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May 21 - Jun 03, 2001

Sheraton Amman, JORDAN OPENS

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced the opening of the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel and Towers, a luxury five-star property located in Jordan's capital of Amman.

The spectacular Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel and Towers occupies an extraordinary place on Starwood's Middle East roster, says Sami Zoghbi, president Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., Africa, India and Middle East. "This property in Amman makes Starwood the only chain with a hotel in every major city and commercial center in the Middle East," says Zoghbi. "It's something our competition simply cannot match."

Askari MasterCard and FMIT

Askari MasterCard has recently signed an MOU with Future Management Institute of Technology (FMIT), the first ISO 9001 IT Institute in Pakistan, to provide its MasterCard Members exclusive discounts. This arrangement is aimed to provide value-added benefits to Askari MasterCard holders when they use services of FMIT through Askari MasterCard. This arrangement will not only facilitate Askari MasterCard members but their families are also entitled to avail exclusive discounts at FMIT. The arrangement covers a host of services and benefits on various IT courses offered through FMIT.


Cathay Pacific Airways announced special packages from Karachi to Los Angeles and San Francisco in the US. The offer starts from 15 May 2001 and would be valid till 31 December 2001. Operating three times a week from Karachi via Hong Kong, the passengers will be entitled to three FREE coupons for any three destinations of their choice in the US. Moreover, one-night stopover is also available on the return trip.

The service between Karachi and USA will be operated using an Airbus Industrie A330-200 with an enhanced cabin featuring greater legroom. The aircraft is designed to carry 44 passengers in Business Class and 267 passengers in Economy Class.

Sohail Yunus, Sales Manager, Cathay Pacific Pakistan said: "We are delighted to offer this most convenient and economical package from Karachi to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The service should be highly popular with not only the business travelers but also with the holiday travelers and Pakistani students. By operating thrice a week service on the route we are confirming our commitment to providing quality and convenience of travel to the people of Pakistan."

Hubco to pay interim dividend

The Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco) has 'resolved' to pay interim divided at Rs. 1.70 per share (17 per cent).

The announcement was made at the Karachi Stock Exchange, following the meeting of the company board held in Istanbul, Turkey.

The announcement said, "the Board has, subject to lenders approval under the Project Co-ordination Agreement in pursuant to Article 100 of Articles of Association of the Company, resolved to pay an interim dividend at 17 per cent".

Philips benefits from business opportunities

Pakistan has great potential for investment as a market for multinational companies and Philips service network is fully benefiting from the business opportunities.

This was stated by Ed Voss, vice president, West Asia Operations of Philips Consumer Electronics during his visit to Pakistan.

During his visit Voss toured markets in Lahore and Karachi. He was given a comprehensive overview of Philips Pakistan and was taken on a tour of the Philips factory.

FedEx Express/Gerry's Gala Night - An Enthralling Event

FedEx Express/Gerry's international recently celebrated their twelfth anniversary, in grandeur style, during a dinner held at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore.

The dinner, followed by a fabulous musical night, was a celebration to commemorate twelve successful years of service in Pakistan, whereby FedEx Express/Gerry's International have grown and expanded their operations manifold.

Present at the occasion were Mr. Arshad Hussain, General Manager, FedEx Express, together with Mr. A. Wali Muhammad, Director, Gerry's International.

"The relentless efforts and hard work put in by the FedEx Express/Gerry's International teams in Lahore are indicative of a work force that goes beyond the call of duty to satisfy its customers and is indeed a hallmark for others to follow," said Mr. Arshad Hussain.

Furthermore, Mr. Wali said, "The performance of the members in Lahore is truly reflective of the immense potential, confidence and dependability possessed by them, in executing their responsibilities, thus setting benchmarks in the industry."

The dinner was followed by an energy-filled musical night where renowned singers like Fakhre Alam, Fariha Pervaiz, Humera Arshad and Jawwad Ahmad simply mesmerized everyone. The splendid show kept everyone engrossed till the early hours of the following morning, making it a night that was memorable for all.

Envisaging to further expand its operations in Pakistan, the spectacular dinner and celebration were yet another step forward for FedEx Express/Gerry's International.

FedEx International was formed in 1973 and has emerged as the world's largest transportation company. It operates out of 211 countries worldwide, through a work force of more than 150,000 dedicated employees. In Pakistan, FedEx has licensed Gerry's International to carry out its operations. Possessing the same superior quality standards of delivering shipments and executing operational activities as at FedEx International, Gerry's international is one of the largest aviation groups in Pakistan, with a strong infrastructure, capable of supporting the vigorous operations of reputable organizations like FedEx International.

UBL Announces Rs. 2 Billion Operating Profit

United Bank Limited has announced an all time high profit of Rs. 2 billion for 2000 after its shareholders approved the audited accounts for year 2000 at the Annual General meeting.

Earlier the Board of Directors in its meeting, held to approve the audited account, congratulated the President Amar Zafar Khan for producing such excellent results.

Later, addressing a Press Conference, Amar Zafar Khan said that all overseas locations reported profits in 2000. This was aided by the strong performance from the Corporate Banking Division and Treasury in the domestic operations.

"Performing Advances have grown by 51% to Rs. 61bn. Net Non performing loans reduced partly due to provisions and recoveries by 39% to Rs. 13 bn." Amar Zafar told members of the media. "Cheap deposits grew by 12% to Rs. 72 bn. Expensive deposits on the other hand were reduced by 10% to Rs. 56 bn. Net spread, has increased by 0.7%. This is despite the fact that UBL was forced to discontinue the prize schemes on deposits that were launched in 1999."

UBL continued to enhance its role on trade finance side, resulting in an FX revenue of 1.6 bn. UBL handled Rs. 69 bn of overall import and export business during the year, an increase of 8% as compared to 1999.

Fee Income increased by 22% during the year, in spite of a general slow down in trade activities in the country due to documentation drive initiated by the government. This was achieved due to special focus on relationship management by our corporate banking group and the advisory support.

Admin expenses were generally controlled and recorded an increase of only 9% on increased volumes, tariff revisions and general inflation."

The President further said that UBL was ready for privatization. He mentioned that there has been significant progress on disputed taxes and the bank expects to recover Rs. 6 billion on this account. He further added that majority of the Government debt was being serviced. "The bank's restructuring is substantially complete". He further informed the press that: "The bank's operating profits have continued to record improvement as during the first quarter of 2001, the bank has earned profit before tax of Rs. 550 M based on unaudited results."

Governor Sindh Inaugurates PVC Geomembrane Watercourse

Lining Demonstration Site

The Governor of Sindh, Mohammedmian Soomro inaugurated the PVC Geomembrane watercourse lining demonstration site in District Thatta recently. The demonstration site has been developed by Engro Asahi Polymer and Chemicals Limited in collaboration with On Farm Water Management, Government of Sindh, to demonstrate total seepage control using PVC geomembrane lining. This demonstration is in pursuance of the decision of the Sindh Economic Recovery Task Force subcommittee dealing with irrigation water losses.

Speaking on the occasion the Governor stated that water conservation is one of the biggest challenges of the day and that the Provincial Government is dealing with it on a priority basis.

The Governor said that he was pleased with the public-private sector partnership in the promotion of modern technology in the agricultural sector. He emphasized a need to develop a comprehensive strategy to make the irrigation system more efficient.

In the presentations it was highlighted that 50 million acre feet of water is lost every year in Pakistan due to seepage in canals and water courses. A large part of this seepage is in saline areas. In Sindh alone, 15 million acre feet is lost in saline areas. This water saved using PVC geomembrane will help in making millions of acres of waterlogged land cultivable. The increased cultivation and agricultural production will assist in reducing the trade deficit and improve the macroeconomic performance of the country.

The demonstration site is a watercourse 820 metre long, which has been lined with PVC geomembrane. According to data tabulated and verified by the On Farm Water Management, Government of Sindh, pre-lining water losses were 44.0% of total water discharge. After the PVC geomembrane lining installation water losses have been reduced successfully to 2.8% which also include evaporation losses.

The seepage control provided by geomembrane lining is significantly superior to any other alternative. In terms of cost, PVC geomembrane is cheaper than the traditional method of brick lining with concrete. Moreover, the useful life of PVC geomembrane lining is around 40 years which is significantly greater than traditional lining methods. PVC geomembrane is easy to install and readily available since it is based on indigenous materials processed by the domestic PVC calendering capacity.

PACRA assigns long-term entity rating of A-to PICIC

The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned an "A-" (signle A minus) long-term and an "A2" (single A two) short-term entity rating to PICIC. The rating denote a low expectation of credit risk emanating from the company's strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments. These ratings are applicable to the senior unsecured creditors of the company.


The first Annual General Meeting of Khushhali Bank was held in Karachi recently. Chaired by Azhar Hamid, Country Head Standard Chartered Grindlays Bank and member of KHB board, the meeting was attended by Ghalib Nishtar, President Khushhali Bank and other senior representatives of shareholding banks. The main agenda of the meeting was adoption of the audited financial statements relating to the bank's first operating period ended 31 December 2000 and the reports of the President and independent directors.

Presenting his report, Ghalib Nishtar briefed the shareholders about KHB's operational model, activities since inception, business roll-out plan, future strategies and institutional development activities. The Chairman of the meeting Azhar Hamid, on behalf of all the shareholders, appreciated the management's efforts towards establishing an infrastructure to support bank's operations within a short span of existence and assured continued support of member banks towards poverty alleviation and other social sector development objectives of the bank.


Swissair is pleased to announce the promotion of Mrs. Yasmin Peermohamed, Senior Marketing Specialist to Manager Marketing, Swissair. Besides marketing, she will also be responsible for Pricing and Customer Relations for Swissair in Pakistan.

Seminar on Allama I.I.Kazi at IBA Jamshoro

Recenlty a seminar in the remembrance of Allama I.I.Kazi was arranged at Institute of Business Administration, University of Sindh, Jamshoro. Allama I.I.Kazi lived his life as if he was fulfilling a promise and commitment to serve the society. Allama was born on April 9, 1886, in the village of Patt, District Dadu. When he was still a boy, his family settled in Hyderabad, where Akhund Abdul Aziz gave him lessons in Sufism, Persian poetry and Islamic literature. At the age of 16, he found himself in the company of Sufis. In 1906, he left for Aligarh but a year later returned to go abroad for higher studies. He studied Economics, Physics and Biology. In this auspicious occasion Dean, Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of Sindh, Jamshoro Professor Ferozuddin Kazi said, " Almost in every utterance and assertion of his life one can see the vitality, vigor, spirit and strength of his life. He said to teachers that they are the hope of future and the leader of tomorrow. The future citizens are waiting for the guidance from them. Honourable Director, IBA Professor Dr. Anwar Ali Shah G. Syed expressed his views about the founder of Sindh University's Jamshoro campus in these words, "The contribution of Allama I.I.Kazi is reflected in the shape of a wonderful place known as Jamshoro that has created many great minds, a place that has produced Managers, Scientists, Doctors and Engineers, the most ideal place from all aspects."

Faculty member Mr. Imamuddin Khoso said "He was a philosopher of first water and as a religious mystic scholar he was devoted and true Muslim, Being too deeply rooted into his own religion, he was aware and open to all the religions of the world. He never suffered from any sort of extremism and fanaticism.

"Anita Shah expressed her views and said that "Allama I.I.Kazi believed that feeding of body is not as important as feeding of mind, Mind stands on its own pedestal. Because by feeding the one you become a good animal. By feeding the other you become a good human being. The first word of "Quran" was Iqra". The very essential thing for life was Iqra, not feeding of body."

The faculty member, Mr. Mushtaque Ali Jariko on the occasion said that, "It has been the biggest sign of the great people that they continue learning till they live, we can judge this quality of Allama by his depth of feelings about the universe and the breadth of his scholarship. He had a realistic approach in his life, therefore he gave a very constructive meaning to his life, that is why he lives in hearts of the People."

In this seminar a number of students from IBA, Jamshoro and Commerce Department also expressed their views and read papers on the life, works and thoughts of Allama I.I. Kazi.

Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers Signs Deal with Standard Chartered Bank

Recently the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers signed a strategic deal with Standard Chartered Bank. This deal will offer Standard Chartered cardmembers attractive discounts and privileges on accommodation, restaurant, gourmet shop, health club and laundry & dry cleaning facilities at the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers. This arrangement is part of the bank's effort to bring more and more value to the cardmembers.

Standard Chartered is the largest foreign banking group in Pakistan with a credit card customer base of over 105,000.

Executive moves in Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd.

Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd. has announced plans to restructure its organization with resultant reassignment of some of its senior executives. The Company is making these moves to meet the emerging business needs of the Company.

Mr. Asif Qadir, currently Vice President and head of Manufacturing at Daharki, is moving on secondment to take over as President and CEO of Engro Asahi Polymer & Chemicals Ltd. (EAPCL). EAPCL is a joint venture of Engro's with two leading Japanese Companies. Mr. Nadir is a Chemical Engineer from Columbia University, New York.

Mr. Asad Umar, upon completion of his assignment as CEO of EAPCL is returning to Engro Chemical to take over as Senior Vice President Fertilizer Operations. In this position, Mr. Umar will look after the Manufacturing, Marketing and Technology Division of the Company. Mr. Umar is an MBA from I.B.A.Karachi.

Mr. Pervaiz Kausar, currently Vice President Marketing will assume the newly created position of Vice President Business Development. In this capacity, he will be responsible for the new diversification thrust of the Company, especially in Agri businesses. Mr. Kausar is an Engineer from U.E.T. Lahore.

Mr. Khalid S. Subhani currently General Manager Operations, will be redesignated as General Manager Manufacturing. He will be responsible for managing the Urea plant site at Daharki. Mr. Subhani is a Chemical Engineer from Dawood College of Engineering.

Primary health care a means of achieving health for all!

By Dr. Sabeeh Jaffery MBBS, MPH (USA)

An international conference on Primary Health Care was held from September 6-12, 1978 in Alma-Ata, capital of Kazakh, the former union of Soviet Socialist Republic.

The conference which was held in accordance with the decision of the WHO Assembly and the Executive Board of UNICEF was attended by 134 governments and by representatives of 67 UN organisations, specialized agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Against a background of the poor health status of millions of people and the lack of availability of health services, specially in the developing countries, World Health Authorities realized that Primary Health Care approach was the only solution to achieve an acceptable level of health throughout the world this forming the Declaration of Alma-Ata as the goal of Health For All by the year 2001.

It defined Primary Health Care as: "essential health care made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community by means acceptable to them, through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford. It forms an integral part both of the country's health system of which it is the nucleus and of the overall social and economic development of the community".

Twenty three years have elapsed since the declaration at Alma-Ata, yet, we are far from realization of that dream . It is not that we have not moved forward, but our pace has been painfully slow, whereas, other countries in the region have made great strides. Illiteracy, poverty, strong beliefs and customs prevalent in rural communities, fewer medical graduates opting to work as Primary Care Physicians, unwillingness to work in rural areas, political influence of local groups and organisations, misappropriation of funds, are some of the factors that can be accounted for, for the failure in the development of a comprehensive Primary Health Care System in Pakistan.

Primary Health Care calls for participation of the Community at all stages. It envisages health care for all and specially the needy, regardless of their social and economic status. The health services should be so designed to be preventive, promotive and curative and should be in conformity with the religious beliefs and practices in order to gain acceptance.

The role of Primary Care Physicians is pivotal for the success of the system. Primary Care Physicians or Family Practitioners serve as "gate keepers" and are an important instrument in quality enhancement and cost-containment. The current practice of walking straight to a consultant's office for trivial complaints occurs because of inadequate information or usage of family physicians.

The specialty of family medicine is centered on loving and caring relationships with patients and their families. It is based on the holistic approach to health whereby family physicians make more than a medical diagnosis. Family physicians offer comprehensive, personalized care, listen to the patient and take time with them and help them make the right health care choice.

In Pakistan too, the recognition of the need for a set up which has at its pivot a qualified Primary Care Practitioner as a "gatekeeper" is gaining impetus. Many organisations are actually working towards the realisation of the goal the ultimate objective being the provison of health for all.