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Jamia Hafsa to be to rebuild | HEC Biological Safety Association

Jamia Hafsa to rise again
Islamabad, Aug 06, 2008: The government has decided to rebuild the Jamia Hafsa girls seminary which was demolished last year after the bloody military operation against the militants ensconced in Lal Masjid.

"Construction work will start shortly on a piece of land smaller than the original site in compliance with the Supreme Court order," a senior official of the local administration said on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

"We are just following a clear directive from the Supreme Court to rebuild the seminary. The seminary will be constructed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA)," he said.

A high-level meeting held in the interior ministry on Tuesday took the decision that the Supreme Court's order be implemented immediately. However, the new building of Jamia Hafsa would occupy only 250 square yards and not the vast area it did previously.

Students of the demolished Jamia Hafsa and their supporters had raised the demand for rebuilding the seminary on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Lal Masjid episode which turned into a campaign with the resumption of classes in the open at the demolished site by the management of the seminary headed by Umm-i-Hassan, wife of the incarcerated former Imam of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz.

Last Friday the seminary's management pitched tents at the site to give semi-permanent look to the classes and to increase pressure on the government to rebuild their seminary.

Although the government will reconstruct the seminary, the sources said it will have no hostel facilities for students from other cities.

In its heydays, Jamia Hafsa had 4,000 girls on its rolls, of whom 2,500, mostly hailing from northern parts of Pakistan, were provided boarding and lodging at the seminary.

Umme Hassan, the principal of the seminary, had put forward three demands at the Shuhada-i-Lal Masjid Conference last month: release of Maulana Abdul Aziz, her husband and former Khateeb of Lal Masjid, resumption of classes in Jamia Faridia, a boys seminary of Lal Masjid located in Sector E-7, and reconstruction of Jamia Hafsa.

It has become a routine for hundreds of burqa-clad women to demonstrate every Friday outside the Lal Masjid to press those demands.

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Body formed to provide knowledge: Biosafety, biosecurity
Islamabad: The National Core Group in Life Sciences (NCGLS) of the Higher Education Commission in collaboration with OIC Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) has launched Biological Safety Association (PBSA) here Tuesday.

The association will provide a comprehensive knowledge related to bio-safety issues in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, convener of the association Dr Anwar Nasim gave a brief of the initiatives taken by the NCGLS, since its joining the International Council for Life Sciences (ICLS), regarding the issues of biosafety and biosecurity. His speech was followed by a presentation by Dr Erum Khan, Assistant Professor, Aga Khan University, Karachi on 'National Biosafety our Concern'.

The participants were informed that the main objectives of PBSA was establishment of a core group of people trained in the biological safety, utilising the expertise to address national biosafety issues and formulate framework for promotion of best practices, standards and codes of conduct in life sciences.

The association will act as an advocating body for biological risks, develop national biosafety guidelines, capacity building in terms of developing expertise in legal, scientific and technical areas, development of national databases for issues related to biosafety, web management for information dissemination, conduct research to propagate biosafety, introducing biosafety as part of national curriculum at graduate, diploma and postgraduate levels, develop networking with various national and international institutes and agencies including ICLS, HEC, Comstech, IBEP and CRDF, she added.

Thirty participants attended the meeting from various organisations including AFIP, Global Marketing Services, Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DESTO, Ministry of Environment, Shifa International Hospital, Nust, NARC, PAEC, Quaid-i-Azam University, Aga Khan University, University of Karachi, Indus Hospital, NIH, and Comstech attended the meeting. Dawn

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"The launching of PBSA is amilestone in the history of Pakistan and as such it is acommendable job done by a handful of persons in chair of Dr Anwar Nasim, and the president of Pakistan Biological Safety Association Dr Erum Khan, Col Aamir Ikram, Shahida Qureshi, Maqboola Dojki who worked day and night to fulfil this dream which has been seen a year ago. In this short time the achievements of PBSA are worthwhile and the team working is very appreciable and is the need of time. In my opinion it is the prime time that other sister associations join hands and to come forward with ambition to share their knowledge and expertise in the dissemenation of Biosafety at every level. I hope that the personnel involved in this science will certainly be united to promote, coordinate and dissemenate this knowledge with effective communication and the PBSA has already taken lead in this aspect. It is our vison to make future of Pakistan Biosafe and Biosecure in line with international standards and protocols. Dr Shamsul Arfin Qasmi ."
Name: Shamsul Arfin Qasmi
City, Country: karachi, Pakistan

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PAL announces literary awards
Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) on Tuesday announced Kamal-e-Fun Award worth Rs 0.5 million for 2007, nominating prominent writer Ajmal Khattak for the honour.

The PAL also announced national literary awards, each worth Rs 0.1 million, on the best literary books written in 2007 in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi, Seraiki and Brahvi languages and best translation work in English language.

A jury, comprising Mazharul Haq Siddiqui, Shahzad Ahmad, Zaitoon Bano, Muhammad Mansha Yaad, Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Prof Alamger Hashmi, Hafeez Khan, Prof Wahid Bux Buzdar and Prof Dr Salma Shaheen, decided winners of the national literary awards.

Siddiqui presided over the meeting held to name winner of Kamal-e-Fun Award that is the highest literary award in the country and acknowledges one's lifetime achievement in creative and research work.

According to the jury, Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal Award in Urdu poetry was given to Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi on his book "Arz-o-Sama", Baba-i-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq Award in Urdu prose to Hassan Manzar on his book "Khak Ka Rutba" and Syed Waris Shah Award in Punjabi literature to Siddique Taseer on his book "Rubaiyat-e-Taseer".

Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Award in Sindhi language was given to Altaf Sheikh on his book "New Hala Khan New York", Khushal Khan Khattak Award in Pashto to Darwesh Durrani on his book "Pashto Arooz", Must Tawakli Award in Balochi to Mir Muhammad Hussain Anqa Baloch on his book "Rokeen Pul" and Ghulam Farid Award in Seraiki to Saleem Shahzad on his book "Pairen Turda Shaher".

Taj Muhammad Tajal Award in Brahvi language was presented to Arif Zia on his book "Brahui Jadeed Nazm", Pitras Bukhari Award in English to Feryal Ali Gohar on her book "No Space for Further Burials" and Muhammad Hassan Askari Award in the best translation work to Amna Azfar on her book "The Dust of The Road". Daily Times

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