Friday, April 6, 2012
Radio Pakistan Lahore is organizing a special music concert titled "Malka-e-Ghazal" on Saturday to pay tributes to legendary Ghazal singer Farida Khanum. All FM-101‚ FM-93 channels and Medium Wave stations as well as the current affairs channel. National Broadcasting Service will broadcast live the concert from 2:10 p.m. Live Audio will also be available on Radio Pakistan's website radio.gov.pk. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan will be the chief guest while renowned poet and former Chief Secretary Punjab Javed Qureshi and Director General Radio Pakistan Murtaza Solangi will be the guests of honour. Renowned intellectuals‚ musicians and experts will throw light on the life and services of Farida Khanum. On this occasion a musical performance will also be organized in which following artists and singers will take part. Shujaat Hashmi‚ Compare Hussain Bukhsh Gullu‚ Singer Hamid Ali Khan‚ Singer Rubina Qureshi‚ Singer Ijaz Qaiser‚ Singer Fareeha Pervaiz‚ Singer Sara Raza‚ Singer Shabnum Majeed‚ Singer Ali Abbas‚ Singer Habib Ali‚ Singer Shujaaat Ali Khan‚ Singer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Farida Khanum (born 1935) is a Ghazal singer from Punjab. The Times of India has called her "Malika-e-Ghazal" (Queen of Ghazal). In 2005‚ she was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz‚ Pakistan's second highest civilian honour by President. Early life Born in (1935) in Calcutta and raised in Amritsar. Her sister is Mukhtar Begum. She started learning Khayal from her sister Mukhtar Begum at age seven and later learnt classical music from Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan. Her sister Mukhtar Begum would take her‚ a seven-year-old Farida‚ to Khan's place for riyaaz. She migrated to Pakistan after partition of India in 1947. Career Farida Khanum gave her first public concert in 1950 and then joined Radio Pakistan where she courted fame and fortune. She became a star when Pakistan's president Ayub Khan invited her to a public recital in the '60s. The ghazal she is most associated with is Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Naa Karo.
Controversial film star
Pakistan's government is hoping that a former Taliban stronghold can attract tourists and boost business for the country. Malam Jabba, in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, is a seven-hour drive north of the capital Islamabad. It is Pakistan's winter wonderland, where people live on just dollars a day, surrounded by natural beauty. It’s also the Pakistan that few see, with scenery that rivals anywhere in the world. Many here hope this natural beauty will help get the Swat Valley back on the map as a leading tourist attraction. Here, the Karakorum mountain range soars into the sky, home to Pakistan's only public ski resort. This year the Pakistani government set up a winter festival to attract tourists back to the region – they called it "Ski and Smile Swat." That would have been unthinkable four years ago, when the Taliban went on a shockingly effective offensive through this territory. They took land and banned anything they deemed un-Islamic – no more music, no more dancing. No more skiing either. Mateeullah Khan was the resort's ski instructor. “We thought we weren't going to ski again because of the Taliban,” he told CNN’s Reza Sayeh. Khan says everyone in the area was in danger. “I just migrated, I left,” he added. Standing in the snow are the ruins of one of the area’s top hotels, destroyed by the Taliban. “The Taliban threatened us, told us they would slaughter us if we didn't leave,” said Nosherwan Khan, who says he worked at the hotel for two decades. “When our staff saw the building destroyed, we cried.” In 2009 the Pakistani military launched an offensive against the Taliban. Hundreds were killed and nearly two million displaced. But the army eventually pushed out the Taliban and peace was slowly restored. Government officials say their marketing campaign is working. Little by little, tourists are coming back to the region. “I can't express my feeling when we have peace in Pakistan and this region especially. It makes us feel easy,” said tourist Muzafar Hussain. But for many here, the rebuilding of the Swat Valley's top ski resort isn't happening fast enough. “Holding this (ski) competition - the aim behind it is that peace is restored in this area. People should visit us and they should build this ski facility for us,” said Mateeullah Khan. Only then, says Khan, will Malam Jabba be able to share its natural beauty with the world and help Pakistan fulfil its untapped tourism potential.
By Daniel GrossIt's a good thing the stock market isn't open Friday. If it were, the disappointing March employment report, a rare piece of negative economic news this spring, would likely have caused stocks to nosedive. As it was, U.S. stock futures (which were open) slipped, the dollar is falling and Treasury prices are spiking on the report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. economy added only 120,000 payroll jobs in March, a sharp decline from recent jobs growth. The unemployment rate slipped to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent in February, but that's largely because the workforce declined. In short, this is the type of report that is more typical of an economy beginning to emerge from recession than one that has been growing for nearly three years. The addition of 120,000 jobs represents the 15th straight month in which jobs were added. Compared with March 2011, there were 1.9 million more payroll jobs in the U.S. in March 2012. But this represents a sharp slowdown from the pace of job creation. In each of the previous three months, the economy had added more than 200,000 positions. As is typical, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised the job creation for previously reported months. The January figure was revised from a gain of 284,000 to a gain of 275,000, while the February figure was revised up from 227,000 jobs created to 240,000. Looking back, BLS discovered an extra 4,000 jobs that it hadn't detected last month — a negligible figure. The unemployment rate continued its decline, falling from 8.3 percent in February to 8.2 percent in March. But that's not necessarily good news. BLS creates its jobs metrics through two surveys. In the establishment survey, it calls up companies and asks them how many people they employ. This survey produces the payroll jobs figure. In the household survey, it calls up people at home and asks them about their work situation — whether they're working, whether they are looking for work, or whether they have stopped looking and are no longer in the labor force. The results of this survey produce the unemployment rate. And in March, the labor force actually shrank by 164,000. The labor force participation rate fell from 63.9 percent in February to 63.8 percent in March. That's why the unemployment rate fell. Where were jobs created in March? Manufacturing had a strong month, adding 37,000 positions. Gains were also seen in professional and business services (31,000), health care (26,000), and food services and drinking establishments (37,000). There was significant weakness in retail, which lost 34,000 positions in March. Average hourly wages bumped up a bit, but because the average number of hours worked fell in the month, average weekly wages fell as well. And in March, as it has for the last two years, what I've dubbed the "conservative recovery" continued. For much of the past two years, the private sector has consistently added jobs while the public sector — federal, state and local government — has consistently cut them. That trend continues in March, though there are signs that austerity's effect on public sector jobs is waning. In March, government reduced employment by 1,000. Since May 2010, government employment has fallen by one million while the private sector has added 3.7 million jobs. All in all, this was a disappointing report that was at odds with the prevailing data flow. Other labor market indicators have been trending in a more positive direction. Weekly first time unemployment claims are at a four-year low. In March, layoff announcements fell sharply from the previous month. At the end of January, there were 3.46 million job openings in the U.S., up 21 percent from the number of openings in January 2011. Ultimately, however, the monthly payroll jobs figure is the one that matters most — for the economy at large, and for the politicians whose electoral success will depend in large measure on the payroll jobs figures for the next several months. We'll have to wait 30 days to see if March's report was an anomaly or the beginning of a new, disappointing trend.
The Express Tribune
The US Consulate General here has said the cancellation of Ambassador Cameron Munter’s speech at the University of Peshawar by the Pakistan government due to security reasons would not have any effect on US support for underprivileged students in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). A press release by the US Consulate General said: “Local and national media have reported statements from the University of Peshawar’s Chairman of Political Science alleging that thousands of U.S.-funded scholarships for university students were withdrawn following the cancellation of Ambassador Cameron Munter’s visit to the university. These statements are not factual.” According to the press release, since 2008 USAID’s FATA Livelihoods Programme has provided scholarships to more than 1,360 students across the region. It said over 90 percent of these scholarships have assisted students from low-income households who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to continue their education.The United States is committed to continuing to work with the Pakistani government to improve educational opportunities for KP and FATA’s talented youth, the press release added.