PTI chief Imran Khan burns electricity bill during speech at Islamabad sit-in while supporters in Karachi stage sit-in at Seaview

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan burnt his electricity bill while giving his speech at a sit-in at D-Chowk in Pakistan’s federal capital Islamabad as part of a civil disobedience movement to oust Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Numerous PTI workers also burnt their electricity bills at the sit-in.

Khan said that Pakistan’s Rs200 billion stashed away in Swiss banks will be brought back, adding that he will also reopen cases against the corrupt elements who secured their release from accountability courts.

Earlier, PTI and supporters staged a sit-in at Seaview in Karachi in support of the sit-in in Islamabad at 8:00PM. Traffic was expected to be disrupted in the Seaview and Clifton areas due to the sit-in.

Copyright TJH, 2014

Pakistani-American singer Roomi Khan coming to Pakistan on music tour

Pakistani-American singer Roomi Khan is coming to Pakistan to participate in three concerts.

Khan has a unique style of singing and has also appeared with Meeka Singh.

Copyright TJH, 2014

JSMM calls for provincial strike against MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s statement over division of Sindh province

The defunct Sindhi nationalist party Jiay Sindh Mutahida Mahaz (JSMM) has called for an all-Sindh to protest against the MQM leader, Altaf Hussain’s statement regarding division of Sindh. Around 50 fire crackers went off in various towns and cities of Sindh including Karachi but no major damage or injury was reported.

In Karachi, traffic was disrupted and shops closed in Sindhi dominated areas of Malir like Gulshan-e-Hadid, Natha Khan Goth, Safoora Goth, Ibrahim Hayderi, Hub and parts of Lyari.

It may be mentioned, Ulema Action Committee (UAC) and Jamiat Ulema Islam-Samiullah (JUI-S) group had also called for a strike in Karachi on Friday over the killing of Mufti Usman Yar Khan and other religious scholars. The UAC had warned of a nationwide strike as a second phase of their protest if their demand of forming a special committee to investigate the killing of Mufti Usman was not met.

Karachi Road Transporters also decided to keep their transport off the roads, however, taxis and rickshaws were available to commuters.

Copyright TJH, 2014

JUI-S leader among four killed in Karachi

The secretary general of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Sami-ul-Haq (JUI-S), Mufti Usman Yar was killed along with three others after unknown gunmen opened fire on their car, a domestic private channel reported.

Initial reports suggest the gunmen attacked the four men from both sides of the vehicle near the Awami Markaz on Shahra-e-Faisal.

Three of the injured succumbed to their wounds when they were shifted to the Jinnah Hospital for treatment. According to a hospital source, the victims were brought to the institute with bullet wounds to their chest.

Angry protesters pelted stones and forced a shut down of businesses and markets. Other protests are expected, which may result in traffic jams.

Copyright TJH, 2014

Government restores mobile phone services in Pakistan following Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi celebrations

Mobile networks have been restored in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan after phone services were suspended on the occasion of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi to celebrate birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal.

The day was celebrated throughout Pakistan with traditional zeal and fervour with rallies and processions marking the day in all cities celebrate the day including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

An International Seerat Conference was held in the Federal Capital Islamabad highlighting the life and achievements of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Seerat conferences were also held in provinces with religious scholars and intellectuals expounding on the life, teachings, sayings and philosophies of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

A 31-gun salute marked the day in the Federal Capital with special prayers offered after Fajr prayers for the prosperity of the country.

Mosques and other religious places were decorated to mark the occasion. Private and public buildings, commercial centres, bazaars, streets and roads were also illuminated with lights and decorated with banners to mark the religious festival.

Candles and oil lamps (chiragan) were lit on the eve of 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal to welcome the Prophet’s arrival and celebrate his birth.

Special calligraphy exhibitions and competitions of Naat and Qirat were organised for students and youngsters to highlight the significance of the day.

Sweets were distributed in schools, colleges, orphanages, widow and destitute homes, disabled and handicapped person homes and among prisoners.

Newspapers, magazines and other publications brought out special issues while the electronic media aired special programs highlighting the sanctity and significance of the day.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) is a public holiday in Pakistan. All government and semi government offices, and most private offices, businesses, shopping malls, post offices and educational institutions are closed to observe the sanctity of the day.

Strict security arrangements were set in place across the country, which included suspension of mobile phone services to ward off any untoward  incident. Pillion riding was also banned in Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Sindh as part of security arrangements.

Army and Rangers were kept on stand-by in Rawalpindi.

In Karachi, CCTV cameras were deployed along procession routes while security was provided by Rangers and police. Similar security arrangements were made in Lahore. In Quetta, over 2,000 police personnel and FC were deployed and route of the procession monitored by CCTV cameras.

Copyright TJH, 2014

Pakistan celebrates Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi with traditional zeal, fervour

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi was celebrated throughout Pakistan with traditional zeal and fervour to mark the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal.

Rallies and processions were taken out in all cities to celebrate the day including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

An International Seerat Conference was held in the Federal Capital Islamabad highlighting the life and achievements of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Seerat conferences were also held in provinces with religious scholars and intellectuals expounding on the life, teachings, sayings and philosophies of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

A 31-gun salute marked the day in the Federal Capital with special prayers offered after Fajr prayers for the prosperity of the country.

Mosques and other religious places were decorated to mark the occasion. Private and public buildings, commercial centres, bazaars, streets and roads were also illuminated with lights and decorated with banners to mark the religious festival.

Candles and oil lamps (chiragan) were lit on the eve of 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal to welcome the Prophet’s arrival and celebrate his birth.

Special calligraphy exhibitions and competitions of Naat and Qirat were organised for students and youngsters to highlight the significance of the day.

Sweets were distributed in schools, colleges, orphanages, widow and destitute homes, disabled and handicapped person homes and among prisoners.

Newspapers, magazines and other publications brought out special issues while the electronic media aired special programs highlighting the sanctity and significance of the day.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) is a public holiday in Pakistan. All government and semi government offices, and most private offices, businesses, shopping malls, post offices and educational institutions are closed to observe the sanctity of the day.

Strict security arrangements were set in place across the country, which included suspension of mobile phone services to ward off any untoward incident. Pillion riding was also banned in Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Sindh as part of security arrangements.

Army and Rangers were kept on stand-by in Rawalpindi.

In Karachi, CCTV cameras were deployed along procession routes while security was provided by Rangers and police. Similar security arrangements were made in Lahore. In Quetta, over 2,000 police personnel and FC were deployed and route of the procession monitored by CCTV cameras.

 Copyright TJH, 2014

Candle lit vigil to be held for Chaudhry Aslam, young Aitzaz Hassan

A candle lit vigil will be held by the civil society on Wednesday to pay homage to national heroes including the slain SP CID Karachi Chaudhry Aslam and young Aitzaz Hassan who lost his life when he overpowered a suicide bomber in Hangu district.

The civil society has condemned these suicide attacks on the slain SP CID Karachi Chaudhry Aslam and young Aitzaz Hassan who lost his life when he overpowered a suicide bomber in Hangu district.

Condemning the attacks, in a press statement on Monday, Civil Society Network Pakistan stated that these attacks are a failure of the government to protect the lives of its citizens. The statement added that the state’s fundamental duty is to provide protection to its people, but terrorists were moving freely and fearlessly carrying out their criminal activities.

Furthering the statement, the society also claimed that there was no writ of the government, which itself is a clear violation of the 1973 Constitution.

President Civil Society Network Abdullah Malik said that young Aitzaz Hassan and Chaudhry Aslam were real heroes of the nation, adding, civilised nations never forget their heroes and, “We too remember our heroes who saved the lives of hundreds of school fellows and civilians.”

Terrorists were enemies of humanity and no dialogue should be held with them, he said.

“They are not Muslims as Islam is a religion of peace and humanity,” he said, adding, “Teachings of Islam are for the dignity of humanity.”

The government has to take strict action against terrorists who boldly claimed responsibilities of recent attacks in Karachi and Hangu, Abdullah said.

He paid rich tributes to Chaudhry Aslam and Aitzaz Hassan. About Chaudhry Aslam ahe said, he performed his duty with honesty and left behind an example of a brave officer. Talking about Aitzaz Hassan, he said, he was a real hero who saved the lives of his schoolmates by sacrificing his precious life, adding, he will be remembered for a long time in the history of Pakistan.

Malik said, a candle lit vigil will be held at Charing Cross on Wednesday evening where civil society organisations would pay tribute to real heroes of the nation.

Copyright TJH, 2014

Friend took bombproof vehicle back prior to attack: Slain SP Karachi’s widow

In an exclusive interview on Monday the widow of slain SP CID Karachi, Chaudhry Aslam, told a private domestic news channel that the bombproof vehicle which her murdered husband was using belonged to his friend who had taken it back a few days before the deadly attack.

“It is the responsibility of the government to provide a bombproof vehicle,” Noureen Aslam said. She also disclosed that the friend did not even come to offer condolences to the family.

Chaudhry Aslam was killed in broad daylight in Pakistan’s larget city and business hub, Karachi, when an explosive laden pickup truck rammed his vehicle on the Lyari Expressway on January 9. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to Noureen, Karachi Police Chief Shahid Hayat called Aslam on the telephone, telling him to report to office on the same day.

Police say the identity of the attacker was Naeemullah, who was a resident of PIB colony in Karachi.

Internal intelligence agency the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the case.

Sources say, a US criminal investigative body will work along with the FBI to probe the murder. Around 200 persons have been interrogated so far and statements of 35 persons recorded, they further said.

Copyright TJH, 2014

10 best films of 2013

By Linda Lautrec

To be fair, once again, I need to offer an explanation to those who have not previously read my “Ten Best Films” list in earlier years. I don’t see blazing action adventure, high speed car chases,sophomoric comedies, prepubescent party films, drug humor, gross out gore with no redeeming value, films that cross the acceptable taste barrier or futuristic science fiction films detailing the derailment and end of society as we know it. The resulting list may be a threadbare list of films released in 2013, but those that do land on my top ten list represent work that meets a modicum of standard movie making, and hopefully, a lack of pandering to the sensational or money making precepts that drives so much of the film world.

1. Philomena, Directed by Stephen Frears.

Based on Martin Smith’s book and true story, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee,” Frears presents the anguish of an Irish unwed mother whose moment of “weakness” thrust her into the bottomless pit of punishment provided by the Church and nuns in the name of providing a code of morality. Unbelievably, this practice of indentured servitude for “fallen” girls who become mothers outside of marriage existed until 1966. This imprisonment was also the premise of the film, “The Magdelene Sisters” describing the horrors of the disenfranchised victims. The difference is that Philomena, despite the dark humor, is more about forgiveness and the wide range of relationships that one can call “family.’
Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan who also co-authored the script) first meets Philomena’s daughter who has just heard that she has a brother turning fifty. Her mother, Philomena (played by Judy Dench) has held onto her secret long enough. Serendipitously, Sixsmith, a journalist in a career tailspin due to an erroneously sent email attends the same get together where Philomena’s daughter is working. She pitches the “human interest” story to him. At first, he refuses, but is attracted by an editor’s offer at fees and expenses.
The initial meeting between Philomena, a retired nurse prone to reading romance novels and Sixsmith is a mismatch of class and spirit.  Sixsmith is acerbic, bitter and cynical, but it is precisely this energy that complements the integrity, forgiveness and warmth of Philomena. As the two trace the dispensation of her lost child, Philomena gains strength while Sixsmith softens. Indeed, the lost mother-son relationship that Philomena seeks to recapture is somehow miraculously almost created in her bond that she forges with Sixsmith. The mystery leads them to uncover a bitter truth, but it is Sixsmith, who is more outraged by the cruelty than Philomena…almost as if it were his own mother who has been cheated out of any chance to connect with her son and vice verse. Dench plays her role of a simple Church going woman with modest desires and a less than critical eye toward literature. In fact, one of the best scenes is that of the pair seated on the back of a luggage cart whilst she describes (in painstaking detail) the synopsis of a novel that she has read. “I didn’t see that coming,” she says, and that is how we feel at the end.
If you are seeking a compassionate treatment, heartfelt sentiment with witty dialogue and a cry for justice, masterful acting, go! There is only one Judy Dench!
2. American Hustle, Directed by David O.Russell. Anyone who has lived in New York for even a brief time has likely encountered one or two of these character types who cross the NJ border “usually in the summer” to experience all that the city has to offer. Loveable Irving Rosenfeld played by Christian Bale demonstrates just enough innocence and humanity behind his “elaborate comb over” and protruding belly for us to forget and forgive the fact that he is defrauding real people of their life savings in order to maintain his own private life style complete with a seemingly brainless wife, Roselyn (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and an aspiring high roller girlfriend, Sydney (Amy Adams). He so aptly ingratiates himself to us that we are blind to the depth to which he is stooping.

The fact that it takes a con to con a con is the log line behind this comedic drama. When FBI low level worker, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) catches the duo, they are forced to go along with a scheme to apprehend major mob and government crooks by playing a role in a hilariously dangerous hoax that involves a fake Sheik Abdullah money man (really from Mexico) played by an innocent appearing Michael Pena. Nothing is what it seems to be from the hairdos like Richie’s permed hair, Sydney Prosser’s
“British heritage” to the final con, but watching these characters is fun. Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Politio, the only innocent involved is priceless as a Bobby Rydell Jersey Shore look-a-like unfairly entrapped much to the chagrin of Rosenfeld who (at last) develops a conscience. One hair brained scheme leads to a more fatally frightening one that is as hilarious as it is preposterous. Go!

3.  42
4. The Fifth Estate
5. Prisoners
6. Lovelace
7. Captain Phillips
8. The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Some of my Worst Films List:
1. Inside Lewellyn Davis
2. Don Jon
3. Frances Ha
4 . Identity Thief

The writer is a filmmaker and does selective review of films. 

Copyright TJH, 2014

JUI-S, JUI-F, ASWJ, JI, call for nationwide strike against drone strikes in Pakistan

A nationwide strike has been called by the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam–Sami (JUI-S) today in protest of drone attacks in Pakistan.

To protest against the victims of Ashura incident in Rawalpindi, Jamiat–Ulema Islam–Fazl-ur-Rehman (JUI-F) is likely to hold a demonstration at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) today.

In addition, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) will register their protest at Tibet Centre over the Pindi incident after Friday prayers.

Meanwhile, Jamat-e-Islami (JI) will protest against the drone attacks at Gulshan after Friday Prayers.

The protest are likely to cause traffic a jam on main routes of the city.

Copyright TJH, 2013

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