UK visa-processing procedure for Pakistan
Oct 28: Britain is not about to revert
to its earlier, relatively hassle-free visa-processing procedure for
Pakistan. This in a nutshell is the disappointing outcome of British
Home Secretary Theresa May's visit to Islamabad. Visa applications will
continue to be processed in Abu Dhabi, and passports, we regret to say,
may well continue to be lost. There was a time when the British visa
service in Pakistan was considered the best among that of all foreign
missions; however, last year it deteriorated considerably, with hundreds
of students, businessmen and tourists complaining that their passports
had been lost - either in the mess at Abu Dhabi or between Pakistan and
the UAE - leading many to fear that they would recover neither their
passports nor the hefty visa-processing fee they had been charged. While
issuing or refusing a visa is a country`s prerogative, consular
officials have to be mindful of the requirements of life in a global
village and cope in a coordinated and efficient manner with the
ever-increasing number of students, government officials and businessmen
on the move. This is in the mutual interest of the applicant and the
visa-giving country. The processing of visa applications in Abu Dhabi
places Pakistani visa-seekers at a disadvantage, since the staff at the
`hub` is unlikely to have that understanding of the applicant`s
credentials which the high commission's Pakistan-based staff is in a
position to possess.
Because of the uproar last year over what can only be called the visa
scandal, the situation has considerably improved this year, especially
where students are concerned. But that doesn`t address the core issue.
It is true terrorism stalks the land, but no diplomatic mission seems to
be as nervous or panicky as the British high commission. All western
governments have kept their visa missions in Islamabad and seem
satisfied with the security provided by the host government. Britain
alone has acted with unwarranted haste which has earned it adverse
publicity. It is time Britain reconsidered its decision and activated
its visa office in Islamabad. This will do more to improve its image
than the aid it gives. Dawn
Post your comments
PIMS student sexually abused
Islamabad: A first-year male student of the College of Medical
Technology (CMT) - affiliated with the Pakistan Institute of Medical
Sciences (PIMS) - was sexually abused allegedly by his three hostel
roommates. The college authorities were reluctant to take any action
against the accused.
Ali Hasnain, 15, a student of the Operation
Theatre (OT) Technician Course, was residing in the college hostel. His
three roommates allegedly molested him last Thursday, but he did not
report the matter out of shame and due to threats hurled by the culprits
and instead went to his home in Dera Ghazi Khan.
Ali Hasnain confirmed the incident and said he had
returned to the college hostel on Monday evening after getting
encouragement from his course-mates that the issue should be taken up
with PIMS Executive Director Dr. Mahmood Jamal and the culprits should
be brought to justice.
Giving details of the incident, he said, "I
was living in Room No. 2115 of the hostel, but warden Niaz Ali shifted
me to Room No. 2130 with second-year students. All my roommates were
older than me. I was sleeping on Thursday night when my roommates -
Faheem Ahmad, Habibullah and Zaheer - gagged me and stripped me off.
They all molested me besides making a movie of me in nude. They
threatened me that if I told anyone about the incident, they would
upload my nude movie on the YouTube."
Ali Hasnain alleged it has now
become clear that the shameful act was performed by the accused at the
behest of the hostel warden, as there was no cogent reason behind
shifting me from one room to the other.
Niaz Ali, warden of the
college hostel, when contacted, dispelled the impression
of his involvement in the incident. According to him, it is a matter of
routine to shift students from one room to another. He said that Ali
Hasnain was shifted because space for a student was lying vacant in
another room. He said that Ali Hasnain's roommates should be punished if
their involvement in the shameful act is proved. "If Ali Hasnain is
saying that he was molested, his statement should be given weight
because he is not an insane person," he remarked.
Hasnain informed this scribe that two of the culprits - Faheem and Habib
- had fled from the hostel after the matter was brought into the notice
of hostel authorities.
About 70 students of the College of Medical
Technology staged a protest demonstration at the Pakistan Institute of
Medical Sciences (PIMS) here on Wednesday morning against the college
administration and the PIMS executive director. They protesters demanded
the concerned authorities to immediately expel the culprits from the
college and warden of the hostel should be changed; otherwise they would
stage a protest demonstration in front of the Parliament House to
highlight the issue. Students also observed a complete strike and
boycotted their classes to press the college administration to take
action against the accused.
"I had earlier submitted an application
to our class teacher Madam Fauzia against the three accused but no
action was taken against the culprits. Finally, my course-mates decided
to register their protest against the college administration and the
PIMS executive director for protecting the culprits. The PIMS executive
director has now assured us that he will resolve the matter by Wednesday
evening," Ali Hasnain added.
College of Medical Technology Vice
Principal Dr. Naseer, when asked that what delayed action
against the culprits, he said that the concerned authorities took up the
matter as soon as it came to their knowledge. "There is no delay and
the college administration will take legal action against the accused if
they are proved guilty by the inquiry committee," he added.
Executive Director Dr. Mahmood Jamal, when contacted for his comments on
the issue, he said that an inquiry committee has been constituted to
ascertain the facts and further action would be taken after getting its
report. However, he refused to talk on the issue further. The news
"so shmeful.yr un 3no ko sakht sy skht saza milni chahiye."
City, Country: joharabad,pakistan
Post your comments
AIOU' Semester Spring exams from Nov 4
Islamabad: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has scheduled
Semester Spring 2010 Examination for PT/CT/ATTC and B-Ed programmes from
Nov 4. Roll number slips have been dispatched to all the eligible
enrolled students at their given address by Postal Mail Service.
All those students who may not receive their Roll Number slip up to Nov
2, should contact the nearest regional office or superintendent (Teacher
Education Section) Examination Department at main campus of the
University personally to get the duplicate Roll Number slip.
For issuance of duplicate roll no slip students are required to bring
two passport size photographs duly attested by the gazetted officer.
The roll number slip is also available at web site www.aiou edu.pk of the university. app
Post your comments
AIOU vacant positions
Islamabad: The administration of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has ordered
filling of vacant positions and regularisation of contract employees.
The university`s spokesperson said it was all due to the hard work of
the teachers, workers and officers that the university had achieved its
Post your comments
'Quaidian Family Festival' to be held at QAU
Islamabad: The Quaid-i-Azam University Alumni Association is organising the
'Quaidian Family Festival 2010' on Friday in the football ground on the
campus. The gala will provide an opportunity to old students to revive
their memories and meet new ones.
The festival is a collaboration of
the Quaidian Intellectual Forum and the Quaid-i-Azam University Alumni
Association. The alumni from across Pakistan are expected to participate
in the event with their families.
The family festival would be first
of its kind, as it would also try to raise funds for the QAU students
hailing from the flood-effected regions. The festival would bring
various banks, multinational companies, research institutes, NGOs and
government departments to advise and help existing students in getting
jobs. There guidance will be provided on the occasion where students can
also drop their CVs and resume. There would also be on the spot job
assessment and interviews for the flood-affected students.
Post your comments
ASC interactive session
Islamabad: Dr Hans Frey, senior professor at ASC, Quaid-i-Azam
University, has said that outcome of US mid-term elections on Nov 4 will
have repercussion for Pakistan in a scenario when India is now jumping
to the side of US and Democrats may also jump to Indian side.
was speaking at an interactive session on 'US mid-term elections 2010 -
a Tea Party?", organised by Area Study Centre, QAU, at Dr RA Khan
Conference Hall, here on Wednesday.
Dr Rukhsana Qamber, Director of the Centre, moderated the proceedings. Zahida Umar coordinated the
Dr Frey said that Republicans generally were supportive of Pakistan but
a change in the Congress could affect understanding between Islamabad
and Washington as Kerry-Lugar Bill. He said that a capitalist and a
German entrepreneur also supporting the Tea Party. He said that it is
quite common that incumbency factor plays its role in the mid-term polls
due to disillusionments. This time it is bigger as Republicans are
fighting back due to economic problems as Obama administrations
massively supported two banks bankrupted during Bush era.
that Obama wanted to spend money on social sector whereas Bush spending
was on other areas. He said that Bush left huge debt which Democrats had
to handle now but the administration was not strong enough to send
across the message that turn around will take longer time as
unemployment is more than 8 per cent. Obama could not realise many
promises and healthcare situation is also not good, he said. There is a
big movement within Democrats who worked for handling economic issues in
domestic and international arena but see their high hopes dashing.
Frey said that Republicans would gain if there is low turnout that is
why Obama is asking people to come and vote. He said that Tea Party is a
Right wing of Republicans who did not field candidates in many
constituencies to ensure Democrats defeat.
Dr Qamber started with a
speech of Barak Obama at the University of Washington where he said that
Republicans were drawn into the ditch but now Democrats are in it.
Referring to donkey, the election symbol of Democrats, she said in a
lighter vein that it may mean hard work or collective ignorance.
said that drawing from a 1,673 Boston Tea Party slogan, the current Tea
Party is saying "No taxation with foolish distribution." A student Raja
Azhar said that the issues in this year include social security,
healthcare, education, defence, foreign policy, Afghanistan and Iraq
wars, unemployment, immigration and budget deficit. Another student
Rashid Ali defined Tea Party starting in 2008 as a populist Right-wing,
ultra-nationalist conservative party following a Fascist agenda.
Mughal, a student, said that over all, 37 seats are at stake due to the
Tea Party phenomenon which is dangerous not only for Republicans whose
votes it would divide but also for the ruling party. Answering a
question, Dr Frey said that Tea Party now agrees for social agenda with a
proviso that it should be done by civil society and not the government. The news
Post your comments
Fear-free learning in schools stressed
Gilgit: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi
Shah has said that teachers should discourage corporal punishment and
evolve a fear-free environment of learning to inculcate sense of
responsibility among students.
He was speaking at the launching ceremony of a project "Learn without
Fear" here. He said that teachers should focus on their prime duty of
teaching and refrain from politics in their institutions.
The chief minister said that the government was preparing a policy for promotion of teachers, which would be finalised soon.
Plan Pakistan, a non-governmental organisation, has initiated the
project in all the seven districts of Gilgit-Baltistan to train teachers
to enhance their professional capabilities.
On this occasion, education minister Ali Madad Sher assured the
teachers of provision of facilities. Education secretary Mehboob Ali
Khan said that under a Rs50 million project, scholarships would be
provided to students of college colleges while a technical college would be set up at a cost of Rs140 million. Dawn
Post your comments