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Yaaree Sort of ‘Pakistan’ Category

May
05

As many as 10 Pakistani citizens were killed and 46 others including four paramilitary soldiers injured as Afghan border police targeted personnel of the Frontier Corps deployed for security of population census team in Baluchistan’s Chaman area, officials said on Friday.

“Since 30th April, Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in conduct of census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Charnan area on Pakistani side of the Continue Reading…

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Dec
15

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Thousands attended funeral prayers for singer-turned-preacher Junaid Jamshed, who was killed in the PK-661 air crash last week, after which he was laid to rest at Darul Uloom Korangi in Karachi amid tears and sobs.The prayers led by religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel were held at AKD Ground, DHA Phase 8, after Zuhr on Thursday (today) amid strict security Continue Reading…

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Nov
30

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The Pakistan Army on Wednesday contradicted a news item which it said appeared in a section of media and on social media that Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat met Hussain Nawaz, the son of Prime Continue Reading…

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Oct
20

One’s a Nobel laureate and the other a gamer!

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The world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and gamer Sumail Hassan have now made it to Times’ 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016.

Sumail Hassan, now 17, won his team Evil Geniuses the Defense of the Ancient 2 (Dota 2) Asian championship in China last year when he was just 15 years old. The team bagged $1.2 million in prize money at the competition.

“Hassan has become the youngest person ever to earn $1 million playing competitive video games, making him a phenomenon in the rapidly growing world of ‘e-sports’,” states the publication’s website.

The child prodigy moved to the US in 2014 and spent some of his winnings – now at $2.3 million and counting – to buy a house for his family.

Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai has been fighting for girls’ right to education for almost a decade now. Her organisation The Malala Fund has received funding from famous personalities worldwide. Currently, the 19-year-old is working towards urging “world leaders to set aside $1.4 billion this year toward educating young refugees,” says Times.

Malala was shot by Taliban when she was 11 years old for braving against the ban on girls’ education in her hometown Swat.

The Times’ annual list includes children from the tender age of 14. The criteria to be a part of this list, Times shares, is: ‘we consider accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news.

Here’s the complete list:

Maddie Zielger, 14

Skai Jackson, 14

Logan Guleff, 14

Gaten Matarazzo, 14

Sasha Obama, 15 and Malia Obama, 18

Rachel Zietz, 16

Laurie Hernandez, 16

Kiara Nirghin, 16

Chloe Kim, 16

Yara Shahidi, 16

James Charles, 17

Gavin Grimm, 17

Amandla Stenberg, 17

Ben Pasternak, 17

Zara Larsson, 18

Yusra Mardini, 18

Jaden Smith, 18

Shawn Mendes, 18

Luka Sabbat, 18

Katie Ledecky, 19

George Matus, 19

Maisie Williams, 19

Simone Biles, 19

Camila Cabello, 19

Chloe Grace Mortez, 19

Barbie Ferreria, 19

Kylie Jenner, 19

 

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Oct
18

LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday issued show-cause notices to 72 cable TV operators in the Lahore region for showing excessive foreign content during the last two days after expiry of the deadline, Oct 15.

Pemra had announced on Aug 31 that strict action would be taken against the channels airing foreign content more than the prescribed limit and the traders selling illegal Indian Direct-to-Home (DTH) sets.

Only 10pc of the airtime is allowed for foreign content while the maximum limit for Indian content is six percent in 24 hours.

The Pemra authorities had also fixed the time for Indian news and entertainment channels content could be shown from 4pm to 7pm.


Indian content allowed only from 4pm to 7pm


Pemra Lahore Region Assistant Manager Operations Hafiz Jamil told Dawn that they were taking strict action against the local cable TV networks for showing excessive foreign content.

He said the regional general manager had proposed a comprehensive plan with coordination of sub-offices Faisalabad and Sargodha and constituted 16 teams. During the drive, 124 inspections of cable TV operators were made across the region and only 39 violations were observed on Oct 16 when the teams confiscated 161 equipments.

Mr Jamil added the regional office Lahore, sub-offices Faisalabad and Sargodha had made 102 inspections of cable TV operators across the region and observed 33 violations. The teams issued show-cause notices to the violators of different cable TV operators and also seized equipment of 70 during raids. He said eight

FM radio stations were also inspected and no one was found violating the Pemra rules.

“Pemra teams faced resistance from certain cable TV operators and police were called to establish Pemra writ. The operators were first issued notices and given a chance to defend themselves before the decision to cancel their licences.”

Pemra regional manager Dr Safdar Rehman said the Lahore team had not yet registered any case against the cable TV operators and no one was found guilty of showing foreign content in the area.

According to our Sialkot correspondent, five cable operators’ offices were sealed on Monday by Pemra teams in Sialkot.

Pemra Inspector Qaiser Shehzad Tarar told reporters the operators were found airing Indian channels in Maraakiwal, Merajkey, Uggoki and Sambrial on their cable networks.

Teams seized equipment found in the offices and recommended cancellation of their licences.

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Oct
18

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Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman Absar Alam on Tuesday said a request has been sent to the federal government for a complete ban on airing of Indian content.

The federal government had earlier suggested banning airing of Indian content in a tit-for-tat move after Pakistani content was completely banned by India.

“A letter has been sent to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in this regard,” he said, adding that the federal government would decide on the matter within a week.

The Pemra chairman insisted that as India has banned films starring Pakistani artists, “we will have to do the same”.

Alam also said a crackdown was initiated against illegal Indian Direct-to-Home (DTH) sets on Oct 15, adding that action is being taken against cable operators who do not comply with the instructions.

The Pemra chairman said Pemra has received a complaint against three television channels that have been airing more than 6 per cent Indian content.

As per the law, only 10pc of airtime is allowed for foreign content, while the maximum limit for Indian content is 6pc in 24 hours.

“If the channels are found guilty they will be banned”, Absar Alam added.

In regard to the Pakistani DTH licences, the Pemra chairman said that seven more companies have requested the licence, whereas nine companies have already been shortlisted.

He added that 16 requests have been received for three DTH licences and the licences will be granted over the next few weeks. Alam added that the floor price for the DTHs has been kept at Rs200 million.

A company owned by PML-N leaders and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s son Hamza Shahbaz has also been shortlisted for DTH licence, he said.

Earlier in October, Pemra granted Absar Alam the authority to revoke or suspend licences of companies airing Indian content without providing prior notice.

On Aug 31, Pemra had announced that strict action would be taken against the channels airing foreign content more than the prescribed limit and traders selling illegal DTH sets.

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Oct
18
In the heart of the Karakoram mountains lies the fabled Lukpe Lawo ─ the oft-unexplored Snow Lake.
Hopping on the large boulders of Biafo glacier, I was drenched in sweat and panting.

As I paused to catch my breath, my eyes moved towards the path that led to Baltoro glacier, reminding me of the ordeals I faced a few years ago after stepping on the glacial moraine and the boulders of Baltoro glacier.

It was my first encounter with glaciers and that too with Baltoro, [often termed ‘Bal-Toro’ in Urdu, meaning bone breaker].

Solu Towers (5947m) in the vicinity of Snow Lake and Hispar La. ─ Photo by author
Solu Towers (5947m) in the vicinity of Snow Lake and Hispar La. ─ Photo by author

I remembered all the group members, including myself, using all sorts of nasty names from our personal vocabularies to describe the terrain and varied moraines of Baltoro.

Having left Askole and stepping on Biafo’s boulders, Baltoro’s brutalities seemed like silly little pranks of a mischievous child.

All those words that I had given to Baltoro in 2010, were passed on to ‘honour’ the ‘glory’ of Biafo’s crusts and turfs; most of them starting with B [whether in English, Urdu or Punjabi!].

An Australian expedition lead by porters is moving towards snowlake while crossing Sosbun Brakk (6413m). ─ Photo by author
An Australian expedition lead by porters is moving towards snowlake while crossing Sosbun Brakk (6413m). ─ Photo by author

My mind was set before embarking on this journey, termed as the most difficult trek of Pakistan’s north.

Where I was going had a reputation well above that of word of mouth. The terrain was the most terrifying and tormenting ‘mettle tester’ in every way. But then the destination too was not ordinary.


In the heart of the Karakoram mountains lies the fabled and fabulous Snow Lake


Lakes are often called the mirrors of mountains, but a lake exists that does not reflect anything because its water is frozen.

Lukpe Lawo, famously known as Snow Lake, lies in the heart of Panmah Muztagh range which is a sub-range of the Karakoram mountains. Actually it’s a high altitude glacial basin which was discovered by a British mountaineer, Martin Conway, in 1892.

View of Snow Lake from Hispar Pass's summit. ─ Photo by author
View of Snow Lake from Hispar Pass’s summit. ─ Photo by author

Only a few lucky souls have seen this 16 km-wide frozen lake located 4,877 metres above sea level on the convergence point of the Hispar and Biafo glaciers.

Both glaciers together form the world’s longest glacial system (100 km) outside the polar regions — 67 km long Biafo alone is the world’s third longest glacier, whereas the Hispar glacier is 49 km long. The Snow Lake traverse uses all of Hispar glacier’s length and 51 km of Biafo glacier’s length.

The ancient kingdoms of Baltistan and Nagar are located in the opposite direction of Snow Lake. We started our journey from Skardu which falls in Baltistan, and after crossing Biafo glacier and scaling the Hispar Pass (5,128m) and its glacier, we would have reached Hunza.

Crevasses of Biafo Glacier. ─ Photo by author
Crevasses of Biafo Glacier. ─ Photo by author

Being a sub-range of the Karakoram mountains the Panmah Muztagh too has some prominent peaks for climbing, such as Baintha Brakk or The Ogre (7,285m), Latok Group (7,145m), Sosbun Brakk (6,413m) and Solu Towers (5,947m). Different features distinguish them from the rest of the Karakoram — Panmah Muztagh range is much rockier and steeper with complex granite formations.

Scaling the height of Hispar Pass. ─ Photo by author
Scaling the height of Hispar Pass. ─ Photo by author

At Namla, the first campsite on the Biafo glacier, a sign board describing Namla as a sighting place for snow-leopards greeted us. Our porters and a very talkative guide told us that markhor too can be seen on the surrounding cliffs.

We were further informed that various hunters come to Biafo to try their luck, and the presence of hunter posts on the way to the Biantha campsite confirmed this.

A pause for soup at Snow Lake. ─ Photo by author
A pause for soup at Snow Lake. ─ Photo by author

Hunters come to the posts in summer and stay for several days in quest of their bounty. A few hunt for hobby while the rest hunt for selling and often sell markhor meat for 7,000 rupees per kilo.

We had a rest day at the Baintha campsite to relax our stiff and cramped muscles. Around noon we heard gunshots; somebody whispered “Markhors are being hunted.”

After some time a hunter came and offered markhor meat to us. He had sold almost all the meat and was left with just 5kg which he did not want to carry the entire length of the Biafo.

Almost there - among the crevasses of Hispar pass. ─ Photo by author
Almost there – among the crevasses of Hispar pass. ─ Photo by author

All of us knew that markhor is one of the ‘near threatened’ species so nobody was interested but the hunter knew all the tricks of marketing and managed to convince most of the expedition members to ‘taste’ the most expensive meat of our lives.

The markhor had been killed and we had no involvement in his cold-blooded murder, so the top management decided to enjoy the ‘God sent’ opportunity.

The meat was handed over to our expert cook who told us that, since we were in the wilderness of mountains with no proper kitchen facility, we should not expect the feast to be ready before two hours.

A wanderer enjoying the solitude of Biafo. ─ Photo by author
A wanderer enjoying the solitude of Biafo. ─ Photo by author

We spent the long wait relaxing and inhaling the aroma of the food being cooked.

After battling with the kerosene stove for more than two hours, our cook served lunch.

It took me quite some time to chew the first bite; even after being cooked for over two hours the meat was still like rubber.

It tasted good (thanks to the chef’s culinary skills) but climbing on cliffs gave the markhor tough meat. I left the rest in my plate and finished the rice as did a few others.

A night spent at the brink of Hispar glacier. ─ Photo by author
A night spent at the brink of Hispar glacier. ─ Photo by author

After coming back from this expedition, I learnt that the Gilgit Baltistan government auctioned off the markhor hunting license for 6.2 million rupees.

The next campsite that we reached was on the upper surface of the glacier which was cluttered with stones of all sizes eroded from the mountain cliffs.

Biafo is notorious for being cluttered with time and energy consuming lethal crevasses and to avoid these we took the longer route.

Almost there - among the crevasses of Hispar pass. ─ Photo by author
Almost there – among the crevasses of Hispar pass. ─ Photo by author

Fresh snowfall covers crevasses and makes them deadlier. Since it was summer, the centuries-old glacial ice and snow was melting and the water was going deep into the maze of hidden and deep crevasses.

It seemed as though this entire orchestra of nature was perhaps crooning the last couplet of Rumi’s poem,

‘Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.’

Dancing around crevasses and jumping on the boulders, somehow we crossed two more stages and reached the mouth of Snow Lake.

Here we rested for a while, while the porters served us soup in the majestic span of Snow Lake.

A long exposure shot of milky way and a shooting star near Snow Lake. ─ Photo by author
A long exposure shot of milky way and a shooting star near Snow Lake. ─ Photo by author

Then we started to ascend the Hispar La; the climb was way more toilsome than it appeared, a couple of times the ice cracked beneath the feet and one or the other group member came close to falling down the bottomless deep crevasses but thankfully we were prepared — tied up with rope and group formation, and the expertise of the guides came to our rescue.

By afternoon we were on top of the Hispar La. The view from 5,128m above sea level was spectacular.

The famous Italian climber and mountain guide Hervé Barmasse has won nine international awards for climbing and opening new routes on various unclimbed peaks. He has climbed more than 30 peaks, most of which were ‘first ascents’.

An Australian trekker gazing the approaching storm. ─ Photo by author
An Australian trekker gazing the approaching storm. ─ Photo by author

In an article about peaks around Biafo glacier and Snow Lake, published in 2013 in American Alpine Journal, a prestigious publication of the world of climbing, he states, “In five expeditions to different areas of the Karakoram, I’ve climbed virgin peaks and new routes up to 7,000m, but never seen a place like Snow Lake, its particular features making it so aptly named.”

The panoramic view from the top of Hispar La substantiated his words.

Stones and frozen snow: An abstract composition of nature at the canvas of Biafo. ─ Photo by author
Stones and frozen snow: An abstract composition of nature at the canvas of Biafo. ─ Photo by author

This corner of Karakoram is almost unexplored; unlike the Baltoro or main Karakoram, very few climbers turn to this side.

Peaks around Snow Lake are more challenging, but yet to be explored and ascended.

Some of them are not even touched and named; in the language of climbing such peaks are called ‘Virgin Peaks’. Aspiring climbers can try their luck and give their names to unnamed peaks, and enrich the history of climbing.

A nature's trap adjacent to Hispar Pass. ─ Photo by author
A nature’s trap adjacent to Hispar Pass. ─ Photo by author

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