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Bahria University Islamabad campus hold 23rd convocation

The 23rd Convocation of School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad Campus was held in BU Auditorium. Pro Rector (RIC), Bahria University, Rear Admiral (retired) Nasir Mahmood HI (M) graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. DG Islamabad Campus, Rear Admiral (retired) Naveed Ahmed Rizvi HI (M) along with the Registrar, Cdre Shafqat Azad SI (retired) (M), S.Bt; the Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Dr. Adam Saud; HoDs of Humanities and Social Science, Media Studies, Law, Psychology and Islamic Studies also attended the convocation.

The program began with the recitation of the Holy Quran. DG Islamabad Campus gave the opening remarks and welcomed all the honorable guests. He said that since the inception of School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2007, Bahria University has been playing a major role in producing the future leaders, providing them with the contemporary knowledge and preparing them for the challenges of professional lives. He congratulated the graduating students and their parents who were receiving their degrees on the memorable occasion.

Later, the awarding of degrees took place. 240 graduates who received their degrees in the 23rd convocation belonged to various programs and sessions including MS IR, MS Media Studies, LLM, BSS and LLB. 11 graduates got gold medals. Likewise, 10 students received their silver medals from the Chief Guest.

The Chief Guest, Rear Admiral Nasir Mahmood (R) HI (M), in his address advised the graduates to follow the teachings of the Holy Quran in the light of Sunnah and also to understand the practical challenges through Allama Iqbal’s philosophy. He emphasized that the opportunities and challenges go hand in hand once we enter the practical world hence, our integrity, sincerity and the positive framework of mind helps us to counter them. While concluding, he congratulated the graduates saying that their future is linked with the future of Pakistan therefore, their sincere and humble efforts in light of Iqbal’s virtues of Khudi should be the pathway in their professional lives.

Global Soccer Venture and NED university to set up first soccer city stadium in Pakistan

NED University of Engineering & Technology (NED) and Global Soccer Ventures (GSV) enter into a 10- year agreement of $12 million to create the first soccer city stadium in Pakistan.

The rumour mill of the much anticipated soccer city in Pakistan ends as year 2022 kicks off with an iconic landmark stadium deal being inked between GSV and NED University. The state of the art stadium is influenced and designed by German engineering to develop a series of football infrastructure projects in Pakistan by GSV from the city of lights in Karachi.

Karachi city will see an iconic landmark with a brand new sports arena landscape in its skyline with an investment of $12 million. It will not only offer FIFA international playing conditions but will also offer an enduring football experience for fans and players with a raft of marketing and technology opportunities for brands never offered before in Pakistan’s sports.

The soccer city is based in the heartbeat of youth emulating the success of college football development model in the USA. GSV’s philosophy is to identify and develop players at the right age whilst continuing their education being identified as a priority for Pakistani parents and thereby offering alternative careers as a hotbed of talent in football on and off the pitch.

Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodhi, Vice Chancellor, NED University of Engineering and Technology said: “NED is world renowned for being at the cutting edge of technology and science in its educational curriculum so why not football. It is a vision that only GSV can bring to life. I have seen the science and evolution of football on offer and it will be a major transformation for football in Pakistan”.

Chairman GSV Yasir Mahmood said: “It is time Pakistan rediscovers itself in football infrastructure offering the much needed professional and world class facilities. This flagship soccer city at NED will entice other cities or institutes to come forward and become part of GSV’s football legacy offering the best in technology, science and football training all under one roof”.

Michael Owen said: “There is nothing more important than having home and away fans in football stadiums. This investment will not only ignite inter-city football rivalry but will also become the future of football development all over Pakistan with sports science at the forefront offering international opportunities”.

Zabe Khan, CEO of GSV said: “We are the foundation of a sports revolution in Pakistan with soccer city being our flagship show-stopper. The ideology here is that we don’t want to tell people of our dreams we want to show them, so we build it, fans come and get fanatical about our players in Pakistan’s very own theatre of dreams to display their talent”A detailed press announcement and reveal of Pakistan’s first ever soccer city is to be made by end of January 2022 by Michael Owen and a star studded celebrity line up with the very first images and 3D virtual video of the stadium being unveiled as a new year’s gift to Pakistan – so stay tuned to GSV.

Mismanagement in energy sector hurting economy: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said that lack of governance in the energy sector is hurting the country’s economy.

The troubled economy has suffered billions of dollars in losses because of inefficiency in the gas sector, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that masses and the economy are facing IMF conditions, money budget, inflation, weak currency and policies that contradict the ground realities.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that last month, in just 15 days the textile sector in Punjab suffered a loss of 250 million dollars due to gas load shedding which has also affected the country’s reputation.

He said that the gas bureaucracy has been continuously failing to import LNG in a timely manner for the last two years, which is affecting the economy.

When gas was cheap, it was not imported and now its price in the international market is more than the purchasing power of Pakistani consumers.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan has been importing LNG for six years and it has become the world’s ninth largest LNG importer but it has failed to streamline the system and experiments are being done.

He noted that during all these years, neither gas pipelines could be built nor new gas terminals have been built. Expansion of old terminals wasn’t allowed despite the demand while the private sector is not being allowed to import gas in order to maintain the monopoly of the state-run gas companies which is tantamount to playing with the future of the country.

He said that 60 percent of the country’s exports were related to the textile sector; the production of this sector had increased by six per cent since March while exports were at $11.4 billion but gas load shedding has pushed back the production and export process.

The business leader said that the gas international suppliers have also shown their inability in supplying gas to Pakistan as they are getting more profit from Europe while local gas reserves are declining by nine percent annually.

Dozens of international oil and gas exploration companies have either closed their businesses in Pakistan or been forced to leave the country, while local companies could not find good oil and gas reserves because of rampant mismanagement.

Textile policy decision hitting the industrial sector
  • Market in turmoil, confusion over unexpected move
  • Textile production, exports will be badly affected: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the sudden decision of the government to withdraw textile policy 2020-25 has shaken the country’s productive sector.

The move will affect production and exports in such a way that their recovery will become a dream, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the decision has resulted in sleepless nights for investors and exporters as it has fanned uncertainty and unrest.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the textile sector, which is the largest exporter and employs millions of people and playing with clearly violates national interests.

He said that following the announcement of textile policy 2020-25, investors pumped billions in the textile sector while many projects were in the pipeline which will be in jeopardy.

He said that the textile and associated sectors were taking off after a long time but the recent decision will cause a crash wasting all the efforts to promote production and exports while the country’s reputation in the export markets will be at stake.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the Ministry of Finance is of the view that hundreds of billions of rupees were given to the textile sector but its performance is not as expected by the government.

This sector is receiving tremendous benefits compared to their current performance which is unjustified.

According to the ministries of energy and commerce textile exporters are not acting responsibly.

The business leader further said that if the government was not satisfied with the performance of the textile sector and it has been decided to withdraw the concessions, then it should have been withdrawn gradually and transparently in consultation with the concerned associations so as not to shake the confidence of the export sector.

On the other hand, leading textile millers say that they are frustrated because of unpredictable policies of the government which can cause the relocation of many industries to other countries where there is consistency in policies.

He further said that so far the current account deficit has more than doubled from the previous year’s deficit in six months but no serious steps are being taken in this regard which will not reduce the problems of the country but only increase it.

The situation of gas and electricity supply is far from satisfactory while relaxations to the textile sector are under threat which will add to the problems, he warned.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank begins digital account onboarding
  • The new Asaan Digital Account can be opened with an initial deposit of only 100 rupees

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited is playing a pivotal role in empowering the underprivileged masses to accelerate socio-economic growth and development of Pakistan. In compliance with the recent directives from the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP), Khushhali Microfinance Bank has now deployed the most innovative technological solutions for enabling the customers (all resident-Pakistanis) to ‘digitally’ open their ‘Asaan Digital Account’ and operate it through contactless interactions, very conveniently and effectively. This account has no initial deposit requirement.

The customers can now open their ‘Asaan Digital Account’, while sitting comfortably at their home. They simply have to submit their basic details with Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) number to register, on the website of Khushhali Microfinance Bank. It provides access to a complete range of financial services, on-the-go, round-the-clock, without visiting any bank branch. In the post-Covid-19 era, this new digital eco-system will help in enforcing the social-distancing protocols, while the digital ecosystem will ensure “Customer Due Diligence”, to help the banks/MFBs in customer-identification and verification for better risk-management.

The President & CEO of Khushhali Microfinance Bank – Mr. Ghalib Nishtar stated that: “Being the largest developmental microfinance bank (MFB), we are delighted to have achieved another great milestone, as we continue to inspire Pakistan’s banking sector to progress, in sync with the global digital revolution. Khushhali Microfinance Bank has also adopted the State Bank’s new digital regulatory framework for customers’ onboarding process, to promise more convenient and secured banking experiences.”

Mr. Abdul Wahab Majeed, founder of Sahal Verifai, Pakistan’s first and only regulated facial biometric based eKYC Platform, spoke on the development, “We have made history through this collaboration with Khushhali Microfinance bank by remotely onboarding customers using facial biometric with a 100% success rate. We believe Sahal Verifai will revolutionize digital onboarding, customer verification and ongoing due diligence for financial inclusion.”

Khushhali Microfinance Bank takes pride in developing its policies in line with the SBP’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), to improve inclusive economic growth and to improve income and livelihoods opportunities for poor and marginalized groups in Pakistan. The NFIS primary objective is to expand the access to financial services for the poor and marginalized groups and for micro, and small enterprises in Pakistan.

The salient features of this non-interest-bearing checking account are: exemption from zakat-deduction, while it keeps your money secured and allows unlimited fund-withdrawals, with easy accessibility through the vast network of online branches, throughout Pakistan. Since the Asaan Account has no minimum-balance requirement, it will benefit the low-income segment, while helping the nation meet its financial-inclusion objectives.

Oraimo signed Nagina electronics as official partner in Pakistan

Global premium accessory brand Oraimo, subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, announced Nagina Electronics as its official distribution partner in Pakistan. Under this strategic partnership both companies aims to expand Oraimo smart accessories portfolio nationwide. Oraimo is a part of Transsion group having well renowned Mobile Phone brands like Infinix, Techno, and Itel. Over 5 decades Nagina Electronics is a well-known name in Pakistan’s consumer electronics and Nagina is official partner of various Multinational Consumer Electronics Companies for Pakistan.

The signing ceremony was held in Lahore where key officials of Oraimo and Nagina Electronics were present alongwith media dignitaries.

Talking on the occasion Country Head Oraimo Pakistan, Mr. Steven Said: The opportunities in Pakistan are tremendous and the market offers robust potential for global brands. We aim to establish industry benchmarks by acquiring the pole position within our domain in a record-breaking time. In line with its brand philosophy ‘Keep Exploring’, Oraimo will surely add a lot of excitement to our consumers’ lifestyle”.

Sharing his views on this partnership Jamshaid Sabir, Director Sales & Marketing, Nagina Electronics said “We are pleased to have Oraimo official in Pakistani market as Nagina’s core philosophy is to stay ahead of the market and customer demands, which enables it to understand and cater the customer and channel demands ahead of time. Besides financial and infrastructural capabilities, hard-work and dedication makes the company fully capable to handle Oraimo business in Pakistan.

The new range of Oraimo smart accessories includes Bluetooth-enabled headphones and speakers, power banks, chargers, data cables, smartwatches come with a one-year replacement warranty, the company is offering a six-month replacement warranty for its data cables and hands-free offerings in the country.

Daraz wins the digital streaming rights for HBL PSL 2022-2023

Pakistan Cricket Board hosted the bid for 7th and 8th season of HBL PSL’s digital streaming rights in Lahore on 24th December with participation from extremely competitive contenders including Daraz, ASports, Geo TV, Trans Group and Tapmad. The winner of the bid, Daraz, leading e-commerce platform of Pakistan, had previously also proven to be a game changer with over 300 million views during the streaming of ICC T20 World Cup.

The platform’s mission has been digitalization and it has been actively working towards building infrastructure to improve the growth of the country’s e-commerce industry. Daraz also believes in making sports and specifically cricket as a force that brings users from every corner of the country together with free-of-cost streaming that no other platform offers.

According to Pakistan Cricket Board, Daraz submitted the highest bid in accordance to the public tender process which was 175% higher than the previous years pertaining to the increase in digital players in the market.

Ammar Hassan, Chief Marketing Officer at Daraz, shared his excitement on winning the cut-throat competition, “we are proud to once again unite Pakistanis on our platform to watch their most loved national cricket tournament. With the support of our high technology and back-end support we are confident to provide access to every individual in the country. Our goal through sports partnerships is to provide shoppertainment to our users and make entertainment accessible through digitization to all.”

Daraz won hearts of the nation previously as well and is set to do so by winning digital streaming rights for the next two seasons of HBL PSL 2022-2023 as cricket lovers anxiously anticipate how this year’s tournament will pan out to be.

Faysal Bank partners with EFU Life to launch EFU Roshan Mustaqbil Takaful

Faysal Bank and EFU Life Window Takaful Operations further strengthened their partnership by launching EFU Roshan Mustaqbil Takaful an industry first Takaful plan specially designed to cater to the protection needs of Roshan Digital Accountholders and their families residing in Pakistan in case of death or accidental permanent total disability, providing innovative Takaful solutions.

Roshan Digital Account is a major initiative of State Bank of Pakistan which provides banking solutions for millions of Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRP’s). Under the initiative customers can remotely open an account in Pakistan through an entirely digital and online process.

The signing ceremony was attended by Ahmed Anwer Hemani (National Sales Manager), Abdul Ahad Wahedna (Head Retail Liability Products and CNC), Babar Mushtaq Mangi (Head Wealth Management & Priority Banking) Faysal Bank Ltd. and Mr. Muhammad Ali (Deputy Managing Director) and Ms. Nilofer Sohail (AGM- Channel Strategy and Execution) EFU Life Assurance – WTO along with other representatives from both organizations.

Foodpanda announces grand entry into HBL PSL 2022 with Islamabad United

Foodpanda Pakistan, the nation’s leading online food and grocery delivery platform has announced their collaboration with the most successful franchise and two time champions ‘Islamabad United’ led by Shadab Khan and owned by Ali Naqvi. foodpanda has been named the Official Q-Commerce Partner of Islamabad United.

This is the first time that ISLU will play in foodpanda PINK kits for all their away matches and it’s the first time any team has changed the colour of their kit for a strategic partnership.

Syed Waqas Azhar, Director Marketing at foodpanda Pakistan said: “The strategic partnership between the giants foodpanda and ISLU, seeks to combine two of the nation’s biggest passion points, food and cricket. With this collaboration, we intend to leverage our combined audiences to create an unforgettable impact, and set the tone for the 2022 cricket season. Celebrating the love for cricket and the love for food, is a partnership which will surely be a massive success.”

Speaking of the collaboration, team owner ISLU, Ali Naqvi said: “We are pleased to partner with one of the most renowned online platforms in Pakistan. Their reach across Pakistan is unparalleled and their values of professionalism and excellence are ones that we share. Thus, it’s obviously a natural partnership for us.”

Islamabad United is the most successful franchise in HBL PSL history. Being the only team to win multiple titles and owning the highest win percentage in league history, the franchise believes in bringing change to Pakistani sports. ISLU has been able to introduce international standards of practice and a commitment to continuous growth and progress. Since the start of the HBL PSL no franchise has inducted more players into the Pakistan national team than ISLU.

Foodpanda Pakistan is the country’s leading online delivery marketplace, offering a convenient app and web-based platform to order food, groceries and essential items nationwide. With over 20,000 restaurants, homechefs, shops and pandamart stores across more than 40 cities, foodpanda aims to generate business growth and create employment opportunities for Pakistanis all over the country.

2021 was very difficult for masses, business community, Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said 2021 was a disappointment for the masses and the business community.

In the outgoing year, Pakistan became one of the most expensive countries in the world taking a toll on the poor and middle-class because of poor governance, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that during 2021 the US dollar shattered the rupee, inflation and unemployment skyrocketed while the price of petrol, gas and electricity jumped to unprecedented levels.

Talking to the business community. The veteran business leader said that LNG could not be imported on time due to poor governance which led to an energy crisis in the country.

Imports of furnace oil led to the closure of refineries, sharp rise in prices of electricity, gas and petrol made life difficult for the masses while there was no improvement in any sector.

He said that there was some increase in remittances due to travel restrictions while the main reason for an increase in exports was the depreciation of the rupee and inflation in export markets.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the government could not get the loan from IMF despite its efforts during this year, friendly countries also turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s problems while the situation of CPEC remained unsatisfactory.

China did not invite the relevant minister to visit its country in 2001 while it has acted the same during two previous years which should be enough to open everyone’s eyes.

During the same year, the government’s estimates of economic recovery proved to be based on assumptions, with the dollar which was selling at Rs152 in May, now standing at Rs178, forcing the government to borrow heavily from various sources.

The trade deficit has increased significantly during this year while raising interest rates has also started. The government continued its policy of targeting the poor to increase its revenue and reduce its deficit, no real reforms have been initiated in any sector and now a mini-budget is behind introduced to further burden masses.

In three years, the volume of foreign debt has increased from $95billion to $127 billion, while the volume of domestic debt has increased from Rs16.5 trillion to Rs 27 trillion.

Influential groups are getting enormous benefits which will make it difficult for the authorities to meet IMF conditions, he warned.

STZA to provide an enabling environment for Freelancers

The Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) and Pakistan Freelancers Association (PAFLA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Islamabad on 6th January 2022.

Pakistan Freelancers Association (PAFLA) is a non-profit organization founded to empower Pakistani freelancers through mentoring, providing opportunities, collaborating with government, industry and academia, and providing them a platform as well as a support group to help grow their career and overcome their challenges.

Pakistan has registered remarkable growth in recent years and become the fourth fastest-growing freelancer market in the world. Pakistan’s current freelance market consists of more than one million individuals working in various specialized fields. STZA envisions collaborating with PAFLA to provide an enabling environment to the freelancer industry in Pakistan where the self-employed workforce is treated as equal partners and contributors to the economy.

Mr. Amer Hashmi, the Chairman of STZA called for undertaking joint efforts to make Pakistan a leading enabler and top marketplace for freelancing by providing ease of doing business, capacity building, mentorship, and broad basing the technology jobs to all corners of Pakistan to achieve the sustainable economic growth.

STZA aims to jointly organize and arrange youth focus awareness sessions, workshops, and training programs with PAFLA for the youth, establish a brand presence among academia by appointing university students as brand ambassadors. Primary qualitative research will be conducted including interviews, surveys, and questionnaires, to assist STZA in creating a robust framework to identify the gaps and challenges of the freelancers’ community of Pakistan.

STZA envisages that this MoU will support prosperity and growth in the freelancers’ community. It will also create global opportunities for Pakistani freelancers, create job opportunities for youth, and help to remove any hurdles for the Pakistani freelancers’ community.

IBA Karachi holds Grand Alumni Reunion 2022

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi held its Alumni Reunion 2022 at the Main Campus. The IBA and student society ‘Alumni and Placement society’ collaborated to make this reunion a resounding success. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Mr. Asad Umar graced the event as Guest of Honour. The event was attended by around 700 prominent alumni from the government and corporate sector.

The event commenced with a welcome address by Ms. Malahat Awan, Director, Alumni Relations, Resource Mobilization and Corporate Relations. Keeping the memories of the departed alumni alive, the evening began with a video tribute to honour them. Expressing her gratitude for the 38 Classes, that have set up numerous endowment and scholarship funds, Ms. Awan said that in the past 2 years, PKR 165 million have been collected in form of scholarships by the generous IBA alumni.

The Executive Director, IBA Karachi, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, warmly welcomed the alumni back to their alma mater after 2.5 years and apprised the audience about the recent academic and infrastructural developments. Enumerating IBA’s transformation from a business school to a multi-disciplinary Institution, Dr. Zaidi said that the IBA now has 5,000 students as compared to 400 students, 20 years ago. The Institute now offers diverse subjects including History, Sociology, Anthropology and Mathematics among others. He added that 40% of IBA students receive some form of financial assistance. Adapting to the changing times, Dr. Zaidi mentioned that IBA graduates were opting for setting up enterprises of their own and excelling in that domain, furthermore those alumni that sought employment found one within 3 months of their graduation. Dr. Zaidi also urged the alumni to provide their valuable feedback, support and expertise towards strengthening IBA further.

IBA alumnus and Guest of Honour, Mr. Umar, expressed his happiness on attending the reunion and reminisced about his old teachers, student life and fond memories of the Institute. He commended IBA’s ongoing tradition of excellence and stated that the IBA alumni were performing brilliantly in diverse fields. He thanked IBA for the valuable education, the memories and the unforgettable experience.

A memento was presented to Mr. Umar by Dr. Zaidi.

Head Remittance & Roshan Digital Account, The Bank of Punjab (BOP), Farrukh Majeed, stated that it was an honour to connect with the IBA alumni. He said that CEO, BOP, Mr. Zafar Masood was also an IBA alumnus and that it was a matter of great pride for the BOP to sponsor a few IBA students so that they can acquire quality education. He also urged the IBA alumni to support the Roshan Digital Account initiative.

The reunion provided the alumni community with an opportunity to reminisce about their student life, experience the new campus, share personal and professional experiences and recall the memorable time spent at the IBA.

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