Archive for August, 2009

Authoring at LMB

So, finally the barriers have been removed. We can comment as much as we can and that too without registering which means there is going to be a lot more activity at LMB from now on again.

We are again looking for authors at LMB who:

– are based in Lahore

– are willing to contribute actively (2-3 times a week)

– and have something to say about Lahore

If you wish to become an author at LMB; drop an email with a short profile to:

Happy Metblogging! :)

Comments are for free!!

Hey Metbloggers!

In addition to a brand new outlook, the admin has finally decided to pay head to the opposition’s call of allowing comments without registration. So, it’s just like the old times again. Only a few things to keep in mind though:

– Offensive language and personal attacks should be seriously avoided

– Criticism is a good thing but it should be done gracefully and accepted positively

– Differences of opinion make discussions unique and healthy; hence, they should be encouraged

The rest, we all are sane human intellectual beings… :)

Happy commenting at LMB,


Why the canal should be saved…

An article in The News editorial highlights the importance of trees and the ecosystem they uphold in the middle of Lahore along the canal. And the reasons are obvious on why they be saved:

The canal that runs through Lahore represents much that is good about the city. The shrubs, bushes and tall trees that line it give the provincial capital the greenery that its residents have cherished for centuries. The waterway – even today when pollution has tarnished its beauty – offers a kind of calm oasis in the heart of the urban jungle, where families picnic and fitness-lovers jog. It is these factors that have led a group of earnest citizens to renew their campaign against a plan to broaden the road along the canal which would result in hundreds of trees being chopped down. While the Punjab government argues this is necessary to maintain smooth traffic flow, the ‘Save Lahore Movement’ argues the massacre of greenery would inflict great environmental damage and indeed erode the very nature of Lahore. Trees marked for chopping have been chalked and placards put up demanding they be saved. The action by citizens including many women and children has caught public interest, with passers by stopping to find out more.

Such civic involvement in the affairs of our cities is vital. More people must get involved. Not only in Lahore but also in other cities such as Karachi, urban planners need to realize that preserving what has taken years to create is vital. Development is not only about building bigger roads or bridges. Putting in place better public transport and enforcing traffic discipline could play a still bigger role in keeping vehicles moving, while also helping to cut pollution and keep intact the trees that give life to our cities and to the people who live in them.

The News Editorial

Azadi Spirit!

Never has our country been into so difficult times and never has the need been so desperate to keep its spirit alive. We will eventually come out of this turmoil and conflict; we will win every war against poverty, unemployment, corruption and indifference.

Here is to our beloved homeland: PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!! :D

Happy Independence Day!!

Happy Independence Day!!

iss parchap kay sayay talay – hum aik hain hum aik hain

(Under this flag we all are united as one; we are united as one)

**Happy 62nd Independence Day !!**

Fed up with LESCO!-Are you?

For those not in Lahore, Pakistan today–something special happened–it rained. Correction, it rained like cats and dogs today.  We loved it–as it was a welcome change from the oh-so-muggy weather we have been dealing with.  Raindrops splashed down with comet-like intensity–washing away every particle of summer dust that had settled on the city’s greenery.

However, the prolonged loadshedding schedule and additional outages ensured that Lahoris came  back down to earth.

Lets take for example the community I reside in–where on average we experience ‘schedule loadshedding’ for 10 hours a day. This translates into not having electricity in our homes about every hour or so–throughout the day–without consideration for weekdays or weekends.

With such a situation, all our basic electrical appliances have either died or been sent to the local repairman. List includes the washing machine, refrigerator, microwave, so and so forth. This is ridiculous, to say the least.

In the wake of this major rainfall today in the city, our local trusty LESCO bunch added another hour of loadshedding. Yes, ADDED!  When we called to ask whether this was due to a fault in the local grid network, a rather disgruntled LESCO employee said that an hour had been officially added to the schedule–and that we will probably face another increase in our monthly electricity bills–as well!  When we expressed our disapproval, he said that the higher-ups are the ones making the call and that the location he went home to often did not get electricity for 8 straight hours!

Navigating our way through the LESCO complaints directory, we got through another LESCO employee–this time a bit higher up in the pecking order.  According to LESCO employee number two, the higher ups believe that there are not any complaints and that people are okay with the current situation of power supply (wow that is an ironic phrase–‘power supply’). 

Umm, Lahoris, are we OK with what is going on? Are we OK with our hard earned money going down the drain every month–when we pay for a service that we barely recieve?  Are we OK with spending hours listening to whirring generators/ups ?

I doubt that.  But what I think the problem is that somehow, the complaints are not getting through. Is there not enough media coverage? Possibly. Is there not enough public outcry? No, people are making their point.

 I know this sentiment is not new, nor is the situation unfamiliar to those residing in Pakistan–but the point being, something must be done.

My recommendation:

Call the SDOs, the XENs  responsible for the electricity supply in your neighborhood. Here is the LESCO website link

Keep tab of the scheduled loadshedding–everytime unscheduled loadshedding takes place, try to lodge a formal written complaint.

Get the neighbors involved–have them do the same.

Communicate your plight, your problem, your discomfort with the current electricity loadshedding schedule. Write an email, a letter to the editor, or to a member of the provincial assembly.  I am sure there are those of you who have family members relying on vital life support machines, or even breathing aids such as nebulizers–all which are run by electricity.

If you have more ideas, please share with us in the comments section.

Remember, this an essential service that you are paying for and that you deserve customer service.

Telenor Pakistan launched one stop online solution for Persona users

Telenor Persona WebloungeTelenor launched one stop online solution for all its Persona subscribers. The new package, Telenor Persona Weblounge, allows the freedom of purchasing a number of your own choice (any number including Golden Numbers), port your number from any other network to Telenor with convenience, make payments online or subscribe for exciting add-ons, special offers and value added services and all this power packed sim will be delivered at you door step through TCS.

The service was introduced to a group of local bloggers in a session held at Telenor’s office here in Lahore.

The company aims to bring convenience and ease to the daily user experience of its subscribers. Those who are interested in Telenor’s service can either buy a new Telenor number online with ad-dons of your own choice or you can port your existing number to Telenor in a few easy steps. Make sure you have a credit card to place this order. The process is very easy and self explanatory.

I believe this initiative will invite competition in the online one stop solutions by all mobile companies; which is direly needed by a rapidly increasing community of internet users in Pakistan.

Edited (16:08 – Tuesday, August 11, 2009): Deleted official quote upon request.

Lahore Needs Changes

Husain Qazi – a long distance swimmer and sea diver has some ideas that can change Lahore

Lahore’s canal is a blessing for the city. There are few cities in the world that are adorned by a canal passing through the middle and for a hot climate the tranquil waters become the paramount recreation not only for the persons playing with water but for the many commuters passing along the beautiful roads that run parallel to it.

Lahoris love their canal. Many of the men would have jumped into it sometime in their youth. The jam-packed canal in hot summers give us an idea about how much recreation it is providing to Lahoris free of cost. During the Spring Festival the beautifully decorated canal provides a visual treat to the thousands of persons who pass along its dual carriageway.

With little effort we can harness this tremendous gift of nature to beautify and enrich our city. There are numerous spots along the canal that can be converted into Water Parks which can provide an ideal recreation to the whole city particularly in the sizzling summers. Fortunately, we have ample space on both the banks and at some selected point we can expand the canal about the size of a cricket ground that can be used for a variety of water sports and recreation. This small lake will tremendously add to the beauty of Lahore and water sports like swimming, boating, water polo will promote a healthy sports and recreation culture in Lahore.

The wide green belts on both sides of the canal can absorb the expansion of road to accommodate the lake. In this way the commuters on these busy roads will also enjoy and refresh themselves while passing along the lake.

As a long distance swimmer and a qualified sea diver, I can safely say that Lahore’s canal is a safe canal. Its average depth is 5 feet that does not pose any grave danger even to the non swimmers. However, safety precautions i.e. life jackets and life guards make open swimming absolutely safe and enjoyable. By implementing this culture, Lahore can provide a working model of water safety for the rest of the country.

If the project becomes successful, similar water parks can be constructed after every few kilometer on the 17 km long canal. A water park exclusive for ladies may also be built as there are very few water based recreation opportunities for them. A large lake can be developed over the BRB canal which has wide open spaces along its banks.

Water based leisure activities are very common in Europe and the USA. In spite of the cold weather, people in large numbers enjoy these activities that provide an ideal relaxation to a large number of people. Bathing in mud based natural water is good for the body, spa’s and mud baths are increasingly becoming popular due to their healthy and vitalizing effect. In our country gifted by nature with abundant water resources, this activity can be promoted with little effort.

Canal water parks shall also raise awareness for keeping our canals and rivers clean. Lahore canal gets the attention of many environmentalists and they may be invited to join hands with government to make it a model of cleanliness and beauty.

Pakistan has been gifted by an abundance of water resources. Our canal system is the largest in the world and our dams and headworks are scattered all along the country. We have tremendous potential to develop water tourism with little cost and little effort. An initiative by Lahore’s development authorities will result in the promotion of water recreation throughout the country InshAllah.

(X-Posted From Light Within)

Peace under Post-Operative Care

Everyone Singing to a Different Tune

Everyone Singing to a Different Tune

Now that military operation has apparently come close to a conclusion in Swat; most people agree it was a step taken in the right direction despite differences in how brutally it destroyed infrastructure & caused incalculable collateral damage. Our political leadership was also as divided on the issue, though for their own interests, as depicted in this cover by Sabir Nazar for The Friday Times.

Now the Government’s success only depends on full restoration of peace; relocation of millions of IDPs back to their homes and prevention of insurgency from taking roots again in the affected areas. If our Government is to be believed; the current pause in terrorism related incidents in major cities including Lahore might be a result of this operation. We only hope the Government is telling the truth and that this operation has, in actuality, weakened the network of terrorists instead of providing them with a breeding ground for future recruits in the form of refugees.

And we sincerely pray this pause is not short-lived and that we truly will eradicate radicalism and terrorism from our society; not only in Malakand Division but also in every major city, town and village of Pakistan.

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