Tag Archives: Pakistan

4 Pakistani students win $1 million Hult Prize

On Saturday night, former US president Bill Clinton presented Rutgers University’s Pakistani students Hassan Usmani, Hanna Lakhani, Moneed Mian and Gia Farooqi with US$1 million in start-up funding from the Hult Prize Foundation, a NGO dedicated to funding humanitarian initiatives.

The award ceremony was held at New York’s United Nations headquarters where contestants from universities around the world gathered for the end of the year-long competition.

The Pakistani group won the regional finals of the competition in March, out of 50,000 applicants, coincidentally a few days before Donald Trump announced a new executive order for a 120-day ban on Muslims from 7-Muslim majority countries entering United States. The Pakistani team beat groups from prestigious universities like Harvard, Yale and Purdue, and is one of five regional winners across the world, Umair Masood, Rutgers’ campus director for the Hult Prize, said.

The challenge was issued by Bill Clinton, member of Hult Foundation board of trustees, tasked contestants with finding a plan to address the world’s refugees, providing employment and restoring dignity by 2022.

The winning concept, Roshni (Light) Rides, is an eco-friendly rickshaw service, a two- or-three-wheeled passenger cart fueled by renewable energy that will allow refugees to travel with ease and without a financial burden.

Korangi Town is considered one of Asia’s largest slums housing about 2.4 million refugees from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

We hope to revolutionize the transportation world with Roshni Rides and help restore sufficiency and dignity to millions of refugees around the world,” Gia Farooqi said.

According to UNHRC there are over 70 million refugees worldwide. Muslim refugees make 60% of that count.

The Hult Prize is world’s largest prize for innovative university students. It was established in 2012 by Swedish billionaire entrepreneur Bertil Eric Hult, 76, who dropped-out from school after junior high.

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Pakistan Independence Day 2017

Today, over 160 million Pakistanis around the world are celebrating the 70th birthday of their nation on August 14, 1947.

Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang accompanied by a high-level delegation arrived in Islamabad to represent Chinese president Xi Jinping at the 70th anniversary of Pakistan Independence Day.

During his 3-day stay, Wang will participate in inauguration ceremonies of several China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and witness the signing of bilateral memorandums of understanding between the two countries.

In addition to China, Turkey, United States and Saudi Arabia also joined the celebration in different ways. Riyadh’s iconic Kingdom Tower turned green to mark Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkish Air Forces took part in Air Shows in Islamabad and Karachi on 14th August Pakistan Independence Day.

On August 13, Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa hosted country’s largest-ever flag at Pakistan-India border in Lahore to kick-off the celebrations across the country. The  flag is 12oft by 80ft in size was hoisted 400ft high – making it first in south Asia and 8th highest in the world.

Pakistan’s national anthem was sung by Americans, marking the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan (listen below).

Pakistan mourns German nun Ruth Pfau

Dr Ruth Pfau—File.

My birthplace is Germany but my heart beats for Pakistan – said Dr. Ruth Pfau.

Pakistan’s beloved German nun and physician Dr. Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau, 87, died in Karachi on August 10, 2017. Since 1960, she had been fighting leprosy in Manghopir, a poor neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan’s most populated city of 17 million since 1960.

The springs in Manghopir are fabled to cure leprosy.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussein described Pfau’s death as a great loss for the nation in which her clinics strive to save leprosy patients from disfigurement, blindness and social exclusion.

Pfau was known in Pakistan as the mother of leprosy patients and was compared by Radio Vatican in 2014 to Mother Teresa, another late Roman Catholic nun who helped India’s growing poor population for decades.

On Thursday, the BBC called her ‘Pakistan’s Mother Teresa’ which I think was an insult to her. India’s Mother Teresa was hated by Hindu extremists now ruling India for spreading Christianity. She was also accused of being on CIA payroll and supporter of Afghan Taliban.

Pfau had wished to be buried in Karachi from where she began her charitable work.

Leipzig-born Pfau had studied gynaecology in Bonn before she arrived in Karachi in 1960 en route to India as a new member of the Hearts of Maria Order.

I remember another German academic, Annemarie Schimmel, who fell in love with Pakistan through Allama Iqbal poetry. She authored over dozen books on Islam and Islamic influence on Europe’s enlightenment.

12 Pakistani-origin politicians elected to UK parliament

12 British Pakistanis elected to UK parliament12 out of 16 Muslims elected to British House of Commons are Pakistani-origin. Five of them are female; Naz Shah, Yasmin Qureshi, Shabana Mehmood, and Polish convert to Islam, Rozeena-Allin Khan, belong to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party while Nusrat Ghani belongs to Theresa May’s Conservative (Tory) Party.

The seven Muslim male MPS re-elected are Khalid Mehmood, Imran Hussain, Afzal Khan, Mohammed Yasin and Faisal Rasheed from Labour – and pro-Israel Sajid Javid and Rehman Chishti, former campaigner for Pakistan’s former prime minister Benazir Bhuttobelong to Conservative Party.

In 2015 only nine Pakistani-origin politicians won elections.

Other Muslim candidates who have made their way into parliament include Bangaldeshi-origin Roshanara Ali of Labour from Bethnal Green, professor Rupa Asha Huq from Ealing, and Tulip Siddique from Hampstead.

Palestinian-origin school teacher Lyla Moran is elected on Liberal Democrats ticket.

The UK is home to the largest Pakistani community in Europe, with the population of British Pakistanis exceeding 1.17 million out of country’s total Muslim population of 3 million. British Pakistanis are the second largest ethnic minority population in the United Kingdom and also make up the second largest subgroup of British Asians.

Corbyn will not be prime minister but has proved to be the most honest and pro-people leader in Britain at the present time. The Brexit issue prevented him from obtaining a majority or enough seats to form a coalition government. May’s strategy paid off in this regard. Many voters preferred the Conservatives over Labour because of Brexit negotiations. The Jewish-controlled British press played its part as well. The media ganged up against Corbyn and tried everything to stop his march towards the victory.

China to help Pakistan mine US$1 trillion mineral resources

China state companies have shown interest to help Islamabad mine huge mineral resources in country’s Balochistan province bordering Islamic Republic of Iran as part of China’s Silk Roads initiative.

China has pledged US$62 billion for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship OBOR project that first focused on Chinese state firms building Gwadar port in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea, roads and power stations, but is now expanding to include setting up industries.

Over US$1 trillion worth of natural resources have been reportedly discovered in the province including, Gold, Copper, Black pearl, Oil, Valuable Stones, Coal, and Chromite. However, terrorist groups funded by the US, Israel and India against Islamabad and Tehran in the province for decades had stopped its exploitation.

Any large-scale mining has failed to take off. Foreign firms have been put off by security fears and a high-profile litigation case with Canada’s Barrick Gold and Chile’s Antofagasta over Reko Dig, one of the world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper mines, in the province.

The dream of the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline passing through Balochistan has not completed since its beginning in the 1990s due to American pressure on Islamabad and the foreign trained-supported insurgency.

Last month, the Balochistan-based terrorists attacked Iranian border police killing 10 Iranian which brought warning from Tehran calling on Islamabad to tighten security along Pakistan-Iran border.

Last year, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi threatened Islamabad to stir more terrorism in Balochistan in order to divert world attention from independence protests in Indian occupied state of Kashmir.

Trump woos Pakistan to isolate China

On Friday, Donald Trump’s pro-Israel national security adviser Lt. Gen. McMaster landed in Islamabad on his first trip to the region. After Pakistan, he is scheduled to visit Afghanistan and India. He called on Pakistan’s finance minister Sen. Ishaq Dar in Islamabad and relayed Trump administration’s wish to work with Pakistan to pursue the common objectives of peace and security and economic well-being of the people.

Dar said Pakistan believes in a peaceful neighborhood, and the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was keen to work with friends and partners for peace and stability in the region and beyond.

Coincidentally, on Friday US boycotted Moscow Peace Conference to resolve the US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan since November 2001. Washington branded it a unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region.

The conference was attended by diplomats from Russia, China, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. NATO nations and the United Nations skipped the conference.

McMaster’s visit came one day after the US air force tested its Mother of all Bombs (MOAB) in Afghanistan’s Nangahar province near the Pak-Afghan border to protect US-Israel-India terrorists operating in the country from pro-Pakistan Taliban. The test killed 36 civilians.

Since the America’s anti-Russia coup in Ukraine, Russia, a staunch ally of India since 1950s, has now joined India’s regional adversaries, China and Pakistan to form a powerful realignment to challenge the hegemonic power of the US in the world.

Trump is also bullying North Korea, another ally of Pakistan, Iran and China – not because it poses any security threat to United States – but because Israel considers N. Korea an enemy state for its support for the oppressed Palestinians.

Atia Ali Kazmi, a senior research and policy analyst in Islamabad penned an article for the US-based Israel lobby mouthpiece The Hill (February 13, 2017).

Both Trump and Sharif desire to reduce the security cost of hosting refugees and defeating terrorism. In pursuit of these common interests, Pakistan can play a vital role. In return, Pakistan would expect, at minimum, an end to the eight years of hostility under President Obama. Washington could reciprocate by nuancing its policy and eschewing the word ‘Islamic’. Islam is an anathema to terrorism and it is a religion of peace. As one of the most populous Islamic states, Pakistan wants to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Kazmi said.

Pakistan’s only Jew declared ‘insane’ by his brothers

Brothers Say Pakistani Man Claiming Jewish Roots Is 'Insane' - Forward;

Three years ago, Israeli blogger Marc Goldberg had reported that Pakistani-born Faisal became country’s only Jew by claiming that his mother was born into an American Jewish family who married a Muslim engineer from Pakistan. Thus, under Jewish Halakah (Shari’ah) he was a bona-fide Jew. His three brothers from the same mother had refused to declare their Jewishness.

On April 9, 2017, America’s oldest newspaper, Jewish Daily Forward claimed that Faisal’s brothers have call him insane who has brought shame to their mother.

According to the paper, “Faisal Benkhald, 29, who took Yiddish name Fischel was finally got registered as the only Jewish citizen of the country after three-year legal battle. He claims that his mother used to bake Challah and light candles on Shabbat.”

His brothers who are older than Fischel, told the Jerusalem-based the Times of Israel that both of their parents were born Muslims and the dude is lying to receive money from Evangelic groups and help to get political asylum in some Western country.

Their mother died 20 years ago and father shortly afterwards.

I wonder if Fischel ever thought of immigrating to neighboring Iran that has over 30,000-strong Jewish community. Once he get hooked-up with a Jewish woman – it would be damn easy to take political asylum in the US or UK.

Fischel is not alone anymore. Thanks to Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka – now everyone wants to be Jewish, according to two Jew researchers, Dr. Netanel Fisher and Prof. Tudor Parfitt.

For thousands of years, the Jewish people were perceived as a rejected group. No one wanted to join. If there were any massive movement, it was in the opposite direction. Many Jews tried to shake off the ‘Jewish weight’ off their shoulders and assimilate into the general society,” says Fisher.