The future of public education in KPK

The recent reports regarding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s agreement on the revisions proposed by Jamat-i-Islami in the curriculum for public schools in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, have not been well received in some quarters of Pakistan. The changes for the new academic session commencing April 1, 2015 include removal of ‘objectionable’ content such as pictures of unveiled school girls and replacement of good morning with Asalamoualikum. Earlier reports also highlighted JI’s qualms over pictures of Christmas cakes and a cross emblem on an ambulance instead of a crescent in textbooks.

With the promise of change and creation of a new Pakistan, high hopes have been associated with PTI, particularly in KP. However, their consent to the demands of JI to alter the curriculum bringing in Islamized modifications has been a disappointment for many.  It appears that Jamat-i-Islami – former ally of General Zia-ul-Haq’s regime, comes with a set (often stringent) political frame of mind and it is not reluctant to infuse its ideology-highly influenced by politicized religion, through education sector.

Continue reading The future of public education in KPK

MUN for none – We may not accept Israel but we cannot deny its existence

File photoA preliminary investigation carried out by the administration of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) indicates that ‘an outsider’ may have advised the team hosting the Model United Nations (MUN) to include Israel in the team line-up for the event.

A report, a copy of which is available with Dawn, details the events that led up to the setting up of a stall representing Israel at the ‘Global Village’ part of the Women’s International Model United Nations (WIMUN) 2014, which began at IIUI last Friday.

Continue reading MUN for none – We may not accept Israel but we cannot deny its existence

(Is Bangaldesh ready to hang Jamaat-e-Islami chief for his support to Pakistan in 1971

Nizami’s War Crimes Trial

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 is set to deliver the long-awaited verdict in the war crimes cases against Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami today, more than four months after the deferment of the judgment in June.

The alleged chief of the infamous Al-Badr force is facing 16 charges, including his role in eliminating the Bangalee intelligentsia just before Bangladesh’s victory on December 16 in the 1971 Liberation War.

To ward off violence centring the pronouncement of the verdict, authorities yesterday deployed paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at different parts of the country including the capital.

The judgment is going to be delivered nearly a year after the completion of the trial proceedings, which went through different hurdles, including tribunal reconstitution, rehearing of closing arguments and deferment of the verdict.

Continue reading (Is Bangaldesh ready to hang Jamaat-e-Islami chief for his support to Pakistan in 1971

Has terror attacks changed how Canadians view Muslims

PM Modi believes ancient Indian scientists created their god Lord Ganesha using genetic science and plastic surgery

By Maseeh Rahman

Ganesh is carried by devotees in a religious procession in New DelhiNarendra Modi gives examples of Karna and Ganesha to support view that cosmetic surgery and reproductive genetics used thousands of years ago.

Hindu nationalists have long propagated their belief that many discoveries of modern science and technology were known to the people of ancient India. But now for the first time an Indian prime minister has endorsed these claims, maintaining that cosmetic surgery and reproductive genetics were practiced thousands of years ago.

Continue reading PM Modi believes ancient Indian scientists created their god Lord Ganesha using genetic science and plastic surgery

Waar’s director and producer in the midst of a crime case

Bilal Lashari viewing the footage of his film.— Courtesy PhotoA controversy over the distribution of proceeds of film ‘Waar’ has brought its makers into a legal battle with the producer struggling to get bail to avoid arrest in the case initiated against him by the director of the movie.

Released on October 16 last year, ‘Waar’ earned the profit which according to its director Bilal Lashari was beyond the expectations of the producer, Hassan Waqas Rana.

The movie was produced with a budget of Rs170 million. After initial release, it earned Rs230 million in the box office.

According to the movie director Lashari, as per agreement he was supposed to get 25 per cent of the total revenue whereas 75 per cent income was to go to the account of the producer. Continue reading Waar’s director and producer in the midst of a crime case

Women empowerment for world security and peace

As the world is swept by unparalleled levels of displacement, festering conflicts, and a convergence of crises, the international community must fully endorse the role of women’s empowerment and gender equality in ensuring global peace, security and development, the Security Council and top United Nations officials declared today.

In a unanimously adopted Presidential Statement this morning ahead of a day-long debate on “women, peace and security,” the Security Council reaffirmed the need to dismantle the “persistent barriers” facing gender equality, calling on Member States to embrace a “dedicated commitment to women’s empowerment, participation, and human rights” and ensure their full and equal participation in peace and security issues.

Held annually, the Council’s open debate provides an opportunity for the wider UN membership to reflect on the progress made, and accelerate action on implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, which requires parties in a conflict to respect women’s rights and support their participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction.

Continue reading Women empowerment for world security and peace

God not a magician, Big Bang Theory correct – Pope Francis

francis-pope(By ADAM WITHNALL) The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared.

Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. Continue reading God not a magician, Big Bang Theory correct – Pope Francis

Political pressure crushes Pak Govt, PIA and PSM not to be privatized anytime soon

The government has again backpedalled on the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) to avoid political backlash, but will go all-out to sell stakes in profitable entities and issue Islamic bonds to raise $1.8 billion for budget financing.

The privatisation of PIA and PSM is now expected to take place in October next year, said Privatisation Commission (PC) Chairman Mohammad Zubair on Tuesday. He was offering about two-dozen state owned entities for investment to international investors at an International Investment Conference in Islamabad. Continue reading Political pressure crushes Pak Govt, PIA and PSM not to be privatized anytime soon

Pakistani filmmaker Shahzad Hameed awarded Prince of Asturias Award

A group photo during the Prince of Asturias award ceremony in Oviedo, Spain. — Photo courtesy: Prince of Asturias Foundation/Shehzad Hameed AhmadBroadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker Shehzad Hameed Ahmad from Pakistan has won the Prince of Asturias Award — Spain’s equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize — for his work during Fulbright scholarship which also included a documentary ‘The Pakistan Four’.

Ahmad received the award from the Spain’s King Felipe Juan on behalf of the Fulbright Global Program for International Cooperation.

Nelson Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, had also been a recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award in 1992. Continue reading Pakistani filmmaker Shahzad Hameed awarded Prince of Asturias Award