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Showing posts with label Balochistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Balochistan. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

 ’Leaving No one Behind’ – #PPAF organises #Balochistan Water Engagement

’Leaving No one Behind’ – #PPAF organises #Balochistan Water Engagement

 ’Leaving No one Behind’ – PPAF organises Balochistan Water Engagement 

Islamabad, April 17, 2019: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) carried out an extensive water engagement exercise to come up with an action plan for effectively addressing water issues in Balochistan. The water engagement, held from April 09 to 16 in Balochistan comprised of field visits as well as a two-day consultative workshop at Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences (LUAWMS). As many as 86 participants, comprising water specialists and representatives from academia, civil society, government departments, and PPAF, were involved in the monumental exercise.

PPAF has engaged in numerous poverty alleviation initiatives in Balochistan with a big focus on water. It recognises that it has become ever more important for attention to focus on Pakistan’s national and regional water crisis and water-related issues. Balochistan is the most water scarce province of Pakistan. It requires special attention to avert the impact of climate change, drought and disasters. Keeping in mind the water crisis and water problems in the province, PPAF planned this unique engagement with multiple actors to come up with a draft water strategy for the province, and a comprehensive action plan to address water issues. 

Various organisations demonstrated similar understanding in their participation in the water engagement excercise, including government departments such as Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, various local district adminstrations and organisations including ASAS, Muslim Aid, LEAD Pakistan, as well as journalists and social activists. Participating universities included University of Balochistan, University of Turbat, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences, NED University, Mehran University, and Quaid-e-Azam University.

For the first activity, seven groups were formed to cover agro-ecological zones across Balochistan for field exposure and observation. Field trips were conducted in five zones divided into deserts, plains, the coastal areas, the Quetta valley, and the North and South Highlands. Areas visited include Loralai, Zhob, Mastung, Khuzdar, Kharan, Dera Murad Jamali, Lasbela, Turbat, Quetta, Pishin, Chaman, and Ziarat. Each group spent three to four days in the field, observing and noting issues pertaining to water in the province, including traditional water transport systems, interventions by PPAF, the government, and donors, and possible solutions. After the field visits, the teams congregated at the Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences along with other invitees to present their field learnings and devise respective ways forward. 

Participants talked about drinking water for all, ground water management, surface water storage and management, limited agriculture with efficiency and value chain, rangeland management and water for livestock. It was recommended by participants and experts that two more themes, women and water, and water for coastal and marine areas must also be studied. 

The workshop concluded with closing remarks from Vice Chancellor of LUAWMS, Professor Dost Muhammad Baloch and vote of thanks from Dr. Muhammad Arshad, Team Lead from LEAD Pakistan. Detailed research will be carried out by specialised academic institutions in Balochistan. Action plans will also be developed by PPAF for livelihoods development around the identified themes, in terms of asset transfers, community infrastructure, interest free loans, linking to microcredit loans etc. 

Ms. Simi Kamal, Senior Group Head, Grants Operations, PPAF, also addressed the partakers of the workshop, emphatically thanking them all for their joint efforts in the water engagement exercise. ”No part of this extensive project would have been possible without all our esteemed participants, in your own momentous ways, contributing towards this much-needed fight against the water crisis in Balochistan. With determination and solidarity, we will make an impact.”

PPAF’s pursuit in resolving the water crisis in Balochistan will continue. The leveraging, consultation and synergies amongst government line departments, educational institutions, universities, the think tank on rational use of water, water professionals and other relevant stakeholders’ involvement will also play a pivotal role in developing more effective and innovative approaches and initiatives. 

As one of the largest sources of pro-poor spending in the country, the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund is the lead agency for poverty reduction in Pakistan. It embodies the spirit of public-private partnerships to address the multi-dimensional issues of poverty with a view to achieving social and economic change. PPAF outreach extends throughout Pakistan; it has partnered with 130 organisations working in over 100,000 villages/settlements with more than 133,000 community organisations and 440,000 credit/common interest groups at the grassroots level in 137 districts.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup Final: Afghan FC clinches the championship title

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup Final: Afghan FC clinches the championship title

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup Final: Afghan FC clinches the championship title

Quetta, March 29, 2019: Afghan FC Chaman was crowned the champion of the Ufone Balochistan Football Cup’s 3rd edition at the Mali Bagh Football Stadium in Quetta which was packed with a mammoth crowd. The Afghan FC Chaman faced Jallawan FC Khuzdar for the title decider. Both teams emerged as the strongest out of 48 that participated in the tournament.

Naimatullah from Chaman’s team scored an early goal during the 19th minute through a corner, putting the team in a leading position. The Khuzdar team started attacking Chaman’s goal post but could not breach the strong defense line. Fazal Muhammad from Khuzdar struck a header in the 28th minute but Chaman’s goal-keeper Hameedullah made a thrilling save. Cham won another corner in the 32nd minute when Khuzdar’s goal-keeper Saleem made a diving save. 

During the half-time Quetta based singer and musician Izhaar Ali performed the championship’s official anthem ‘Jeet Ke Dikha Do’ and received huge applause from the crowd.

In the second half, Chaman won a free-kick during the 46th minute but was not successful in scoring. Abdur Rahim from Chaman struck in an attacking move during the 51st minute, putting his team in a stable position. Chaman dominated the game from here on, with Naimatullah striking a header in the 56th minute but missing. Khuzadar’s Fazal Muhammad did win a corner in the 63rd minute but the forwards lacked the coordination to score.

Jallawan FC Khuzdar was disordered and lacked coordination on the field. On the other hand, Afghan FC clearly dominated the game by displaying excellent coordination as a unit and put its opponents at the defensive and registered a convincing 2-0 victory.

The President of Balochistan Football Association Quetta Muhammad Asghar Kasi was also present on the occasion. Ufone’s Regional General Manager (South), Syed Faisal Rizvi handed over the championship trophy to the winning team’s captain Jadeed Khan. Medals were distributed among all top four teams along with cash prizes. “We have enjoyed playing this season and all the team mates have worked very hard to get to this stage. We are very happy with our performance and look forward to the next season,” said Jadeed Khan, Captain of the winning team Afghan FC Chaman. 

Speaking on the occasion, the President of Balochistan Football Association Quetta Muhammad Asghar Kasi said that he was very happy to see the level of talent the youth displayed during the tournament, “The level of arrangements, especially the games being played under lights and live broadcast, speaks volumes about Ufone’s commitment to developing football in the province, and I would like to congratulate them for a highly successful tournament this year,” he added.

The championship was organized with the aim of developing and promoting football which is the favourite sport of Balochistan’s youth. Ufone believes this commitment will help promote football in the province and prove to be a great platform for emerging young players to learn and display their footballing skills. The initiative shows Ufone’s commitment to the people of Balochistan, which enunciates with the company’s tagline: “It’s all about U.”

Monday, March 25, 2019

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup - #Ufone unveils trophy and Super8 schedule

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup - #Ufone unveils trophy and Super8 schedule

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup - Ufone unveils trophy and Super8 schedule

March 25, 2019: Quetta’s Mali Bagh Stadium is all set to host the Super8 stage of the Ufone Balochistan Football Cup’s 3rd Edition from today. Eight teams have made it to the Super8 stage of the tournament, ready to play against each other from today, including Shaheed Ballach FC Nushki, Jallawan FC Khuzdar, Bacha Khan FC Loralai, Afghan FC Pishin, Panjgur FC, Afghan FC Chaman, Faizullah Agha FC Quetta and Tiger Raesani FC Quetta.

The trophy of the third edition was unveiled at the Mali Bagh Stadium. Captains of the Super8 teams got the chance to get their hands on the trophy, vowing to win it through talent and hard work. Ufone also released the official anthem for the championship at the event. The song is titled ‘Jeet Ke Dikha Do’ and is written by Jahanzeb Baloch and Zee Ali, with Izhaar Ali lending vocals. Izhaar Ali is a Quetta-based singer, songwriter, and music producer with his own record label called ‘East records.’ The song was composed and sung by artists from Balochistan, showing Ufone’s commitment of promoting local Balochi talent and showcasing it nationally.

The ‘Qualifiers’ and ‘Eliminators’ were played in eight cities this year. Successful teams at the city level will now battle it out for a place in the semi-finals. The semi-finals will be played for the first time, under flood lights, in the tournament’s history on March 28, with the final scheduled for March 29.

The inaugural edition of the championship was launched in 2017 with the aim of developing football in Balochistan and providing the youth with a platform to showcase their talent. Football enjoys immense popularity among the youth in the province and is played in almost every village in the province. Balochistan has produced numerous football stars that play at the national level, such as Fazal Muhammad and Riaz Khan, who have previously participated in the tournament and provided insights and tips to promising, eager young footballers and students in the tournament. 

The inaugural edition was held in four cities of Khuzdar, Chaman, Pishin, and Quetta with Muslim FC Chaman winning the title. The second edition which was held in 2018 was expanded to Loralai and Nushki where Aqua FC Quetta lifted the trophy. This year is the championship’s third edition where the qualifying round was held in two additional cities of Panjgur and Gwadar. A total number 720 young footballers and 48 teams competed for the Super8 stage of the tournament.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup: Afghan FC emerge victorious from Pishin, cruise into the Super8 stage

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup: Afghan FC emerge victorious from Pishin, cruise into the Super8 stage

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup: Afghan FC emerge victorious from Pishin, cruise into the Super8 stage

The city level Qualifiers and Eliminators of the 3rd Ufone Balochistan Football Cup are underway in the province. The Pishin leg of the competition came to an end, where Afghan FC clinched the top spot and qualified for the Super8 stage of the championship which is scheduled to kick off at Mali Bagh Stadium Quetta from 25 March, with Semi-Finals on 27 and Final on 28 March.

The Eliminator match was played at Taj Lala Football Ground Pishin, where Afghan FC beat Faizabad FC by 1 – 0. The maiden goal was scored by Afghan FC’s Najeebullah during the 18th minute of the match. Faizabad tried hard to score an equalizer and attacked Afghan FC’s goal numerous times but were unable to breach the strong defense line.  
So far, 6 teams including Afghan FC have booked their place in the advance stage. The other teams include Jallawan FC Khuzdar, Gwadar Port FC, Panjgur FC, Bacha Khan FC Loralai and Shaheed Ballach FC Nushki.

Pakistani telecom company Ufone aims to develop and promote football in the province and provide budding footballers a platform to showcase their skills while playing along national team football stars like Fazal Muhammad and Riaz Khan. This year’s championship builds on the success of previous two seasons and involves 720 young players from eight cities in the province.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Ufone Balochistan #Football Cup: Panjgur FC and Jallawan FC Khuzadar cruise into the Super8

Ufone Balochistan #Football Cup: Panjgur FC and Jallawan FC Khuzadar cruise into the Super8

Ufone Balochistan #Football Cup: Panjgur FC and Jallawan FC Khuzadar cruise into the Super8

Quetta, March 18, 2019: Super 8 stage of one of the biggest sporting events of the province, Ufone Balochistan Football Cup is undertaking in 8 cities. Panjgur FC from Panjgur and Jallawan FC from Khuzdar have qualified into the Super 8 stage of the tournament by winning city level eliminator round.  Both teams will join Bacha Khan FC Loralai and Shaheed Ballach FC Nushki who have already qualified for the quarter finals.

In Panjgur, the city level eliminator was played between Panjgur FC and Baloch Musa Jan FC. Panjgur FC won the match by 2-1 in a tight contest. In Khuzdar, Bab e Balochistan FC took on Jallawan FC, but lost the match by 1-0. Muhammad Ibrahim scored at 50 mins mark securing the Super8 spot for his team in the championship. 

The two teams will be among top eight teams in the Super8 stage that will battle for the semi-finals in Quetta, from 26 March. Semi-finals and final will be played on 27 and 28 March respectively.   
Pakistani telecom company Ufone aims to develop and promote football in the province and provide budding footballers a platform to showcase their skills, while playing along the national team football stars like Fazal Muhammad and Riaz Khan. This year’s championship builds on the success of previous two seasons and involves 720 young players from eight cities in the province.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup: Matches conclude in Nushki and Loralai

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup: Matches conclude in Nushki and Loralai

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup: Matches conclude in Nushki and Loralai

Quetta, March 12, 2019: Matches for Ufone Balochistan Football Cup’s third edition are underway at the city level in the province. In the first round the qualifiers and eliminators have concluded in Nushki and Loralai. The tournament started last week from Nushki and Loralai where ten teams battled it out to book a place in the Super8 stage of the tournament.

In Nushki, Shaheed Ballach FC won the city level final by beating DFA FC by 1 – 0. The thrilling match took place at the Nushki Football Stadium where the maiden goal scored by the team in the second half paved way for it to qualify for the Super8 stage of the championship.

From Loralai, Bacha Khan FC beat BRC College Loralai 2 – 0 in a rather one-sided contest to book a place for the Super8 round of the event. From the winning team Muhammad Saleem proved to be the star with his two goals to take his side cruising in to the next stage.

Shaheed Ballach FC and Bacha Khan FC are the first two of the top eight teams in the Super8 stage who will battle it out for semi-finals in Quetta from 26 March while semi-finals and final will be played on 27 and 28 March respectively.   

Pakistani telecom company Ufone aims to develop and promote football in the province and provide budding footballers a platform to showcase their skills while playing along national team football stars like Fazal Muhammad and Riaz Khan. This year’s championship builds on the success of previous two seasons and involves 720 young players from eight cities in the province.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Ufone, Red Crescent to deliver food kits among 1000 families affected by inclement weather in Balochistan

Ufone, Red Crescent to deliver food kits among 1000 families affected by inclement weather in Balochistan

Ufone, Red Crescent to deliver food kits among 1000 families affected by inclement weather in Balochistan

Islamabad (12 Mar 2019): Ufone, the Pakistani cellular company has partnered with Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC), a member of ‘International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’, to support the communities affected by flash flooding and heavy snow in Balochistan. The two organisations have joined hands to distribute food packs in the affected communities.

The recent floods in Balochistan have so far claimed 13 lives, left 14 injured, disrupted the livelihoods of over 1000 families and caused damage to nearly 2000 properties. Ufone has always been at the forefront, in support of Pakistani people - providing network facilities, and supporting communities in times of natural calamities. The telecom company has a large customer base in the province, and has been awarded projects for the provision of voice and data facilities in areas deprived of it.

Amir Pasha, Head of PR and CSR, said, “Ufone wants to help these victims rebuild lives. We want to help our people through this crisis and ensure that adequate essentials reach them in time. Food assistance will get them through the critical days.”

Food packs will be distributed in Pishin, Khuzdar, Chaghi, Killa Abdullah, Killa Saifullah, Muslim Bagh, Ziarat and Loaralai.

Dr. Saeed Elahi, Chairman Pakistan Red Crescent said, “Food, water and shelter are the immediate needs of those affected in Balochistan floods. Quick and effective action is required to prevent further loss. PRC is distributing relief items to the families of affected areas through its vast network of volunteers.”

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup’s third edition kicks off today

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup’s third edition kicks off today

Ufone Balochistan Football Cup’s third edition kicks off today

Quetta, March 07, 2019: Pakistani cellular company Ufone has announced that the third edition of the Ufone Balochistan Football Cup will commence today (March 07) from Noshki 

The tournament aims to promote Balochistan’s favourite sport football and provide a platform to young footballers to showcase their skills and develop their game further. This year the competition builds on the success of the previous two editions. The tournament will feature 672 young and emerging footballers playing in 48 teams from eight cities.

“Ufone believes in promoting and engaging youth in healthy activities like sports; football being the favourite sport for the province’s youth is very close to our hearts” said Amir Pasha, Head of PR and CSR at Ufone. “We are expanding the tournament to more cities and would like to see youth showcasing their skills and talent during the tournament.”

Four qualifiers and an eliminator will be played in each of the eight cities including Gwadar, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Noshki, Loralai, Pishin, Chaman and Quetta. The qualifier stage will see football Clubs, universities and colleges in a city compete against each other. The winners of the qualifier stage will play against each other in the eliminator. The top eight teams from the eliminator round will face each other in the Super8 round in Quetta. The top four teams from the Super8 will play the in semifinals, where the winners will battle it out for this year’s title.

Pakistan’s star footballer and Ufone’s Brand Ambassador Fazal Muhammad along with Riaz Khan will be participating in the tournament as mentors. PTV Sports and Suno FM 89.4 will be broadcasting the semifinals and final as media partners.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Systems Limited, UltraSoft System Wins Rs.248 Million Contract to Automate Balochistan's Land Records Management

Systems Limited, UltraSoft System Wins Rs.248 Million Contract to Automate Balochistan's Land Records Management

Systems Limited, UltraSoft System Wins Rs.248 Million Contract to Automate Balochistan's Land Records Management

Quetta, December 17, 2018 – Board of Revenue (BOR), Government of Balochistan has awarded the Land Records Management Information System (LRMIS) contract worth Rs. 248 million to SUS-JV, a consortium led by Systems in partnership with UltraSoft System.

Expected to complete over a span of 3 years, LRMIS is an extension of the successful project launched by Systems in Punjab and KPK. Built around cutting-edge technologies, LRMIS will modernize the existing land distribution system, improve public accessibility to land records by simplifying procedures, and ensure scalability, security, transparency, uniform service, and functionality across various service centers in the region. The project will also significantly increase land revenue for BOR and the Government of Balochistan through a computerized, streamlined, and user-friendly process.

“This phenomenal project reaffirms our belief in technology and technological progression as a crucial element in solving Pakistan’s existing problems,” said Asif Peer, CEO of Systems. “Our work in the public sector is our contribution towards a progressive Pakistan and automating and digitalizing Pakistan’s future. We believe this incredible project will have a tremendous spillover effect by creating employment in Balochistan and boosting its economy.”

“As the oldest and largest IT firm in Pakistan, Systems can leverage its vast local, regional, and global experience in the public sector to enable the digital transformation of Balochistan’s IT landscape,” said Imran Soofi, Regional Sales Head and project lead at Systems. “This strategic win cements Systems’ position as a digital enabler across Pakistan.”

Team Systems is thrilled to be given this major responsibility once again and is determined to take this initiative forward to help create a more prosperous and digitally enabled Pakistan.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chairman PTA inaugurates the project for seamless broadband coverage to #Makran Coastal Highway

Chairman PTA inaugurates the project for seamless broadband coverage to #Makran Coastal Highway

Chairman PTA inaugurates the project for seamless broadband coverage to Makran Coastal Highway

Islamabad: Chairman PTA, Muhammad Naveed inaugurated the project “Seamless broadband coverage from Hub to Jiwani: Makran Coastal Highway” worth PKR 759 Million at a ceremony held on Tuesday in Islamabad. 

In this connection, contract of the project was signed by USF with Ufone. Chief Executive Officer, Universal Service Fund, Rizwan Mustafa Mir signed the contract with CEO-Ufone, Rashid Khan. 

In order to execute this project, 58 BTS towers will be installed in a contracted time frame of 18 months. To take this further, all major motorways and highways will be facilitated through seamless connectivity in future. 

Chief Guest of the ceremony, Muhammad Naveed, Chairman PTA while addressing the ceremony stated that that with constant dedication and devotion, we have achieved yet another milestone. He further said that the event marked one of the greatest landmarks achieved in the field of Telecom in Pakistan and would go a long way in taking the developmental work being done by the Ministry to a greater level. He also added that with such projects, Ministry for IT through USF would continue to work towards achieving the mission of broadband penetration across the country to facilitate the masses in rural areas. He said that in addition to Broadband Infrastructure, he expected USF to launch new e-services and m-services to facilitate digital lifestyle adoption for the people of Pakistan.

CEO-USF, Rizwan Mustafa Mir also gave an introduction of the project and informed the audience that this is the first project under the next Next Generation-Broadband for Sustainable Development programme with focus on broadband coverage to allow for seamless operation of modern APPS. Furthermore, this will be the first network in Pakistan where the winning bidder will be required to enable national subscriber roaming for other consumers to benefit from the service.

Speaking at the occasion, Rashid Khan, President and CEO Ufone said, 
“Universal Service Fund (USF) was established to promote the development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served areas throughout the length and breadth of the country. At Ufone we resonate the same goal of providing telecommunication services to every Pakistani. The project has a special significance, as an important highway in Balochistan will be connected through broadband services under this initiative.”

It is noteworthy to mention here that under this project, seamless voice and broadband services will be provided to the coastal highway of 694 kms and for the first time in Pakistan national roaming is also being made available.

Senior officials of Ministry of IT, Ufone, USF and representatives of IT and Telecom companies were also present at the event.

Monday, October 15, 2018

PPAF Financing Sustainable Development and Community Building in #Balochistan

PPAF Financing Sustainable Development and Community Building in #Balochistan

LSO Conference - PPAF Financing Sustainable Development and Community Building in Balochistan

Quetta: The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) held a half-day conference in Quetta for developing strong linkages between duty bearers and community institutions in Balochistan. The objective was to empower Local Support Organisations (LSOs) to strengthen socio-economic development through PPAF’s Tabeer-o-Tameer Fund initiative. The project supports the development of community driven institutions through consistent financial and technical support, in order to facilitate initiatives for sustainable development in Balochistan.

The LSO conference was attended by government officials from Balochistan including; Secretary Environment, Mr. Saboor Kakar, Secretary Education, Mr. Noor Ul Haq, Director General, Research, Agriculture, Balochistan, Dr. Javed Tareen, and Chief Engineer, Planning and Design PHE Department Mr. Javed Ahmad.

Mr. Tahir Malik, General Manger – Institution, PPAF, Innovation and Integration, welcomed the participants and shared the progressive role of community institutions in the development of society. He highlighted the opportunities that the PPAF’s Tabeer-o-Tameer Fund is offering to help strengthen local communities at the grass roots.

LSO representatives shared the progress and development plan with the provincial administration for sustainable development in their respective areas.

Addressing the conference, Honorable Secretary Education Balochistan, Mr. Noor Ul Haq said, “There is only one formula for development and alleviation of poverty, i.e. the provision of education. No nation can develop and escape the vicious cycle of poverty without education.” He discussed the role of the Government of Balochistan in improving the literacy rate in the province with an estimated budget of more than 60 billion allocated for education. He stressed the need for each teacher to leave no stone unturned in shaping the hearts and minds of students to help secure the future of the province. Secretary Environment, Mr. Saboor Kakar thanked PPAF for proposing solutions for problems affecting local communities, and expressed his commitment to work with LSOs to formulate plans that can better address issues of local communities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Javed Ahmad, Chief Engineer, Planning and Design PHE Department addressed the challenge of water scarcity and the water-poverty nexus. He discussed the mitigation measures being taken by the Government of Balochistan to opt for workable solutions to resolve the issue with a vision to resolve the water crisis by 2030 in Balochistan. He said that there are currently five dams proposed in Balochistan for countering water scarcity. He also mentioned that water from existing resources is being channeled to improve the supply of water in the province in order to counter groundwater depletion. He thanked PPAF for its efforts in empowering local communities.
Dr. Javed Tareen, Director General, Research, Agriculture, Balochistan in his address stressed on the need for exploring the agricultural potential in Balochistan to uplift the state of the provincial economy.

In her closing remarks, Chairperson, PPAF, Ms. Roshan Khursheed Bharucha emphasized on the need for local communities to step forward and take charge of their destiny by sheer will, hard work, and by ensuring inclusion of women in the process of development. She ensured PPAF’s continued support for local communities to alleviate poverty in Balochistan.

The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is the apex institution for community-driven development in Pakistan. PPAF works as private sector organization in support of public policy, by providing an array of financial and non-financial services to the poorest and the most marginalized communities across Pakistan.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Participants highlight role of Media for addressing malnutrition in Balochistan

Participants highlight role of Media for addressing malnutrition in Balochistan

Quetta, September 27, 2018: Commitment from media is critical for mobilizing and garnering affirmative action to defeat malnutrition menace in Pakistan. This was discussed in a meeting organized by Scaling Up Civil Society Alliance Pakistan (SUNCSA, Pak) in collaboration with Nutrition International and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), member and Chair of the SUNCSA Executive Council. The participants from media pledged to actively play their role for prioritizing nutrition agenda at the policy and programme levels in Balochistan as well as raise public awareness on the adverse effect of malnutrition to bring about behavior change.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ali Nasir Bugti; Provincial Coordinator and Head of Nutrition Cell; Government of Balochistan highlighted the initiatives taken by provincial government to address the malnutrition situation in the province on priority basis. He shared with the audience various initiatives taken by the Nutrition Cell to address the issue in various districts of Balochistan He said, “Lack of human resource is one of the biggest hurdles in reaching out to local communities suffering from malnourishment. The issue of malnutrition cannot be tackled individually; concerted efforts are required from all stakeholders including the government, civil society, private sectors and media for improving the situation of malnutrition in Balochistan”. He elaborated the role of the Balochistan Nutrition Program for Mothers and Children and the support extended by the donor agencies, in this context he gave reference of different strategies that have been developed at the provincial level. He said more than half of children under five in Balochistan are stunted which means that they are short for their age due to chronic malnutrition, a condition that has lifelong consequences on physical and mental development. He also added that Balochistan’s government is committed to eliminate the malnutrition crises from the province and has been taken various steps to address the menace of malnutrition. Dr. Ali Nasir Bugti appreciated the meaningful presence of print and electronic media and said that they can play a powerful and active role through sustained focus on nutrition reporting using their platform. He urged them to highlight the malnutrition issue using their platform, he added.
Ms. Aliya Habib, Project Manager, SUNCSA, Pak/ Nutrition International presented the overall context of malnutrition and status at national and Balochistan level. She highlighted that malnutrition not only effects individuals but has dire economic and developmental impacts for the community and nation as well. She added that Balochistan has particularly high rate of stunting, where more than half of children under-5 (52%) are stunted while the prevalence of Wasting is 16 percent in the province as compared to 44 percent and 15 percent respectively of the national average. The current malnutrition had been estimated to cost the Pakistan’s economy $7.6 billion (3% of GDP) annually. She emphasized that a multi-sectoral and holistic approach including short term and long term evidence based approaches are the need of the hour to address the current malnutrition emergencies.
Pakistan joined the Global SUN (Scaling up Nutrition) Movement in 2013 committing to end malnutrition in the country. SUN Civil Society Alliance Pak is a coalition of over 150 civil society organizations from all federating units, working for the promotion of nutrition agenda and improving the nutrition indicators of the country. The alliance has an active role in mobilizing political commitment for addressing malnutrition at federal and provincial policy level. 

Dr. Seema Raza, Senior Manager, PPAF thanked the participants for their valuable inputs and joining hands for working together to eliminate malnutrition from Balochistan. She informed the participants that PPAF through its partner organizations has trained more than 450 men and women as community resource persons who have proved instrumental in disseminating nutrition sensitive messages to local community in districts Qilla Abdullah, Qilla Saifullah, Zhob, Pishin, Awaran and Panjgoor. She further said that Media has an extremely powerful and challenging role to play when it comes to disseminating information to the vulnerable sections and catalyzing political ownership to highlight the issue of malnutrition for guiding public opinion and actions for prioritizing the issue at policy level. She said, “We are looking forward to a dedicated collaboration with media, government, SUN secretariat and other stakeholders to end malnutrition crisis in Balochistan”.

In the open discussion session, the media participants expressed their resolve for tackling the malnutrition challenge head on. They suggested writing news articles, blogs, and case studies, media feeds on nutrition and food security issues. They said that emphasizing the human side of malnutrition through focused case studies is the way to attract and sustain attention of public and policy makers.

A nutrition core group of media persons was formed at the end of the session to develop a single platform for prioritizing nutrition from policy and program levels to community levels. The media persons pledged to use their technical expertise and influence for making nutrition a priority for political commitment, government action and public behavior change. 

The meeting was attended by journalists from print and electronic media, representatives from Nutrition Cell, P&DD and Health department Balochistan, and civil society organizations.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Telenor now Powered Gwadar City with its best-in-class 4G Services

Telenor now Powered Gwadar City with its best-in-class 4G Services

In yet another landmark development, Telenor Pakistan has powered Gwadar city, historically an old fishing village that is now poised to become one of the world’s most thriving seaports, with its best-in-class 4G services. Due to the unavailability of long-haul fiber optic to carry traffic in the region, Telenor Pakistan has used state-of-the-art satellite solution to deliver 4G services to Gwadar. Subsequently, Telenor Pakistan users can now enjoy high speed data services at par with key metropolises like Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad.

Owing to its important strategic location and ongoing CPEC related developments with immense economic and geo-political potential, Gwadar is all set to emerge as a regional and global maritime hub. With thousands of Pakistani and foreign professionals working day and night on diversified development projects, Telenor Pakistan’s 4G services will not only help in their professional communications but will also keep them connected to their loved ones back home.  At the same time, Telenor has upgraded all Gwadar sites to 3G as well, so that more people can access high speed internet even with their existing smartphones.

“Upgrading Gwadar city from 2G directly to 3G/4G was an interesting challenge,” 
said Bilal Kazmi, Chief Marketing Officer, Telenor Pakistan. 

“There was no fiber optic infrastructure available in the city, but our eagerness to bring mobile broadband to the residents of Gwadar propelled us to make alternative solutions available and the satellite solution presented a potential option. We had already used the model in 2015 to test 3G services in Gilgit Baltistan with promising results. We are pleased and excited to play an active role in the socioeconomic progress of Gwadar city and hope that our services will strengthen professional as well as personal communications for all involved in the city’s development.”

The move comes as part of Telenor Pakistan’s efforts towards connecting its customers to what matters most to them and its mission of empowering the Pakistani society. Ever since it started operations in Pakistan, Telenor has explored innovative ways to bring communications and digital services to the remote, unserved, and underserved areas and communities of Pakistan with an aim of bringing them into the folds of digital and financial inclusion. Telenor has emerged as the country’s primary digital lifestyle partner and is continuing to lead the ICT-powered digital transformation in the country, supporting the government of Pakistan in its pursuit of short and long-term digital and financial goals.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

ExxonMobil close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s

ExxonMobil close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s

ExxonMobil close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s

  • The US energy giant has drilled up to 5,000 meters near the Pakistan-Iran border, says Pakistan foreign minister

  • If the oil deposits are discovered as expected, Pakistan will be among the top 10 oil-producing countries, ahead of Kuwait in sixth position

KARACHI: The US energy giant ExxonMobil is close to hitting huge oil reserves near the Pakistan-Iran border, which could be even bigger than the Kuwaiti reserves, says Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistan’s caretaker minister for maritime affairs and foreign affairs.

ExxonMobil, the American multinational oil and gas company, has so far drilled up to 5,000 meters close to the Iranian border and is optimistic about the oil discovery, Haroon told business leaders at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

If the oil deposits are discovered as expected, Pakistan will be among top the 10 oil-producing countries ahead of Kuwait in sixth position.

Kuwait’s oil reserves make up 8.4 percent of the oil reserves in the world. Kuwait claims to hold about 101.50 billion barrels, including half of five billion barrels in the Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone which Kuwait shares with Saudi Arabia.

According to current estimates, 81.89 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves are located in OPEC member countries, with the bulk of OPEC oil reserves in the Middle East, amounting to 65.36 percent of the OPEC total, latest OPEC data shows.

Pakistan’s foreign minister also said that his government has already taken an undertaking from ExxonMobil to set up a generation complex worth $10 billion.

“They are also putting up an LNG berth at Port Qasim, the second seaport in Karachi. They have already paid for the drilling rights in Pakistan,” Haroon added.

He said: “Pakistan is providing a level playing field to foreign investors and they are interested in coming to Pakistan. What we need to do is to meet their standards and attract them to make investment.”

In May 2018, the ExxonMobil had acquired 25 percent stakes in offshore drilling in Pakistan. The agreement was signed at Prime Minister’s Secretariat among ExxonMobil, Government Holdings Private Limited, PPL, Eni and the Oil and Gas Development Corporation.

The agreement has reduced the drilling share of other partner exploration companies to 25 percent each.

Haroon said that Pakistan is being dragged into the US-China trade war but “the country is maintaining its impartiality.”

“When we sought a much-needed external loan from China, which they initially had refused, the US expressed its annoyance,” Haroon added.

Pakistan currently meets only 15 percent of its domestic petroleum needs with crude oil production of around 22 million tons; the other 85 percent is met through imports. The country facing huge current account deficit of up to $18 billion is spending a substantial amount of foreign exchange reserves on import of oil. The import bill of Pakistan rose by to $12.928 billion in the July-May 2017-18 period of the last fiscal year.

Pakistan’s foreign minister also talked about the current water crisis and its impact on Indo-Pak relations. “India is acting to control water flows which would endanger Pakistan’s food security and they would ruin our crops,” he said.

Haroon called for the integration of Karachi Port and Port Qasim so that they could supplement each other in the larger interest of the country.

He underlined the need for a new area for a fish harbor as the existing one has many issues and there is shortage of land. He regretted that the harbor is not well kept and hoped that the European Union will give subsidy for a new one.

Ghazanfar Bilour, president of the FPCCI, said that Pakistan trade was facing global competition both in terms of marketing products and trade diplomacy as the agreement signed by Pakistan to expand exports was not providing potential benefits. “We need strong advocacy to achieve market access for Pakistani products in other leading markets, and correction in the existing bilateral trade agreements,” he noted.

Tariq Haleem, vice president of the FPCCI, called for bringing down the cost of doing business and improving efficiency at all Pakistan ports.

“At Karachi Port, about 27 million tons (import and export) of dry and liquid cargo is handled per annum. But, in actual fact, these volumes were not satisfactory, the reason being the extreme shortage of space at the Karachi port,” he said.

Source: Arab News

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Social Activists’ Role Highlighted For Women Empowerment In Balochistan

Social Activists’ Role Highlighted For Women Empowerment In Balochistan

ISLAMABAD, May 16 (APP):Speakers at a seminar here Wednesday highlighted the role of social female activists for empowerment of women in Balochistan and bringing change in the rigid and insular approach of society, especially in rural areas of the province.

They paid tribute to two activists Asyah Nasir and Saleha Bibi for becoming a role model in villages by assisting the poor and deserving people to avail livelihood opportunities, get education and access health facilities.

The seminar was organized by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) to share achievements made under the Programme for Poverty Reduction (PPR).

The programme financed by the Italian government through the Agency for Development Cooperation, is being executed in 14 districts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, focusing on establishing basic health and education services, social mobilization, livelihood enhancement and protection, construction and improvement of small-scale community infrastructures.

Addressing the seminar, Secretary Education Balochistan Noor ul Haq Baloch said both Asyah Nasir and Saleha Bibi were a role model for social activists, who were working for empowerment of the under-privileged segments of society in Balochistan.

He underlined the need for community involvement in improving educational facilities in the province. The government was working to enhance the community role in the education sector by setting up Parents-Teachers Meeting Committees (PTMCs) in schools. “The community involvement is imperative for bringing a change in the society,” he added.

He said the government had planned to establish 500 community schools in phases to end illiteracy in the province.

Saleha Bibi, a resident of Lasbela district and Vice President of Local Support Organizaton, said all 55 households of her village were poor with a little access to education, health and other facilities. Women were particularly the most deprived in the rural areas, unaware of their basic rights and negligible role in decision-making, she added.

Saleha said she made untiring efforts to create awareness among the women of her area about their social rights.She got training under the social mobilization component of PPR, which helped her convincing the village women to make efforts for their own uplift and that of the people in their surroundings.

Asyha Nasir, another braved woman who migrated from Turbat to the port city of Gwadar, said she left her job with Pakistan Navy to teach the children of her area. She established a school in the open in her village with enrollment of 20 students, whose number had now grown to 115 students, she said, adding that the PPR had played an important role in that regard.

She said she also provided midwife services, besides taking part in other projects related to women development.

PPR’s Manager Sarfraz said the Italian government had provided Rs 5.5 billion to the PPR, which established 30 community health centers, 170 community schools and 1340 small infrastructure projects across in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Some 4,200 Community Organizations (CO), 644 Village Organizations (VO) and 42 Local Support Organizations, consisting of 20 to 25 members at community, village and union council levels respectively, were working under the Programme for poverty alleviation through creating sustainable conditions of social and economic development, he added.

The secretary education gave away souvenirs and cash prizes to Asyah Nasir and Saleha Bibi for their services towards women empowerment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mobile company will provide compensation to families of labourers killed in #Kharan gun attack

Mobile company will provide compensation to families of labourers killed in #Kharan gun attack

Ufone says will provide compensation to families of labourers killed in Kharan gun attack

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered cellular service provider Ufone to submit a complete financial plan for compensation to the families of six labourers who were gunned down while fixing the company's cellphone tower in the Liji area, in Balochistan's Kharan district on May 3.

The gun attack orchestrated by unidentified motorcyclists left six labourers belonging to Okara dead, while another was severely injured.

A two-judge bench ─ comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan ─ heard the case after Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the matter on May 5.

In today’s hearing, the lawyer representing Ufone told the court that the widows of three of the labourers would receive Rs20,000 per month and the company would pay for the educational expenses for their children.

“The families of the labourers will also receive Rs1 million,” he said.

When asked about the labourer injured in the attack, the company's lawyer told the court that he had been moved to a hospital in Lahore for treatment.

Hearing this, the bench ordered that Ufone should present a financial plan for compensation in court.

The court also asked the additional advocate general, who was present in court, to see what measures the Punjab and Balochistan governments were taking for the families of the labourers.

“I can find out and let the court know about the provincial policy regarding providing compensation to the affected families,” the AAG said as the hearing was adjourned until Thursday, May 17.

In a previous hearing of the case, conducted on May 11 at the Quetta registry of the SC, the chief justice had regretted that no security had been provided to the workers, and was told by the home secretary that Ufone’s contractor had neither applied for a no-objection certificate nor asked the government to provide security to the workers.

Read on

Friday, May 11, 2018

Zong 4G reaches #Gwadar - No.1 Data Company of Pakistan Continues its Expansion Nationwide

Zong 4G reaches #Gwadar - No.1 Data Company of Pakistan Continues its Expansion Nationwide

ISLAMABAD: In a prolific development, Pakistan’s largest telecom network Zong 4G has launched its operations in the port city of Gwadar, a future international business hub which has already seen foreign and local investment amounting in billions of dollars and rupees.

The launch of fastest 4G services in Gwadar implies that foreign citizens from across the globe and local residents who have been pursuing their respective business endeavours in the port city will have unhindered access to the fastest 4G technology against reasonably affordable tariff. The move is likely to boost online businesses in the fast developing international city and the adjoining belt of rural Sindh. 

With its 4G consumer-base already having exceeded the 6 million mark, Zong eyes to keep expanding its matchless voice and data services. 

“Zong 4G’s network expansion symbolises our customer-centric approach to ensure that the interests of consumers stay above all the rest by offering them best and affordable network,” the telecom company said in a statement. 

“We keep expanding our operational portfolio to ensure enhanced operations in cities, towns, villages, and far-flung areas,” it said.

The ongoing momentum of the rapid network expansion implies that Zong 4G continues to invest heavily in modernisation of the mobile network to respond to growing market needs.

Innovation, performance and reliability have long been Zong’s hallmark. The No.1 Data Company of Pakistan epitomises professional excellence and digitised supremacy coupled with its customer-oriented policies with an aim to deliver the best but at highly affordable rates.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Chief Justice orders police to arrest a 70-year-old man over marrying 10 year old girl

Chief Justice orders police to arrest a 70-year-old man over marrying 10 year old girl

Chief Justice orderes police to arrest a 70-year-old man over marrying 10 year old girl  

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday ordered police to arrest within 10 days and present in court a 70-year-old man who has been accused of attempting to forcibly marry a minor girl in Balochistan’s Qila Abdullah district.

The order came as a three-judge bench headed by CJP Nisar heard the underage marriage case at the Quetta Registry of the Supreme Court.

Balochistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) Moazzam Jah Ansari, district deputy commissioner and Qila Abdullah district police officer were present during the hearing.

“A 70-year-old forcibly claimed my 10-year-old sister in 2017,” the girl’s brother told the court, adding that as per cultural tradition, if a man resorts to aerial firing outside any person’s house he can claim a woman of the house as his spouse.

He further alleged that he was kidnapped on July 6, 2017, from Qila Abdullah’s Gulistan area in connection with this case.

“We are being openly threatened and police are not arresting the suspects,” the girl’s brother added.

However, an investigating officer said that four suspects were arrested but they have been granted bail by the Supreme Court. He added that the main accused is absconding.

The CJP directed that the absconder should be arrested immediately and adjourned the hearing of the case till April 23. (WebDesk)

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