked about appearing on TV, he very promptly responds “Nahee apna chai banaye gaa, apne izzat ka kaam karey gaa.” On being pressed further about a film and TV career he repeats “Hum apna chai kamaye gaa, chai bechey gaa.” Let’s do what we can to help and appreciate people but protect them from the vices of life in the fast lane where we’ve seen so many ruin themselves. Comment below whether you agree or disagree.


Pakistan more tolerant, diverse than most countries

Two Swedish economists set out to examine whether economic freedom made people any more or less racist, they knew how they would gauge economic freedom, but they needed to find a way to measure a country’s level of racial tolerance. So they turned to something called the World Values Survey, which has been measuring global attitudes and opinions for decades.

If we treat this data as indicative of racial tolerance, then we might conclude that people in the bluer countries are the least likely to express racist attitudes, while the people in red countries are the most likely.

• Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.
The light blue and light green marking on Pakistan shows that it is one of the most tolerant and diverse nations in the world

The light blue and light green marking on Pakistan shows that it is one of the most tolerant and diverse nations in the world

IBA robot “Chotu” wins bronze in RoboCup Open 2014

KARACHI: The ‘Chotu’ – a robot built by a three-member team of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) – hacked its way to third position, sweeping aside Chinese and German rivals, in the RoboCup Iran Open 2014’s @Home League.

The competition, held in Tehran from April 9 to April 11, drew more than 2,000 students from 22 countries who contested in four major domains, each with a number of leagues and sub-leagues.

The Pakistani team, Karachi Chotu, comprised three students, Imran Hemani, Safeer Hussain and Nabeel Zahid Rajput, under the supervision of IBA Artificial Intelligence Lab head Dr Sajjad Haider. This was the first time that the team qualified for the competition’s @Home League, which aims to develop service and assistive robot technology with high relevance for future personal domestic applications.

Of all the five teams that qualified from among 11 registrants in the league, the two Iranian teams bagged the first and second positions, followed by the Pakistani team that outplayed its Chinese and German counterparts.


Easy Taxi service launched in Karachi

KARACHI: After successfully launching its operations in Lahore and Islamabad, Easy Taxi, the largest taxi booking network in the world, has now launched its service in Karachi.

Pakistan’s public transportation system as a whole is not satisfactory and same goes for Pakistan’s business hub.

Commenting on the launch of Easy Taxi service in Karachi, its Country Manager in Pakistan, Adam Ghaznavi said : ” At Easy Taxi, we aim to provide hassle free and reliable transportation services.”

In Karachi, the busiest city of the country, Easy Taxi service will provide a much needed solution for commuters from all segments of the society, he said.

easy taxi

BSDU Winner at Global Innovation Competition

A government driven innovation in Pakistan, digital currency in South Africa and SMS reporting system for maternal health in Indonesia took the top three prizes at Making All Voices Count’s Global Innovation Competition. This competition, launched at the Open Government Partnership,  scouted the world for fresh ideas to boost citizen engagement and government accountability.

Government driven innovation Bahawalpur Service Delivery Unit (BSDU) emerged as the winner of competition, led by a District’s Chief Executive from Pakistan Imran Baloch and Asim Fayaz   fromPakistan. This innovation seeks to improve service delivery in under-resourced, conflict areas with lack of data-driven performance management systems.

At the Global Innovation Gala, where all ten selected finalists made their final pitch, Baloch explained:“Our initiative, by enabling monitors to report through smart phones and by simply ringing parents, saw teacher AND student attendance increase from 78% to 92%.” He continued, “technology was an enabler in this process; not the end result. We want to use this £65,000 grant to extend our initiative into health, livestock, & agriculture.” 

Making All Voices Count’s Global Innovation Competition was set up to recognize and rewards creative and cutting-edge innovations that enhance government transparency and accountability. A total of 196 entries being submitted and following an online voting system, 31 semi-finalists were drawn from the top 27 voted ideas along with 4 wildcards.

The Global Innovation Competition Jury comprised of respected experts in information systems and governance, together with other peers, shortlisted 10 finalists drawn from eight countries: Kenya, Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Ghana, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Mozambique.


Pakistan’s Silicon Valley


It’s a city better known for its history and culture, but a new generation of mobile game developers is bringing a slice of Silicon Valley to Lahore.

With open plan offices, mixed gender teams, gourmet catering and an emphasis on a fun atmosphere, the small but growing IT industry worth an estimated $2.8 billion is being led by young entrepreneurs like Babar Ahmed.

Ahmed, 33, left a career as a circuit engineer in Austin, Texas to found Mindstorm Studios in Lahore in 2006 with his brother Faraz. Today their studio employs 47 people thanks to hits like 2010’s “Whacksy Taxi,” which shot to No. 1 on Apple’s AppStore in over 25 countries; “Mafia Farm” in 2012 and “Cricket Power,” the official game of the 2011 World Cup.

“The idea was to put Pakistan on the gaming world,” said Ahmed, explaining he was tired of “drawing room talk” among expatriates in the U.S. about how something should be done for their homeland.



Young Internet start-ups paving the future for Pakistan

By Ahsan Hayat – Exclusively for



Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world with approximately 21 million internet users (which may not rank it amongst the top in the world) and with a mobile phone penetration that is amongst the highest per capita in the world. A country which has now almost 8 million Facebook users, around one million twitter users, about 1.1 million linkedin users surely presents a picture of an ever expanding potential of acquiring internet base.

Common populace having basic knowledge of technology is generally receptive to start up initiative. Internet industry has especially got a boost in the last of couple of years when world’s largest incubators started taking interest in Pakistani market. Launching an internet business is not a new practice entirely, as the country saw it’s first online venture launched way back in 2001 with the name of which was a huge success.

2012 and 2013 , was the year that can be easily termed as the most remarkable year in terms of internet business in Pakistan. 2012 witnessed launch of Pakistan’s most trusted online portal of couriers called as TCS connect. They offer products like computers, cell phones, home appliances and even to some extent small auto related gadgets through their online shopping portal. This was the time when world’s largest internet incubators plunged into Pakistani start up scene. Top internet incubators that have been running successfully their ventures around the globe in more than 25 countries knew that Pakistan is the future of internet business. Starting off with which claims to offer unparalleled shopping experience in Pakistan. 2013 was never behind in the competition and made Pakistan even more proud with launch of many new start ups, Once again the most notably was, an online portal dedicated to providing Pakistanis an easy access to best vehicles available in domestic market. This year also celebrated the first ever startup cup competition in Pakistan which came up with a unique idea of encouraging and awarding young entrepreneurs who can come up with any business idea. It also provides a base for them to turn their idea into a healthy business.

We need to realize the fact that Pakistan’s biggest potential lies in the huge population of it’s talented youth. Despite having many problems like internet connectivity issues, lack of venture capital groups, unstable market, improper infrastructure and many more, the country is eager to excel and explore this dynamic field. Google’s head for Emerging Market Development, Jana Levene was very right when few years back she stated that “Pakistan is at least a $400 to $500 million dollars industry and a safe place to start business”.The picture is not bleak at all, the potential is always there. Efforts are being made on both levels i.e state and individual. Recently government of Punjab launched it’s first technology incubator to support start ups called plan 9 under supervision of Dr. Umar Saif who has a cambridge Ph. d and MIT postdoc in his bag, trying tirelessly to remake Pakistan’s entrepreneurial future. Regular competitions like softcom among educational institutions to boost entrepreneurial spirit are putting the country on right track.

The future of Pakistan’s internet start up will be much bigger than anybody can ever imagine.This should be firmly kept in mind that we are a country with GDP of almost 231,2 billion USD which may not be huge enough as compared to most developed countries, then the question arises what keeps our economy moving? Yes, the Remittances, Pakistan receives almost $ 14-14.5 billion through sources outside country which is surprisingly more than the total tax collections that touch the figure of $11 billion annually approximately. This is very important to clarify that money flowing from outside into Pakistan has two types: one from Pakistanis working abroad, and the other through internet start up industry. This industry consists of globally outsourced services.

We should believe in the fact that the secret of being prosperous for Pakistan will be determined by success of innovative companies. The success of Pakistani entrepreneurs will not only create possibilities and opportunities for Pakistanis but rather the whole world.

Dreaming big in Pakistan

Karachi: Growing up in a small village, Qalooburiro near Daharki, in Ghotki district of Sindh, the only thing Javaid remembers being passionate about was working, not as a plant technician or maintenance guy, but working as a manager at one of the industrial set-ups in his hometown. Early on in school, he had found out that in order to be a plant operator in any nearby fertiliser plant or industry, he had to be at least an FSc graduate. However, in order to obtain a higher post, for example that of a general manager or even a CEO, it was required that candidates graduate from university. And Javaid was a dreamer who dared to dream big.

Javaid graduated from what is arguably the toughest engineering programme worldwide. What’s more, he was amongst the top 10 in his class.

“My parents cried, as did many other villagers. I am the first chemical engineering graduate in my entire village. No one believed it was possible, but anything is possible if you dream big,” said Javaid.

Javaid got many job offers, one even in Dubai, but he wasn’t about to leave Pakistan. He chose to stay back in the country that had given him the Pakistani dream. Engro Fertilizer hired him as a graduate trainee engineer. Javaid is the first chemical engineer in the entire district.


Japanese business growth survey ranks Pakistan second in the world

TOKYO: Pakistan has been ranked second in the world in terms of business growth in a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the News has learnt.

The current survey – which examined records of 9,371 Japanese firms operating across the world – put Pakistan just behind Taiwan in terms of business generated; leaving behind both India and Japan. JETRO has been conducting such surveys since 2013

Pakistan’s data was generated from 27 Japanese firms doing business here. The results found that 74.1% of the Japanese companies estimated operating profit in 2013, allotting second rank to Pakistan only after Taiwan (81.8%). Compared to this, 60.7% Japanese firms in China and 45.8% in India made operating profit in 2013.


Pakistani scientist features on leading American journal

KARACHI: A leading American science magazine has listed a technology by a Pakistani scientist in its ‘World Changing Idea’ list– the magazine’s annual feature for the recognition of the world’s top ten technologies that have potential to change the world.

On November 19, Scientific American – a reputable science journal based in the United States (US) – recognised Muhammad Hamid Zaman, a Pakistani biomedical engineer, for his innovative product Pharmacheck, which was chosen by the magazine as one of the world’s top 10 technologies for its December, 2013 issue.

Every year, the magazine chooses 10 technologies that have the potential to change the world and publish this list. The selection process, Zaman told The Express Tribune, is controlled only by the journal and no one can nominate himself as they make their own selections based on the potential impact of the discovery or technology.


Pakistani startup raises $5m from venture capitalist

Karachi: In what can serve as an inspiration for the country’s tech firms seeking expansion in the world’s largest market, Pakistani start-up ‘Convo’ has raised $5 million in investment capital from a top tier venture capitalist (VC) in Silicon Valley. It is, arguably, the first Pakistani company to receive such major funding from an institutional VC firm in the world’s IT hub.

This is Convo’s first major investment from Morgenthaler Ventures, one of the top institutional VC companies in the Valley, which has investments in over 300 companies including tech giant Apple Incorporated.

VC firms are private investors that provide financial capital to early-stage, high-potential, high-risk, growth startup companies. The investment, therefore, reflects Morgenthaler’s confidence in the product.

“We have been amazed at the level of engagement we have seen from Convo’s early customers, including many global brands. These organisations won’t settle for inconsistent, light-weight solutions,” Rebecca Lynn, Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures said. “There are collaboration services you use to run chit chat, and there are those that run your company. Convo is relied on for the latter,” she said.


Ahmed Khattak : Built a $35M Company Selling Unlocked Phones

In 2004, Pakistani born Ahmed Khattak arrived in America, his intentions – to play squash for Yale University and take an advantage of the full academic scholarship which the university offered. Arriving at a new territory, Khattak’s prime concern was to buy a cell phone through which he could keep in touch with his family in Pakistan. He was however disappointed that no one would sell him a cell phone, reason –  Khattak had no Social Security number nor established credit to get a cell phone service contract.

Fast forward a few years, in 2007, the Yale student stayed briefly in London United Kingdom for an internship. While in Europe, Khattak observed that Europeans had the alternative to use cell phones free of contracts. He compared this to what applied in American – “I thought, why can’t America be like this?”. That right there was his eruka moment!

In March 2010, Ahmed Khattak launched GSM Nation with friend Junaid Shams, a student at George Washington University. They started with $150,000 of their own and families’ money, plus free office space and support from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. In the first year of operation, GSM Nation grossed almost $9 million and in its second year over $35 million. For 2012, Khattak expects to gross over $50 million in sales!


Martial artist breaks two world records in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Gazette – Mohammed Alshoaiby

Tae Kwan Do black belt Ahmad Amin Bodla, 21, broke two Guinness World Records on Wednesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The first record was for “number of kicks in three minutes,” breaking Indian master Sidhu Kshetri’s world record of 620 kicks with 783 kicks with one leg.

The second record was in the number of punches in one minute in the Wing Chun style of martial arts, breaking Australian master Mick Faber’s 301 punches with 313.

“I feel quite proud and happy that all this hard work has paid off,” said Bodla after breaking both records. There was a lot of pressure and a lot of hype, but despite all that, Alhamdulillah (thank God), I’ve broken the records,” he said.

Bodla, who hails from Pakistan, has studied in Riyadh’s King Saud University (KSU) and will be on his way to Pakistan next week.

Bodla’s journey through martial arts was challenged by a childhood struggle with asthma, his father said: “Incidentally, Ahmad was very slim and weak and I never thought he would become so strong, but because of his personal dedication and zest, Masha’a Allah, he has been able to achieve this standard.”

Ahmad Amin Bodla breaking the world record for number of kicks in three minutes. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Gazette)

Ahmad Amin Bodla breaking the world record for number of kicks in three minutes. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Gazette)

First Pakistani women paratroopers make history

(AFP) / 14 July 2013

First group of female paratroopers completed their training on Sunday, the military announced, hailing it as a “landmark achievement” for Pakistan.

Captain Kiran Ashraf was declared the best paratrooper of the batch of 24, the military said in a statement, while Captain Sadia, referred to by one name, became the first woman officer to jump from a MI-17 helicopter.

After three weeks’ basic airborne training, which included exit, flight and landing techniques, the new paratroopers completed their first jump on Sunday and were given their “wings” by the commander of Special Services Group, Major-General Abid Rafique, the military said.

Courtesy: Pakistan defence website

Courtesy: Pakistan defence website

Nofil remains Asia’s No 1 U-14 player

ISLAMABAD – Syed Nofil Kaleem continues enjoying No 1 ranking in U-14 category not only in Pakistan but also in Asia, which is a great honuor for the country and entire nation. 

According to the latest rankings issued by Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) on July 29, Nofil with total 1,365 points continues to be on the top of the rankings. He is the first Pakistani to become Asian U-14 champion after playing in eight tournaments in which he won two ATF singles titles, remained runner-up in three and winning three doubles titles. The young lad distinctly excelled and produced consistent performances, which helped him in retaining the top slot.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Saturday, Nofil said: “I am now targeting the ITF juniors and intend to participate in the circuit this year to play in Jordan, South Africa, Kuwait, Bahrain and Colombo. I have completely stopped in participating in U-14 features and now regularly playing juniors U-18 as well as seniors event at the national level.”


Engro represented at international Sustainability Summit

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently held an inaugural Sustainability Summit in Washington DC, on 20 June, 2013. Engro Corporation’s Manager Media and CSR, Aman Ul Haque, attended the session. He sat on the panel for ‘Vocational Training: Improving Local Economies Through Skilled Labor’, and presented the PCESSDC-Technical Training College as well as Engro’s other projects in skills development for rural youth.


In high-end research, Pakistanis also playing their part

Many Pakistanis may not be aware that their country’s contributions to some of the most important scientific experiments and discoveries in the world did not end with the late Dr Abdus Salam, the only Pakistani ever to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.

In fact, at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), not only did electronics manufactured in Pakistan help in the detection of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle scientists believe imparts mass to all particles, Pakistani engineers and technicians are also currently participating in repairs of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the highest energy particle accelerator in the world.

Pakistan’s collaboration with CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, first started in 1994 through the efforts of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), said Dr Hafeez Hoorani, the director of research at the National Centre for Physics (NCP) in Islamabad. The NCP became a part of PAEC’s collaboration with CERN after it was established in 1999.

At present, the NCP is one of the hundreds of grid nodes in the world that receive scientific data from the LHC, which are being used by NCP researchers and students.

“We as a nation should be proud of the fact that today Pakistan is part of an experiment which is the most exciting and challenging experiments of all times,” Hoorani, who has worked at CERN himself, said. “This project helps our students get involved in cutting-edge research.”


Pakistan major player in world research

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has witnessed, an impressive 50 per cent increase in the number of research publications during just the last two years, going up from 3939 to 6200 in the higher education sector of Pakistan.

This has been the second highest increase worldwide. Scimago, the world’s leading research database, forecast that if this research trend from Pakistan continues, then by 2018, Pakistan will move ahead 26 notches in world ranking, from 43 to 27, and for the first time ever, will cross Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand in Asia. Today Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India.

The number of PhD faculty at our public universities has also increased by almost 50%, from 4203 to 6067 in just the last 2 years alone. This is the result of the HEC PhD scholars that have started returning back and joining universities. These scholars are being selected for pursuing studies at leading universities of the academically advanced countries through a well-defined open, transparent and merit based mechanism.


Bashir “Somchai” Ahmad wins debut fight in Singapore

PAK MMA founder, Bashir Ahmad made his ONE FC debut against Shannon Wiratchai at ONE FC: Kings and Champions on April 5, 2013 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, Bashir won the fight via unanimous decision becoming the first Pakistani MMA fighter to compete and win on an international stage. He is now 2-0 as a professional MMA fighter and will be making his second appearance later this year.

After almost 3 decades in the States, Bashir moved back to Pakistan to introduce MMA to the country

After almost 3 decades in the States, Bashir moved back to Pakistan to introduce MMA to the country

Acumen invests Rs 86 million in Chitral micro-hydel

Acumen, a pioneering non-profit global venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia, on Monday announced a loan of Rs 86 million to Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) to support the creation of four community managed micro-hydel units in Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

These plants will provide 24-hour clean electricity to remote off-grid communities in Chitral district, a region with limited access to electricity. This is Acumen’s first investment in the growing rural energy sector of Pakistan. “There is a growing need for reliable power in Pakistan’s rural communities right now,” said Farrukh H Khan, Pakistan Country Director, Acumen Fund. “AKSRP’s community-based model has the potential to provide millions with access to an important basic service and revolutionise the way poor Pakistanis access energy.”


Aamir Atlas wins final to become Asian Champion

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Aamir Atlas Khan brushed aside Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Mezayan in three sets to become the first Pakistani in 14 years to win the Asian Squash Championship on Sunday at the Islamabad Sport Complex.

Khan triumphed over Al Mezayan after an impressive performance with figures of 11-9, 11-3, 11-8.

Speaking to, Khan said the victory was the result of his hard work and he was happy to have won a title for Pakistan.

“I am very happy and I am sure that after this victory, squash in Pakistan will see better days,” Khan said. The twenty-two year old had earlier said that he was using the home advantage to his benefit.

“I knew I had advantage of home glass court and crowd, and I took advantage of both,” he said.

Khan had beaten Asyraf Azan of Malaysia 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 in the semi-final  on Saturday.

He added that his expectations before the start of the tournament were low because he had just recovered from an injury; however, his goal was to win the Asian title for which he worked hard.


Pak tannery second best in Asia

LAHORE – The energy-starved leather industry had largest ever participation in Asian Pacific Leather Fair Hong Kong this year. More than 75 companies participated in the fair. Pakistan first time participated in global contest of tannery of the year 2013 and Pakistani tannery based at Lahore was decorated with first position in highly commended award of Asia and was declared second best tannery in Asia after Japan. The award ceremony was held in Hong Kong among hundreds of tanners from all over the world.

The awards for Europe, Africa, Asia and South America were decided by panel of judges. The finalist made presentations about their commitment to environment community, quality and best practices. Pakistan first time participated in the contest and Lahore based tannery M/s Royal Leather Industries picked the award.
Royal Leather Industries based in Lahore was decorated with first position in a highly commended award

Royal Leather Industries based in Lahore was decorated with first position in a highly commended award


Helping Pakistani Youth Develop Skills for Employment

An estimated 103 million Pakistanis, or 63% of the population, are younger than age 25, and this number is expected to double over the next 30 years. In a landscape of endemic poverty, a literacy rate of only 53 percent among young people aged 15 to 24, and limited job opportunities, organizations like The Hunar Foundation (THF) are working to transform Pakistan’s human capital into an asset for the country.

Developing vocational skill programmes that enhance prospects of income generation for Pakistani youth is one of the national government’s key priorities for rapid economic growth. THF`s main objective is to provide young men and women with quality vocational education that meets the technical skill needs of the marketplace – leading to wage-earning capabilities for life.

To accomplish the vision of “A Skilled Pakistan,” THF plans to establish 35 purpose built Institutes of Excellence for student vocational training, and as many as four Teacher Training Centers over the next 10 years. The goal is to graduate at least 100,000 students during this time.


Indus Hospital introduces E-Cardiology in country

Indus Hospital for the first time in the medical history of Pakistan is starting E-Cardiology, which focuses on monitoring and providing immediate help to any heart patient, electronically. The Cardiology team at The Indus Hospital, along with the help of Health Information Management system, has made it possible for any image or video to be transferred from the hospital to the cardiologist’s cell phone within seconds.

Now, the staff is able to transfer an ECG, X-ray image, lab report, coronary angiogram or echocardiogram to the consultant’s phone within no time. This practice has helped save lives as the time taken for an expert decision has been minimised to a few minutes even during the night. The project has been accomplished by the Health Information Management system and the cost incurred on every transfer of image is less than Rs 6.

“It has been successfully used for the past few months and is an accomplishment for The Indus Hospital for initiating emergency electronic cardiac service which facilitates decision making through rapid and effective communication. This has and would certainly make a major difference in providing emergency cardiac care to our patients,” commented Dr Sajid Dhakam, Director Cardiac Services at Indus Hospital.


Pakistan-Egypt ink 5 MoUs for cooperation in different fields

ISLAMABAD, March 18 (APP): Pakistan and Egypt on Monday inked five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and an executive programme for cooperation in scientific cooperation, investment and shipping. The signing of agreements was witnessed by Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi and President Asif Ali Zardari here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.The MoU for Cooperation in the field of Money Orders and International Postal Service was signed by Ambassador of Egypt to Pakistan Saeed Handam and Secretary Ports and Shipping Jawaid Iqbal Awan.


KVTC holds pioneering “Right to Work” Conference

For Mumtaz Rafiq, who is one such child, enrolling at the Karachi Vocational Training Centre (KVTC) 14 years ago was a life-changing decision. After two years of culinary training, he got a job at a fast-food chain and now earns Rs14,000 a month.

The centre, located in Phase IV, DHA, focuses on providing vocational training to people with cognitive disabilities. “It started off with a promise – to aim for something greater than the simple rehabilitation of totally neglected members of society. Slowly, people with similar goals started joining the initiative,” said Imran Sohail, who is a speech therapy specialist at the centre and develops the curriculum for children with cognitive disabilities. “We shattered the myth that children with cognitive disabilities cannot learn, hold jobs, earn livelihoods and live independently.”


Munir aiming to make his mark in Asian Golf tour

KARACHI: Pakistan’s golfing ace Mohammad Munir said on Wednesday that he was looking to make his mark on the Asian Tour after qualifying for the continental events.

The 38-year-old Munir of Islamabad Golf Club earned the right to feature on the Asian Golf Tour after a fine performance in the Asian qualifying school.

Munir played rounds of 72, 70, 66 and 75 to end with a total of 283 to confirm his place in the Asian Professional Golf Association (APGA) tour.

Munir, rated as Pakistan’s number two golfer, is in the metropolis to feature in the Rs1.5 million All Pakistan Open Golf Tournament, starting at Defence Authority Golf Club from Friday.

“I paid US$2,000 entry fee for appearing in the Asian qualifying school,” he said.

“Good showing at the Mena Tour in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia raised my confidence level to join the Asian Tour,” he disclosed.

Munir won his maiden professional event — the Ras-ul-Khaimeh Classic — and he also performed creditably in other events in the UAE and Saudi Arabia over the past few months.

Munir won his maiden professional event — the Ras-ul-Khaimeh Classic

Munir won his maiden professional event — the Ras-ul-Khaimeh Classic

Eye-catching rickshaws promote peace in Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistani youth leader Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi has a plan to counter the relentless message of violence spewed forth in his country — and he is stealing a gimmick from the hard-liners’ own playbook to do it.

His weapon: the three-wheeled motorized rickshaws that buzz along Pakistan’s streets carrying paying customers.

Zaidi is turning that strategy on its head with a fleet of rickshaws emblazoned with peace slogans and decorated with colorful designs similar to those found on many trucks and buses in the country.

“We need to take back this romanticized art form and use it for peace sloganeering and conflict resolution,” said Zaidi, head of the Pakistan Youth Alliance.

In this Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 photo, a Pakistani rickshaw driver makes his way through slums of Karachi, Pakistan.

In this Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 photo, a Pakistani rickshaw driver makes his way through slums of Karachi, Pakistan.

Pak student gets $5000 reward from PayPal

ISLAMABAD: Rafay Baloch, an independent security researcher from Karachi, has been rewarded $5,000 for reporting a remote command execution bug in PayPal’s website.

According to details, PayPal had announced this reward initiative for those researchers who would report about the existence of a bug and its subsequent remote command execution, Technology Times Reported.

Rafay Baloch explained that the bug he reported was very critical in nature and carried a high amount of risk to PayPal as an attacker could have easily managed to execute any command on the server and manipulate the data at will.

According to him, PayPal has recently offered him a job. However, he has not yet taken a decision mainly due to his continued studies.


TCF wins prestigious international award

KARACHI: The Citizens Foundation (TCF), Pakistan has won the prestigious Skoll Award, according to a statement on Friday.
The Skoll Foundation announced the winners of its 2013 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship (SASEs) on Thursday, it said. Chosen from hundreds of applicants, the award recognises a highly selective group of the world’s most promising social entrepreneurs.

While Skoll’s new awardees focus on different issues, they share what Skoll believes is key to accelerating large-scale change: an entrepreneurial approach, a proven innovation with demonstrated impact that can be scaled, focus on a pressing issue that is at an inflection point, and an ability to catalyse systems change, according to the statement.

Some of the previous international winners of Skoll Award include Pratham, Teach for All, INJAZ Al-Arab, Barefoot College and Kashf Foundation.

TCF is an internationally acclaimed, not-for-profit organisation, which was set up in 1995 by a group of Pakistani citizens. It is now one of the country’s leading organisations in the field of formal education for less privileged children.

Imran Khan – Asia’s Person of the Year

LAHORE: Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, swept the online Asia’s Person of the Year 2012 reader poll conducted by the Asia Society.

According to the final results, Imran Khan whizzed past everyone else by securing 87.78% of the online votes, Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai secured 3.29%, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi 1.98% and the Indian film actor Aamir Khan 1.81%.

The final tally revealed that Imran had more than 11,000 votes, 88 per cent of the total. According to a press release, the Asia Society is a nonpartisan, non-profit institution with its headquarters in New York. It was founded in 1956 by John D Rockefeller III.

It is the leading educational organisation dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among people, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2013.

Imran Khan sweeped the polls by securing 87.78% of the votes

Imran Khan sweeped the polls by securing 87.78% of the votes

Pakistan sweep skiing competition in Korea

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani skiers clinched two top positions at a skiing competition called Dream Programme – 2013 held in Gangwon Province, the Republic of Korea, said a press release on Monday.

President Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan congratulated Noor Muhammad and Shah Hussain of Naltar Ski School who won the gold and silver medals respectively at the event. He hoped that the success would significantly boost the SFP’s ventures in national and international ski events.

The winning skiers also met with the Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Choong-joo Choi who appreciated the performances of the budding players.

The Dream Programme was initiated by Gangwon Province in 2004 to promote winter sports in countries where winter sports facilities were not fully developed. Pakistan joined the programme in 2011.

This year, around 150 participants from 40 countries took part in the training after which athletes were divided into groups and competitions were held among them.

Noor Muhammad (L) won the gold medal and Shah Hussain (R) won the silver medal at the skiing event.

Noor Muhammad (L) won the gold medal and Shah Hussain (R) won the silver medal at the skiing event.

Pakistan’s inflation lowest in region

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has managed to contain inflation rate within single digit during last year, which is lower than the regional countries, including India and Sri Lanka. Pakistan’s year on year inflation rate or Consumer Price Index (CPI) registered an increase of 7.9 per cent in December 2012 as compared to that of the last year. The CPI in India was 9.2 per cent followed by 9.2 per cent in Sri Lanka. However, it increased by 7.2 per cent in Bangladesh, official sources told APP.

The price comparison of essential consumer items, such as wheat, wheat flour, rice, sugar and red chillies as on December 27, 2012 shows that their prices were lower in Pakistan than those in the neighbouring countries, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.


‘Japan to shift units from India to Pakistan’: Ambassador Hiroshi

Written by Joe Klein with reports from Amardeep Singh in Delhi, Srinivas Gopal from Lahore, and Makiko Suzaki from Tokyo

The Bharti Unions are a serious impediment to manufacturing in India. Even Tata had to face major issues and he had to move his plants to different states.

“A manager was killed in a riot at Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary. Some say the caste system played a part, but discontent stemming from the recession and inflation may have also been a factor.” (Business Nikki)

Now Japanese firms wanting to safeguard their chances of success are in the process of moving their plants to Pakistan. This was stated by the Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshi on Thursday said that many big Japanese investors are seriously planning to shift their units to Pakistan from India due to strong workers unions culture in India.

Ambassador Hiroshi was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). Hiroshi said that the business environment in Pakistan is far better and it is a safer place as far as working conditions are concerned. He said that the economy and infrastructure development are the priority areas and Japan government is focusing on them.

He said that “Japanese businessmen are being motivated for establishing business with their counterparts in Pakistan.” He said “Japan will continue to provide technical assistance to Pakistan as we believe that this country has a great potential for the future.”

There are spectacular development and investment opportunities in various fields as few countries are gifted with natural resources, the Ambassador said.

“Pakistan is facing difficult challenges which will be over soon,” adding that he will continue to strive to deepen mutual understanding through economic, educational, cultural and political exchanges.

Pakistan is facing difficult challenges which will be over soon the Ambassador said

Pakistan is facing difficult challenges which will be over soon the Ambassador said

Asif clinches World Snooker Ch’ship

Monday, December 03, 2012 – Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif defeated England’s Gary Wilson in the final to win the IBSF World Snooker Championship on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Asif, who was unbeaten in the tournament, defeated Wilson 10-8.

“Asif worked very hard to win this championship and it is a very big victory, a turning point for the sport in Pakistan. I hope the government takes notice and supports these boys,” Sheikh said while speaking to media.

Asif was the third Pakistani to reach the final of the world event and the second one to win it. Before him, Mohammad Yousuf won it in 1994 while, in 2003, Saleh Mohammad was defeated by Pankaj Advani of India.

Asif was unbeaten in the tournament

Asif was unbeaten in the tournament

“Candy cabbie” Mansoor Khalid

Friday, October 05, 2012

Now that’s one sweet ride.

Taxi driver Mansoor Khalid is on a one-man mission to cheer up New Yorkers with a daily dose of candy.

“The New York life is not the easy life,” Khalid, 36, told the Daily News. “People are depressed. I see a lot of people stressed sitting back there.”

Khalid, who moved to New York from Pakistan in 1993 and has been driving a cab since 1997, had already seen the impact of small acts of generosity. During the two years he spent in the hospital with his son, he routinely brought coffee and desserts to the doctors and nurses when he got off his shift at 1 a.m.

“They got so happy when in the middle of the night I gave every person coffee,” he said. “I was so nice to them and they were so nice to me.”

“We encourage drivers to go the extra mile in the name of customer service, and Mr. Khalid certainly does this,” said Taxi and Limousine Commission boss David Yassky. “We appreciate the loyalty he inspires in his passengers.”

Loyalty isn’t the goal, considering that Khalid responds to every hail, candy or no candy. His mission is to spread warmth.

“It’s a little thing,” he said, “but people get happy.”


“Candy cabbie” Mansoor Khalid gives passengers as much candy as they can eat

Pakistan sets record for most records

Setting eight records on Sunday, Pakistan also set a record for breaking the most number of records in one day, Express News reported Monday.

On Saturday night 42,813 people in the National Hockey Stadium sang the national anthem together, smashing the previous best of 15,243 held by India.

On Sunday, Mohammad Mansha went flat out to set a new record for making chapatis (breads) – mixing, kneading, spinning and cooking three in three minutes and 14 seconds – while 12-year-old Mehek Gul took just 45 seconds to arrange the pieces on a chessboard using only one hand.

Ahmed Amin Bodla beat a more established record when he landed 616 martial arts kicks on a punchbag in just three minutes, beating the previous best of 612 also set by a Pakistani.

Saddi Muhammad set a record by using his moustache to pull a 1.7-tonne pickup truck a distance of 60.3 metres, to wild applause from the crowd.

Mohammad Nauman lit up the crowd in Lahore as he wired a household plug in a dazzling 35 seconds.

Elsewhere, Daniel Gill and Mohammad Rizwan set a new record for heading a football between them, managing 335 consecutive headers in three minutes 45 seconds.

Saddi Muhammad set a record by using his moustache to pull a 1.7-tonne pickup truck a distance of 60.3 metres. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani doctors in Chicago offer free healthcare

The Pakistani Descent Physician Society of Illinois (PPS), under the umbrella of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), opened this free health clinic in 2009. APPNA, which has been in operation for 35 years, is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Westmont, Illinois and has brought together motivated doctors sprinkled throughout the United States to volunteer at free clinics, perform charitable acts, and has also provided assistance in times of dire emergencies when natural disasters hit both the US and Pakistan.

Open on Saturdays due to its nature of being run by volunteer physicians, medical students and community members who have other responsibilities during the week, the clinic caters to about 25 patients on a given day in the four hours it is open. With an increasing demand from the patients, PPS hopes to gain more support to start a mobile clinic and also begin providing services on Wednesdays in the future.

The clinic is open to all and not just the South Asian community of whom approximately 40 per cent are without health insurance. While, almost a fifth of the entire population lives without it and has to rely on government-assisted methods or do without proper healthcare altogether.

For Dr Khan, the paid work he does during the week does not come close to the satisfaction he feels when a patient thanks him at the end of a consultation.

PPS, with its network of providers is rendering services worth $250 million a year to needy patients.

Japanese investor confidence grows in Pakistan

LAHORE: Several Japanese investors, currently on a visit to Pakistan, have changed their negative perception about the country and its investment climate, said Daisuke Hiratsuka, vice chairman of Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).

“We brought 25 Japanese investors to participate in a Karachi Expo. By the time we reached Islamabad to meet with concern quarters, the delegation had doubled as these 25 investors communicated to their counterparts about the available potential in Pakistan’s economy,” Daisuke said.

“Pakistan has been really implementing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime for foreign investment as compared to India, where policies for foreign investment is restricted,” he said.

Pakistan is also located at a very important place on the world map, heaving good sea ports and land routes, which is an added advantage for foreign investors as they can export their products easily to the other parts of the world from here – especially easy access to Central Asian States and Europe, Daisuke said.


“I have been surprised to know that the business promotion policy is quite welcoming for the investors in Pakistan,” says Daisuke Hiratsuka.

Free electricity for leprosy centre

KARACHI: Under its social welfare programme, the Karachi Electric Supply Company would foot the monthly power bill of the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre.

With its headquarters in Karachi, the healthcare facility is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in the country, providing free medical aid to a large number of patients of leprosy, tuberculosis and different eye diseases.

The cure rate of leprosy patients is 97 per cent at the centre, which has treated over 800 leprosy patients; operated 4,575 eye patients; and has registered over 10,000 tuberculosis patients by the end of last year.

The MoU was signed by the power utility’s CEO, Tabish Gauhar, and Dr Ruth Pfau, the founder member and vice president of the leprosy centre. PHOTO: COURTESY KESC

Students take to streets… To Clean Up!

ISLAMABAD: On Sunday morning, students and citizens in several major cities across Pakistan took to the streets. Not to protest, but to clean up.

The idea for ‘Project Clean Up for Peace’ came about when 23-year-old Faran Rafi, a resident of Islamabad, posted this message on Twitter on Friday: “I say when/if these #protests end, we take up the streets and clean up the mess. Show the world that real #Pakistanis say NO to violence.”

When the tweet and a similar update on his Facebook wall received positive response from his followers and friends, Rafi created a public event on Facebook and started inviting his friends.

In just four hours, 740 people from across Pakistan signed up for the event. As of Saturday evening, that number has gone up to 4,374.

“The tweet turned into a movement,” Rafi, who recently graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences, told The Express Tribune.

Rafi and his friends have appointed representatives for Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to coordinate the clean up efforts. They have also used social media to promote the event, both on their Facebook page and through Twitter using the hashtag #ProjectCleanUpForPeace.

“The basic purpose is to tell the world that Pakistanis can be peaceful and productive as well,” Rafi said. “We are going to show our support for our Prophet (PBUH) by following his Sunnah and teachings.”–to-clean-up/

In just four hours, 740 people from across Pakistan signed up for the event

The honest Dubai taxi driver

Sept. 13th – DUBAI: In the 18 months Omar Hayah Ajmal Khan has driven a Dubai taxi, passengers have left many things behind – from mobile phones to shopping bags.

At the petrol station, while cleaning his cab, he noticed a case tucked behind the driver’s seat. When he checked to see what was inside, he found 123,700 Saudi Riyals and gold jewellery.

“I immediately called my company to say a customer had left his bag of valuables in my car and that I was going to the police station to drop it off.”

Mr Khan took the bag and its contents to Al Qusais Police Station.

“The officers at the station also seemed surprised by what was inside the briefcase. They told me that they would call me when they located the owner of the bag and I’d have to return to verify his identity.”

Omar Khan was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Dubai Police after returning 123,700 Saudi Riyals and gold jewellery found in his taxi

Let’s Build On – Sand castle building at its best

September 9, 2012: The lively people of Karachi displayed their creativity and their love for the sun and sand at the Sea View, Clifton, Karachi, during the second sand castle building contest byLet’s Build On (LBoN) organised by a group of young, dynamic art aficionados.

Building sand castles is a fun summer activity for people of all ages. Lucky for Karachiites, we are blessed with lovely sandy beache which make an ideal place for recreational activities and family picnics. Despite the many disturbing things Karachiites faces, like bomb blasts, loadshedding, and killer traffic jams, they are known for using every opportunity they can find to have fun, to the fullest!

Some were amateurs; others employed professional techniques and tools. At least 250-300 people were watching the sculptors work their magic with undivided attention.

Muntazir and Nabeel, the two highly motivated brains behind this event, mentioned that this will become a biannual event now. They will soon be starting activities on the beach that will teach children sand sculpting techniques. The young leaders believe that events like this will help raise awareness about keeping the beach clean and encourage healthy and purposeful activities.

In all, I thought that the event was a great, peaceful way of having fun. It served as a positive outlet of self-expression, particularly for the youth of Karachi.

Events like this are an exciting way for families to spend weekend afternoons together.


Read more by Farah here.…/the-perfectmonsoontreat-sculpturing-competition- at-the-beach