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TURBAT: It is really disappointing to note that two new polio cases have been reported in Pakistan, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan. The total for this year is 34 polio cases, mostly from K-P and Fata.

A three day anti-polio drive was recently launched in Balochistan and the next campaign will be held later this month. While it is good to see the authorities working to improve the situation, a lot remains to be done. There has been some success as last year, 234 polio cases were reported and this year, only 34 have been reported so far. However, instead of becoming complacent we need to ensure that the disease is eradicated once and for all.

Sana Samad

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2015.

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The post Polio cases appeared first on The Express Tribune.

HYDERABAD: “Pakistan failed to submit the intended National Climate Action Plan to the UN for the Paris Climate Conference.” This statement is not a surprising one because I know my government well, but I do have concerns over the media’s silence on the issue.

The government has an unfortunate past of not doing anything of its own volition; it wakes up only after the media raises a hue and cry over a certain issue. We are coping with internal and external threats, but have completely ignored the threat posed by climate change. It must be realised that environmental concerns cannot be ignored.

The government’s dismal level of interest in this issue may easily be examined by understanding that Pakistan missed the important deadline despite having a plan for climate change. According to one news report, the Director General at the Ministry of Climate Change, Irfan Tariq, submitted the draft to the prime minister house for approval only in the last week of the deadline, when the prime minister had already left for New York.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not the only prime minister attending United Nations General Assembly session. Representatives from other nations were there as well and their attendance did not affect their goals and the completion of their responsibilities in a timely manner because the climate control departments in their respective countries worked efficiently to draw up and submit climate change plans for the upcoming Paris conference. As usual, Pakistan did not deliver in time even though approximately 146 other countries were able to manage the task.

India estimated a budget of $2.5 trillion for meeting its climate change needs in its paper titled, “India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution: Working towards Climate Justice (IINDC)” presented to the UN. One can only feel sad when thinking about where Pakistan will stand at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, when our neighbouring country will not only participate, but will probably secure many advantages owing to its preparedness. It is regretful that the grave issue of climate change has been repeatedly ignored by the mainstream of society and the authorities.

Hassan Ali Syed

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post Climate action plan appeared first on The Express Tribune.

KARACHI: The failure of the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia in retrieving and sending the bodies of Pakistani pilgrims who lost their lives in the Mina stampede is highly condemnable. It is a confirmation of the stereotype that our authorities are oftentimes incompetent at handling emergencies.

Similarly, the officials of the Hajj directorate who are sent to Saudi Arabia each year at government expenses, tasked with the job to help and guide pilgrims during emergency situations, could not even find access to hospitals and morgues to identify the injured and dead bodies. The Saudi authorities are reported to have buried the corpses in collective graves, depriving near and dear ones of the death in Pakistan of having a last look at their dead family member. The ministry of religious affairs is requested to take up this matter with the Saudi authorities and demand compensation on behalf of each bereaved family.

Hassan Afzaal

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post Failure of the Pakistan embassy appeared first on The Express Tribune.

RAWALPINDI: This is with reference to the recent call by PTI Chairman Imran Khan regarding special transportation of ballot boxes in the forthcoming by-election in NA-122. The PTI’s demand to transport ballot boxes under the supervision of the military is not the first of its kind. That is what happens when absolute distrust exists between the people and the civilian machinery.

At one time or the other, the military has been called in for rescue, relief, and support for various sorts of activities. On the one hand, the military’s response and resolve to help or support the nation in any way is highly commendable. On the other hand, it has also been used as a refuge by the civilian machinery, which has shed its responsibility and has not delivered to the nation. The consequences of the said aspect have emerged in the form of incompetent and irresponsible civilian authorities. Can the fading trust of the nation in its national civilian machinery be restored? Can we really carry on with this national sense of irresponsibility? I think not. Enough is enough. The armed forces are already involved in operations of great significance; therefore, this story of incompetence, irresponsibility and mistrust has to be corrected by civilian authorities.

Syed Muhammad Ahmad

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post Addressing mistrust appeared first on The Express Tribune.

LAHORE: A disgruntled group of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led by Dr Safdar Abbasi has announced to support Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) in the upcoming NA-122 Lahore by-election.

“Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is a very suitable candidate for NA-122 [by polls]. He has long term commitment to democracy and that is why we have decided to support him,” Dr Safdar Abbasi told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

Hur Bukhari, a resident of the area enjoying political support, and former MPA Sajida Mir were also present at the press conference wherein the decision was announced.

Read: PAT announces support for PTI candidate in NA-122 by-poll

Expressing gratitude, Ayaz Sadiq said he would try his best to come up to his supporters’ expectations.

Polling for NA-122 is due on October 11 and the PTI has fielded former provincial minister Abdul Aleem Khan against PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq.

The coveted NA-122, Lahore seat fell vacant after an election tribunal, in its verdict on August 22, found irregularities in the 2013 general elections, ultimately causing Sadiq, the former National Assembly speaker, to step down.

Meanwhile, Jamat Ahle Hadith Pakistan announced also to support PML-N on Tuesday. Abdul Ghaffar Ropri, head of political affairs of the party, called on Hamza Shahbaz and announced to support Ayaz Sadiq and Mohsin Latif.

Read: NA-122 by-poll : JI, 14 other parties announce support for Aleem Khan

Hamza termed October 11 as the day of victory ‘to bury the politics of accusation.’

Earlier during the day, the Pakistan Awami Tehreek announced its support for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Abdul Aleem Khan for the by-election.

The post NA-122 by-poll: Disgruntled PPP group puts its weight behind PML-N appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Cleaning the house is a never-ending project but it can be made enjoyable if you use a few motivational tips and tricks to get into it. If the monitor at your workplace is framed with layers of post-it reminders and desktop is hidden under stacks of papers, then it’s time to give it a new makeover by adopting some smart strategies. As compiled from,, and Forbes, here are a few ways to get motivated to clean.

1. Put on music

A good soundtrack can make almost anything more bearable and get you in the mood for cleaning. Choose something that makes you feel like dancing, so that you feel like engaging yourself physically to do the cleaning that’s required.

2. Make DIY cleaning products

Cleaning can be way more fun if you make your own natural cleaning products. Basic ingredients, such as vinegar, lemon juice and essential oils are kinder to the environment and smell so much nicer than the artificial fragrances in commercial products. Due to its acidity, vinegar helps remove grease, scum and grime. Natural lemon juice eliminates mildew, cuts through grease and makes hard surfaces shine. Essential oils make a great scent addition to homemade cleaning products.

3. Reward yourself

A lot of times, we accomplish things without giving much credit to ourselves or celebrating the achievement of it.  Perhaps, a good way to encourage yourself to keep your workplace and house clean is to reward yourself. For instance, you can go out for lunch or spend some time watching a movie after tidying up your living room.

4. Deal with cleaning straight away

Get up and get started. Make it your priority to clean as soon as it’s necessary, so that it’s dealt with quickly and easily. Clean spillage while it’s fresh as it’ll be much easier to remove than if it has time to set or dry.

5. Set a weekly appointment

It’s likely that co-workers will associate a messy office with your organisation skills and assume their project or proposal will get lost in the landfill that’s your desk, says Jennie Dede, vice president of recruiting for Adecco. She recommends setting a reoccurring reminder on your calendar to tidy up your workspace for 15 minutes once a week. Toss any trash or items you no longer need, gather personal items that need to be taken home and sort loose paperwork.

6. Don’t make piles, set limits

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that making piles reduces clutter. Peter Walsh, author of Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less, says, “The issue isn’t space; it’s too much stuff.” He recommends establishing zones in your office for different functions: a workspace for your computer, a library area for your books, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. Give everything a place and then set limits on the amount of items in each.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post 6 ways to motivate yourself to clean up appeared first on The Express Tribune.

The Shining is widely considered as one of the best horror films to date, particularly thanks to director Stanley Kubrick who made the Stephen King adaptation entirely his own. The brilliant filmmaking on display maintained the film’s reputation as one of the scariest films even 35 years after its release, reports

It was no doubt a cry of relief when it was announced that Never Let Me Go and One Hour Photo director Mark Romanek will be taking the helm of the Jack Nicholson starrer’s prequel.

Recently, while King discussed James Vanderbilt’s directorial debut Truth with him, the two also mooted the status of The Shining prequel, titled Overlook Hotel. Vanderbilt, who is producing the prequel, stated that it’s not the kind of movie people might be expecting.

“I don’t want to give too much away about the story, but the way Glen [screenwriter] and Mark have cracked it, it’s a whole different film,” said Vanderbilt.

It’s unclear what the story of the movie will be, but it certainly sounds like the filmmakers are on track to complete their task.

The project continues to languish in development hell at Warner Bros and while a start date has not yet been decided, Vanderbilt already seems to be praising Romanek’s sensibilities as a filmmaker. “One of the most amazing things about Mark is that he’s a strong filmmaker with his own convictions. I think there’s something wonderful about a director who says, ‘No, this is the film’,” added Vanderbilt.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post Shining once again? appeared first on The Express Tribune.

KARACHI: Now less than two months away, December is already shaping up to be a crowded month for Pakistani cinema. With films, such as Star Wars: Episode II —  The Force Awakens, Bajirao Mastani and Dilwale, slated to release this winter, a local movie is now also expected to join this already crammed list.

The team behind the epic film, Yalghaar, is now aiming for a nationwide release by December-end. “We are targeting a December 25 release in Pakistani cinemas and are hopeful of winding up post-production of Yalghaar by mid-November,” director Hassan Waqas Rana tells The Express Tribune.

From its action-packed trailer to its multi-starrer cast, the movie has generated excitement prior to its release. The team has managed to sell around 528 shows even before the release of the film. Despite Yalghaar being released alongside expected box office behemoths, Rana is confident his film will hold its own.

The post-production of the film, which features a mix of live-action stunts and computer generated images, is being done at renowned British company Pinewood Studios, which has previously served as the production base for movie series, such as Harry Potter, James Bond and Superman.

Should the release of Yalghaar go ahead as planned, it’s likely to go head-to-head with another Pakistani film, Ho Mann Jahaan. According to an official at ARY Films, the Azim Raza musical is expected to release in the first half of January next year, soon after the release of Yalghaar.

Yalghaar has an ensemble cast featuring Humayun Saeed, Shaan Shahid, Adnan Siddiqui, Umair Jaswal, Ayesha Omar, Uzma Khan and Ayub Khosa. It has been produced by the team behind the 2013-runaway hit Waar. On the other hand, Ho Mann Jahaan stars Adeel Hussain, Mahira Khan and Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui in lead roles.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post Yalghaar slated for release on December 25 appeared first on The Express Tribune.

WASHINGTON: Washington must consider boosting its military presence in Afghanistan after 2016 if it intends to repel a Taliban upsurge, a US commander said Tuesday as he acknowledged an air strike on a Kunduz hospital was a mistake.

The United States is reviewing whether to press ahead with its plan to reduce the number of its troops in the war-torn country to an embassy-centric force of about 1,000 beginning in 2017, but General John Campbell warned that the “tenuous security situation” might require a reversal of that drawdown.

Asked if a change was warranted, Campbell testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that “based on conditions on the ground, based on the transitions I have talked about, I do believe that we have to provide our senior leadership options different than the current plan that we’re going with, absolutely.”

US forces in Afghanistan presently stand at about 9,800, a number which was supposed to have been halved by the end of 2015. But President Barack Obama provided “flexibility to Campbell to slow the drawdown.

“If you go to just embassy only, our ability to do TAA (train, advise and assist) is limited,” Campbell said.

Read: Afghan forces called for hospital air strike, US general says

The general pointed to various “setbacks” in battling insurgents in Afghanistan, including those who briefly seized control of Kunduz, and said Afghan Security Forces’ “uneven performance in this fighting season also underscores that their shortfalls will persist well beyond this year.”

Kunduz was the site of a recent deadly US air strike on a hospital that killed 22 people, an attack that Campbell described Tuesday as a mistake.

“A hospital was mistakenly struck,” he said, that “we would never intentionally target a protected medical facility.”

The general stressed that while it was the Afghans who called for the strike on the medical facility, ultimately the decision to launch the strike rested with US forces.

“Our forces provided close air support to Afghan forces at their request,” Campbell said.

“To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fire was a US decision made within the US chain of command.”

Campbell reiterated that three separate investigations were being conducted. He also said US officials were communicating with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the medical charity that was operating in the hospital when it was struck, to get “all sides of the story.”

MSF has branded the strikes a war crime, and has pulled out of the Afghan city in the aftermath of the attack.

Campbell reiterated that there were US special forces “on the ground doing train, advise and assist” in the area near the hospital shortly before the strike.

The post More troops may be needed in Afghanistan post-2016: US commander appeared first on The Express Tribune.


It has been more than a week since Eidul Azha but the festivities at Pakistani cinemas still seem to be in full swing. With Jawani Phir Nahi Ani (JPNA) having taken the lion’s share at the local box office during the holiday weekend, international movies have now started to join the fun.

As JPNA’s box office collections cross Rs150 million, the movie is well on its way to becoming the highest-grossing Pakistani film of all time. The multi-starrer film has already claimed the box office throne for 2015 after surpassing Wrong No’s record.

The movie has continued to perform impressively even during the weekdays, with Capri Cinema director Farrukh Rauf sharing how cinema-owners have been forced to extend its run due to the overwhelming audience response. “We’ve recorded an audience turnout between 40 to 50 per cent on the weekdays following Eid. This is a lot, given that our seating capacity is 800,” he said. According to him, the movie has generated around Rs4- to Rs5 million from Capri Cinema. “It could’ve been higher had our shows not been affected by a jalsa that took place on Saturday.”

Read: Will Jawani Phir Nahi Ani hit the 300m mark

CEO of ARY Films, Jerjees Seja, had earlier shared how it had been forecasted the film would continue to perform the same way for at least three weeks till Muharram, but is now hopeful that it could go on to dominate the screen till November. This may be likely as no Pakistani film is expected to release during this period.

International movies to be screened this weekend have also generated ‘strong’ returns from the Pakistani box office, with one instance being the Akshay Kumar- and Amy Jackson-starrer Singh is Bliing. The action-comedy, which is being distributed by IMGC Entertainment in the country, has managed to earn an estimated Rs22 million during its opening weekend. Having been released on around 45 screens, the movie has raked in more business than what had been expected considering JPNA’s popularity, said a representative of IMGC Entertainment. “We expect it to make around Rs60- to Rs70 million at the box office.”

Everest is another film that has picked up after Eid. With the movie having been overshadowed by JPNA during Eid, the last week has brought a change in its fortune. Although the box office returns are not promising in comparison with the local comedy film, distributors still deem them to be respectable.

According to a representative of its distributor Footprint Pvt Ltd, the survival-thriller has managed to earn an estimate of Rs15 million during its 11-day run so far. “Given how outstandingly JPNA has performed in local cinemas since its release, these are reasonable returns. Even now, the movie has a limited number of shows,” said Mirza Saad Baig, general manager of Footprint Pvt Ltd. He added that even prior to the release of the film, they had set themselves an approximate box office target of Rs20 million and expects the film to complete its run with a tally of Rs18 million at least.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post The underdogs struggle for lion’s share appeared first on The Express Tribune.


“If it actually gets to the place where you can’t show 35mm film in theatres anymore and everything is digital projection, I won’t even make it to 60.” This was once said by film director Quentin Tarantino at a Hollywood Reporter discussion.

While the brains behind classics such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs may have started to contemplate his final exit, what proponents of film such as him fear the most has already begun in Lahore — the crumbling of the old world.

After 56 years of operation, the film lab at Evernew Studio has been padlocked and, with the lab’s closure, an entire era of Pakistani cinema has come to an end. For years, the studio belted out classics that redefined Pakistani popular culture, such as  Maula Jutt, Heer Ranjha and Nagina. With the introduction of digital techniques, the older film processing technology has been rendered useless; forcing the studio administration to call it quits.

Read: Review: Moor power to Pakistani cinema

The mushrooming of film labs in the city ran parallel to the setting up of hi-end film studios in Lahore at a time when Lollywood was still a legit term to use. There was a time when film technicians walked in and out of Royal Park near Lakshmi Chowk all day long. The bastion of film development in the city was helped by others at Shah Noor Studio, Bari Studio, Shadab Studio and Evernew itself.

For the last 15 years, this lab was housed in a small room at the studio that was always the first option for any filmmaker, thanks to its advanced machinery. While others in the city succumbed to Lollywood’s crises one after another, the lab at Evernew stood firm against the onslaught of the digital age up until two weeks ago. After much deliberation with the Film Directors Association, its administration wrote to film producers and directors, asking them to collect their inventory from the lab before it shuts down for good.

“The lab’s last film, Razia Phans Gai Gundon Main, was edited on the eve of Eidul Fitr this year,” shares Malik Yousaf, an official at Evernew Studio. Yousaf explains how the studio was finding it difficult to procure film negatives from abroad. “With the advancement in film technology everywhere, it has become impossible to continue with the old,” he adds. Yousaf admits non-availability of negatives is not the only concern. “There is literally no business these days. All our expensive machinery is now useless.”

Ali Jan is a former supervisor at Evernew. Talking to The Express Tribune, he recollects, “I am a witness to the development of super hit films behind these walls.” He says the lab was trusted by renowned filmmakers of their time like Riaz Shahid, Jamshaid Rizvi, Younas Malik, Riaz Gujjar, Azhar Niaz, Hasan Askari, Aslam Dar and many others. Jan said renowned film editor Z A Zulfi used to carry out manual cutting and pasting of film at the very lab. “As time passed by, the lab lost its charm and its people.”

Director Pervaiz Rana feels the import of Indian content sparked the onset of the problem. “If you continue to import foreign content, where will local technicians and other menial film workers go?” He however maintains the crumbling of old film labs does not translate into the crumbling of Pakistani cinema itself. “Now that the situation has changed completely and local filmmakers are also using advanced equipment, there remains no need of film negative developing labs.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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The post End of an era: Tattered curtains drawn on Lahore’s last film lab appeared first on The Express Tribune.

ISLAMABAD: As the dispute between Pakistan Airline Pilot Association (Palpa) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is yet to be resolved, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) constituted on Tuesday a medical board to examine the 21 pilots and co-pilots who had applied for a sick leave.

The medical board will examine how these 21 individuals could fall ill at the same time, and immediately after Palpa announced its ‘go slow’ policy that resulted in flight delays inflecting losses to the national flag carrier and causing  inconvenience to the passengers.

The pilots have been asked to report to the medical board on three different dates in a manner that will not affect the flights schedule.

Read: Pilots’ strike: PIA rejects PALPA demands

The powerful body of 430 PIA pilots – Palpa– had resorted to what can be technically called a ‘go-slow’ policy to press their demands.

This is at a time when the state-owned carrier is conducting crucial post-hajj operations of bringing back pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, besides running its regular operations.

On October 5, PIA management had rejected demands put forward by the Palpa to end their strike.

“The three demands by Palpa are unacceptable,” a PIA spokesperson said.

The demands include the immediate replacement of director flight operations, withdrawal of show-cause notices and inquiries against pilots (while reinstating all grounded pilots), and for seniority to be determined by the pilots.

The post CAA forms medical board to examine pilots on sick leave appeared first on The Express Tribune.


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