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Nov 26 - Dec 02, 2001

PakFree launches the smart payment method The Smart Card

In a short span of nine months PakFree having begun its operations in Lahore has now launched its array of internet based products in Karachi as well as a plan to introduce its new premier product "The SmartCard" in Lahore in the month of November.

With the mission of ushering Pakistan into the era of e-commerce, Pakfree has developed an internet network providing quality internet connectivity which operates in support of the comprehensive information and e-commerce based portal which also provides its members with free internet; MyPakfree.com, the first wide range online shopping mall; PakfreeMall.com, the online restaurant meals ordering and delivery service; Meals On E-Wheels, quality corporate solutions provided by Pakfree.net, internet time in minutes at low costs; Minute Net and now the latest Smart Card which is a secure and easy way to pay for purchasing Pakfree services and shopping on the internet.

PakFree has in a short time established the most comprehensive information based and e-commerce interactive portal in Pakistan. MyPakfree.com provides a wide range of information to satisfy the needs of everyone. In addition by obtaining the membership of MyPakfree.com the customized software is provided which allows members to receive Free Internet to a maximum limit of 2500 hours a year. This is the first FREE internet service in Pakistan. MyPakfree.com has almost everything from minute to minute international, sports, business, entertainment news to discussion forums to a platform for amateur writers to the first online Music Radio called Music 24/7 to a wide ranging updated information data base on Health, Fitness, Education, Sports, Entertainment, Tourism, Food etc.

PakFree is a pioneering project in the IT sector in Pakistan with its main focus being the designing and implementation of e-commerce solutions. PakFree's aim is to bring the benefits of e-commerce to the doorstep of each and every internet user in Pakistan. Therefore, all solutions developed cater to the needs of the Pakistani consumer specifically.

Internet by itself is not sufficient unless it is utilized for purposes which result in direct financial and information benefit to the general consumer. For many years the Pakistani internet user has been dependent on resources developed for others and not catering to their needs. Pakfree has chosen to fill this gap. Unless there is grass root benefit to a person the internet culture will not set in.

In addition all products and solutions provided by PakFree have been designed, developed and implemented in Pakistan by a team of Pakistani developers who all joined the team as raw graduates and have developed into a thinking team of developers.

Emirates bucks trend to post half-year profits of $46m

Emirates has proved once again its ability to buck the current trend affecting the airline industry, but posting half-yearly profits of Dhs168.2 million (US$46 million).

The results, for the half-year ending 30th September 2001, also compares well to the net profit of Dhs164.2 million (US$45 million) during the same period last year. The figures are based on unaudited financial results.

The news comes close on the heels of Emirates' largest-ever aircraft order at the recent Dubai 2001 Air Show, valued at US$15 billion. The total order for the super-jumbo Airbus A380, A340-600, A330-200 and Boeing 777 aircraft, will boost Emirates' fleet to 100 aircraft by the year 2010.

Emirates' operating revenue of Dhs3.36 billion recorded a strong growth of 14% compared to Dhs2.95 billion during the same period last year. Even though overall seat capacity increased by over 23.3%, the seat factor was maintained at 74%, compared to 74.7% last year.

Cash balances on 30th September 2001 were robust at Dhs2,800 million (US$763 million).

Aga Khan Network and Syria sign major agreement

His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims concluded his eight-day visit to Syria with a second round of extensive discussions with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Aga Khan and Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa Miro also signed a Framework Development Agreement between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and Syria. The Agreement will facilitate the effective functioning and optimum utilisation of the human and financial resources that the AKDN would mobilise for Syria. It also establishes an AKDN Representation Office in Damascus.

Preston's EMBA & EMS programs

Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology (PIMSAT), Islamabad organized an Information Seminar at its campus in the Capital. The purpose of the Seminar was to inform the prospective students about Executive Masters (EMBA & EMS) programs being offered by the Institute, at its campuses located all over the country. Corporate Executives who participated in the seminar evinced keen interest in the academic programs of the Institute. They lauded the scholarship policy of the Institute, which focuses on merit and need as the qualifying criteria. They also expressed their satisfaction over the quality of the academic programs PIMSAT is currently offering at the Executive Masters level.

Speaking on the occasion, Preston's Director General Academics, Air Marshal (Retd) A. Rashid Shaikh eulogized the role Preston students and their parents have continuously played in strengthening the image of Preston, as the leader and pace-setter in higher education in Pakistan. He highlighted the significance of the Institute's academic programs at the Executive Master's level, and spelled out the well-defined and progressive admission, examination and scholarship policies being pursued at all the campuses of the Institute. The Director General Academics of Preston extended his gratitude to the prospective students for participating in the Information Seminar with such enthusiasm. He said Preston's EMBA & EMS programs are market driven and tailored to specific interests and fields of specialization of respective students. A significantly large number of corporate executives, who took these degrees in the past, tremendously benefited in their professional careers and are now occupying respectable positions in reputed private and public sector organizations both with the country and abroad.

Later, the Senior Program Director of Preston's Islamabad Campus, Brig. (R) Mazhar Abbas Razwi gave a detailed presentation on the academic programs being offered by the Institute at the Executive Masters level, at all its campuses. Brigadier Razwi reiterated, on the occasion, that Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology (PIMSAT), Karachi is a Chartered, Degree Awarding Institute. The Charter was conferred on PIMSAT by the Sindh government (vide Sindh Ordinance No.XXVI of 2001), in August this year. PIMSAT, he said, is also recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), and is duly enlisted in UGC's list of recognized and chartered public and private universities and degree awarding Institutes in Pakistan.

ISO 9001 for PSO approved

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has been granted ISO 9001: 2000 certificate effective November 1, 2001.

The certificate refers to PSO facilities at Keamari Terminal A, B and C, Zulfiqarabad Oil Terminal, Pipri, Sihala Terminal, Rawalpindi, and Machike Terminal, Sheikhupura.

Through this certification, Pakistan's largest oil marketing firm will be able to maintain operational activities in line with international standards. The certificate provides basic guideline to control and monitoring of services, maintenance of procedures, purchase procedures, customer services, staff training, internal audit and corrective actions. The certificate has been issued for two years. Last year, the PSO blending plant at Korangi and the central lab at Keamari Terminal A were granted ISO 9001:2000 certificate.