Sunday, 30 March 2014

BOOK NAME: The Waterless Moon AUTHOR: Elizabeth Balneaves PUBLISHER: Lutterworth Press – London DATE OF PUBLICATION: 1956

A banker by profession, Salim Ansar has a passion for history and historic books. His personal library already boasts a treasure trove of over 7,000 rare and unique books.

Every week, we shall take a leaf from one such book and treat you to a little taste of history.

BOOK NAME: The Waterless Moon

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Balneaves

PUBLISHER: Lutterworth Press – London

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 1956

“This is an extraordinary book, written by an extraordinary young woman, a young woman of courage and grit, inspired with an avidity for adventure, the more dangerous the more attractive, and with all this that rare gift of close observation, and the faculty of describing what she sees in vivid language.

“The Punjabis are athletic and graceful; the men have always provided one of the main units of the defence forces, and are fine natural horsemen. The famous stud farms of Montgomery and Sarghoda have supplied both horses and mules for the Army and the surrounding districts, as well as the finest race-horses in India — actually, one of these from the Renala Stud has been exported and raced in Britain. For hundreds of years, dangal, or wrestling, has been the sport of the youth of what is now known as Pakistan and the cradle of its origin, the Punjab. Dangal is largely an inherited art, its secrets passed on from father to son. The wrestlers command tremendous honour and respect and ranked at one time among their patrons some of the richest and most influential of the Indian maharajahs. Trials of strength and skill have always delighted and impressed Islamic peoples, and dangal in Pakistan has never deteriorated into the brutality which has come to be associated with “all-in” wrestling in the West. It bears indeed a certain family resemblance to the Cumberland style, seen so often against the sombre background of fell and dale.

BHOLO’S SCHOOL OF WRESTLING

“While we were in Karachi, I was lucky enough to attend as a member of the Press-and, I may add, the only woman in about five thousand spectators-an exhibition of wrestling in the Y.M.C.A. grounds, and afterwards to receive a personal invitation to visit the wrestlers at the Akhara Bholu Pahalwan, Bholu’s School of Wrestling. The Prime Minister, Kwaja Nazimuddin, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Moulvi Tamizuddin Khan and the Khan of Kalat were among the spectators, while Major-General Akbar Khan acted as referee.

“The loudspeakers blared forth across the arena, flanked with excited crowds, turbans and lungis brilliant with colour, sprinkled like confetti amidst the starched white of shirt and shalwar. ‘Bholu Pahalwan, Rustem-i-Pakistan! Hamida Pahalwan, Rustem-i-Hindustan Achha Pahalwan, Rustem-i-PunJabV’ (Bholu the wrestler, Champion of Pakistan, Hamida, Champion of Hindustan, and Achha, Champion of the Punjab.) A wild surge of cheering greeted the champions as they advanced towards the ring, the sunlight seeming to magnify their great girth. Bholu leapt into the air, shouting ‘Allah Akbar!’ (God is great). Aslam, alias Achha Pahalwan, draws a specially admiring burst of applause, for he is tall, handsome and well-built, and so far has not seen fit to put on mere weight of flesh. The band of the 8th Punjabis marches and countermarches to the skirl of the pipes, and above the noise of cheering floats nostalgically the Scottish air, ‘Over the Sea to Skye’.

“I was shivering with excitement, not quite knowing what I had let myself in for, and quite alone. The only other occupant of the little ringed-off space in which I sat in state was a middle-aged imposingly upright figure, resplendent in purple turban, gold embroidered lungi and fine muslin shirt. He had long, fierce black moustaches, but the piercing black eyes heavily ringed with surama were kind, and even to my unprofessional eye he look as though he might know something about the game.

“Diffidently I sidled forward and essayed a shy ‘Assalau Aleikum?’ Slightly startled, he turned round and nodded pleasantly, ‘Waleikum, salaam!’ although he could not fail to have been a trifle disconcerted by the appearance of a European women at a wrestling exhibition. I asked him the names of the contestants and from that we drew up our chairs and I realized that somehow I was in on the ground floor, so to speak, for he knew all there was to know about Punjabi wrestling. It was only later in the afternoon that General Akbar Khan told me I had been talking to the great Gama Pahalwan, Rustem-i-Zaman, at seventy-five undefeated Champion of the World. This fine old man is a legendary figure! in the sporting world, and every Pakistani schoolboy knows h name. Wrestling is in his blood. Gama’s father and grandfather were wrestlers before him, and he has known no other life, nor would he wish to, for his heart is bound up in the game, and even to-day his strength is phenomenal.

“He told me that the finish of about is declared when one or other of the opponents is brought down with his shoulder-blades resting squarely on the ground. The actual platform where the wrestling takes place is a square of concrete about twenty-five feet in width and filled in with soft sand, the whole being raised about four feet or so off the ground and reached by four steps on either side. After each about, grounds men leap up and thoroughly rake and break up the surface. There are no ropes round the ring, and time and again a sudden move results in two bodies locked in an embrace toppling headlong over the edge. If the referee is quick enough, he can very often succeed in stopping the fight just before this point is reached and ordering the wrestlers back to the centre, where he places them meticulously in the precise position in which he found them. Usually dangal begins with bouts between comparatively unknown men who hope one day to make their names. Sometimes so anxious are they to get to grips with each other that they begin the bout before they reach the ring, and friends have to rush out and separate them. Invariably there will be a couple of young boys, thin, skinny little creatures with cropped heads and minute satin triangular pants, made all the more tiny in comparison with the enormous figures of the professionals. Throwing a few handfuls of sand at each other in the approved style in order to give each other a grip, they grapple like veterans, to the delight of the crowd.

“Dressing-rooms there are none. The wrestlers change in the open air on the edge of the arena. Although women are rarely, if ever, present, the rules of modesty are strictly observed. Each group of wrestlers squats in its own little circle surrounded by intimates and supporters, often complete with an attendant band of musicians who have accompanied their triumphal progress through the streets from their gymnasium. One of the most amusing names among the competitors, which threw me into fits of uncontrollable mirth, belonged to one Babu, nicknamed Pari Pekar, or Fairy Body. Needless to say, anything less like a fairy could scarcely be imagined.

“After the exhibition, I promised Gama to go and visit him at the wrestling school next day. Practice is held in the courtyard of a house in the Pakistan Chowk, where the wrestlers live and train in an atmosphere of almost monastic seclusion, in which my invasion was an unprecedented event. Discipline is rigorously enforced, and even wives have to be content with a brief visit perhaps once in two years, when their husbands are permitted to make the long journey north to their homes in the Punjab. They rise at five o’clock, and after washing, followed by morning prayers, an unfailing ritual, they begin their exercise, then bathe, massage and breakfast. They eat a tremendous amount of food, consuming between them about ten pounds of meat a day, and each accounting for more than five sers of milk. They posed for me in every conceivable attitude, but were more eager to have a “nice picture” than a realistic one of actual combat, and I was forced to use my puny strength to push and shove them into sufficiently active holds for a convincing shot.

“Gama sat enthroned in a corner like a venerable patriarch, beaming on us all and on myself in particular. He insisted on my drinking great tumblerfuls of thandiai, a thick, sweet, milky liquor, prepared from pure crushed almonds and sugar, a beverage to which they attribute much of their strength, and tasting to the, novice uncommonly like hand-lotion.

“At every gymkhana in the Punjab and even further north there are wrestling bouts, but so far few have arisen who can challenge the supremacy of Bholu or his younger brother, Aslam. Hamida has since died while on a tour of India, but Gama still sits and offers advice and remembers the days when he was Rustem-i-Zaman.

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Students of Degree College protest struck off by the college administration due to low attendance

CHITRAL (APP): Students of Degree College Saturday here protested against arrest of their colleagues by the police after their names were struck off by the college administration due to low attendance. According to Principal Degree College attendance of some students was below 20% and according to rules they cannot forward their admission forms for examination to university. He said that some student leaders protested against this and blocked the road. The principal said that those who were arrested by police were not nominated or pointed out by college administration. The protesting students alleged that the college administration had sent fake attendance report to the university to deprive them from appearing in the examination.


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Iqbal Zubairi Yadain aur Baatain (Biography) By Rafi-uz-Zaman Zubairi Fazlee Books, Karachi

Iqbal Zubairi is an honoured name in the world of journalism. He can be called an icon and torch-bearer who led the way for others to follow. Now his brother, Rafi-uz-Zaman Zubairi, has come out with a book Iqbal Zubairi: Yadain aur Baatain, to acknowledge his work. Having lost his father at a young age, Iqbal Zubairi was brought up by his mother. After coming to Pakistan after Partition and spending some time with his brother, he moved on to Rawalpindi and joined the Daily Tameer. From there, as it is said, there was no looking back. Zubairi started a new paper called Naqoosh fom Pindi and later became the chief editor of Daily Mashriq, besides being at the helm of affairs in Kohistan and later Nawa-i-Waqt. The book is a compilation of short tributes not only by his family members but also by a number of former colleagues and friends, prominent among them being Majeed Nizami and Nazir Haq who have highlighted Zubairi’s professional acumen and his ability to plan and make maximum use of minimum resources, as well his simultaneous dedication to his profession and his family.

Iqbal Zubairi Yadain aur Baatain (Biography) By Rafi-uz-Zaman Zubairi Fazlee Books, Karachi

While one may feel that the tributes by Zubairi’s daughters are more or less similar, they highlight his whole life, not only as a father but as a professional as well. The most interesting parts of the book are the chapters where one gets to learn about the way journalism was practiced, say 40 years ago. Present-day journalists, with all the information at their fingertips thanks to modern technology, can hardly comprehend the challenges faced by journalists in those days. Without any intention to underestimate the hard work and efforts of present-day journalists, one would like to quote a couple of examples from Zubairi’s early career.

His daughter Neelofer narrates that in 1968, the wedding of Princess Sarvath and Prince Hasan of Jordan, in Karachi was being covered by all newspapers, but for a paper being published from Lahore printing the pictures the very next day was a great feat. However, Zubairi sahib made arrangements in such a way that his paper managed to print the photographs which resulted in the day’s issue being received with great enthusiasm.

Then we have Nazir Haq painting a picture of how the first edition of Kohistan, Multan, was published. Haq had been called in to join the team and was surprised to find no teleprinters in the office. Zubairi calmly came up with an alternative arrangement: the APP’s office was nearby and couriers would deliver the news on an hourly basis while any urgent news was communicated via telephone. News thus gathered was sorted out and written in hand. While the technology was limited, there was no shortage of commitment. If they had set their minds on bringing out the edition the next day even a severe storm and power outage could not hamper their determination. The first edition of Kohistan was out in the market on the day and date that was set, late by only two hours.

Zubairi is also remembered as a kind person. Not only a loving and caring father, he was also a friend to all he came in contact with and did not hesitate in going out of his way to help people. Glowing tributes in the book make it clear that it is people like him who are remembered.

The reviewer is a Dawn staffer

Iqbal Zubairi: Yadain aur Baatain

(Biography)

By Rafi-uz-Zaman Zubairi

Fazlee Books, Karachi

86pp.


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CJP graces 77th convocation Kinnaird College for Women

LAHORE – The 77th convocation the Kinnaird College for Women was held on Saturday.
Chief justice of Pakistan Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani presided over the convocation while Kinnnaird College Principal Dr Rukhsana David, members of the Board of Governor, faculty members and a large number of students and parents attended the ceremony.
Addressing on the occasion, the CJP said commended the role of judiciary and said it had admirably strived to strength democracy and to ensure fundamental rights provision, and law and order under the Constitution. He said the Constitution not only mandated equality between the citizens but added a rider that this equality should not prevent the State from making any special provisions for the protection of women and children. He said empowerment of women was the means to realizing the cherished goal of a tolerant, moderate and progressive Pakistan, where all of its citizens enjoy equality in rights, equitable opportunities and reach excellence in their chosen professions.

He expressed his anxiety over the grave problems facing by the country presently and said that it was an awful fact that more than half of the population under the age of 22 in the country had not joined schools. He said more than 1,000 schools and colleges were destroyed by insurgents in KP and added that country spent only 1.9 percent of national budget on education. He said according to a report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 56 women were killed in 2013 in the country for giving birth to a girl; where 491 cases of domestic violence, 344 cases of assault on women, 90 cases of acid attack and 835 cases of violence against women were registered last year.

He said, “You are living in a country where children die of draught, malnutrition, hunger and disease but billions go waste, polio vaccine workers are shot; where men and women are being killed in the name of one sectarian dogma or the other.”
CJ Jillani said that it was heartening to realize that the overwhelming majority of people do not subscribe to the myopic interpretation of our faith. He said no nation could survive without modern education. He ensured the audience that the superior judiciary was sensitized and cognizant to the problems faced by women and had adopted a dynamic approach to protect their rights under the law. “The founder of this country was a progressive visionary. He was conscious of the role of women in society” CJ mentioned.
Justice Jillani also appreciated the 21 per cent representation given to women on general seats in the National Assembly and 17.6 per cent in all the four Provincial Assemblies. He said the vigilant civil society and vocal media had brought injustices in focus.
“There is change and progress but it is not enough”, he stated.
The CJP also attended the ground breaking ceremony of the Nadira Hassan Law Department Kinnaird College for Women. On the occasion, he congratulated the principal. He said the decision to open the law school meant only for females would be welcomed as many families prefer their daughters to go to all-girls law school.

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Graduation ceremony at Treehouse Nursery and Kindergarten

Islamabad The Treehouse Nursery and Kindergarten celebrated its annual graduation ceremony attended in a large number by the parents of children ranging from the ages of 18 months to 5 years.

The one and half hour ceremony consisted of more than 200 children performing various presentations of nursery rhymes, alphabet songs and Shakespeare plays.

The parents appreciated the children’s display of the pride of Pakistan that featured 3 year old children showcasing the famous personalities of Pakistan ranging from Abdul Sattar Edhi to Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Nusrat fateh Ali Khan. The parents cheered loudly and encouraged the children during their performances.

Speaking on the occasion Naadiya Manzur said “We are proud of our years of experience in children’s education and are excited to carry on the Treehouse philosophy into an elementary program with the launch of Grade 1 in August.”

The Treehouse provides a variety of interesting activities that are a delight for a child’s age, stage of development and individual preferences.

The show concluded with the Graduating class taking the Treehouse oath and singing Allama Iqbal’s famous poem ‘Bachay ki Dua’ and a final walk, making it a very proud moment for the parents.

“The Treehouse prides itself on individual attention given toward each child and making these young angels well rounded global citizens of tomorrow. “ she added

The administration had done a splendid job with the arrangements and the applause for the young and talented children lifted the spirits of old and young alike. The Treehouse is located in the heart of F-8 in Islamabad.


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Education vital in uplift of country: Assistant Agency Education Officer Hastam Khan Pakistan became nuclear power as education

LANDIKOTAL: Assistant Agency Education Officer Hastam Khan Afridi said that education is the key to success and it was the only cause that Pakistan became nuclear power as education is playing a key role in the development of nation. 
He advised that the teachers should concentrate on their students and should perform their duties honestly.
He expressed these views while address as a chief guest at annual prize distribution organized by Government Primary School Mirdad Khel Ashiqi Kili Landikotal.
Hastam Khan Afridi said that we should not ignore the importance of education in our life and through development in education sector, the nations achieves their goals, adding, that we could only compete the west by developing and giving importance to our education sector. \”A key role was played by scientist DrAbdul Qadeer Khan that Pakistan become nuclear power of the world and the main reason was the education and his scientific vision that he could achieved the goal\”, Hastam Khan said.

Afridi said that tribal people should give special importance towards education adding that teachers should perform their duties honestly to root out the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy from Fata.
Hastam Khan Afridi said that the main reason of backwardness was the illiteracy which should be root out adding that we could defeat the today\’s challenges by getting higher education.
Afridi lauded and congratulated the school teachers for arranging the ceremony for talented students and their hard work with students.
Head Master of Government Middle School Gagra Landikotal Khurshid Khan, Senior Vice President Mirdad Khel Welfare Organization Ahmad Shah Shinwari , teachers Haji Mukaram Shinwari and Farmanullah Shinwari also spoke on the occasion and urged the parents and teachers to give their more attention to the education of their children. Later, the chief guest Hastam Khan Afridi awarded cash, trophies and medals to the outstanding position holder students of the school. Habibullah Shinwari of class 4th got outstanding position in annual examination. F. P. Report 

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Caring Society organised 1st1st All Pakistan Inter Universities Essay Writing Competition

Inter-universities essay contest held
Rawalpindi Rawalpindi Arts Council in collaboration with The Caring Society organised 1st All Pakistan Inter Universities Essay Writing Competition.

The title of the competition was ‘Old age Homes, a blessing or curse’.

Senator Najma Hameed, Senator Karim Ahmed Khwaja, DG HEC Farman Ullah Anjum, Syed Khalid Ahmed, Ali Moeen Nawazish, Wasi Shah and

Rawalpindi Arts Council Resident Director Waqar Ahmed were guests of honor at the prize distribution ceremony held here.

The aim to organise essay competition was to know the opinion of younger generation about growing trend of old age homes in Pakistan like other foreign countries.

Zeeshan Fatima Rizvi from GCU, Lahore, bagged first position; Palwasha Saqib from Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, secured second, while Zaira Zulfikar from Riphah International University, Rawal-pindi, got third position.

The winners of the competition were also awarded Rs25,000, Rs15,000 and Rs10,000, respectively, along with shields.


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Karachi varsity drivers end strike thousands of Students did not get the buses (points)

KARACHI (Online): The drivers of the Karachi University ended their strike on Friday after successful negotiations with the university\’s registrar. Earlier this morning, thousands of the KU students faced inconvenience as they did not get the buses (points) due to the strike of drivers. Drivers and conductors of the university refused to drive the points yesterday and went on a strike. They were protesting against the bad state of the KU buses and said that any bad incident can occur due to the problem. They demanded removal of chairman transport, adding he is corrupt man.


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Engineering University Peshawar (UET) issued supplementary exams schedule

PESHAWAR (APP): Engineering University Peshawar (UET) has issued schedule for supplementary examination 2013, said a notification issued by controller examination UET here on Friday. According to the schedule, Ist year, 2nd year, 3rd year engineering supplementary exams would be held on April 18, 2014. Last date for submission of examination admission form with normal fee is April 4, 2014. Original receipt of examination fee, three attested copies of passport size pictures and DMC of previous exams should be attached with admission form.In case of non-compliance with these pre -requisites the forms would not be accepted.


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Parks and Horticulture Age organize Jashn-e- Bahran from April 12 in Nawaz Sharif public park

RAWALPINDI (Online): Parks and Horticulture Age has decided to organize 15-day Jashn-e-Baharan in Nawaz Sharif public parks. The event will continue from April 12 to 17. Managing Director PHA Mohammad Akram Soban said that financial and technical location has been invited from different parties. Food stalls, flower show, cut flower show, permanent activities and stall depicting different features of campaign against dengue fever will be set up in this event. This event will give a boost to the healthy recreational activities besides encouraging the young artists to put on display their flower work with innovation and ingenuity to attract art lovers to their work. In a sense it will come as a boon for the artists to get return of their epic work in the form of appreciation and sale of their items.


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