Archive for the ‘Current affairs’ Category

It all starts when you begin reading the news. I began today in much the same manner. Headlines, bulletins which try to attract attention with statements that make you wonder what the bother is all about! The one article that caught my interest (after Gaddafi’s death of course) was Hilary Clinton visiting Islamabad, Pakistan.
Well, I firmly believe (wow, looks like I’m giving the IBA interview again) that this time Clinton wants Pakistan to take a decision, that is, if they will support the war initiated by US against militants.
I wonder if this visit will even make a difference since the Haqqani network from Afghanistan will be hard to break down. Pakistan is being forced to crack down this network which is believed to be the reason behind the recent attack on the US base in Afghanistan and the 19-hour siege on the US embassy which is situated in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been refusing to start anything against Afghanistan. People have been crossing borders, entering into Pakistan and bombing its people, which needs to stop. First it was only Karachi but now other major cities of Pakistan are also facing the cruel terror campaign.

Pakistan has been accused by US officials of playing double game that is having link with the Haqqani network and claiming that they have no clue whatsoever. Clinton has taken a bold step when the relationship between US and Pakistan was on a new low, she has looked at the brighter side, she has looked at peace between the two countries.

Some people have not welcomed with her open arms, but I’m merely hoping that this time around everything returns to normal. Visions do come true. What I would like to see is harmony among the Pak-Afghan-US situation. This issue should be resolved quickly and be pain-free, of course. Here is hope for a better world which should be peaceful, educated AND innovative.

The city of lights has had major work done on it in the last 5-8 years after it was left neglected for a long time due to political reasons and other cities in Pakistan i.e Lahore becoming the focus of the government. However ever since the CDGK has come into the hands of local parties we have seen non stop action in Karachi.

This work includes the road system we see in effect today, with all the signal free corridors as well as major revamping work done to most localities, road carpeting, laying sewerage lines beneath as well as other public development works.

There used to be a time when this city had traffic jams everyday but thanks to our proactive city government, jams seem to be a thing of the past. If you want to see the city now all one has to do is take the liyari express way just ahead of civic centre and marvel as a highway cross cutting Karachi shows us what great work has been achieved. there is still however lots more to be done in this megalopolis and this brings us to our new budget.

The new budget for Karachi and the last one under our mayor Mustufa Kamal was passed unanimously today. This budget indicates total reciepts in this city to the tune of 52.531 billion expected in the coming year and an expenditure of a whopping 52.360 billion, leaving an amount of Rs170.36 million as surplus.

Details

As it has done for previous budgets, the city government gave top priority to the development sector and allocated Rs11.361 billion for its Works and Services department. An amount of Rs400 million has been reserved for the construction of the Signal-Free Corridor IV (on Sharea Faisal), which would be completed with a total cost of Rs2.9 billion during the financial year 2009-10. At least Rs2 billion has been allocated for development and improvement of basic infrastructure.

A sum of Rs10.123 billion is earmarked for the education department, out of which Rs250 million would be spent on establishment of English medium schools in 18 towns of the metropolis, Rs679 million for the development of modern schools and Rs50 million on the training of teachers.

An amount of Rs3.983 billion has been allocated for the health sector. The nazim announced that in the fiscal year 2009-10, Rs400 million has been earmarked for the purchase of 20 ambulances. At least Rs365 million has also been set aside for the establishment of a hospital and a cardiology centre in Baldia Town, Rs250 million for the Karachi Medical and Dental College, Rs160 million for the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases and Rs130 million for setting up maternity homes in Shah Faisal Colony, Landhi and Manzoor Colony.

The nazim said that a sum of Rs1.524 billion has been allocated for the transport and communication department, out of which Rs500 million has been allocated for the CNG buses project, Rs230 million for the construction of pedestrian bridges and Rs400 million for the construction of new parking plazas in the city.

An amount of Rs2.941 billion has been allocated for the municipal services department, out of which Rs170 million is allocated for the purchase of two ‘snorkels’ and 10 fire tenders.

As a guy born in this city all this allocation of funds will mean life becoming even better here, now only if we could take over KESC somehow and restore the brilliance this city once had, I and most denizens of Karachi would be in heaven.

Looking forward to a great new year of development in Karachi!! I will also highlight the various public works projects that we can see in effect in the coming days ahead and how they will make living in Karachi a much more positive experience.

Inshallah this city will rise further and further on the worlds map until we claim our once lost place, as a vibrant, creative and commercial hub in this neck of the woods.

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Every where you look these days, the SWAT issue is floating about us. In the form of sms’s, facebook statuses, blog posts, twitters and tweets and retweets and hashbacks and all that sort of thing. The average message reads like this :

We are campaigning for sawat people. You can drop stuff or money at the camps on PAF base or delton or at my home we are packaging the goods at home putting camp on sat and sun

Items to be sponsored

Donation # 1 ( Shelter ):

1) Tent

please donate money of Rs. 10,000 ie. per tent cost accommodating family of 10 to 12 members

2) Sheets 2 piece
3) spread ( to be placed of the tent floor

Donation # 2 ( Food ):

1) Atta ( 5 kilo Packet)
2) Rice ( 5 kilo Packet)
3) Dal ( 5 kilo Packet)
4) Ghee ( 5 kilo Packet )
5) Nido powder milk ( 1 kilo packet )

please make a box of these item and donate marking Food donation

Donation # 3 ( House hold items):

1) Plastic Fan ( table fan size)
2) Plastic tub
3) Plastic bucket
4) Plastic mug
5) Plastic lota

Please make a box and mark it house hold item

Donation # 4 ( Medicine)

please make a donation of Rs. 5000 for the necessary medicine items

One on hand, people complain that karachiites aren’t doing anything – on the other hand , I am flooded by messages from NGOs and private small group initiatives collecting donations to help the people who’ve vacated their homes!! Mission Rescue Pakistan is doing great efforts, there are relief camps set up everywhere, the radio is sending out messages for donations over the airwaves – FM 91’s motto is – “because we care”.

In your opinion, whats going on? Is it so that while the rest of Pakistan is pitching in to help, karachiites are sittign with their eyes closed, lost in merriment and completely oblivious?! Or do we still have some semblance of humanity in us

T2f, ie, The Second Floor Cafe is famous for providing a space for exhibitions that provoke discourse. Some months back there was an exhibition by a political cartoonist. Muhammad Zahoor, one of Pakistan’s leading cartoonists, thrives on contentious social and political issues  and much discussion and dialogue was passed on his caricatures. Some of the works that made me smile :

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Though the city was heavily spotted with police in uniforms of different colour, shops remained open and people dared to step out.

Despite being a public holiday, a lot of offices opened, which i felt was utterly stupid – people actually risked their lives and WENT, which i feel is even more stupid. But anyhow – karachi is karachi.

I didn’t go to work!

Surprisingly, today went well – and I’m very grateful

Did you know there are over 300 companies that produce bottled water in Karachi.

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My uncle was telling me about his endeavour to enter the bottled water venture – indeed, a very interesting story.

He was doing his market research before getting in with both hands and kicking in production. He went to visit the site for commercial production. Asking around for where he could view some ongoing production, a man smirked and told him to visit a “Commercial Unit”. The man guided him to this unit which was incidentally rather close by.

My uncle walked in – and was FLABBERGASTED. He told us it was a 4 stage process. There were 30 odd empty 16/17 liter bottles on the floor, all with different brand names.

  1. A man, squatting, was filling each of these bottles with a measure of surf-water.
  2. Another man was taking the soapy bottles, swishing them around, and pouring the soap out – not caring about the soap left inside.
  3. A third man was taking a GARDEN hose and filling these bottles with water.
  4. In a connecting room, there stood a man surrounded by mountains of different coloured bottle caps – and he was forcing red, green, yellow, blue caps on.

Now my uncle was shocked – he thought to himself “there’s got to be more to this process!! This can’t possibly be it!!!”. He went up to the men and asked them – “So where does this water go?”. The men looked at him amusedly and said – “To people’s homes ofcourse. Where do you think it goes? What do we care!”. “What about all the soap left inside”, my uncle asked. “Oh, nothing happens, it dissolves”.

My uncle couldn’t stomach the idea of chunks of soap floating in the water and people drinking it, and paying Rs. 85 per bottle for HOSE water! So he whipped out his cellphone and called up one of the numbers on one of the bottles. A man answered, and when my uncle asked where their plant was located, he said, “Oh we have a very advanced, very sophisticated plant where we produce our water.”. And my uncle scoffed and said ” Yeah, dude, I’m standing in it RIGHT NOW!”

Be careful of what you drink guys – please!

I was told, in a rather scandalised tone, what happened to a bunch of Grammar School kids. It seems all karachi parents set their standards for their children a little below what Grammar School kids can get away with.

So a bunch of Grammar School children wanted to have a party – the parents very wisely decided to chaperone. So a bunch of parents sat in the living room, chaperoning the party in the other part of the house. They then hired a guard to protect the children from any harm, and as the night went on – it was uneventful.

At 2 AM atlast, the pathan guard went to the parents and said – what kind of training are you giving your children? I can’t take this anymore. Either you stop this party right now, or I will. And the guard was armed.

The parents turned on the lights, picked up their children and went home.

How’s that for the fear of God! Possible we’ll all be in burkhas this time next year?!

I mean, it puzzles me – why does having a gun assert that you can exercise your religious beliefs on someone else? By force? By silently threatening their lives? What is this rubbish.

I mean, you hire someone for YOUR security , and this is what they turn around and do?!!!

DUDE= thats NOT cool

As we all know, the Shanaakht Festival was vandalised by the PPP goons, and the leaders of our country condoned the violence and threats. Here are some shots of the incredible work in the Sohni Dharti exhibit before it got vandalised.

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