Pakistan News

Feeling nostalgic for Pyarey Afzal, Aasmanon Pe Likha or evenZindagi Gulzar Hai? Don’t.

Some on-air Pakistani dramas have a lot more to offer beyond typical teary-eyed masala themes and run-of-the-mill plots.

Thankfully, the Pakistani audience has moved on from the Turkish tide of glitzy Ishq-e-Mamnoon and innocuous Fatima Gul dramas, leaving local drama crews room to grow. This season, there are three dramas that give viewers something different – with a perfect blend of storytelling and challenging, new themes.


Chup Raho: Silence paves way for sex offenders

  • Directed by Yasir Nawaz; Written by Sameera Fazal

  • Starring: Jibran Syed, Sajal Ali, Arjumand Rahim, Feroz Khan and Shaheen Khan

  • Chup Raho airs on ARY Digital on Tuesdays.

The basics

Chup Raho is the story of Rameen (Sajal Ali), a woman who is subjected to sexual abuse by her brother-in-law (sister's husband), Numair (Jibran Syed). In an attempt to save her sister Manal’s (Arjumand Rahim) marriage and her own "reputation", Rameen is forced to bear Numair's vile acts in silence.

Why Chup Raho is worth watching

The drama tackles a taboo topic that – as depicted in the show – is never discussed in society, covered up, hidden or ignored, especially when family members are involved.

The reason why Rameen doesn’t confide in her husband, Azar (also Numair's cousin, played by Feroz Khan) or her sister Manal is that in Pakistan, women are pressurised to not speak up against such injustice and are expected to quietly endure everything, including sexual advances and attacks.

Staying true to life, Rameen does the same, and when she does eventually try to tell her husband, he gently reminds her that she iswehmi (paranoid).

The drama also depicts the monstrosity of the perpetrator, as they prey on a victim and casually slip away due to the very fact that they are a close relative.

What is also interesting to watch is Numair’s relationship dynamics with his own young daughter, Naila. Numair is shown to be extremely protective of Naila and e.g. is deeply offended when Manal and Azar pray for his daughter to be 'blessed' with a husband like her father.

Chup Raho aims to shed light and drive dialogue around this dark aspect of society, and kudos to the team for such an effort.


Jackson Heights: The expat challenge

  • Directed by Mehreen Jabbar; Written by Vasay Chaudhry; Produced by Humayun Saeed and Shehzad Nasib

  • Starring: Nauman Aijaz, Adeel Hussain, Amina Sheikh, Marina Khan, Adnan Jaffar and Ali Kazmi.

  • Jackson Heights airs on Urdu1 on Fridays

The basics

Set in New York, the drama revolves around obstacles faced by six South Asian immigrants, living in Jackson Heights, a part of New York where there is a large concentration of South Asian immigrants.

There is a jubilant cabbie, Imran Bhatti (Nauman Ijaz), a tough Pakistani Christian restaurant keeper, Michele (Marina Khan), an Indian Muslim banker, Rizwan (Adnan Jaffar), an adamant beautician, Salma (Aamina Sheikh), an optimist Jamshed (Adeel Hussain) and a con man played by Ali Kazmi.

Why Jackson Heights is worth watching

Jackson Heights is a fresh take on the lives of South Asians migrating to the US – an aspect that greatly concerns many middle class and upper-middle-class Pakistanis.

Bhatti’s difficult life is a reminder to all those who fantasize about living abroad. Living in the US because of his marriage to an American woman, he represents the plight of many who get married just for the sake of staying on in the US.

Salma and Michele, the lead female characters in the drama, project an image of strong, independent women, who are ready to take up challenges. They show a different side of Pakistani women, who are not meek and submissive.

Though a developing story, Jackson Heights looks promising and realistically captures the lives of South Asian immigrants.

Firaaq: Hate destroys all

  • Directed by Abis Raza Abidi; Written by Mustafa Bilal; Produced by Momina Duraid

  • Starring: Sanam Saeed, Mohib Mirza, Noor Hasan Rizvi, Uzma Gilani, Mazhar Ali and Junaid Khan.

  • Firaaq airs on Hum TV on Saturdays.

The basics

Set in the US, the story revolves around the lives of a broken family, living in Panama City, Florida.

Tabasum (Uzma Gilani), the matriarch of the family, has severe control issues, manifested because of her fears and insecurities. As a result, she is estranged from her children, Shams (Junaid Khan) and Paimaan (Sanam Saeed).

Shams eventually leaves the house when Tabassum remarries after her husband’s death. Later, he takes Paiman away from their mother as well, only to realise that Paiman is now rebellious enough to take the reins in her own hands and is ready to make her own decisions.

Why Firaaq is worth watching

A complex story of love, relations and responsibilities, Firaaq goes just a few steps further in portraying how family members play an important role in making or breaking a house.

Growing up with such a cantankerous mother was bound to have an impact on Shams and Paimaan's personalities. While Shams has anger issues, which manifest in his interactions with his wife, Paiman grows up to become a very reserved woman. Her deadpan voice and impassive face are the result of years of emotional abuse.

With many families breaking down emotionally and psychologically,Firaaq offers a window for viewers to examine the reasons behind such trauma – and the consequences that follow.

کویت سٹی(نیوز ڈیک) گلف ہائیڈرو کاربن پروڈیوسرز یورپی ویزے کی طرز پر کولیکٹو انٹری ویزا متعارف کروانے کا منصوبہ بنا رہی ہے جس سے 35ممالک کی شہریوںمستفید ہوں گے۔کویتی حکام کے مطابق یہ نیا ویزا چھ قومی گلف کارپوریشن کونسل کے ممالک یو اے ای، سعودی عرب، کویت،بحرین، قطر اور اومان میں سیاحت اور کاروباری تعلقات کو فروغ دینے کے ارادے سے متعارف کروایا جا رہا ہے اورا س ضمن میں یونیفائڈ ٹورازم ویزا زیر غور ہے جس سے عرب اور بیرون ممالک سے 35شہریوں کو آمدروفت کی سہولت ہو گی جوGCC آنا جانا چاہتے ہیں لیکن اس ویزا کو ورک ویزا کی حیثیت حاصل نہ ہو گی

ISLAMABAD: Three top Pakistani-American physicians were killed when their private double engine Beech craft Baron crashed Mondaynight at 2240 hours in Palos Hills, a city in the US state of Illinois.

The three were on board when the plane crashed in a Palos Hills neighbourhood soon after it took off from Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

"The three Pakistani-American physicians who died in the air crash were pulmonologist Dr Ali Kanchwala, cardiologist Dr Maria Javed, also wife of Dr Ali Kanchwala and neurosurgeon Dr Taufeequr Rehman — all based in Lawrence, Kansas," Pakistan's Consul General in Chicago Faisal Tirmizi told Dawn.

"They had gone to Chicago for a shopping trip and were returning in the evening when the aircraft crashed," Tirmizi said.

The Pakistani consulate has established the contact with the families and friends of the three deceased to provide necessary assistance.

The consulate also got in touch with Deputy Police Chief of Palos Hills James Boie once the news was received.

According to initial reports, it appeared that Dr Taufeeq who was flying the aircraft deliberately crashed it in an open area in order to protect houses in a heavily populated area.

"It came through the trees and missed all the houses," said Palos Hills Deputy Police Chief James Boie, adding that the plane's occupants were dead when first responders arrived at the scene.

The plane was headed from Chicago Midway International Airport towards Lawrence, Kansas, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Tirmizi said the funeral of Dr Ali Kanchwala and Dr Maria Javed was likely to be held in the US, whereas Dr Taufeequr Rehman’s remains are to be sent to Pakistan for burial.

LOS ANGELES: Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai, the daughters of US President Barack Obama, entertainers and a girl baseball player all made Time's annual list of most influential teenagers, the magazine said on Monday.

Nobel Prize Winner Malala, 17, the Pakistani education activist winner ; First daughters Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13; Grammy-winning New Zealand singer Lorde, 17, were all on the unranked list dominated by 20 females.

Time said it compiled its list of 25 teens — 29, counting accolades shared by siblings and partners — by analysing their social media following, business successes and cultural importance.

The youngest were Sasha Obama and fellow 13-year-old Mo'ne Davis, a pitching sensation who led her Philadelphia boys' baseball team to the Little League World Series and landed a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Tavi Gevinson, the 18-year-old fashion writer and founder of popular online magazine Rookie, was noted as emblematic of the contemporary teen in the Internet age, while transgender activist Jazz Jennings, 14, and Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, 18, also made the list.

The dominant categories were athletes, actors and singers.

Actors taking centre stage were Kiernan Shipka, 14, of “Mad Men,” Rico Rodriguez, 16, of “Modern Family” and “The Equalizer's” Chloe Grace Moretz, 17.

Pop singers Becky G, 17, and Austin Mahone, 18, earned plaudits as did New Zealand pro golfer Lydia Ko, 17, and Afghan National Cycling Team member Salma Kakar, 17.

Teens noted for business success include 15-year-old Erik Finman, founder of the online tutoring site; YouTube fashion star Bethany Mota, 18, and actress-turned-stockpicker Rachel Fox, 18.

Irish trio Ciara Judge, 16, Emer Hickey, 17, and Sophie Healy-Thow, 17, were noted for their discovery of bacteria that deposits nitrogen from the atmosphere into soil.

Los Angeles teen chef Flynn McGarry, 15, joined stars of Twitter's Vine short-form video service, Nash Grier, and singer Shawn Mendes, both 16.

Jaden Smith, 16, son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, was recognized for acting and his Twitter following, while reality TV stars the Jenner sisters Kendall, 18, and Kylie, 17, were noted for their burgeoning Hollywood and merchandising careers.

Also in the spotlight were 19-year-olds Megan Grassell, founded of the Yellowberry clothing company that makes bras for teens, and South African-Australian YouTube star and actor-musician Troye Sivan.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that his protest movement will complete one month on Saturday and vowed to put up a grand show to express national solidarity, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to participants of his Azadi sit-in at D-Chowk, he vowed to bring more evidence against the government to make his party’s case even stronger. “On Saturday, we will unveil things which should have been brought in the parliament,” he said.

The PTI chairman criticised the federal ministers for claiming a trillion rupees loss due to his and Dr Tahirul Qadri’s sit-ins in the federal capital. He demanded an explanation into the allegation.

Brushing aside allegations of paying electricity bills and not following his own civil disobedience movement, Khan termed it false propaganda. He urged the masses not to pay power bills.

Despite paying IPPs billions of rupees, why circular debt of the power sector has increased, he questioned.

The PTI chief reiterated his stance that holding peaceful protests were his party’s lawful right, adding that it was a battle between oppressors and oppressed.

Khan urged the nation not to waste this opportunity and join him at the protest sit-in.

Earlier, speaking to media representatives after conclusion of the 14th round of talks with the government, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that dialogue has entered into a ‘sensitive phase’ and refused to discuss it any further.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is also a member of the government negotiating team, affirmed Qureshi’s statement and expressed hope for an early conclusion of successful talks.

Like PTI, government’s dialogue with Dr Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) also continued as both sides met at the residence of PPP Senator Rehman Malik.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said that the FIR of Model Town incident has been registered according to PAT’s wishes and expressed hope for a transparent probe into the tragic incident.

PAT leader Rahiq Abbasi, however, ruled out a transparent and unbiased investigation into the killing with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif still in power.

Khan and Qadri have been protesting in front of the parliament to force resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections won by his PML-N party and CM Shahbaz Sharif over the Model Town incident.

Several rounds of talks have failed to resolve the over three-week-long crisis as protesters want nothing less than Sharif's ouster and fresh polls.

The government has ruled out prime minister's resignation and proposed a judicial commission to probe into the alleged rigging while Sharif has shown willingness to resign if the charges against him are proved.

The cricketer-turned-politician has moved his makeshift stage, set-up on a shipping container mounted on a truck, from in front of the Secretariat buildings to the D-Chowk facing the Parliament.

The anti-government cleric is also camping close to Khan's camp. His supporters have vacated the parking lot of the Parliament and are now sitting near the Constitution Avenue.

KARACHI: Pakistan’s exports of cement to South Africa may face serious problems as the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa has accepted an application in which it is alleged that Portland Cement imported from Pakistan is being dumped on the South African Customs Union (SACU) market.

The application was lodged by Afrisam (South Africa) (Proprietary), Lafarge Industries South Africa (Proprietary) Limited, NPC Cimpor (RF) (Proprietary) Limited and PPC Limited (the applicant) pleaded that Portland Cement, classifiable under tariff subheading 2523.29 arriving from Pakistan, was causing material injury to the SACU industry concerned.

The applicant submitted sufficient evidence and established a prima facie to enable the Commission to arrive at a reasonable conclusion that an investigation should be initiated on the basis of dumping, material injury and/or threat of material injury and casualty.

The period of investigation for purposes of determining the dumping in the country of origin will be from Jan 1, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013 while the period for determining material injury and/or threat of material injury will be from Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2013.

The allegation is based on a comparison between the normal value in Pakistan and the export price from Pakistan. The domestic selling price for Pakistan was determined based on a report by Genesis Analytics, titled “Pakistan cement price data for January 2013 to December 2013”. The export price for Pakistan was determined based on the official South African Revenue Service (SARS) import statistics. The dumping margin for Pakistan was determined to be 48 per cent.

On this basis, the Commission found that there was a prima facie proof of dumping, a threat of material injury and causal link.

Cement industry sources said that South Africa is the biggest market in terms of sea route where some 1.5 to 1.6 million tonnes of cement from Pakistan is exported, fetching around $125 million per annum. Some nine to 10 leading cement manufacturers were exporting cement to South Africa.

The application was brought on “Portland Cement” whether in “bulk” or “bagged cement”, and although the applicant provided injury information for the subject product, being “Portland Cement,” it requested the commission to focus the analysis of injury on “bagged cement” due to the following reasons:

Portland cement originating from Pakistan is imported in bag form only. There are no bulk cement imports from Pakistan.

This is because, it would be prohibitively expensive to import the product in any form other than in bagged form.

The bagged cement market comprises the major portion of the combined bag and bulk cement market (comprising the SACU industry). Bulk cement is used in large construction projects and sold to concrete product manufacturers, ready mix producers and blenders while bagged cement is mainly used in small construction projects. Bagged customers are mainly retailers which sell to customers for small projects.

It is, therefore, in the bagged cement market where Pakistani imports compete with the domestic industry and where the domestic industry is suffering material injury as clearly demonstrated in the injury information furnished.

RIYADH: A Pakistani national was beheaded by sword in the south west of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for the murder of an Afghan, the interior ministry said.

Mohammed Ayub Ajab Khan was convicted of having killed Khair Mohammed Saz by striking him with several blows from a metallic object, according to a ministry statement carried by official SPA news agency.

The execution raises to 34 the number of executions announced in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has large communities of people from Asian countries, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International on Monday denounced in a statement what it called a “disturbing surge” in the use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities must halt all executions,” it said after two sets of brothers were beheaded on Monday after being convicted of drug smuggling.

The rights group said Monday's beheadings brought the number of state killings in Saudi Arabia in the past two weeks to 17 -- a rate of more than one execution per day.

“The recent increase in executions in Saudi Arabia is a deeply disturbing deterioration. The authorities must act immediately to halt this cruel practice,” Amnesty's Said Boumedouha said.

Last year, there were 78 executions in Saudi Arabia and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced a “sharp increase in the use of capital punishment”.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the kingdom's version of Islamic sharia law.

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