Shaheen Airlines’ flight goes off the run way during landing in Lahore

Shaheen air flight NL142 from Karachi to Lahore landed at Lahore airport and slipped from runway and was landed in the grass aside the runway. The boeing 737 of Shaheen Air was damaged from the landing gear and one of the wing was also broken.

There were over a 100 people including the staff on board, 10 of them got minor injuries. Shaheen Air’s 737 had also similar incident last year in December (30 December 2014)

Following are the pictures as shown by BBC of the plane




The wine-makers of Pakistan’s Hunza Valley

The hems of his jeans rolled, Ahsan* climbs barefoot up a tree to pick the grapes dangling from climbing vines, defying hostile religious injunctions against alcohol to celebrate a wine-making tradition in the mountains of Pakistan.

Every autumn in the remote village near the foothills of the Himalayas, Ahsan joins the many agile young people taking to the trees for the long-awaited harvest under the watchful eye of their gnarled and chiselled elders.

Drenched in sunlight, bunches of grapes crown the treetops, where they are safe from the opportunistic reach of greedy farm animals.


Ahsan — slim, and with an aquiline nose — begins to pick the forbidden fruit.

Working with his bare hands, he places the green and crimson grapes in a wicker basket that is lowered to the ground along a rope.

The fruit is tossed into the ‘khor’, a cement tank washed with icy glacier water, where barefoot villagers trample it to press the juice.


Then, beneath the permanently snow-capped mountains, the villagers concoct their tangy, golden wine with undercurrents of peach, as well as brandies of grape and blackberry.

“We learned from our fathers and grandfathers, who were already making wine,” smiles Ahsan, who pressed his first grapes and tasted his first sip of wine at the age of “eight or nine.”

Eighty-six-year-old Hasan*, cranes his neck to watch the freshly-pressed juice hurtling towards the base of the angled ‘khor’.hunza-wine-making2

Inhabitants of the remote area converted to Islam in the 16th century — but, before that, they were Buddhists who, Hasan says, were the first to make wine here.

When he was a child, he says, “before the harvest, custom demanded we slaughter an animal and pray before we started picking the grapes”.


The juice, he explains, was then kept in an underground stone reservoir.

Once fermented, they would lower a hollowed out yak horn on a piece of wire to draw up draughts of wine.

“Not everyone can drink the wine,” says Hasan.

“Some are not able to digest it, and the ignorant lose their heads and fight,” he said.

But, he adds, for others, “wine and alcohol nourish love and humility.”

Winter survival tool

Anwar*, an elderly man with a thin green cedar twig tucked beneath his ‘topi’ or circular cap, sings of this love.

Whirling languidly, like a dervish in slow motion, he recites his poetry.

“You say that my prayers are not legitimate because I have a glass of wine but you take bribes,” he sings pointedly in Shina, a local language.

Anwar is addressing his ode to those who, on the side of the authorities, reproach him.

The religion practised in the region disallows followers from consuming or producing alcohol, in line with a ban in Pakistan dating from the 1970s.

Some might call the ban fruitless: the walls of some cities in the region are adorned with warnings against drinking and driving.

Villagers say they especially like drinking wine during weddings and other celebrations.

Members of other religious groups in the region also produce alcohol.

Kaleem — a plump man with bouffant hair reminiscent of Elvis Presley — sees the harvest as a mountain legacy that he has no plans to give up.

“Our ancestors had to survive the winter, the alcohol was warming and relaxing,” he said.

“This is part of our culture and it will not die as long as I live.”

‘But I like it’
Local police, meanwhile, tolerate the amateur wine-making so long as no one is profiting from it.

Inam — a member of an education board who has been trying to persuade villagers in the region not to drink for 30 years — says the only tool he has is persuasion.

All branches of religion are adamant about the production and consumption of alcohol: it is ‘haram’, forbidden, he says.

“I can ask people, I can make them understand. But you see, it’s very difficult to change the habits of people, the cultural habits of the people.“

The elderly singer Anwar, for one, remains defiant. “Religious leaders are no one to command or control my life,” he retorts.

“From a religious point of view… people used to say that we shouldn’t drink. It is not so much that it is a sin or forbidden, but that it is not good for your health.”

“But I am used to it and I like it.”


Karakorum Highway closed at 5 places due to Earthquake

NDMA National Desaster Management Authority has reported that Karakorum Highway has been blocked at 4 different places due to landslides caused by earthquake today. Over 7 people have also died in Gilgit Baltistan wish several houses damaged in the area.


Overall in Pakistan there have been about 100 deaths reported due to falling walls and houses. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has be been hit hardest. In Peshawar many houses have been damaged and several incidents of walls falling on people have been reported.

According to the Pakistani earthquake measurement center the strength of earthquake was 7.5 and it happened at 14:02 today the 26th October 2015.

Mud houses in the region have been badly damaged and Authorities are doing their best to reach the remote areas to give necessary help to the effectuates.


Accorting to PTV Indian prime minister Narindar Modi has phone Prime minister Nawaz sharief and has offered help however Prime minister has thanked his counterpart and at the moment and told him that Pakistan does not need any international help at the moment.


7.7 Scale Earthquake hits Pakistan & Afghanistan

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake has been felt in in Islamabad and northern areas of Pakistan including the region of Naran Kaghan, Hunza Gilgit & Chitral areas. The center of Earthquake was in Faizabad Afghanistan, the news has reported that the tremers were felt upto Delhi in the East and to Kabul in the west.

According to the latest reports Islamabad people have felt heavy tremors. In Naran the hotels report that the buldings were shaking but the thankfully the quake didn’t last long. Tourists stranded in Naran due to snow are being evacuated


People came out of cars and houses in Islamabad fearing the effects of earthquake.


In Gilgit Baltistan roads are blocked due to landslides, dust is seen on the mountains which might result new streams and damage may be expected.


PM Nawaz Sharif has urged the US for the withdrawal of travel advisories on Pakistan

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the United States (US) for the withdrawal of travel advisories on Pakistan and granting access to Pakistani products to its markets, ARY News reported.

In his address with the US-Pakistan Business Council in Washington, he highlighted how Pakistan has emerged as an attractive and thriving market for business and investment opportunities, since the last time he had spoken to very chamber in 2013.


“Pakistan has greatly improved its internal security situation, as well as achieved effective governance and public service delivery, resulting in robust economic indicators, in a short span of time,” Sharif said.

“We are confident that the improved security situation in Pakistan would lead to withdrawal of travel advisories on Pakistan.”

Pakistan has one of the most attractive investment regimes in the world, allowing foreign investors 100% repatriation of profits and easy convertibility into foreign exchange, he noted.

“Numerous investment opportunities are available in the energy, consumer goods, food & agriculture, housing, health care, education; finance Services, capital markets, information technology, oil & gas and infrastructure sectors of Pakistan.”

“No region has lagged as far behind in the world today as South Asia. To lift our people out of poverty, we must first of all establish peace in the region,” said the Pakistan PM. “We, therefore, seek good relations with all its neighbors.”

I firmly believe that shared prosperity is real prosperity. We cannot maintain peace within, unless there is peace without, he said. This is what under-pins my approach to a peaceful and friendly neighborhood.

Sharif said the US remains one of the most important economic and trading partners of Pakistan, adding that major US companies have invested billions of dollars in Pakistan and the US also remains a major destination for Pakistani exports.


Government to take steps to develop onyx and marble industry

KARACHI: Pakistan’s mountain areas specially the North Western FATA areas are famous for high quality , The World Bank’s multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) is taking several initiatives for the development of marble sector in Fata.


A delegation of Fata SMEs, Fata ERKF (economic rehabilitation of Khyber Pakhtun­khwa/Fata) and marble sector experts would soon visit different factories in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

The delegation, which met All-Pakistan Marble Mining Processing Industry and Exports Association Chair­man Sanaullah Khan last Saturday, discussed value chain and varieties of marble present in the country.

Sanaullah said markets in Afghanistan, Middle East and China can be tapped easily if we improve our quality.


Oldest Quraan from Prophet’s time found in Barmingham

A researcher has found the fragments of Holy Quraan at the University of Birmingham, after the radiocarbon test it is found that the copy of this holy text is dating back to the earliest Islamic era i.e. 568 and 645 Hijra or 1370 AC. This is the oldest Quraan ever found and would have been written by some one very close to the prophet Mohammad and possibly Prophet Peace Be Upon Him would have witnessed the writing of the holy book.


These pages of the Muslim holy text had remained unrecognised in the university library for almost a century. It was only when a PhD researcher looked more closely at these pages it was decided to carry out a radiocarbon dating test and the results were “startling”, as the researcher had no idea if it would be so old.

“Finding out we had one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the whole world has been fantastically exciting.


The British Library’s expert on such manuscripts, Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, said this “exciting discovery” would make Muslims “rejoice”.

The manuscript had been kept with a collection of other Middle Eastern books and documents, without being identified as one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the world.

What is more exciting is that the text has no difference from what we have in the present Quraan which is a miricle of Quraan that it will never be changed.


The University of Birmingham’s manuscript was in a collection brought back from the Middle East
The tests, carried out by the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, showed that the fragments, written on sheep or goat skin, were among the very oldest surviving texts of the Koran.
These tests provide a range of dates, showing that, with a probability of more than 95%, the parchment was from between 568 and 645.

“They could well take us back to within a few years of the actual founding of Islam,” said David Thomas, the university’s professor of Christianity and Islam.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the revelations that form the Quraan, the scripture of Islam, between the years 610 and 632, the year of his death.”
The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad… he would maybe have heard him preach
Prof David Thomas, University of Birmingham
Prof Thomas says the dating of the Birmingham folios would mean it was quite possible that the person who had written them would have been alive at the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
“The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad. He would have seen him probably, he would maybe have heard him preach. He may have known him personally – and that really is quite a thought to conjure with,” he says.
First-hand witness
Prof Thomas says that some of the passages of the Koran were written down on parchment, stone, palm leaves and the shoulder blades of camels – and a final version, collected in book form, was completed in about 650.
David Thomas
Prof Thomas says the writer of this manuscript could have heard the Prophet Muhammad preach
He says that “the parts of the Koran that are written on this parchment can, with a degree of confidence, be dated to less than two decades after Muhammad’s death”.
“These portions must have been in a form that is very close to the form of the Koran read today, supporting the view that the text has undergone little or no alteration and that it can be dated to a point very close to the time it was believed to be revealed.”
Susan Worrall
Susan Worrall says the university wants to put this internationally significant discovery on public display
The manuscript, written in “Hijazi script”, an early form of written Arabic, becomes one of the oldest known fragments of the Koran.
Because radiocarbon dating creates a range of possible ages, there is a handful of other manuscripts in public and private collections which overlap. So this makes it impossible to say that any is definitively the oldest.
But the latest possible date of the Birmingham discovery – 645 – would put it among the very oldest.
‘Precious survivor’
Dr Waley, curator for such manuscripts at the British Library, said “these two folios, in a beautiful and surprisingly legible Hijazi hand, almost certainly date from the time of the first three caliphs”.
The first three caliphs were leaders in the Muslim community between about 632 and 656.
Koran at Birmingham University
The fragments of the Koran are still clearly legible
Dr Waley says that under the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, copies of the “definitive edition” were distributed.
“The Muslim community was not wealthy enough to stockpile animal skins for decades, and to produce a complete Mushaf, or copy, of the Holy Koran required a great many of them.”
Dr Waley suggests that the manuscript found by Birmingham is a “precious survivor” of a copy from that era or could be even earlier.
“In any case, this – along with the sheer beauty of the content and the surprisingly clear Hijazi script – is news to rejoice Muslim hearts.”
Muhammad Afzal
Muhammad Afzal of Birmingham Central Mosque said he was very moved to see the manuscript
The manuscript is part of the Mingana Collection of more than 3,000 Middle Eastern documents gathered in the 1920s by Alphonse Mingana, a Chaldean priest born near Mosul in modern-day Iraq.
He was sponsored to take collecting trips to the Middle East by Edward Cadbury, who was part of the chocolate-making dynasty.
The local Muslim community has already expressed its delight at the discovery in their city and the university says the manuscript will be put on public display.
“When I saw these pages I was very moved. There were tears of joy and emotion in my eyes. And I’m sure people from all over the UK will come to Birmingham to have a glimpse of these pages,” said Muhammad Afzal, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque.
Prof Thomas says it will show people in Birmingham that they have a “treasure that is second to none”.


Glaciers in Pakistan melting faster than rest of the world

According to a new Pakistan Economic Survey 2014-15 the glaciers in the northern Pakistan’s mountain of Himalaya, Karakorum and Hindukush range are melting faster than the rest of the world.

Pakistan is listed among countries highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change due to its diverse topographic and demographic settings.

The country is vulnerable to a host of natural hazards particularly of hydro-meteorological nature, the frequency and intensity of which has increased due to climate change. The survey notes the recurring extreme events, including flash floods, cyclones, heat waves, droughts, glacial lake outburst floods and intrusion of saline seawater into the Indus River Delta Region, that Pakistan has faced in the recent years carried significant climate change footprints.

According to the survey, Pakistan suffered economic losses of more than US$15 billion during floods of 2010 to 2012.

The unprecedented floods of 2010 were described by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a slow moving Tsunami. More than 20 million people were affected and roughly 300,000 were displaced.

Climate change is severely impacting the development aspirations of almost all developing countries.

Read: Climate change: How to cope with the heatwave in the future

The sustainable development prospects of Pakistan are undermined by climate change in multiple ways which is already entrenched with numerous economic, security and social challenges. While Ministry of Climate Change is working to avert these challenges for Pakistan, climate change is serving not only as a threat but also a threat multiplier. Above all, it is seriously undermining the gains achieved in this regard.

Further, it is inflicting huge losses to human life and property and is also causing additional stress on the sustainability and access to natural resources both for the present and future generations.

The actions to address climate change should ensure the sustainable development and sustained economic growth of the developing countries and the universal elimination of poverty, hunger and disease. In Pakistan alone, additional $6 to $14 billion are required annually to adapt to the climate change adverse impacts. Pakistan’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are low compared to international standards. In 2008, Pakistan’s total GHG emissions were 310 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

As such, the most important targets for mitigation efforts focused on reduction of GHG emissions are the energy and agriculture sectors. In the energy sector, integration climate change and energy policy objectives are particularly important. The buildings and transport infrastructure put in place today should meet the design needs of the future.

In light of this, greater attention must be paid to energy efficiency requirements in building codes and long – term transport planning. Further, the framework for the implementation of the national climate change policy (2012) is developed keeping in view the current and future anticipated climate change threats to Pakistan’s various sectors.

Read: Food security at risk: Climate change hitting poor the hardest, says minister

In view of Pakistan’s high vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change, in particular extreme events, the vulnerabilities of various sectors to climate change have been highlighted and appropriate adaptation actions spelled out. These cover actions to address issues in various sectors such as water, agriculture, forestry, coastal areas, biodiversity, health and other vulnerable ecosystems.

Notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan’s contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is very small, its role as a responsible member of the global community is very important in combating climate change in sectors such as energy, forestry, transport, industries, urban planning, agriculture and livestock.

Furthermore, appropriate actions relating to disaster preparedness, capacity building, institutional strengthening; and awareness rising in relevant sectors is also a part of this framework for implementation of National Climate Change Policy which has been developed not as an end in itself but rather a catalyst for mainstreaming climate change concerns into decision making that will create condition for integrated climate compatible development processes.

It is therefore, not a stand-alone document but rather an integral and synergistic accomplishment to future planning of the country. Despite being a low GHG emitter, Pakistan is bearing the brunt of climate change related disasters at a high cost to its economy. It therefore, requires concerted efforts to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Number of measures are in focus to address both mitigation and enhancing various ongoing efforts and initiating new activities such as Adaptation Strategies, Mitigation Strategies, Clean Development Mechanism and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency in coordination with International Union for Conservation of Nature, ICUN and other partners had recently conducted the National Impact Assessment program (NIAP). The programme aimed to contribute to sustainable development in Pakistan through strengthening the environmental impact assessment process introducing Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in national development planning.

Based on the experience of NIAP, it is expected that interventions at the policy level through introduction of SEA, capacity building, development of tools, procedures and mechanisms and improved understanding of impact assessment processes, principles of sustainable development could be introduced into country policies and programmes.