European countries flight chaos & Pakistan students
Students suffer amid flight chaos
Karachi, Apr 21: Study plans of hundreds of Pakistani students
studying in European countries and the United States have gone awry
because of the flight clampdown prompted by the clouds of ash spewed
into the atmosphere by an Icelandic volcano.
plight, the Pakistan International Airlines has pledged that it will
fly students on a top priority basis to their respective destinations
as a soon as it gets a green signal about the reopening of the European
A Pakistani student doing his graduation
in journalism from Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland,
Mohammad Arsalan said that he and a number of other students
studying in the US educational institutions had come here on vacation.
But in the wake of the cancellation of flights to Europe and the US,
they had already missed two papers of their semester exams.
Arsalan said he feared that if he and other students were not
accommodated in the first flights leaving for the US after reopening of
European airspace, they would lose their entire semester.
According to a contingency plan chalked out by PIA on the directives of
the prime minister, students would get first priority, followed by
those Pakistanis who are here on vacation and are to join their
workplaces and sick and those going abroad on medical grounds. The
airline has to clear a backlog of over 20,000 passengers – 50 per cent
of whom are in Pakistan and 50pc are stranded abroad.
spokesman Sultan Hassan, on being asked what arrangements were being
made to send the stranded students to European countries and the US,
said on Tuesday that the national flag carrier's task force headed
by its managing director Capt Aijaz Haroon had decided that soon after
the reopening of the airspace such students would be flown to their
destinations on first priority. People going to resume their duties
would get second priority while sick and other people going to Europe
and the US on medical grounds would get the third priority.
Asked about the prospects of resuming of flights to the UK, Europe and
the US, he said that although PIA's official in charge of the central
control, Capt Saleem Ahmed, was constantly in touch with the traffic
controllers of the relevant countries, nothing could be said about it
with certainty as confusion concerning reopening of the airspace for
traffic continued to prevail even on Tuesday.
He pointed out
that PIA had sought the US government's permission for its flights to
land directly at New York via South Atlantic, but permission was not
Under a contingency plan, PIA's task force has
geared up its efforts to start its scheduled flights within a couple of
hours once the affected airspace reopens for traffic. Besides, it was
making arrangements for operating extra flights on these sectors to
clear the backlog of passengers stranded in the country as well as
abroad since Thursday.
Elaborating, he said that although
efforts were being made to operate wide-body aircraft such as 747,
which has a capacity for 450 passengers, instead of 777 and Airbus,
having a capacity for up to 300 passengers, the entire operation aimed
at clearing the backlog of stranded passengers would take three to four
weeks as the airline is fully booked till the end of May.
the outset, Mr Hassan said the airline on Tuesday successfully operated
a flight with 320 passengers who had been stranded in Paris since
Thursday and the flight which took off at 1.30am PST from Paris'
Charles de Gaulle Airport was scheduled to reach New York by 12noon US
time on Tuesday via South Atlantic. Among the passengers on the flight,
there were 72 senior citizens, 16 infants and three sick people, the
PIA spokesman said.
A PIA flight that left Lahore for Oslo on
Tuesday and since the destination of some of its passengers was
Copenhagen, arrangements had been made to take them from Oslo to
Copenhagen on land, he added. Dawn
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PSMA slams BSEK's decision to delay results
Karachi: The Private Schools Management Association (PSMA) has
criticised the leadership of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi
(BSEK) for announcing the board would withhold the Matriculation
results of all those students who took exams through schools that were
not registered with the BSEK. The announcement came as a result of an
inquiry report that probed into the causes behind the postponement of
the first Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination last month and
found out that students of around 20 to 30 schools had not received
their admit cards on the eve of their first exam. PSMA chief Sharfuz
Zaman condemned BSEK's decision and said the fact that the board was
taking action against the students instead of the administration of
their schools showed corruption on the board's part. However, the BSEK
media coordinator said if schools were not registered properly,
withholding their students' results was the only way to set an example
for the future. Daily times
BIEK late form submission
Karachi: At least 2,000 students submitted their examination forms at the Board of
Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) on Tuesday. The board has given
the last chance for the regular students of Pre-Engineering,
Pre-Medical and candidates of Improvement of Division to submit their
enrolment, registration and examination forms for the annual exams
2010. The annual examination would commence from April 27. Chairman
BIEK Anwar Ahmed Zai had directed the board to entertain the students
who could not submit their examination forms till April 20. The news
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Homage to a teacher
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of
his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.- Kahlil
HOW many university teachers in Pakistan would fit this
definition? Today there are over 46,000 academics in our universities
and the quest for better standards in our institutions of higher
education is endless.
In the times that I am writing about -
the 1960s, when I was a university student - there were just over 1,200
university teachers in the country (that included East Pakistan) and
only 72 of them were women. And I may add that each and every one of
them did his/her best to lead us to the threshold of our mind as Gibran
suggests a teacher should.
Those were not easy times for
university academics - talent was in tough competition, resources were
few and access to knowledge was restricted to books and journals as the
Internet age had not yet dawned. There was no television and the radio
did not entertain free academic debates.
Nevertheless, all my
teachers were PhDs - there was one who wasn't but he was preparing to
enrol in a doctorate programme abroad. The environment was a male one
and a woman had to be strong and academically sound to survive. That is
why Dr Khurshid Hyder, my lecturer (subsequently Reader) in
international relations at the University of Karachi who later became a
friend, guide and mentor, could make her mark on the intellectual
Today it is exactly 20 years to the day when Dr Hyder
passed away in Vienna where she was serving as Pakistan's ambassador to
Austria, also accredited to the IAEA. She had left the academia in 1973
and moved into the Foreign Office when the first PPP government
announced the 'lateral entry' scheme.
From Karachi she moved
to the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, where she was appointed a
professor at the department of international relations. Her love for
research and teaching never deserted her. With a Masters from the
Institute of Social Studies at The Hague and a PhD from Columbia, she
went on for post-doctoral research to the School of Oriental and
African Studies, London, on a Nuffield fellowship.
qualities are considered essential in a teacher? As the Chinese, the
epitome of wisdom, say, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".
one would expect a university teacher to teach students the basics of
research and communication skills while developing in him/her the
capacity to analyse and think critically. And obviously this is not
possible without a rich stock of knowledge and education. How can you
teach a student to separate grain from chaff if you do not know what is
grain and what is chaff.
It was her capacity to distinguish
good from evil and her immense knowledge that gave Dr Hyder the
confidence to stand her ground. Those were days when Pakistan was
virtually a satellite of the US but there was tension in the air as
China was looming large on the horizon.
We had two American
teachers in our department brought to Karachi, courtesy the Asia
Foundation. They took their assignment with a pinch of blind patriotism
- they were determined to convince us that the US could do no wrong and
the USSR was the biggest curse that had visited mankind.
Khurshid proved to be a countervailing factor as she taught us the
virtues of self-reliance and independence in foreign policy and the
dangers of imperialism. She helped us place America in a balanced
She was far from being a screaming Das
Kapital-waving socialist. But she certainly had the confidence to
expose us to all points of view to expand our minds. She invited Dr
Henry Kissinger, at that time on the faculty of Harvard, who was
visiting Karachi to speak to the students of the university.
We were then introduced to the other point of view by Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto, then minister for fuel and power in Ayub Khan's government, who
came as a guest speaker to the department of international relations
shortly thereafter at a time when he was in the process of developing
the 'China card' for Pakistan.
That was Dr Khurshid Hyder's
style of teaching - she wanted her students to learn about ideas from
across the spectrum to enable them to arrive at their own judgment.
More was in store. Dr Mahmud Husain, the great scholar of history and
the vice chancellor of the Dhaka University, was invited for a lecture
on Afghanistan for a solid historical perspective on southwest Asia. A
mock session of the UN Security Council was a very practical lesson in
the working of the world body, while our department's reading room
initiated us in the world of archiving and its indispensability to
All this gave the department a high profile but we
were brought down to earth with a practical demonstration on the
dignity of labour when one windy day we found Dr Hyder with broom in
hand sweeping the corridor in front of the staff room because it had
not been swept that morning. She was a stickler for order in her
Her first love was teaching and all that goes
with it. In essence it meant research. Writing in The World Today
(journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London) in
November 1966 she had forecast: "In the coming years Pakistan will
continue to follow a policy of qualified alignment. The existing links
with the United States will not be formally severed but they will be
superseded by new sets of relationships."
She however advised
the government to maintain a delicate and sensitive balance between its
relations with China, Russia and the US. We do see feeble attempts at
that today. But would Dr Khurshid Hyder have found it to be
satisfactory had she been around and commenting on Pakistan's foreign
policy?. - By Zubeida Mustafa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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SU to remain open for five days a week
Hyderabad: Executive Council of the University of Sindh has
decided that the university will remain open five days a week, from
Monday to Friday, from September.
The council also decided in a meeting to start regular training of university's administrative staff.
It decided that in future, opening of new departments or upgradation of
existing ones would be linked with feasibility reports and proper planning. Dawn
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