Friday, March 31, 2006

At least 40 dead as Bahrain tourist ship sinks

MANAMA - A passenger boat carrying some 150 tourists, including Westerners, sank off the coast of Bahrain in the Gulf on Thursday and residents said more than 40 bodies were found. The vessel was believed to have taken out the tourists for a short tour of the Gulf, a hospital source said. "I have seen at least 48 bodies," said a resident, speaking by telephone from outside a port in the island state.
The official news agency BNA said 60 passengers had been rescued and taken to hospitals. "There were about 150 on the ship. Many on board were rescued," a Bahraini official said. He declined to say how many may have died.
The British Foreign Office in London said it was "very likely" the ship was carrying British passengers. British diplomats were at the Bahrain coastguard center and the hospital where survivors and the dead were being taken, the spokesman said.
Ambulances could be heard rushing to another port from which the vessel had set off.
A U.S. Navy spokesman said divers and small Navy vessels were helping in the rescue operations.
"The first report we received was that a Dhow (traditional wooden boat) has capsized. We are preparing a helicopter to join the rescue," the spokesman said.
"There is no initial indication that this was an attack," he said. Pro-Western Bahrain hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Summer Fashion

پاکستانی فوج کی پہلی خواتین پائلٹ

پاکستان کی تاریخ میں پہلی بار چار خواتین لڑاکا پائلٹ بن گئی ہیں اور جمعرات کے روز تربیت مکمل کرنے پر انہیں فضائی فورس میں شامل کرتے ہوئے ’فلائنگ بیجز‘ لگائے گئے۔

Saturday, March 25, 2006

امرتسر ننکانہ صاحب بس

ہندوستان کے وزیر اعظم منموہن سنگھ نے جمعہ کے روز امرتسر ننکانہ صاحب کے درمیان بس سروس کا افتتاح کیا۔ اس موقع پر خطاب کرنے ہوئے انہوں نے کہا کہ بس کے آغاز کے موقع پر وہ امرتسر میں ہونے پر بہت خوش ہیں اور یہ پنجاب کے لیے ایک اور یادگار دن ہے۔

پاکستان کے پنجاب میں ننکانہ صاحب اور بھارت کے پنجاب میں امرتسر کے درمیان صرف ایک سو تیس کلومیٹر کا فاصلہ ہے۔ مذہبی اعتبار سے سکھ برادری کے لیےان دونوں شہروں کی بڑی اہمیت ہے اور بڑی تعداد میں سکھ برادری ننکانہ صاحب کی زیارت کے لیے جاتی ہے لیکن نقل و حمل کا کوئی مستقل بندوبست نہ ہونے کے سبب مسافروں کو کافی دشواریاں اٹھانی پڑتی تھیں۔

صد سالہ تقریبات اور قرارداد

پاکستان مسلم لیگ نے پارٹی کی سو سالہ تقریبات منانے کے لیے لاہور میں ایک بڑا جلسہ منعقد کیا۔ اس جلسہ میں قرارداد منظور کی گئی کہ صدر جنرل پرویز مشرف فوجی وردی سمیت صدر رہیں۔ یہ قرارداد پنجاب کے وزیراعلی پرویز الہی نے پیش کی اور مجمع سے کہا کہ ہاتھ اٹھا کر اسے منظور کرے۔ اس قرارداد میں کہا گیا ہے کہ صدر جنرل پرویز مشرف کی وجہ سے ملک نے ترقی کی ہے اور اسے دنیامیں اہم مقام ملا ہے اسلیے وہ اپنی پالیسیوں کے تسلسل کے لیے فوجی وردی سمیت صدر رہیں۔

پاکتسان بیوٹیشنز کانفرنس

گزشتہ ہفتے حکمران جماعت پاکستان مسلم لیگ نے اپنے اسلام آباد دفتر بیوٹیشنز کانفرنس کا انعقاد کیا جس میں پاکستان بھر سے تین سو سے زائد ہیئر سٹائلسٹس اور بیوٹیشنز نے شرکت کی۔ کانفرنس کے دوران ایک ماڈل اپنے ہیئر سٹائل کی نمائش کر رہیں ہیں۔

Protests Continue in France

A man throws a trash bag holder as cars burn at the end of a student demonstration in Paris March 23, 2006. Rampaging French youths set fire to cars and looted shops in Paris on Thursday, marring protests against a youth jobs law, also known as the CPE, that Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, in a conciliatory move, agreed to discuss with unions.

China, Pak sign agreement for Gwadar port additional dredging

BEIJING: A credit agreement for dollar 22.26 million for additional dredging of Gwadar Deep seaport project was signed here. Pakistan Ambassador Salman Bashir and Ms. Liang Xiang, Assistant President EXIM Bank of China inked the agreement. Extra dredging would enable 50,000 DWT vessels to utilize the Gwadar port. Ms. Liang also assured the Ambassador that they would continue to actively support other major economic projects in Pakistan. The Ambassador expressed gratitude of his Government for the valuable support of China to Pakistan's economic development. Meanwhile, sources said that the port will be functional after completion of additional dredging of the channel to 14.5 meters, making it the deepest port of Pakistan and trans-shipment port for the region.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Merrill Lynch keen to invest in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Merrill Lynch Investment, one of the world’s largest investment management organisations, has shown interest to avail opportunities in Pakistan’s emerging mutual fund market. The interest was shown by the Managing Director of Merrill Lynch, David Graham called on Dr Salman Shah, Adviser to PM on Finance and Economic Affairs and described the investment climate of Pakistan favourable for foreign investment.
Graham is currently visiting Pakistan to explore possibilities of investment including portfolio investment prospects in Pakistan. Merrill Lynch Investment has over $500 billion of assets under worldwide management. They have also signed an agreement with one of the largest US Investment Management Firm M/s Black Rock and the combined assets of both entities are approximately one trillion dollars.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Pakistan signs PTCL transfer deal with Etisalat

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan signed a formal agreement on Sunday for its biggest privatisation to date, handing over management control of its state-controlled telecoms company to Middle East-based buyer Etisalat. A signing ceremony marking the transfer of a 26 percent stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd (PTCL) , worth $2.6 billion, to Dubai-based Emirates Telecommunications (Etisalat) was held at the Prime Minister's house in Islamabad. The ceremony was attended by officials of PTCL and Etisalat and presided over by Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The two sides agreed last December to a deal under which Etisalat , a UAE monopoly, would pay $1.4 billion up front for the stake and the rest spread over five years. An earlier deal agreed in June ran into trouble after the UAE firm failed to meet payment deadlines. Aziz said he was delighted that the deal had been completed and called it a historic day for the government's reform programme and for relations between Pakistan and UAE.
"Today's transaction signifies a quantum leap in the economic relationship between the two countries," he said. "Now it is up to the management of Etisalat to develop the PTCL franchise, to use Pakistan as a outsourcing venue so people here can help improve the possibilities of Etisalat globally, not just in Pakistan."
Referring to the difficulties the deal faced last year, he said: "The end result is good for PTCL, it's good for Etisalat, it's good for shareholders of both companies and good for the people of Pakistan and the UAE."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New UAE job-switch rule 'in place for weeks'

Dubai: The labour ministry is allowing expatriates to change jobs without waiting six months before issuing another labour permit, provided several conditions are met and transaction fees are paid, senior officials confirmed. All expatriates who have worked for their sponsor for at least a year, who have cancelled their labour card and residence permit without any bans, and have not signed a no-competition agreement, may apply for a new labour permit after paying transaction fees, said Ahmad Kajour, undersecretary of planning at the ministry. Such expats do not have to wait six months. The fee for the 'internal labour permit (status correction)' transaction varies from Dh1,500 to Dh9,000. Other top officials confirmed the new transaction but said they were waiting for Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi, Labour Minister, to announce it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Bush arrives in Pakistan

Pakistani police officers stand guard near concrete blocks used to close a road leading to the U.S. embassy before President Bush's visit to Islamabad, March 3, 2006

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Airport alert as driver smashes through door

MANAMA: An out-of-control car smashed through the main entrance of Bahrain International Airport yesterday, temporarily shutting down its main hall. Police had to shut the hall while staff removed the first set of glass doors from the doorframe and barricaded the entrance where the car crashed. The accident reportedly took place at around 1 pm and airport officials said there were between seven and 10 flights arriving from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. The 34-year-old Bahraini driver of the 1999 Toyota Corolla was detained in custody. Nobody was hurt, said a police official at the scene. "The driver took a right turn onto the pavement and crashed into the glass while trying to park there, near the taxi rank. He was not in his senses."
According to eye-witnesses, the driver appeared to be drunk or under the influence of drugs. "I was sitting on the bench outside the airport door," said taxi driver Sayed Ahmed, 55. "The car came around the corner - if he wasn't going so fast he might have been able to stop. He hit the brakes, and crashed through the glass doors.
"The driver was alone in the car - I think he was a drug user. He had track marks on his arm."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pakistan gains capability to hit invisible target

Pakistan has gained what it calls ‘joint standoff weapons’ a capability through which an invisible target can be hit. The weapon, in which integrated Global Position System and Inner-shell Management System Navigation are used, is a part of a joint programme of Navy and Air force in the U.S. Joint airframe, guidance system and flight control is used in this programme which is designed on the modular programme and thanks to this system the missile can hit a target at range of 70 kilometers. The missile can hit an enemy target without entering air limits of an enemy.