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Outdoors of Pakistan

9 people recovered, 33 kidnappers arrested in 2007

* Peshawar SSP says nine people recovered without paying ransom
* Links crime rate to city
’s proximity to tribal areas

Staff Report
Oct 6,2007

PESHAWAR: City police have arrested at least 33 kidnappers and recovered nine people kidnapped for ransom during the current year, Operations Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohammad Tahir Khan told Daily Times on Friday.

He said in all nine cases of kidnapping, the police recovered the hostages without paying any ransom.

The SSP said that incidents of kidnapping for ransom were on the decline in the city. He, however, added that due to proximity of the city to tribal areas, crimes couldn
’t be eliminated.

Tahir Khan also said that people of some tribes in FATA did not consider kidnapping for ransom as something wrong and that it was their profession to kidnap people, detain them for a few days and then release them after getting ransom.

He said usually the kidnappers shifted the kidnapped people to tribal areas, but now they had started detaining the hostages in settled areas due to deteriorating law and order situation in FATA, which may be a reason for high recovery rate of hostages.

He said kidnapping was had become a custom in Peshawar since long and according to the kidnapping gazetteer of 1933, there were nearly 133 people kidnapped for ransom during that year.

According to police records, the latest man recovered was Mohammad Anwar, an Afghan trader who was kidnapped for a $500,000 ransom on August 22 from Phase III of Hayatabad and was detained at a house in the same area.
“Mohammad Anwar was recovered after 38 days in captivity, while six kidnappers including Sher Nabi, Sardar Nabi, Gul Nabi, Sadiq, Ms Farishta and Shakiba were also arrested from the house,” the SSP said.

Dr Saeed, an industrialist, was kidnapped on August 19 from the Hayatabad area when he was coming out of his factory and was recently recovered from the Urmar Police Station
’s precincts. Police also arrested Khanzada Gul, Imtiaz, Miraj and Fazal Khaliq in connection with the industrialist’s kidnapping.

Mohammad Saad, owner of the Sabrina Tent Service, was picked up from Hayatabad on March 27 and later he was recovered from the tribal belt, with the police having arrested Zamin Gul, Bashir, Munawwar Ali and Jauhar Ali in the case.

Kidnappers abducted Zainab from the Gulbahar Police Station
’s jurisdiction and later she was recovered from Charsadda district, while Naik Mohammad and Sher Ali were kidnapped from Khazana police station precinct and were afterward recovered while they were being shifted to another location. Other hostages, whom the police recovered in the current year, include Mohammad Shoaib, Islam Baccha and Abdullah who had been kidnapped from the Pishtakhara Police Station’s limits.


NHA to complete Peshawar Northern Bypass project in 3 years

ISLAMABAD: Monday, October 01, 2007 The early construction of the 34 kilometres long Peshawar Northern Bypass at a cost of Rs 5.3 billion is among the top priorities of the National Highway Authority (NHA), a source in the Communications Ministry said on Sunday. The source said that the need for early completion of the project would increase due to the functioning of the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway, that will soon begin.

He said that bottlenecks in the project were being sorted out in collaboration with the provincial government and the project would be completed in three years.

He said the project was handed over to the NHA in 2003 and initially a 26km long road was designed to be constructed as part of the Peshawar Ring Road project. He said that now an alternate design had been prepared. According to the new design, it will be a four-lane expressway that will link the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway with the Peshawar Torkham Expressway and will bypass the Hayatabad and Bara markets ending at the Takhta Beg Bridge near Jamrud. app

Bank Robbery in Hayatabad Habib Bank

PESHAWAR, Sept 28: An amount of Rs6 million was looted from the Habib Bank Limited branch in the Hayatabad area here on Friday.

Witnesses said some people came to the HBL branch in Bilal Market in two cars and forced their entry into the bank after overpowering the watchman. The bandits held the bank manager and other staff hostage at gunpoint and took away the cash.
—Bureau Report

Hayatabad Post Office launches night service F.P. Report

 PESHAWAR: Post Master General NWFP Fazal Sattar Khan has said that Pakistan Post has introduced number of schemes to provide better services to its customers all over the country. He was addressing as chief guest the inaugural function on the occasion of innovation and decoration ceremony of the Post Office at Hayatabad Phase -1 here on Saturday. Throwing light on the historical background of the Pakistan Postal programme he said in addition to letters Pakistan Post had launched various schemes to facilitate its commuters. It included Savings Bank, Postal Life Insurance and utility bills collection. He also announced the launching nocturnal Postal service from Saturday night. He informed the gathering that through Online service costumers would be able to transfer their money from around 200 countries to Pakistan within minutes. Also he said Faxed Money Order facility would be available to people. Fazal Sattar said the Post office counters had been computerized and would be given the status of General Post Office (GPO) in near future.

Excavation to dig deep into Peshawar’s past


Sept 15, 2007 PESHAWAR: Excavation at the ancient Gor Khuttree Monument for digging out the exact cultural profile of the walled city of Peshawar will resume in October after a gap of five months.

“The excavation was halted due to the sizzling heat and will now resume after the holy month of Ramazan,” said Ehsanullah, curator of the NWFP Archeology and Museums Department and the project in charge. Ehsanullah said the evidence recovered during excavation from the historic site was studied to find out the exact cultural profile of Peshawar, the oldest living city in South Asia. “We have to excavate up to 60 feet and presently we have reached 33 feet,” he said. The project of finding out the profile of Peshawar was launched in 2003 with an estimated cost of Rs 36 million. The duration of the project has been expanded from the year 2007 to 2009 owing to sensitivity in the excavation of historical sites.

Ehsanullah said the project
’s objective was also to highlight the archeological importance of Peshawar city throughout the world and publicise the Gor Khuttree monument that is not only an ancient site, but is also a revered place for Hindus and Buddhists. He said presently, the exact profile of Peshawar city did not exist and it was not clear how old is Peshawar city. app

Snow leopard with satellite collar released in Chitral park

PESHAWAR (APP): The NWFP Wildlife Department after trapping an adult female snow leopard few days ago has successfully fitted Satellite Collar in her body in Chitral Gol National Park in district Chitral. "The snow leopard was trapped last Friday and was released in Chitral Gol National Park by fitting a Satellite Collar in her body that would help to monitor her movement besides giving timely information to identify her habits for future conservation and protection, " Dr Mumtaz Malik, Chief Conservator NWFP Wildlife Department disclosed APP here Sunday. The device would also help to have excess to other snow leopards that might available in nearby areas, so that the endangered specie could be used for breading to increase its population, he added. The Wildlife Chief said, "The rare nature of the specie could be gauged from the fact that about 300 snow leopards exists in different parts of the country and it needed further breading on scientific lines to substantially raise its number in near future." He said that people come to realize over time that the snow leopard is worth more alive for ecotourism and for ecosystem preservation. The NWFP Wildlife department with the active collaboration of WWF Pakistan and Internal Snow Leopard Trust (ISLT) is conducting a comprehensive study to evolve strategy and action plan for better conservation and protection of the snow leopard, said Dr Mumtaz. Likewise, Ministry of Environment, Islamabad is also extending valuable assistance in this regard, he added. Moreover, the Wildlife Chief said that Protected Areas Management Project has been launched with the financial assistance of Global Environment Facility (GEF) and World Bank for better conservation and protection of the specie. The conservation programme is also underway in Farhang Gol National Park in Balochistan and Farma Chera National Park in Azad Kashmir besides Chitral Gol National Park with the financial assistance of World Bank, he informed. Dr Mumtaz Malik said, "The snow leopard which was trapped in Chitral Gol National Park last Friday is healthy having a weight of about 35 kilograms and feels easy with the device fitted with her body." To a question he said the snow leopard eats Ibex, snow cock, markhor heer etc and sometime attacks on livestock in order to meet their food requirement, adding that it usually give birth two off-springs in a year. He said livestock owners are one of the great threats to the specie as they often shoot snow leopard when it attacks their cattle and livestock. "A comprehensive insurance programme is being launched to educate people especially the livestock owners by insuring their livestock." He hoped that this programme would help protect snow leopard and bring attitudinal changes among community to guard this endangered specie from extinction. The NWFP Wildlife Department has improved the habitats of the snow leopard in its ranges where it occur. The department is also working to create and maintain its reserves to protect this wild cat and other endangered species. Dr Mumtaz said that the Wildlife Department is dedicated to the conservation of the snow leopard and its mountain ecosystem through a balanced approach that considers the needs of the people and the environment. He added that community participation and public education is must to save the Snow Leopard from extinction.


Patients beset by rise in doctors’ fees


By Javed Afridi (Tuesday, November 14, 2006)

PESHAWAR: The Institution-Based Private Practice (IBPP) policy continues to haunt the people of the Frontier province, although the policy no longer exists, Daily Times learnt on Sunday.

Gul Karim, an attendant of a patient at the Government Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), said that the doctors advised them to visit the private clinics of senior doctors who had earlier resigned in protest against the government
’s IBPP policy.

“We are now paying for the services we got for free in the past,” he said.

Under the IBPP policy, the provincial government had set a condition for the practicing doctors to charge Rs 200 fee, instead of their routine Rs 300 fee. But after the IBPP policy
’s annulment, the doctors are charging double their routine Rs 300 fees.

Turning against the IBPP, senior doctors, mostly heads of their departments, resigned from their government jobs and the government had no option but to promote junior doctors to the ranks of professor and associate professor.

Dr Iftikhar of the LRH said that the resignations of senior doctors dealt a severe blow to the quality of teaching in various disciplines, especially paediatrics and orthopaedics. He added that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP) had threatened to withdraw the teaching status of various health units of the province, including the Lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex.

KMC on course to becoming medical university 

By Rahimullah Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: With the tabling of the bill in the NWFP Assembly on Wednesday for raising the Khyber Medical College (KMC), Peshawar to the status of a university, the final steps have been taken to achieve a long-cherished objective.

Once adopted, the bill would pave the way for establishment of the Khyber University of Medical and Health Sciences under an act of the NWFP Assembly. It would be culmination of efforts that began almost two decades ago to upgrade the KMC into a medical university.

NWFP Health Minister Inayatullah, who introduced the bill in the provincial legislature, told The News that the university bill after its passage as an act would be tabled again in the next session of the NWFP Assembly to incorporate amendments in line with the Federal Universities Ordinance, 2002. He said the government was determined to commission the Khyber University of Medical and Health Sciences in the near future.

It was on October 12, 1989 that the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto announced upgradation of the KMC to university at the annual convocation of the college in Peshawar. It was, therefore, strange that the PPPP, along with the ANP, raised objections over the tabling of the university bill in the provincial legislature on Wednesday. However, it is possible that they would stop opposing the bill once amendments sought by them are inserted to it.

In October 1999, the then NWFP chief minister Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan on behalf of prime minister Nawaz Sharif announced at the college convocation that the KMC would be upgraded to university. The announcement, like the earlier one by Benazir Bhutto, gladdened hearts but was never implemented.

The University Grants Commission, now known as Higher Education Commission (HEC), had also recommended to the NWFP government on November 29, 1998 to establish medical university.

The National Education Policy (1998-2010) recommended establishment of three medical universities, one each in the Punjab, Sindh and the NWFP. Subsequently, the Dow Medical College, Karachi and Liaquat Medical College, Jamshoro were upgraded to universities. Later, the Lahore University of Medical and Health Sciences and King Edward Medical University were established in the Punjab capital. The proposed Khyber University of Medical and Health Sciences was the only one that failed to materialise.

When President Gen Pervez Musharraf attended the golden jubilee celebrations of KMC in Peshawar in December 2004, he gave an assurance that NWFP?s premier medical college would be upgraded to university and sanctioned Rs 20 million for the institution.

Practical steps were taken for establishing the medical university when the cabinet of the MMA-led NWFP government approved the project in 2004, earmarked 110 kanals of land for it in Hayatabad town in Peshawar and allocated funds for the institution. The project got delayed when the then NWFP Governor Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah observed that the proposal be routed through the HEC because it was a public sector medical university. Some doctors accused him of deliberately delaying the implementation of the project to deny the MMA government the credit for establishing the medical university. They reminded him that medical universities in other provinces were set up through ordinances or under an act of the provincial assembly. He was also reminded how he had sanctioned several private universities without routing their applications via the HEC.

Already, the KMC has made strides to achieve its goal of becoming a university. An inspection team from the HEC after a visit to the KMC observed that it met all the requirements for issuance of charter by the NWFP government for upgrading it to the level of medical university. The HEC, which has been providing billions of rupees to universities in the country, is expected to provide development funds to the upcoming Khyber University of Medical and Health Sciences, though it cannot give money for infrastructural work.

Teachers would benefit from the establishment of the university. They would get better salaries under the HEC?s tenure track system with their monthly wages ranging from a minimum of Rs 82,500 for professors to a maximum of Rs 134,000 and from Rs 36,250 to Rs 50,850 for assistant professors. The teachers would be less tempted to join private medical colleges, which have been offering high salaries and even admitting children of medical teachers and giving them free education as additional incentives.

It may be added that medical education and quality of healthcare at public hospitals in the NWFP suffered when a significant number of specialist doctors quit their government jobs to protest the introduction of the Institution-Based Private (IBP) practice. Some basic sciences teachers in the recent past resigned from the KMC to join private medical colleges. There is a feeling that these medical teachers could have been retained with offers of better salaries had the KMC been upgraded to medical university.

The KMC, it may be mentioned, was commissioned in 1954. It was a constituent college of University of Peshawar until its takeover by the NWFP government in 1975. However, the KMC is still affiliated to the University of Peshawar for award of MBBS degrees and conducting examinations. The KMC started with an intake of 50 students yearly and it now admits 290. It presently has a total of 1,476 students.

The professorial faculty members number 127 while the lecturers and demonstrators total 72. It has produced almost 7,000 medical graduates. The 1,200-bed Khyber Teaching Hospital is affiliated to the KMC. The college provides hostel accommodation to 783 students in three boys and one girls? hostel.

As the parent medical institution in the NWFP, KMC is best suited to become a university for advancement of medical education. It would start holding examinations of all the medical colleges in the province and bring uniformity to the process. It would also unburden the University of Peshawar, which presently conducts 57 examinations of medical colleges.

Lawmakers in the NWFP Assembly are expected to back the upgradation of the KMC to Khyber University of Medical and Health Sciences in the interest of medical education and in a bid to bring the province at par with Sindh and Punjab where quite a few medical universities are now functional.

Robberies in Hayatabad go unchecked?


PESHAWAR, June 17: Residents of Hayatabad phase-V have expressed concern over increasing robbery incidents in their area. Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, Ahmad Khan, a resident of Hayatabad, said his son was robbed and injured two days back when he was going home in the night.

A watchman of the area said robberies had become routine and people had stopped going out of their homes during night.

A student of the Khyber Medical College, Kamran, said no one had been arrested for the robberies despite registration of several cases by local people. He urged the provincial government to order the police officials concerned to fulfil their responsibilities.


Probe begins into Hayatabad land scam


PESHAWAR, June 16: An 11-member committee of the City District Council has started investigation into the sale of prime land in the posh Hayatabad township at lower than market prices and award of contracts by the City Development and Municipal Department (CDMD). At its first meeting on Thursday, the committee asked the CDMD officials to provide record of the land sold to private parties, contracts and appointments.

General Manager Tariq Mahmood and other CDMD officials assured the committee, headed by Nazim Riaz Baacha, that record would be presented in the next meeting. The CDMD recently auctioned two plots ? one measuring 35 kanal and the other 18 kanal ? to private parties for construction of multi-storey residential and commercial buildings in Hayatabad.

Mr Baacha said the CDMD had auctioned the land at the rate of Rs2.4 million per kanal while the market price was more than Rs10 million per kanal.

CDMD Director-General Sareer Khan said the land had been sold at the rate of Rs2.9 million.

The district council had constituted the inquiry committee following reports that irregularities had been committed in the award of contracts worth millions

Wednesday, April 19, 2006



Traffic and insecurity turning Hayat Park into a ghost park

PESHAWAR: Hayat Park, situated near the Gora Qabristan, has failed to attract visitors due to its inconvenient location and the busy roads surrounding it.

The park, built in 1986, is located at the intersection of Jamrod Road, Airport Road and Khyber Road. All three are among the most congested roads in the cantonment and all traffic between University Town and Hayatabad Township passes by the park.

The park?s parking lot has been replaced by a huge billboard overlooking Jamrod Road and another signboard is going to be installed. Visitors to the park have to cross the busy roads in order to enter the park, which is considerably risky, considering the number of vehicles on the road and in absence of any zebra crossings and speed-breakers. As a result, parents are reluctant to let their children go to the park unattended. A number of traffic accidents have taken place near the park.

A cloud of smoke hangs perpetually over the park courtesy the heavy traffic on the nearby roads. Another reason why the park is not a popular resort is its proximity to the US Consulate and the army barracks. People cannot bring cameras with them to the park because photography has been banned in the park. People have criticised the planners of the project for choosing a location that is at a considerable distance form the city, due to which most people, especially women and children, do not visit the park. They said that there were already very few parks in Peshawar and the poor location of Hayat Park had rendered it virtually useless.

?What?s the purpose of constructing a park at a location which people cannot reach easily,? Sohail Ahmed, a mechanical engineer, told Daily Times. He said that the few existing parks in the city were either poorly maintained or were distant from the city. ?It is very inconvenient for me to bring my family to Hayat Park,? he said.

?The park is a complete waste of money. There is no justification for its construction at a place where people cannot go,? said Fayyaz Hussain, an insurance company official. He said that although government officials complained of insufficient funds, they had spent money on irrelevant projects such as Hayat Park. ?This park is useless now because there is no parking area and it is risky to cross the roads around it on foot,? said Shoaib, a gardener working at the park. He said that visitors did not come to the park anymore. ?You will not be able to see those flowers in the next couple of months because that portion will be used for billboards,? he said, pointing towards rows several of flowers in the garden.

Mukhdoom Sadiq, engineer of Peshawar Cantonment Board, said that the fountain at the park had cost Rs 0.5 million when it was constructed in 1985-86, while the boundary wall, chairs and benches and walkways had cost Rs 1 million. He said that the construction of the park was part of a city beautification project. ?The park had a parking area when it was inaugurated,? he said. Sadiq who oversaw the completion of the project said that people still visited the park despite its location.


Did dinosaur ever roamed Pakistan? (feature Article)

It is fascinating how pre historic skeleton of extinct species, sometimes huge are found in parts of the world. Sometime it makes one believe that such creatures are almost always found in North America, South America and Europe. Did anything ever lived on our part of the world? Recently there has been number of discoveries which places Pakistan in the path of evolution. One particular species has even been named after Pakistan called Pakicetus which lived in Sindh some 52 million years ago. The subject of this article is to highlight some discoveries of this nature. Recently fossil were discovered in Boluchistan of a species which is the largest land mammal ever lived! It is also aptly named after the province called Baluchitherium and lived some 20 to 30 millions years ago and weighed from 15 to 20 tones! But this is not the end of the road, first dinosaur skeleton of Pakistan has also been found in Boluchistan which roamed here some 70 million years ago and provides clues to the extinction of the species .

Glamour in Pashto music

PESHAWAR: With the rising trend of giving new touch and remixing old songs, Ghazals and poems, etc, of prominent poets, Pashtuns associated with the field of music and production have also joined the race and introduced glamour in the otherwise traditional Pashto music and art.

Among other creative works like Pekhawar Kho Pekhawar Dey Ka Na; Bibi Sherine, etc, reproducing a ghazal of prominent mystic poet Rehman Baba with video shots is another attempt to attract viewers in this modern day communication revolution.

The production of Media Masters and song by noted artist Gulzar Alam the poetic piece, ?Kasht ke za khawry eray da sta de dar vay? has been picturised on Wali Khan Sarhadi Sehrai. Wali Khan, resident of Landi Arbab is a poet and follower of Rehman Baba. In the video, he has been depicting as Rehman Baba sitting on the bank of Bara Khwar near Bahadur Kaley.

source: The News.

Pashto Concert News!

Irfan Khan (pekhawar kho Pekhawar de kana) will be performing live in Boston USA on Nov 24th 2007, details here.