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First Karachi Art Festival by Nigaah celebrated

The two-day event, Karachi Art Festival powered by Nigaah kicked off at Beach Luxury Hotel on 7th and 8th April. With an objective to bring art into public domain KAF provided accessible platforms for art interactivity.

Starting with a keynote speech by Hameed Haroon, CEO Dawn Media Group, the programme encompassed art discourse attended by art critics, historians, collectors and curators and general public. Tauqeer Muhajir, Editor of Nigaah stressed that by actively encouraging social involvement and developing diverse cultural activities, Karachi Art Festival is not about elitism but inclusion of general public. He further promised KAF to be an annual affair.

Some of the interesting segments that drew crowd included “Interpretation of Art through the Critic’s Eye, “The Evolution of Art through the lens”, “Art as an investment”, “Institutionalising Art”, “The Significance of an Art Degree”, “Art and Rumi”, “Roles and Responsibilities of the Modern Age Curator”, “Naqoosh by Hast o Neest”, “Art through the Decades”, “Relevance and Significance of Art Movements”, “Tribute to Shakeel Siddiqui”, “Book Launch of Message Sent, the Life and Work of Adil Salahuddin.”

The impressive panel consisted of eminent speakers including Anwar Rammal – Trustee, Foundation for Museum of Modern Art (FOMMA), Adil Salahuddin – Board Member NCA, Marjorie Husain – Senior Art Critic, Sarmad Ali – Managing Director, Jang Media Group, Nimra Khan – Art Critic, Aasim Akhtar – Art Critic and Curator, Amra Ali – Art Critic, Curator and Researcher, Dr Asif Furrukhi – Co-Founder, Karachi Literature Festival, Dr Arjumand Faisel – Artist and Curator, Gallery 6, Quddus Mirza – Professor and Head of Fine Arts Department, NCA, Khalid Rahman – Editor, Iris online magazine, Cezanne Naqsh – Principal Architect and Co-curator, Jamil Naqsh Museum, Chitra Pritam – Artist, Maryam Rasul – Artist, Mona Naqsh – Artist, Shanzay Subzwari – Artist and Writer, Zehra Laila Javeri – Artist and Art Historian, Somayeh Bardai – Visiting Faculty, IVSAA, Abbrar Cheema – CEO, Media Concept, Farah Mahbub – Assistant Professor of Photography, IVSAA, Jamal Ashiqain – Photographer, Tapu Javeri – Photographer, Taimur Suri, Assistant Professor, SZabist, Dr Rahat Naveed Masud – Former Principal, College of Arts and Design, University of the Punjab, Tazeen Hussain – Associate Professor, IVSAA, Khusro Subzwari – Artist, Dr Alia Imam – Scholar and Writer, Rasheed Noorani – Director, Continuing Education Programme, IVSAA, Arshi Ahmad Aziz – Writer, Iqbal Nanji – Philatelist, Abdul Wahid – Philatelist, Dr Asma Ibrahim – Curator, The State Bank Museum, Mohammad Zeeshan – Curator and Artist, Dr Tariq Bukhari – Art Collector, Orooj Ahmed Ali – Art Collector, Waqar Malik – Art Collector and Chairman, Linde (Pakistan Oxygen Ltd.), Adeela Suleman – Head of Fine Arts Department, IVSAA, Dr Waleed Ziad – Professor, Habib University, Rizwanullah Khan – Founder and Coordinator, Islamic Arts Programme, Dept. of Visual Studies, Karachi University, Dr Fransisco Jose Luis – Professor, Habib University, Sohaib Alvi – TV Anchor, Akram Spaul – Artist, Fawzia Naqvi – Editor, Art Now, Amin Gulgee – Artist and Sculptor, Rainer Schmiedchen – Consul General, Germany, Karachi, Tabinda Chinoy – Artist, Danish Ahmed – Associate Professor, IVSAA, Prof Bhai Khan Shar – Director, CEAD, MUET, Jamshoro, Mahreen Zuberi – Coordinator, Fine Art Programme, Dept. of Visual Studies Karachi University, R.M. Naeem – Assistant Professor, NCA, Anis Imran Zuberi – Executive Director, Karachi School of Art, Prof Shehnaz Ismail – Professor Emeritus and Founder, IVSAA

A sitting with Feica with Nauman Nabi Ahmed turned out to be a fascinating session with Feica drawing live caricature and throwing light on his journey of cartoons. The signed cartoons drawn by Feica were a rare treat for the participants. Equally entertaining was Art and Rumi in which Mr Rasheed Noorani kept the audience amused with this eloquent narration of Rumi poetry.

The entertaining sessions of Dastaan Goeey by Fawad Khan, live “Fishermen Dance” by Pakistan National Council of Arts and PechaKucha slide show, a posthumous tribute to legendary artists prepared by Asdaq Hussain and eloquently presented by Akbar Ali were equally engaging.

For the younger artists, the live segment with Akbar Zia encouraged them to observe and sketch caricatures. Live CD painting by Saadia Sohail produced many different designs to create amazing pieces of art. The students of IVSAA painted a mural live at the venue for two days that was later auctioned with proceeds being donated by Nigaah for scholarships for needy art students.

Besides the traditional hand-made ajrak and tile works by Yaqoob and Ghulam Haider Doudpota, the public at large came across truck art paraphernalia by Anjum Rana and items of interest at APWA stalls. For book lovers, Liberty Books, OUP, Vasl and Mohatta Palace had interesting reads on art.

Art installations across the venue enthralled the general public. Curated by Akbar Ali – art consultant, VAD Department, PNCA, the installations comprised works of Abdul Jabbar Gul, A.S. Rind, Manizeh Ali, Obaid-ur-Rehman, Sunaina Telraj and Akbar Ali. Some of the installations were interactive and involved the general public.

One of the major segments that continued to draw large numbers was the art display by many art galleries inside the halls coupled with Jamil Naqsh Museum. Works of emerging and established artists were up for sale which made the public appreciate art. A special dark room was developed that featured the work of Karachi School of Art titled “DEJA VU CHRONICLES” that showed a kaleidoscopic spectrum of lights on whirling vertex like Chakras in holograms. The grand finale feature of KAF was the art auction where works of Khusro Subzwari, A.S.Rind, Shanzay Subzwari, Syed A. Irfan, Akram Spaul and Hanif shahzad were auctioned to raise funds for Nigaah scholarship at IVSAA. Additionally, a mural painted by students of IVSAA was also auctioned to support this scholarship. Through KAF, art became more accessible to general public by interacting with paintings and installations and more importantly seeing them up close. With an aim to bring “Art in Public Domain”, Karachi Art Festival is a festival that will continue to happen in the years to come.

Ali Jehangir Siddiqui enlightens future leaders and entrepreneurs at IoBM

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM), Ali Jehangir Siddiqui visited the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) on the University’s invitation for an interactive session at the Entrepreneurship and Management Excellence Center (EMEC), IoBM.

The session was moderated by Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Dean CBM and CES and was attended by senior members of the IoBM management, faculty, students, industry professionals and alumni.

The moderator had an in-depth discussion with Ali J. Siddiqui regarding his entrepreneurial ventures, standing as a corporate leader and views on Pakistan’s economic potential.

Speaking with respect to his entrepreneurship experience, Siddiqui stated that Pakistan is a growing market and its dynamics are particularly conducive for start-ups. He stated that entrepreneurship is a journey which helps individuals develop business and management skills, gain knowledge and progress commercially. In addition, good cash-flow management is a vital focus area for all enterprises especially in their growth stage.

Responding to a query from the moderator on organizational culture and people development, Siddiqui was of the view that every company needs to have a self-reflective culture and one that stems from the vision of the company’s leaders. He also emphasized that it is the employer’s responsibility to train and grow employees. Furthermore, he informed that JS Group follows a conscious policy of openness and accessibility to the leadership team whereby team members are free to connect with their seniors, share ideas and get valuable feedback.

Siddiqui stated that while Pakistan’s economy continues to grow, there are still some constraints which need to be addressed. There is significant potential within the various sectors of the economy and we need to explore new avenues of trade for future progress. Students were advised to explore initiatives for the progress and development of the country.

Siddiqui also expressed his high regard for IoBM and the consistently high quality of its students. Appreciating the Institute’s efforts on organizing such interactive sessions, he stated that he looks forward to being part of such events in the future as well. Concluding the session, Talib Karim thanked Ali J. Siddiqui for taking out his valuable time and sharing his insights with the audience.

ACCA hosts a multi-stakeholder leadership and governance dialogue on ëPathways to Sustainable Future’

ACCA hosted the Business Council for Sustainable Development – Pakistan for a multi-stakeholder ’Leadership and Governance Dialogue on Pathways to Sustainable Future’ for Sustainable Development Pakistan chapter at the ACCA office. The forum brought together senior representatives from business, civil society, government, academia and national and international development organizations in an unprecedented collaborative effort.

Arif Masud Mirza, Head of Policy, MENASA delivered the welcome address and spoke about how the efforts towards implementing strategies to deliver the SDGs will engage the accountancy profession at many levels. He also highlighted the findings on ACCA’s research report, ’The Sustainable Development Goals: redefining context, risk and opportunity’ and stated that driving investment to build the physical and institutional infrastructure that will recalibrate business, finance and government activity around the SDGs will require both the robust technical skills and sound ethical judgement that the accountancy profession around the world is well placed to deliver.

Amjad Parvez Janjua, President BCSD-Pakistan spoke about the importance of creating synergies because achieving this goal is beyond the reach of a single entity. He highlighted, “Collaboration will be key for delivery of the SDGs. There must be a profound working connection between the professionals from the private sector and the government. Hence there is a need and an opportunity for the organizations sharing a common interest in sustainable growth and development to marshal their resources to make a difference.”

He also highlighted that BCSD-Pakistan is developing a Future Leaders Team (FLT) programme as a unique professional development opportunity to nurture sustainability leaders for the future. The programme aims to create a network of dynamic business leaders capable of acting as sustainable development ambassadors both within their companies and in society. The need and importance of sharing lessons and best practices and exploring new strategic themes and initiatives to support a sustainable, inclusive and resilient world was emphasized.

Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, Chairman-Board of Governers, NUR International University in his closing remarks spoke about the need for building synergies and developing institutional capacity to achieve greater efficiency and competitiveness while delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Lt-Gen Tariq Khan new Chairman FMPAC

Fertilizer Manufacturers of Pakistan Advisory Council (FMPAC) has unanimously elected Lt. Gen. Tariq Khan, HI (M) Retd. CE & MD FFC, as new Chairman on retirement of Lt Gen Shafqaat Ahmad, HI (M). The new incumbent, who brings with him a wide ranging experience to the council has pledged to continue the good work already being done by his predecessor to address the challenges faced by the fertilizer manufacturers.

The General was commissioned in Pakistan Army in April 1977. During his illustrious service in the Army, he had been employed on various prestigious command, staff and instructional assignments including command of a Strike Corps. Since his retirement, he is on the honorary faculty of renowned institutions including National Defense University as a senior mentor. The General possesses vast experience as adviser to the leading corporate entities.

The new Chairman is fully conversant with the ongoing challenges faced by the fertilizer manufacturers today. These are; the inconsistent subsidy policies by the government and delayed payments of claims, exorbitant cost of production due to high rate of GIDC, gas curtailments and frequent shutdowns of network based plants, accumulation of tax refunds due to widening gap between output and input GST, capping of urea prices and high cost of compression due to falling gas pressures of Mari Gasfields. Recently, in a meeting of the previous Chairman with the Prime Minister, the Government demonstrated due cognisance of the issues confronting this strategic industry and the Prime Minister had very kindly assured to take care of the same. The new Chairman hoped that the Government will fulfil its commitments and release the payments withheld, while in the upcoming budget, the tax issues and the cost of production to ensure sustainable and affordable supply of domestic products to the farmers is expected to be addressed. The industry has already submitted its budget proposals to all concerned Ministries and relevant institutions.

Fertilizer industry is strategically one of the most important industrial sectors for an agrarian economy like Pakistan. The industry, besides being one of the highest tax payers, provided direct and indirect jobs to large segment of population and is the prime mover for the national food security, thus due patronage of the Government is admired in the national interest.


‘Solutions to Overcome Water Scarcity’

To commemorate the celebration of World Water Day, Nestlé Pakistan joined hands with Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) to highlight water wastage issues faced in the country due to poor agriculture practices. The event marked the official inauguration of a project to find solutions to avoid water wastage in agricultural practices, focusing on finding innovative answers for efficient and effect water management.

The world over, about 70% of water is used in agriculture. In Pakistan, that percentage stands at 90%, with 50% wastage due to poor irrigation methods. This wastage of water needs to end by means of better practices to save generation from water scarcity. Under this partnership Nestlé Pakistan is enhancing PARC’s technical capacity through installation of drip irrigation systems which is proven way to revive and increase crop production. The delivery line network would cover around six (6) acre crop site. The site will model best practices by using innovative methods and environmental friendly technology, to boost and enhance crop production through minimum use of water. Furthermore, this project will serve as knowledge hub for farmers visiting the research center on drip irrigation can have a substantial impact on crop yield.

Whilst inaugurating the project, the Chief Guest Federal Secretary Minister of National Food Security & Research Mr. Fazal Abbas Makan said, “Water scarcity is a huge challenge we face today. However instead of focusing on the negatives, we should focus on the positive and the utilise the opportunities presented in addressing this challenge. This partnership between PARC and Nestle Pakistan is an excellent example of how two relevant organs (government and private sector) of state can come together and work on something which is beneficial for all.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Yusuf Zafar, Chairperson PARC said: “Our partnership with Nestlé Pakistan is an excellent example of the role public-private partnerships can play important role in addressing the water challenge being faced by Pakistan. There is great inefficient water use in agriculture and are hopeful that this collaboration will serve as a knowledge sharing platform on moving towards sustainable agriculture. By adopting innovative techniques such as drip irrigation systems, Furrow-bed, and sprinkler systems the precious and scarce water resource can be saved and used efficiently on farm. Through our collaboration we can showcase to farmers how they can they achieve sustainable agricultural production and improve crop yield”.

Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Pakistan, said, “Water is a shared resource and the best way to protect it is by adopting a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach. Nestlé Pakistan’s Water Plan is part of our commitment towards Sustainable Development Goal 6, ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation reducing use of water chain for all. Pakistan being primarily an agriculture country, there is an even greater need to adopt water efficient practices. Our partnership with PARC is key in helping achieve this and in educating communities on how to use water efficiently particularly in agriculture”.

Khurram Zia Business Executive Officer, Waters Nestlé Pakistan, said, “Nestle Pakistan recognize that in order to ensure a significant water saving, we need to help farmers improve their water management and reduce their water use through high-efficiency irrigation techniques as well as new technologies”.

New UBL Regional Office inaugurated in Lahore

The new UBL Regional Office was inaugurated in Lahore by Sir Mohammed Anwar Pervez, OBE, HPk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBL and Bestway Group UK. Mr. Zameer Mohammed Choudrey, CBE, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, Director UBL, Sima Kamil, President & CEO, UBL, Members of the Board of Directors of UBL and senior executives of the Bank were present on the occasion.

UBL’s new Regional Office is located on main Jail Road, Gulberg, Lahore. Rising more than 125 feet, this 9-storey building features state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology enclosed within a classic Edwardian design. The inspiration for the building came from Sir Anwar Pervez, who envisaged a structure which embodied Lahore’s rich heritage of historic buildings.

Speaking on the occasion, Sima Kamil, President & CEO UBL said, “UBL’s new Regional Office building is a dynamic symbol of the Bank’s continuing legacy that inspires confidence and trust. UBL is acknowledged as a Progressive and Innovative bank. These two attributes of the Bank have propelled the institution in taking lead in financial inclusion and economic development of Pakistan.”

NAFA announces its name change

NAFA has announced its name change to NBP Funds. National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) is the prime sponsor of the company and the management believes that the name and logo change will enable it to further grow its retail outreach.

There is no change in the ownership and/or management structure of the company, and the funds will continue to use the “NAFA” brand name.

NBP Funds is the largest asset management company in the country with assets under management (AUM) of Rs. 110 billion. It has been awarded an AM1 rating (Very High Quality) by PACRA, which is the highest rating offered to any Asset Management Company in Pakistan.

SME Sector will suffer if SME bank is being privatized: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that SMEs have a significant contribution in the total GDP of the Country, according different reports, the share in the annual GDP is 40 percent likewise SMEs generating significant employment opportunities for skilled workers and entrepreneurs. Small and medium scale firms represent nearly 90 percent of all the enterprises in Pakistan and employ 80 percent of the non-agricultural labor force. These figures indicate the potential and further growth in this sector

Mian Zahid Hussain said the major problem of this sector is the lack of finance which is accounted for 51 percent according to the World Bank survey. SME bank is the only national financial institution in the Country that provides financial assistant to the SME sector through easy loans of Rs. 50 thousands to Rs. 100 Millions to the trade and industry fulfills the requirements of Small and Medium Enterprise including women entrepreneurs, auto parts manufacturing, fan industry, furniture industry, gems and jewellery, bicycles, hotels and restaurants and many others in terms of project financing, working capital and leasing.

The veteran business leader said SME bank has been established on demand of SME sector in 2002 with core objective of providing financial assistance to this sector through easy loans. Since there is no alternate to this institution is available therefore it is suggested not to privatize SME bank. The SME sector which significantly contributes to the National Economy will adversely effected if the SME bank is being privatized.

The former minister said the business community has reservations on the closure or privatization of SME bank as this is the only institution provides financial assistance to the SME sector. Government needs to reconsider its decision of privatizing SME bank and find an immediate remedial strategy to cover the losses of this institution. In addition it is required to pay attention to the SME sector in order to increase the SME sector share in the National economy.

JS Bank team visits Karachi press club to meet with governing body

The JS Bank Marketing team visited Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Friday to meet with the Governing body and exchange views on the media’s role in today’s rapidly changing corporate environment.

The leadership of the club’s governing body including its President – Ahmed Malik and the Vice-President Minhaj Ur Rab was present at the occasion while the JS Bank team was led by Imran Shaikh, Head of Marketing. The event was well-attended by members of the governing body as well as media organizations.

The JS Bank team was warmly welcomed by the media fraternity to the historic KPC premises. The two sides exchanged views on the continually growing importance of the media within the country. The journalists were extremely appreciative of the activity and commended JS Bank’s efforts to promote engagement between corporate professionals and the media. The JS Bank team appreciated the initiatives undertaken by the press club to promote business opportunities within Pakistan as well as to globally promote the image of the country.

This visit was the latest in a long-running series of media engagement activities undertaken by JS Bank over the course of the past few years to help strengthen its relationships with communication outlets nationwide.

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