UK visa in 15 days!
Applicants to get UK visa in 15 days
Islamabad, Dec 20: Getting a British visa
early has not been easy for Pakistanis. But this is likely to change as the UK
Border Agency, with its commercial partner Gerry's, has launched a premium
lounge service at its Visa Application Centre (VAC) in the city to facilitate
All categories of people, especially the business community,
will benefit from this facility and now a visa will be issued within 15 working
days on receipt of complete and genuine documents.
British Deputy High
Commissioner Francis Campbell, who is also director of the UK Trade and
Investment Pakistan, briefed the media on the additional service, and said it
would prove very helpful in growing the UK-Pakistan relationship on many fronts,
especially in boosting the bilateral trade.
This premium service would
provide top-class service to the business community in Pakistan, he said. He
said the premium lounge service would also help facilitate Pakistani people to
participate in the golden jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth-II and the
London Olympics scheduled for 2012.
Answering a question, Campbell said
the United Kingdom had been and would be supporting Pakistan in getting the GSP
plus facility in Europe. The UK, he said, wanted to raise the bilateral trade up
to 2.5 billion pounds by 2015 from its current level of 1.9 billion
He said his country gave a great importance to strong ties with
Pakistan as they were in the interest of both the nations. Regional Director UK
Border Trade Agency Mandy Ivemy said the premium lounge service was already
functioning at the British visa centres in Lahore and
Pakistan, she said, was very important for the UK regarding
trade and family visits. "We want to encourage people of Pakistan to visit UK.
We want bright students from Pakistan to study in UK", where so many students
were already studying in various institutions in her country, she
She urged that the people, especially Pakistani students, should
make sure that they submitted complete and genuine documents/ information while
applying for the UK visa to escape any delay or rejection of their
The information released by the UK Visa Centre on this
occasion said the Gerry's premium lounge in Karachi was a luxurious, dedicated
and convenient lounge for visa applicants, which provided a personalised service
for the submission of theirapplications and passports for visa processing. In
2010, the UK Border Agency received close to 100,000 applications from Pakistani
nationals, and the majority of them were processed within the published customer
service standards. The news
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Salary before Christmas at AIOU
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has announced
that it will pay salaries to all its Christian employees before
This was said by AIOU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi at a function on Monday.
Dr Sangi said all employees were equal before him and the university was just like a family unit.
Father of Thomas Church Islamabad Nadeem Kamran participated as a chief gust in the function. Dawn
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Unregistered Madaris to become illegal after Dec 31
Islamabad: Interior Minister declared on Monday that seminaries (Madaris) not
registered with the Wafaq Tanzeemul Madaris by January 1, 2012 would be
Talking to the media persons after a meeting with
Ulema here, he said those Madaris which do not have any affiliation with
Wafaq/Tanzeem Madaris should register themselves as early as possible;
otherwise, legal action would be taken against them.
The minister said:
"We all condemn the Sohrab Goth incident in Karachi where police rescued around
50 students of a Madrassa found chained in the basement," adding that the
Inspector General Sindh had presented a report in the meeting about the
Rehman Malik said the Sohrab Goth incident had defamed 'good
Madaris' functioning in the country. He appreciated the Ulema for their
cooperation during Muharram in which no untoward incident occurred.
minister said there were around 24,000 registered Madaris and the government
would now take legal action against those which were working
Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal committee Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman and
other Ulema who attended the meeting appreciated the government for taking steps
to improve the security situation and said they would continue extending their
cooperation for peace and betterment of the country.
The minister said,
"We should not believe in rumours and those who are spreading baseless rumours
should avoid doing so. President Asif Ali Zardari has arrived in Pakistan and I
welcome him and wish him good health."
Rehman Malik said he also held a
meeting with secretary information technology and chairman Pakistan
Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to discuss the issue of threatening e-mails
and unwanted Short Messaging Service (SMS).
He said he has directed the
PTA to ensure monitoring of e-mails so that those involved in such e-mails could
be nabbed and brought to justice. Similarly, he said, he has constituted a
committee to look into the matter of unwanted SMS. The body would prepare a
report in this regard. He said some people were spreading propaganda against the
country and unethical comments and disinformation through SMS, which was not
fair. Answering a question, he said all Ulema wanted that terrorists should lay
down arms and work for peace and development of the country.
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Preston University organises 'Fall Fest 2011'
Islamabad: Fall Fest 2011, a weeklong
festivity comprising several inter-university events, organised by the Preston
University, kicked off here on Monday, says a press release.
Inter-university sport competitions comprising cricket, badminton, table
tennis and football tournaments was declared open at the Islamabad Sports
Complex by Ahmad Yahya Khan, director general sports at the Higher Education
Commission (HEC). Universities participating in the cricket tournament are
Bahria University, International Islamic University, Hamdard University, ISRA
University, Preston University Islamabad, Kohat and Lahore, COMWAVE Institute,
Northern University and Quaid-i-Azam University.
participating in table tennis and badminton competitions are Women's Institute
of Science and Humanities (WISH), Quaid-i-Azam University, ISRA University,
International Islamic University, Bahria University, Hamdard University, COMWAVE
Institute and Preston University Islamabad and Kohat. In football tournament
Bahria University, International Islamic University, Hamdard University, Preston
University Islamabad, Northern University and Islamia College, Peshawar.
The second event was inter-university Qirat competition. Quaid-i-Azam
University, International Islamic University, Hamdard University, COMWAVE
Institute, Punjab University, Islamia College University, Peshawar, and Preston
University, Islamabad, Kohat and Peshawar participated. In the Qirat competition
first position was won by Muzzamel Shah Hashmi of International Islamic
University while Hamid Younus of Preston University, Islamabad won the second
position, Hafiz Tayyab of Preston University, Lahore, got third position.
Abdu Mohammad Atian, Director General, International Islamic Relief
Organization (IRRO), Islamabad, was the chief guest and distributed prizes among
the position holders of the competition.
The third and last event of the
day was bilingual (English/Urdu) debate competition. Quaid-e-Azam University,
International Islamic University, Hamdard University, Bahria University, Women's
Institute of Science and Humanities (WISH), COMWAVE Institute, Punjab
University, Islamia College University, Peshawar, and Preston University,
Islamabad, Kohat, Peshawar and Lahore participated. In English debate first
position was grabbed by Amber Nadeem Malik of International Islamic University,
second position was awarded to Shajar Abbas from the University of Punjab, and
Tehreem Gul Afridi of Women's Institute of Science and Humanities (WISH) got the
In Urdu debate, Hamza Tarar of the University of Punjab
won the first position, Second position was awarded to Haseeb ur Rehman of
Preston University, Islamabad while Ammara Sajjad Qazi of International Islamic
University got third position.
Senator Dr. Saeeda Iqbal, presided over
the bilingual debate competition and distributed prizes among the position
holders. The chief guests of all the events appreciated the talent of the
students. They congratulated the position holders of all the competitions. They
lauded efforts of the Preston University for organizing inter-university
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Schools lack libraries, playgrounds
Islamabad: Libraries, playgrounds and
apparatus for laboratories were found lacking in some of the 109 boys' secondary
schools monitored nationwide in November, reveals report of Free and Fair
Election Network (FAFEN).
The report said nearly two-fifths of the
monitored schools did not have libraries. FAFEN visited 109 boys' secondary
schools in 68 districts i.e. 46 schools in 27 Punjab districts, 32 in 22 Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa districts, 26 in 14 Sindh districts, two in as Balochistan and
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and one school in
More than 22% schools did not have apparatus for science
experiments, one-third did not have playgrounds while a quarter of them without
physical training instructors (PTIs). However, conditions of physical
infrastructure were well met as at least 85% of 109 boys secondary schools were
housed in buildings, had boundary walls, electricity, and fans, were well lit,
and had chairs and tables for teachers as well as black/white boards. However,
there were no sanitary workers in 27% schools.
ratios were observed in the schools where on average, a class of not more than
28 students was assigned to one teacher. Attendance levels were also good with
teachers' attendance falling between 76% and 100% in 101 schools. Students in 94
schools maintained the same level of attendance. The report said 334 teaching
posts and 136 non-teaching positions were lying vacant nationwide.
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Student Council of BEC takes oath
Islamabad: The Student Council of BEC
'O' Level, both for girls and boys, took oath of their offices at the
Beaconhouse Educational Complex, Rawalpindi, says a press release.
Colonel Nausherwan Janjua (Director Students' Affairs and Central
Academic Head) of Foundation University Institute of Engineering and Management
Sciences was the chief guest who awarded sashes and armbands to the members of
the newly inducted Student Council. Farooq Aqdas, senior journalist of daily
Jang and Saeed Akhtar, GM Dewan Petroleum were the guests of honour. School
Group Head, Safia Cassim, was also present.
The event started with
recitation from the Holy Qura'an. Ameena Rahman heads the BEC Girls 'O' Level
Student Council while the BEC Boys 'O' Level Student Council is headed by Salaar
bin Waleed. The students heading the societies of the council were appointed to
the office after a vigorous selection procedure.
Dr Shagufta Minhaj,
Headmistress Beaconhouse Education Complex, administered the oath from the
council members. She congratulated the newly appointed student body and advised
them to be role models for their peers. A soulful performance by the students'
choir entertained the guests while the ceremony.
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Students at SLS depict syllabus-related themes
Islamabad: The annual open day was held at SLS Montessori and High School, Peshawar Road.
Students with the
help of teachers transformed their classes into themes designated to them.
Parents appreciated efforts of students as they took rounds of classes that
depicted different themes related to syllabus. Parents interacted with children
and keenly listened to information they were providing to them.
life, village life, marine Life, the festivals of Eidul Azha, Eidul Fitr,
Christmas, religious places like temple, church and mosque were created in the
classes. Neighbouring countries of Pakistan were presented in the class where
the students were providing information regarding Iran, Afghanistan, India and
China. The students were dressed in their traditional dresses and offered the
parents to try out different cuisines that were the speciality of that country.
Life in the polar region and the life in the desert were also depicted.
An igloo was also made along with 'Eskimo' who highlighted various aspects of
life living in a polar region. Children presented solar system, ancient
civilization and Horror House. Greek mythology was also presented, where the
'Gods of Greek Mythology' provided information about themselves. The Greek Gods
Medusa, Athena, Zeus, Hades, Chinaera were dressed in the typical Greek dresses
and holding swords in their hands.
Principal Najma Shahid said that it is fun and learning way to incorporate their studies
into themes that they are depicting today. The children's participation is
tremendous as they are keen to learn about science and history and gathered
relevant information about different themes they were assigned to. We have
arranged for the eatables, face painting and games for the children and their
siblings also so that they can enjoy the open day to their fullest.
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Costume party at City School
Islamabad: The students of City School's junior branch in Sector F-11 were part of a fun-filled day when all
children at the campus were dressed up in different costume characters to
celebrate the annual costume party.
Sharing details of the activity,
Anila Paracha, the headmistress of the branch said that each and
every class was decorated differently by the students, who were asked to dress
up according to the decoration mood of the class. "The themes included various
Disney characters including some from Hollywood. All students, especially boys,
were extremely thrilled to see Spiderman and Batman themes," she
"It was amazing to see children spend the whole day in joy and
laughter. This is how where you change going to school every morning from
something the kids have to do to something the kids love to do," she remarked.
Students were dressed up in different costumes depicting Snow White,
Dora The Explorer, Ferries from Wonderland and different animal characters.
Parents visited the activity and appreciated the efforts of the school
management for coming up with innovative activities that keep kids involved in
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SLS School holds colourful sports day
Islamabad: Keeping up with the
tradition that began many years ago when the school first opened its doors to
impart education to the children of the sister cities of Rawalpindi and
Islamabad and with the firm belief that sports are an integral part of
education, the SLS School and Montessori held its annual sports day over the
weekend. The event was held at the St Mary's Academy because of the large number
of students belonging to the Lalazar branches participating in the event. The
guest of honour was Major General Tahir Ali (Air Defense - R).
ground was well marked for the different races, with motivational slogans around
three sides of its perimeter eg: "If you believe in it you can achieve it.' 'If
you learn from losing you can become winners in the end' etc. Announcements were
made both in English and Urdu which was a good move so that everyone understood
what was going on. The field was a riot of colour, with balloons and streamers
and when the girls entered in their different cheer-leading gear, complete with
multihued pom-poms and the boys in their capes, it looked as if 'spring had
descended from the heavens' in the cold winter season, to quote the announcer!
With about eight hundred students taking part in this activity, there
was palpable excitement in the air as parents and siblings - armed with cameras
and mobile phones to record their children's prowess - arrived and settled down
to enjoy the proceedings. The programme began with words and translation from
the Holy Qur'aan and a colourful welcome to the attendees by all the
participating students, who spelled out 'Welcome' in formation and dislayed
their PT skills to music with a lively beat - geared to wake up anybody who was
still drowsy on this chilly Sunday morning!
The event was very well
managed with a minimum time frame between regular races like 100 meters; sack
race potato race; cycling; the cute bumble bee race and of course the relays.
These were interspersed with colourful displays by cheerleaders to keep everyone
entertained as well as showcase the ability of the students to work in
coordination and timing for a syncronised display. Here it will be pertinent to
mention that cheerleaders in Pakistan are different from those seen abroad, just
in case readers get the wrong idea! Girls taking part are in the cheer-leading
are dressed in full white uniforms with coloured ribbons and capes or in the
case of the younger ones, specially made, pretty dresses with white leggings and
they perform aerobic movements to music.
While all the events showcasing
PT in all its forms were very good, it has to be said that the display by the
younger students under the tutelage of their instructor, Mohammed Azad was
almost perfect as far as coordination and timing was concerned, as was the
Taekwondo display under the guidance of their teacher, Hashim Khan. These young
children were disciplined; full of confidence and quite the little experts of
what they were doing and that too with such precision, which shows what
commitment and proper guidance can achieve.
It is hoped that some lessons
were learnt by the parents about discipline! Before the prize distribution
ceremony, SLS Schools MD Asiya Talha thanked the chief guest and others for
their presence and highlighted the importance of extra-curricular activities in
building different characteristics like sportsmanship, determination,
perseverance with good health being a bonus. "It has been SLS's endeavor to
provide children the best possible schooling with special emphasis on academics,
personal, physical, social and religious growth," she said. "I would like to
take this opportunity to mention that our students who excel in academics and
staff members have been working with International and National Organizations
and the Global School Projects in developing strong communication, written,
spoken, creative and artistic skills and most importantly, learning to respect
each other culture and religion." She concluded by saying a few words about the
free school for underprivileged children, 'Bostan-e-Ilm' being run by SLS and
thanking the faculty and staff for their hard work in making the event a
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Funfair held at ISS
Islamabad: To help students with
personal, leadership and group activities, International School Systems (ISS)
organised a funfair and sports gala on its campus.
The programme started
with the performance of students on a rhyme 'Hokey Pokey', which was followed by
sport activities including flat race, hopping, limbo, kick the ball and
basketball. The stalls offering a variety of food items were also set up on the
occasion by teachers and parents.
For the pre-school students, this was
a first of its kind of sports activity and was meant to encourage young learners
to enhance their social skills, team building, collaboration, leadership, as
well as to improve their motor-skill in a fun-filled way.
welcome address ISS Pre-school Director Aliya Shahid said that every education
institute's goal is to equip its students with strong intellectual abilities,
sound moral values, and enhanced physical abilities such that they become
effective leaders of tomorrow. "With clear goals in our minds, we at ISS, are
creating a differentiation by providing more than day care facilities to our
students and their parents," she added She said that ISS have designed a
curriculum that not only challenges their students in bringing out
problem-solving and language development skills, but an equal focus on building
a strong character and physical strength.
ISS Chief Executive Ameer
Jahanzeb and ISS Chairman Colonel Mushtaq Ahmed was also present on the
occasion. The news
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