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Pothohar Plateau

This article appeared in daily the Nation

Discovery of fossils, tools, coins, and remains of ancient archaeological sites give enough historic evidence about Soan civilization and its continuity in the Pothohar (also spelled Pothwar, Potowar or Potohar) Plateau. The people, colourful landscape, lakes, hill ranges, flora and fauna are sufficient reasons to explore the land that is largely off the beaten track and one does not see many backpackers in the area.

Some of the world history has started from this region. The first residents of the land we now call home were Stone Age people in the Potwar Plateau. They were followed by the more urbane Indus Valley (or Harappan) civilisation which flourished between the twenty-third to eighteenth centuries BC. Some of the earliest relics of Stone Age in the world have been found in the Potohar region, with a probable antiquity of about 500,000 years. The crude stone implements recovered from the terraces of the Soan carry the account of human grind and endeavours in this part of the world to the inter-glacial period. The Stone Age men produced their equipment in a sufficiently homogenous way to justify their grouping in terms of a culture called the Soan Culture. Around 3000 BC, small village communities developed in the Potohar area and began to take the first hesitant steps towards the formation of society.
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Fine art of calligraphy - مرقعِ رعنائی

 ڈاکٹر محمد فخر عباس

جمالیات کے امکانات اور حسین و جمیل احساسات جنہیں تصور کے دھندلکے میں محسوس تو کیا جاسکتا ہے یا دوسرے لفظوں میں احاطۂ تصور میں لایا جاسکتا ہے مگر ان جمالیاتی حسیات کو کسی وجودی شکل میں ڈھال کر معرض ہست و بود میں لانا آسان نہیں بلکہ یہ کارِدارد ہے، اس تناظر میں دیکھا جائے تو ”مرقعِ رعنائی“ میں جمالیات کو سوچ کی حدوں سے نکال کر انہیں الفاظ کا وجود دیتے ہوئے صفحۂ قرطاس پر منتقل کر دیا ہے۔ اور ایک پیکرِ رعنائی کی صورت میں اَمر بنا دیا گیا ہے۔ ابنِ کلیم کی تخلیق "خطِ رعنا" اپنے تمام تر قواعد کی موشگافیوں اور جمالیات کی مکمل مصور حشر سامانیوں اور پوری جلوہ آرائیوں کے ساتھ "مرقعِ رعنائی" میں جلوہ گر ہے۔ اور ذوقِ جمال اور فکرِ کمال کے حامل ناظرینِ باتمکین کو دعوتِ نظارہ دیتے ہوئے فکر و نظر کے نئے در وَا کئے گئے ہیں۔ اور ساتھ ساتھ لکھاریوں، تنقید نگاروں اور مبصرین کو ایک نیا موضوعِ سخن دے دیا ہے۔

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Pakistan 2020: A Vision for Building a Better Future

Executive summery of of study report by Hassan Abbas, Bernard Schwartz Fellow, Asia Society; Quaid-i-Azam Professor, South Asia Institute, Columbia University. Full report can be accessed here. A video of the panel discussion at the launch of the report is available here).

In recent years, Pakistan has stumbled from one crisis to another. A number of political and socioeconomic challenges threaten to further destabilize a country that already is reeling from insurgencies along its northwestern border. Pakistan’s newest democratic government is struggling to maintain control over parts of its territory where militant religious groups are intent on challenging its authority and legitimacy. The country’s conflict with India over Kashmir, now in its seventh decade, appears as intractable as ever, and the war in neighboring Afghanistan has deepened instability throughout Pakistan. The transition from a near-decade-long rule under a military dictatorship is slow and complicated, as rampant corruption and politicization of the bureaucracy present huge obstacles to the state-building process.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:30 AM, , links to this post

Blog in haste, repent in leisure

The Internet is a newer platform characterised by a large, open, public network where people interact with people from throughout the world without any barriers like geography, culture, age, social class or gender. It is unlike real word where people with their own identities come together face to face. Online, users are a little less perceptive about their identities.

Having an identity is not a new concept. Every one is having at least one since the dawn of the civilization; ascribed identity. Anthropologists and sociologist have been discussing different aspects of identity ever since. But identity has never been a general problem until now.
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The Man with the George Cross

Saleem Shahab

It was on a beautiful evening on March 15, 1941 when a battalion of the Indian state force, under command of Colonel RC Fletcher, landed on a beach of the Penang island of Malaya, after twelve days at sea. A young Multani captain in the battalion, Mahmood Khan Durrani, was at the time unaware that he was destined to undergo a series of hardships and miseries as a prisoner of war and that he would subsequently be awarded the George Cross, a medal for unmatched valour.

Mahmood Khan Durrani was born on 1 July 1914 in Multan, the City of Saints. After completing his schooling, he joined the Indian state forces. Durrani was a captain serving in Malaya when the Second World War broke out. During the allied withdrawal from Malaya, Captain Durrani was cut off from his small platoon. He successfully remained in hiding for three months, before he was captured by the Japan-sponsored Indian Nationalist Army and was sent to a POW camp.
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Use of Municipal Wastewater in Plain Cement Concrete Construction Work

Book by Islam Ul-Haque from 55 PM Long Course 

Generally reuse of municipal wastewater is restricted for irrigation purposes only, whereas, the same can be used in plain cement concrete construction works without compromising the compressive strength. The main objectionable ingredient in municipal wastewater is the presence of sulfates which degrade concrete strength. In order to investigate the utility of municipal wastewater in concrete works, a study with the objectives of characterizing wastewater and its effects on plain cement concrete strength was designed at Faisalabad Pakistan, in the Laboratory. The sulfate constituents, found in the municipal waste water, is the major ingredients that affects the strength of concrete, i.e. 176 Kg / cm2 and 224 Kg / cm2 for municipal wastewater (MWW) and normal tap water respectively. The wide range of compressive strengths emanating from different combinations of municipal wastewater (MWW) provides its uses in different concrete construction activities of various strengths / loadings requirements. Basing on the results from the study, it can be envisaged that use of waste water in the construction industry can save up to 16 % the fresh water.

Publishing house: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-3-8433-6234-4, ISBN-10: 3843362343, EAN: 9783843362344

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Kurrachee to Karachi

Karachi is famous as "land of opportunities" in Pakistan. During my period of initial orientation - tea used to be served for four annas per quarter cup then - and continuous visits later; I have found Karachi is constantly reinventing itself. It is a land of superlatives: Pakistan's biggest and one of the most prosperous cosmopolitan cities, home to universities and colleges, historic, cultural, and commercial centre. It has been a land of plenty since centuries.

The history of Karachi, until its occupation by the Talpurs during late eightieth century (1795), is lost in the haze of past. At the time of its annexation by the Talpurs, Karachi was a little more than a fishing village and the dominant tribes of fishermen were the Kulachis, hence the name.
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