Archive for April, 2008

Mindless first decision – CM Secretariat now a University for women

After unanimously being elected the new Chief Minister of Punjab, the first order to be issued by Sardar Dost Mohammad Khosa was that of fulfillment of a promise made by the PML (N) President, Mian Shahbaz Sharif i.e. conversion of the grand new Chief Minister Secretariat in Lahore into a Girls University for Information Technology. 

While majority of the population is hailing the decision and characterizing it as first of the falling pillars of elitist rulers, what many don’t realize is that this move of the new government is an even bigger mistake. 

The lavish complex was constructed in the exclusive high-security neighborhood of GOR near the Mall Road and is situated quite next to the old CM Secretariat. 

Staggering amounts were spent on an area of 85,000 square meters in a locality where a one-kanal plot is no less than Rs.2.5 million. The whole project cost around 350 million rupees with additional expenses of 110 million, 120 million, 10 million each spent on interior décor, air-conditioning and plantations respectively. Office floors are tiled with granite while Spanish tiles decorate the lavish bathrooms.  

According to provided statistics in the press, it will take almost Rs.340 million a year to maintain only this property and that too in a country where 33% of the 162 million population lives on less than a dollar a day. All this expenditure has been labeled as a wastage of public money with least regards of the previous government to the poor of this city particularly and Punjabis generally. And rightly so is the claim true, regardless of the fact that this new secretariat was to serve the seat of the Punjab Chief Minister who was lacking a proper office for years and forgetting the fact that billions were spent on construction of a new Prime Minister Secretariat in Islamabad during the earlier rule of the new government itself. 

However, what this new ‘welfare’ government did, totally lacks sense and is a decision of dull proportions. Converting this piece of art into a women’s university is as lame a decision as one that leads to its total destruction. Firstly, it is not the right place for a public educational institution especially for girls referring to the close proximity of high-sensitive government offices and residences of important people in power. Even the disturbance created by blockades to entrances of GOR and regular VIP movement at the old CM Secretariat next door is enough to convince concerned parents in deciding against their children’s admission into such a university, making the whole plan an unfeasible one. 

What, on the other hand, would have been a wiser move was to auction the property at prime rates for a luxury hotel or apartments to raise money for construction of a new University at a more feasible and secure location somewhere else in the city. 

Otherwise, let the millions already spent on this building go into scrap as students have no interest or motivation in preserving or carefully using the granite tiles or Spanish bathrooms just for the sake of saving people’s money from going into trash.

GuessWin – headed where?

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Colours of flowers on a dull path are like rays of hope in a dark world!

 Guess where am I headed?? 

3 days mourning n boycott: lawyers

Lawyers RallyLawyers held demonstrations on provincial level and held the President Musharraf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) responsible for the ‘anarchy’ in the country and especially Karachi.
Addressing the demonstrators at the general house meeting of Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA), the president LHCBA Anwar Kamal said,” We warn the government that the Karachi killings, manhandling of Dr. Sher Afgan Niazi, setting on fire buildings of District Bar Mianwali and Malir and Karachi bars were conspiracies against democracy and the movement for the restoration of judiciary.”

In another move the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Secretary Muhammad amin javed, Vice President Ghulam nabi Bhatti and other office bearers stated at a joint press conference that ‘the office bearers of sixty district bar associations of the country, including the supreme court and all high court bars will resign if SCBA President Aitzaz Ahsan resigns.’

Some more photos.

Lawyers Rally

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lawyers Rally

Lahori takes the Pulitzer Prize…

Pulitzer Prize winning photograph by Adrees Latif.

…for Breaking News Photography, to be specific. Adrees Latif has been awarded this prestigious award for his dramatic photograph shown above, which he shot during a street demonstration in Myanmar. The photograph shows the Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai lying fatally wounded on the street, who later succumbed to his wounds.
With the world media highlighting only negative news emanating from Pakistan. this comes as a very welcome news – not only for the fact that the photographer was a Pakistani (and a Lahori) but also for the fact that the recognition accorded to this photograph would make the world, in the words of Adrees, “remember this story long after it has disappeared from the headlines”.

A bit more about Adrees Latif from SAJAforum:

Born in Lahore, Pakistan on July 21, 1973, Adrees Latif lived in Saudi Arabia before immigrating with his family to Texas in 1980. Latif worked as a staff photographer for The Houston Post from 1993 to 1996 before joining Reuters. Latif graduated from the University of Houston in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Latif has worked for Reuters in Houston, Los Angeles before moving to Bangkok in 2003 where he covers news across Asia.

Source: Reuters

Bringing Justice?

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First (Dr.) Arbab Ghulam Rahim’s shoe beating and then just yesterday (Dr.) Sher Afghan’s beating and thrashing in Lahore.

Nothing commendable. Brutality to show your emotions is never commendable.

Yesterday while watching the video of incident, many a times I thought this man’s going to die coz of a heart failure. If you talk about justice … then adopt proper ways to do justice. If he’s criminal in your eyes, bring him in to teh courts and not THRASH an aged guy with hundreds of hands.

Its high time that we use our wisdom (if any) and start thinking intelligently. Emotional intelligence may be good, pure emotionalism – No.

Cross posted on Islamabad Metblogs

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