A prostitute born and brought up in Karachi’s Napier Road red-light district, Shumaila never heard about HIV and AIDS until recently. Today, she carries condoms but clients refuse to wear them.
‘None of us were aware about the danger of AIDS looming over us for years but now we all know and can avoid it,’ said the tall 29-year-old who lives in a Victorian-style building in the heart of the neighbourhood.
Shumaila is one of the rare ones who are aware about the perils of HIV/AIDS an thus insist upon using condoms. Hundreds of thousands of condoms have been distributed to sex workers in the last two years, which have saved them from being infected with the lethal virus.
Karachi has up to 100,000 female sex workers, according to data gathered by Pakistan Society, a local welfare organisation. ‘This is 20 percent of their overall population in Pakistan.
Lahore comes next with 75,000 sex workers,’ Saleem Azam, head of the charity.
Prostitution may be illegal but it has prospered in Pakistan, where an economic downturn and widening poverty have forced women and men onto the streets to meet the rising cost of living.
Shaheena, 38, is a home-based sex worker. She is a skilled paramedic but seldom finds a permanent job. ‘So I opted to enter this business on the side,’ she said, veiling her face to hide her identity. ‘I have sibblings, cousins, nephews and nieces who don’t know about my second profession. So I don’t want to identify myself to embarass them. ‘But it’s a question of survival as none of my relatives support me with money. They are all too stretched themselves,’ she said.
More than 60 percent of Pakistan’s prostitutes work from homes or ply the streets, while the elite serve wealthy clients from kothikhanas (houses or rooms) in plush neighbourhoods.
A report said 60 percent of female sex workers and 45 percent of their male clients in Karachi and Lahore do not know that condoms can prevent transmission of HIV. Of those that do, few protect themselves. ‘The number of our clients who agree to wear a condom is small. Female condoms are not available, which can save us more effectively,’ said Nasreen, another prostitute in Napier Road. ‘I can’t carry condoms in my purse on the street as we’re vulnerable to the police and could be arrested if they find them,’ said Afshan, 29, who walks the city’s busy streets looking for clients.
The 2006 survey said only 18 percent of sex workers reported always using condoms. Around 96,000 people, or 0.1 percent of the population, live with HIV in Pakistan. The government says only 5,000 people are infected. The disease is spreading among high-risk groups, especially drug users, who mostly inject and use dirty needles, raising fears the virus could spread quickly from addicts to prostitutes. In 2006, Pakistan said HIV/AIDS prevalence among female sex workers was around 0.02 percent, but independent bodies put it much higher. ‘It is at least 15 per cent, ‘said Azam. ‘They are totally at the mercy of their clients. Most of their clients refuse to wear condoms,’ he said.
‘In Pakistan, this business is illegal, thus there is no law to seriously tackle the issue and save precious lives. Yet a way-out is desperately needed on humanitarian grounds.’ Baig said he had identified an HIV-positive sex worker a few months ago and tried to help her with treatment and a new job but she left because her colleagues considered her a blot on their business. ‘Now, no one knows where she is and what she is doing,’ he said.
On Wednesday, Aymen and 18 other girls, from different A’ Level institutions across the city, including KGS and Southshore School, managed to break a previous record by fitting into the vehicle with its doors closed for five seconds. The current official record holders are the Climb FitTeam of Australia who compressed 18 students into a standard SmartCar at the Warringah Mall, Sydney Australia on January 25, 2010.
The girls managed to meet the challenge at the BBQ lawn of Creek Club in front of a jury at a historic event organised by Karim Mohammadi and Rehan Elahi. The chief guests included the federal adviser on textiles Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, adviser Sharmila Farooqi, Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuhro and former cricketers Wasim Akram and Saleem Yousuf. The girls had been through the drill numerous times. They positioned themselves and with precision crammed one by one into the two-door car in layers. Within a minute they were all inside the car and not only did they manage to break the world record, they managed to stay in the car for a gruelling 10 seconds, double the current record time.
“I want parents around the country to encourage their children to achieve greater things and believe that when you try, you achieve,” said Aymen. Other participants Tanya Pabani, Fatima Ismail and Zahshanné Malik were thrilled about their feat but more interested in meeting Wasim Akram.
Baig said he had initially been sceptical but was won over after he saw them fit in the car in three layers with one literally on the floor mat. Aymen’s parents Yousuf and Shireen told The Express Tribune that even though at first they felt it was just another outdoor activity, they provided them with a coach Hassan Aslam once they realised how determined they were.
The participants included Sarah Ahmad, Hafsa Naveed, Alina Akram (the extra in case someone got injured), Zashanne Malik, Fatima Ismail, Rabbya Kamran, Anam Afridi, Muneezeh Jamal, Hala Faruqi, Dania Fayyaz, Sana Ghazi, Sana Currimbhoy, Zoya Currimbhoy, Hiba Javad, Sana Javad, Nadia Khan, Neha Salauddin, Rida Ashraf, Eman Samir, Tanya Pabani and Aymen Saleem. The team coaches were Hassan Aslam, Sharam Saleem and Shereen Saleem.
Hollywood celebrity and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees Angelina Jolie was so overwhelmed by the looks of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani that she strongly recommended him for Hollywood screen but in the same breath said that Gilani, as the leader of his nation, was doing an even better job.
This she narrated while giving her impressions about her visit to Pakistan’s flood-hit areas last week and her meetings with the leaders in Pakistan and the US President’s special envoy for the region Richard Holbrooke after returning home. She undertook the journey to Pakistan on Holbrooke’s suggestion to visit the flood-affected areas. The US president’s envoy narrated the story to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani the other day when he called on the prime minister here at the PM’s House. “But Richard, I offered her a copy of the holy Quran with English version to make her better understand Islam and provide the same to her adopted Muslim child,” the prime minister replied.
Prime Minister Gilani, while confirming his conversation with the US president’s special representative for Pakistan/Afghanistan to this correspondent, said the actress must be kidding. “If the screen is so charming, why has she stepped out of it and started serving humanity. I am serving my nation and I am happy with it,” he said on Saturday morning.
Ms Angelina, 35, has been cited as one of the world’s most attractive people, as well as one of the world’s “most beautiful” woman, titles for which she has received substantial media attention.
Ms Angelina told Richard Holbrooke that she had heard about the so-called credibility deficit in Pakistan but she was of the firm opinion that the people who had affection for calamity-struck humanity would never pay any heed to such assertions, as they are always forthcoming on such occasions. The people who are reluctant to come forward use such pretexts for staying away, she remarked while discarding the credibility factor.
Richard Holbrooke told the prime minister that his daughter would shortly be visiting Pakistan to work for the flood victims and share their miseries as she was currently engaged in the relief efforts in quake-devastated African state Haiti. He said that floods had inflicted unbelievable damage on the people of Pakistan but the people of this country were determined to live up to the challenge. “I am sure that the signs of the disaster soon will be behind them,” he added.
Mumbai, Sep.12 (ANI): As ‘Dabbang’ makes an impressive beginning at the box office, its main hero, Salman Khan, has courted an unwanted controversy again by speaking insensitively about the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that had left over 166 people dead and over 300 others injured.
He has invited criticism for allegedly stating during an interview to a Pakistani channel that the 26/11 attacks were hyped up because “elite people” were targeted.
“It was the elite that was targeted this time. Five-star hotels and all. So, they panicked. Then, they got up and spoke about it. My question is why not before. Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much,” Salman reportedly told Pakistan’s Express 24/7 channel in an interview.
Salman’s reported comments have been described as “anti-national” by parties like the Shiv Sena, and even drawn strong words from Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal. It doesn’t matter whether a big or small person has died. It’s very serious matter for the country when somebody loses his life in a militant attack. We need to work together to root out terrorism, said Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
Bhujbal, however, called the statement “uninformed”, as he remarked: “He is an actor. He does not have the information to make a comment on whether the Pakistani govt was involved or not. People travelling in taxis, constables, waiters, hotel workers, all lost their lives in the attacks.”
The Shiv Sena demanded an apology from Salman Khan for the statement.
“The 26/11 attacks were a war against the nation. Salman should apologise for his remarks. Ambani was not staying at the CST, nor was Tata or Birla staying in Cama Lane,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said referring to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Cama Lane, which were among the places primarily targetted by the terrorists.
The Bharatiya Janata Party also criticised Khan for his unwanted comments.
“26/11 attack was an attack on India. We cannot forget that Indian citizens were killed. This was not a small issue for Salman Khan to comment. This was an attack meticulously planned by Pakistan,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP spokesperson.
Special Prosecutor in 26/11 trial, Ujwal Nikam, described Khan’s statement as naive.
“It appears that without knowing the details of the terror attack, the actor made such statements,” said Nikam, adding, “I shall say these are childish remarks.”
“They (terrorists) don’t make any distinction between rich and poor. It is judicially established that the outcome was a deep routed criminal conspiracy hatched in Pakistan and the targets were deliberately selected to wage war against India,” he added.
Eight of the attacks occurred in south Mumbai at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Orthodox Jewish-owned Nariman House, the Metro Cinema and a lane behind the Times of India building an St. Xavier’s College.
During today’s proceedings, the court demanded gaurantees that blasphemous content will not be accessible to users in Pakistan. The court observed that the act would be treated as contempt of court if it is repeated again.
Meanwhile, deputy attorney general and PTA representative assured the court it would not happen again. The court also outlined the government’s responsibility in such cases.
Internet service providers (ISPs) are still responding to LHC orders to open Facebook for users.
The Lahore High Court banned Facebook on May 19 for hosting a blasphemous drawing contest and asked PTA to submit a written reply.
Menwhile, the next hearing was adjourned till June 15.
The popular social networking website was banned by the Lahore High Court after a controversy over it hosting blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Muslims across the world were offended by a Facebook page which declared May 20 a day to caricature Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Despite a growing surge of protests by Muslims, Facebook had opted not to remove the page.
The court had temporarily banned the social networking site Facebook till May 31 across the country. It had issued the order after an Islamic forum of lawyers sought ban on access to the popular social networking site for holding a contest of drawing caricatures on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The controversial page by the name “Draw Muhammad Day” had been created by a Facebook user in response to American cartoonist, Molly Noris’s protest to the decision of US television channel, Comedy Central to to cancel an episode of the popular show “South Park” over its depiction of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Noris had however disavowed having declared May 20 “Draw Muhammad Day” and had condemned the effort and issued an apology. The page was subsequently removed by the creator.
Pakistani newspaper The Nation says it has has learnt reliably that 24 out of 34 BBC partner stations in Pakistan have been refused permission to broadcast BBC Urdu news. According to the paper, the Chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Malik Mushtaq, said that the 24 stations had not received written approval from PEMRA to broadcast the five-minute BBC bulletins.
Recently PEMRA blocked some English channels on cable TV, and claimed that it had closed all foreign channels including Indian ones, which did not have a local licence.
By SIRAJ WAHAB | ARAB NEWS
ALKHOBAR: The suspected suicide on Friday of a middle-aged Pakistani civil engineer has shocked the Eastern Province expatriate community.
Pakistani community elders described Faqir Hussain as a well-qualified, good natured and pious man. He was in his mid-40s and was a graduate of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Lahore.
The reason behind Hussain’s decision to take his own life is unclear and is under investigation. A family man, he was a father of three sons, two of whom are pursuing higher studies in Pakistan. The third is enrolled in a local school.
Hussain’s wife is a homemaker and, according to those who are in touch with her, is in a state of extreme shock. Hussain and his family have been in the Kingdom for more than seven years and have a large circle of friends.
The Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh is closely following the case and Welfare Counselor Dr. Kazim Niaz told Arab News that it would extend all possible help to the family.
The embassy’s legal representative in Alkhobar, Abdul Ghaffar, told Arab News that Hussain was an employee of Al-Tuwairqi Holding Co.
“An authorized Al-Tuwairqi employee, Ayub Qureshi, informed us on Tuesday that Hussain had inflicted grievous injuries himself with a sharp-edged knife on Friday immediately after noon prayers. He was rushed to the government hospital in Alkhobar where doctors described his condition as critical because of massive bleeding. A couple of hours later he died,” said Abdul Ghaffar. “This is what the Al-Tuwairqi employee told me,” he clarified.
The body was later moved to the morgue in Dammam Central Hospital.
Alkhobar police are investigating the case but have not issued any official statement so far. They are in touch with the deceased man’s employers.
Alkhobar is home to a large number of Pakistani expatriates. According to unofficial estimates, of the 1.5 million Pakistanis in the Kingdom, nearly 350,000 of them are in the Eastern Province.
One particular district in Alkhobar surrounding the Pakistan International School is described as mini-Pakistan and Hussain and his family lived in the area near Apna Bazaar.
Mobilink has created this new art-work that uses Shonia’s wedding to spread its message “Jazz Apna Hai”
PR sent to media says
On the union of Shoaib & Sania, Mobilink Jazz came up with a very interesting ad that congratulates the newly-wed couple and welcomes Sania Mirza in the family by saying ‘Ab Sania Mirza bhi Apni Hai’.
Sania and Shoaib Malik’s wedding reception, to be held in Sialkot, Pakistan, has been postponed from April 22 to April 25, because Shoaib still hasn’t got his passport back.
However, the couple seem to be unperturbed and look like they’re chilling out and enjoying their marital bliss. The two are expected to be in Mumbai today, where they will be shooting for a magazine cover, according to sources from Sania’s family. “Sania and Shoaib will be doing a photo shoot for a magazine cover in Mumbai. The make up will be done by the Mumbai-based Mansoor Khan, who also did Sania’s wedding make up,” the source told us. Imran, a close friend of Shoaib, said, “We are planning a grand reception at Sialkot. We have requested the high commissioner of Pakistan in India to clear Shoaib’s passport.”
By Faisal Kapadia
In Pakistan, we often make the mistake of thinking that the phenomenon of women breaking stereotypes and conquering uncharted terrain is a recent one. However, a conversation with a path-breaking woman such as Nigar Nazar serves as a reminder that the current generation has only had the courage to step out of their comfort zones because of the courage demonstrated by women like her in the past.
Nigar is Pakistan’s first female cartoonist. She started her illustrious career with a bold decision – in 1967, she switched out of a pre-med degree to study fine arts. As a result, she was drawing comics when no teachers or coursework in this artistic format were available. The situation was so dire at the time that when Nigar came to work at the Karachi Arts Council, she found little to occupy her. It was then that Ali Imam, then director of the council, made her draw one cartoon a day to keep her busy. She has never looked back from that experience.
With a fondness in her voice, Nigar narrates how she got her first break, drawing cartoons for the Sun newspaper. Her character, Gogi, an urban Pakistani woman struggling with her frailties in the context of gender-discriminate social norms was such a hit that soon the Morning News, Dawn, The Mirror, and the Daily News began featuring her work.
After publishing countless cartoons for various publications and nine comic books and receiving many national and international accolades, Nigar still inspires many budding artists who feel limited by their choices in an environment that does not support creativity. For that reason, the Dawn Blog decided to catch up with Nigar to learn how she became a legend in the field of sequential art.
Q. Why did you take up cartoon drawing at a time when the practice was rare?
A. As a young child and teenager, I was an avid comic book reader and read imported comic books. I thought that it would be nice if we had comics in our own setting, and when that didn’t happen, I decided I would do it myself.
Q. Did you model Gogi on any person in particular?
A. Gogi is my brainchild, the voice of womenfolk in Pakistan (when it comes to women’s issues). She is the central character of my comics, and through her I depict the lighter side of everyday life. As my mouthpiece, I preferred to have my main character be a female. As for the name; Gogi just sounds like a cute name that rolls off the tongue.
Q. Given your diverse portfolio and experience, which do you think was your best and most well received effort?
A. Being in charge of the children/youth page at The Muslim was very gratifying. I had all the freedom to devise the page in the daily that use to come out of Islamabad. The editor decided I would have ample space, up to five columns, for the Gogi comics. Simultaneously, I started The Muslim Kids Club, which generated a large membership in a very short time.
Other than writing and drawing competitions, I mobilised club members to do welfare work for orphanages and young patients during their summer vacations. I even took five club members on a 10-day tour of Turkey when they won a certain essay competition. Today, the MKC members are brilliant professionals teaching at Harvard and UC Berkeley, making outstanding films and documentaries, and participating as thinking citizens. I believe that community activities, creative writing, and humour through cartoons produce well-rounded personalities.
Q. Do you feel that Pakistani arts flourished more in the 1970s?
A. In the case of comic art, yes. That said, the overall world position of comic art has soared to great heights with comics being turned into animated films, puppets, and muppets. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Pakistan.
Q. Are there many comic art students today?
A. I am not aware of students in this art genre. I teach at the Fatima Jinnah University, but this genre has to be taught separately from the course prescribed by the university.
Q. Any tips for a budding cartoonist?
A. My tip for any aspiring comic artist is to perfect your ability to draw the human figure. On that foundation you can exaggerate and draw cartoon characters. Draftsmanship is half the game; the other half is the humour which comes from within.
Q. You were recently in China for cartoon-related endeavours…
A. I am founding member of the Asian Youth Association for Animators and Cartoonists, and I was invited to be on the jury for an international cartoon competition for which professionals from all over the world came together in Quiyong last September. Interestingly, I was the only woman cartoonist there (which I hope dispels the popular misconceptions about Pakistani women). I felt proud to be the first foreign speaker on the inaugural day as I presented my work on a huge screen before an audience of senior government officials, art professionals, university students, and international diplomats and delegates.
This July, I have been invited to judge animated cartoons and to speak on the subject as well. Gogi Studios has created a successful animated CD for early learning called the “Cartoon Qaida.” I intend to speak about the power of cartoons in learning.
Q. What is your latest project?
A. Gogi Studios created five comic books on life skills last year. We call them ‘awareness comics.’ Our sponsor wanted us to pursue a concept that encourages under-privileged children to avoid becoming school drop-outs and motivates more children to go to school.
Once the books were completed, we decided to hold outreach programs in which children are entertained with cartoons, animations, stories, and engaged in learning how to draw.
At the end of the show, the Gogi muppet appears and distributes schoolbags filled with the awareness comics, and three other fun books that I have authored. Stationery and an exercise book and a sketch pad are also included. Our first outreach program catered to 310 students from marginalised sections of society, and their response left me and my volunteers overwhelmed.
Q. What message would you like to give to your fans?
A. You make a living with what you get, you get a life with what you give.
A resume can either open doors or keep them closed . Never assume that people are going to read your resume because the fact is that most resumes get only a passing glance. You must do everything possible to spark immediate interest during that moment.
Constructing a resume that earns interviews is remarkably simple.
Here are six do’s and don’ts to follow when composing your document.
1. Begin with a summary.
Showcase two or three of your most exciting accomplishments. Bullet these items and use numbers to illustrate their extent. By starting out this way, you’ll be showing people how good you are, not just telling them that you’re good. As a plus, you’ll distinguish yourself from job seekers who begin by listing their functional specialties and a brief discussion of their strengths.
2. Use a chronological format.
The next section of your resume relates to your experience. Always list your experience in reverse chronological order , starting with your most recent job.
3. Tailor your resume to the job you’re seeking.
Because the goal of your resume is to gain interviews for a particular position, always cite your activities in order of their importance to that job. Omit information that’s unrelated. The less you say about your unrelated experience, the more impact the related activities will have. If you’re seeking two or three different positions, prepare two or three separate resumes, each tailored to the job you’re after.
4. Focus on your accomplishments.
Next, discuss your accomplishments, not your responsibilities. Recruiters and prospective employers are primarily interested in the value you’ve brought to your past employers. Most important are improvements you made and their benefit to the department or organization, especially in increasing revenues or reducing costs.
5. Use descriptive verbs .
Describe your experiences in phrases that start with a past-tense action word . Bullet each item. Bullets and verbs in the past tense produce statements that are more vivid and illustrative. These verbs are particularly effective:
- directed, led, managed, supervised;
- achieved, delivered, drove, generated, grew, increased, initiated, instituted and launched;
6. Make your resume inviting to read.
After deciding on what you want to say about yourself, be sure your resume has sufficient white space . The top and bottom margins should be at least a half-inch long, and the left and right margins should measure at least seven-tenths of an inch wide. Insert white space between your section headings, names of employers, job titles and discussions about your experience. Use bold-faced type for section headings, employer names and job titles. If the document lacks eye appeal, few people will review it.
Now, the Don’ts
What you shouldn’t do when writing a resume is nearly as important as what you should do.
1. Don’t organize your resume by accomplishments.
Listing a string of accomplishments on the first page of your resume presents the same problems for employers as the functional resume format. If you want to showcase your accomplishments, use the introductory summary.
2. Don’t use the same words to begin sentences or use the words “I” and “my.”
Make your writing fresh and exciting by varying the verbs that begin each statement. Omit “I” and “my”because they can make you seem weak and immature.
3. Avoid clichés.
Don’t describe yourself as “dynamic,” “people-oriented, ” “results-oriented” or “self-motivated, ” or state what a great “out-of-the- box thinker,” “hands-on leader” or “visionary” you are. These clichés lack originality and typecast you as a follower instead of a leader.
4. Don’t use underlining or italics to add emphasis.
These devices cheapen a résumé’s appearance. Additionally, some computer scanners can’t read underlined or italicized copy.
5. Avoid using a fancy font to gain readers’ attention.
Fancy fonts aren’t inviting to read , and many people discard resumes that use them. Play it safe by choosing Arial, Garamond, Helvetica, Tahoma or Times Roman.
6. Don’t state the reasons for your job changes.
Explaining why you’ve changed jobs seems defensive or indicates that you think you have a troubled work history .
LAHORE: Pakistan’s Population Welfare Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said she would present cricketer Shoaib Malik and tennis star Sania Mirza with gold crowns on their arrival in the country after their wedding.
Awan, who represents Shoaib’s hometown of Sialkot in parliament, said she plans to attend the wedding to be held in the Indian city of Hyderabad on April 15.
“I am going to India on April 14 to attend Shoaib and Sania’s marriage,” she said, adding that the marriage will help improve relations between India and Pakistan and bring the people of both countries closer to each other.
“I will hold a ceremony in Sialkot to place gold crown on the heads of Shoaib and Sania,” she said.
Political leaders, members of the business community, cricketers and the media will be invited to the ceremony, the date for which will be finalised in consultation with the couple.
Awan said she would also present gifts on behalf of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to the couple.
The minister had earlier announced that she would gift a family planning kit to the couple and ask them to be ambassadors for Pakistan’s population control programme.