February 2020

Maqsoods celebrate their 50th

Recently, Anwar Maqsood celebrated fifty years of his marriage with Imrana (Immu). The golden jubilee was attended by a larger number of people who blessed the couple on the special day. Guests included Javed Jabbar and his wife Shabnam, Syed Jawaid Iqbal and his wife Zeba, Rubab Haider (wife of late Naseer Haider, the ad man who used to play bridge every Sunday with Anwar), Rafi Khan, cricketer Salahuddin, Yasir Hussain and Iqra Aziz. There were also many other prominent people and relatives among the guests.

Some quotes from the book presented by Jawaid and Zeba:

‘Each of the two is a distinct individual. Neither is a shadow or an extension of the other.’ – Javed Jabbar
‘Fifty years ago, two of the most wonderful people I know started their lives together.’
– Anum Ahmed
‘The kind of love and affection I’ve been getting from his family over the years is beyond words.’ – Adnan Siddiqui
‘AM and Immu stand as not only a couple that managed to strike success but they did so in all respects, keeping the dignity of each relation intact.’ – Shaha Jamshed
‘One of the pleasures ad rewards of returning from the UK to our homeland was meeting and becoming close to bhabi and Anwar bhai.’ – Dr Saad Niaz
‘Anwar sahab and Immu ji are like parents to me.’ – Yasir Hussain

Syed Jawaid Iqbal and Zeba gifted the couple a book comprising comments from Anwar Maqsood and Immu’s close relatives, friends and family members. Copies of the book were also distributed among the guests.

What added to the evening’s entertainment was a big screen in the centre on which old Indian songs played, depicting the love between Anwar Maqsood and Imrana. The big screen later showed live pictures from the stage, where the couple was answering questions from their grandchildren in a quiz competition.

A visitor’s book was also available for the guests to write their views.

More Online Transport

First came Careem and Uber and were heartily welcomed by the people of Karachi who have always been suffering from an acute public transportation problem. The provincial government simply did not care and kept making hollow promises.

When the rates of the ride-hailing services started going high, more entrepreneurs came into the market such as Airlift and SWVL offering rides in small, air-conditioned buses - and they got more than willing customers.

Now it is reported that more online transport companies are planning to launch their services at even better rates. This time, the Sindh government has also jumped in to make money from the people’s daily transport needs. At the same time, it seems the government has all but absolved itself from the responsibility of providing regular public transport in the city, such as buses and the Karachi Circular Railway or making roads, flyovers and underpasses.

Salam Planet

Social networking apps have become an integral part of our life. Apart from the well-known global apps, community-based platforms are sharing interests, religious beliefs and motifs. Considering the precedent set, ‘Salam Planet’ has come into being. The app is more of a one-stop-shop designed to deal with any queries concerning the Muslim way of life, ranging from Quranic teachings to Halal restaurant reviews and lifestyles. It has a direct connection with people of a similar mindset.

It is, in fact, a marketplace app for all the people around the world regardless of their religion. The moment you install the app, you are offered a variety of interactive sections such as trending user posts, reviews, media, public figures, shopping, travel, sports, food and entertainment. It allows you to create, comment, share posts, pictures and links with your family and friends.

In a nutshell, ‘Salam Planet’ intends to provide a similar experience as other global app but in a more personalized way. Currently, the app operates in two languages – Danish and English.

‘A Quiet Place’ Returns

TQuiet Place 2’ recently released its trailer which speaks volumes about the kind of film John Krasinki will be delivering to us. The scene takes us back to a silent place where Emily Blunt, the lead actress, and her husband John fought for their family’s survival. John sacrificed himself in ‘A Quiet Place’ so that his family could escape the monsters and now it’s up to Emily blunt to save her family.

The trailer gives us some more insight about the creatures from which the Abbott family is escaping but now the whole town is in danger. Cillian Murphy can be seen in the trailer who will be a part of the journey to save other humans. Djimon Hounsou has also joined the cast.

The synopsis of the film reads, “The Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.” The film is slated to release on March 2020.

Jubilee Life Awarded

Pakistan Stock Exchange held the Top 25 Companies Awards Ceremony, to honour the top companies of Pakistan. This is the most prestigious and sought after recognition for the corporate sector. Prime Minister Imran Khan graced the occasion with his appearance.

The companies winning the awards belonged to a broad spectrum of industries, meeting or exceeding the pre-requisites of Capital Efficiency, Dividend Distribution, Growth in Operating Revenues, Turnover, Corporate Governance and Investor Relations.

The Prime Minister, along with other senior government officials, distributed the awards among companies that made it to the Pakistan Stock Exchange Top-25 ranking in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Jubilee Life Insurance received the PSX Top 25 Companies award in 2016. The award was presented by the Finance Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to Mr Farhan Faridi, Group Head – Retail Distribution, Jubilee Life Insurance.

Velo Launched in Pakistan

The official launch of the white nicotine pouch brand Velo Pakistan took place in Karachi. The event was themed with the fitting blue carpet and a massive chair wall which also served as the photo wall. A glam booth inside was also made where one could get a 180 degree photo gif shot.

The event witnessed an aerial hoop dance performance by Filipino performer Faith. Everyone from Nadia Hussain to Frieha Altaf to the face of Velo Pakistan, Sheheryar Munawar watched in awe as Faith played with the hoop.

The product’s signature cool and breezy colour theme lighted the mood and the ambiance of the place and one would be pulled aside to an incredibly unique showcase: the brand name Velo carved in thick ice.

Renowned personalities including Model Abeer Rizvi, Abeera Habib, Zhalay Sarhadi, Hira Hussain and producer Sadia Jabbar also showed up.

Singing Debut for Kinza Hashmi

Pakistani actress Kinza Hashmi who is a renowned name in the Pakistani drama industry has stepped into singing with her debut song ‘Sajna’. Kinza took to social media and shared Sajna’s cover, sung by her. The song has been originally sung by the young multi-talented singer, Yashal Shahid.

Kinza started her acting career in 2014 and appeared in several television commercials and serials. She played Rashna in Hum TV’s ‘Ishq Tamasha’ for which she even received a nomination for Best Negative Actor at the Hum Awards.

HBL PSL 2020

The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced the schedule of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 with all 34 matches to be played across four international venues of the country from 20 February to 22 March, 2019. The schedule announcement was part of the 50 days to go to HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 celebrations that also featured the launching of the countdown clock, which has been mounted at the main entrance of the Gaddafi Stadium – the home of Pakistan cricket.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said, “After bringing Test cricket back to Pakistan, hosting of the entire HBL Pakistan Super League is our other major achievement. I never had any doubts it was Pakistan’s league and should be played in front of home crowds. The league will feature 36 foreign stars out of 425 who showed interest. This shows the confidence that players throughout the world have in playing in Pakistan.”

“Through this event, we expect the economy and tourism to get a significant boost, which will have a direct impact on the overall health of the country. I am expecting like last year, the entire country will get behind this tournament and by turning up in big numbers. I also want to thank the local governments and security agencies to facilitate the PCB in bringing HBL PSL back to Pakistan, for which we are grateful”, he added.
Of the 34 event matches, the National Stadium will stage nine matches and Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium will host 14 matches. National Stadium will also host the Qualifier between the top two sides, whereas the Gaddafi Stadium will be the venue of the two Eliminators and the Final.

‘Soul Charity’ by
Adeel Chaudry

Adeel Chaudry is a food influencer and a chef who was named one of the most handsome food connoisseurs in the world. He is also the owner of a trendy restaurant in Lahore called ‘Junoon’, famous for its amazing menu and especially the Imli Cola Bomb which is their speciality. Adeel is known for his impeccable style and amazing food vlogging as he travels a lot.

All restaurants prepare a huge amount of food every day and the leftovers are either thrown away or go bad but this entrepreneur started the initiative of ‘Soul Charity’. The place is a walk-in place outside ‘Junoon’ where packaged food, clothes and shoes are available for people in need. The packaged food is from the buffet section of the restaurant and has a variety of traditional, Chinese and continental dishes.

‘Junoon’ also have a policy to give discounts to customers who finish their meals and do not leave behind the food on their plates. Adeel’s effort to eradicate hunger has been much-appreciated and truly projects Pakistan’s youth in a positive light.

Junaid Murtaza Country
MD of L’Oréal Pakistan

Junaid Murtaza has been appointed the new Country Managing Director of L’Oréal Pakistan. Murtaza is a LUMS alumnus of 2008 who began his career with Unilever Pakistan and led an accelerated career path through various successful stints in Marketing & Sales.

In 2013, he joined L’Oréal as the Marketing Director – Consumer Products Division - extending the reach of L’Oréal Paris and Garnier brands to the consumers of Pakistan. He then moved to the Global L’Oréal Headquarters Paris, France as Zone Marketing Director for Pan Africa and Middle East region.

Junaid returned to Pakistan in 2018 as the General Manager for L’Oréal Pakistan Consumer Products division and within 9 months, he succeeded the position of Country Managing Director where he is the Chief Executive for L’Oréal Pakistan subsidiary, being one of the youngest Country Managing Directors in the L’Oréal world.

Learning from Jinnah

The Foreign Office has requested a total of 750 copies of ‘The Jinnah Anthology – 4th Edition’ authored, edited and compiled, by Liaquat Merchant, President of the Jinnah Society, and Professor Sharif Al Mujahid, for placement at all Pakistan embassies, high commissions and consulates worldwide. The book was published by Lightstone Publishers and the decision for keeping the 750 books in Pakistan’s diplomatic missions was taken by Mr. Sohail Mahmood, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan.

Mr Mahmood is a seasoned diplomat with experience spanning over three decades that includes various assignments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Pakistan’s missions abroad in both bilateral and multilateral arenas. Prior to becoming the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, he was Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India. He has also served as the Additional Secretary for Afghanistan/West Asia as well as Director General for the Americas at the Foreign Secretary’s Office. His foreign assignments include position of Pakistan Ambassador to Thailand and Turkey, among many others.

The Jinnah Society aims to promote Jinnah’s legacy through the publication of books, articles ad letters in newspapers, besides producing films and organizing events in schools, book launches and media programmes. The sale and distribution of the Jinnah Anthology and Quotes from the Quaid-e-Azam is a part of the effort.

Mr. Liaquat Merchant and Professor Sharif Al Mujahid have emphasized that in order to understand the reasons which led to the creation of Pakistan, what Pakistan was intended to accomplish, the reason for its continued existence despite treacherous circumstances and why the idea of Pakistan will never die, one has to understand Jinnah because he constitutes the bridge which must be crossed to understand all this.

‘Joker’ Sequel?

According to rumours, Todd Philips and Joaquin Phoenix are in talks for a sequel to ‘Joker’, the film that brought in more than 1 billion USD worldwide. The director and actor, both received standing ovations for the film along with earning the top Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival and a Golden Globe acting prize for Joaquin Phoenix, who received critical acclaim for his transformation from a vulnerable loner into a confident villain in the film. Phoenix also got a BAFTA leading actor nod and the film was also nominated for adapted screenplay, original score, casting, cinematography, editing, sound, production design as well as makeup and hair. Well, time will tell if the speculation turns out right or not.

Nida and Yasir kick-off
new ventures

Yasir Nawaz, a film director, producer, screenwriter and actor has stepped into the food business by opening his own restaurant ‘The Forest’ in Karachi. It all started when Yasir contacted a friend and told him about his interest. He wanted to go into the food business. Soon, they partnered and ‘The Forest’ was the outcome. For Yasir, the food business is competitive and a completely different ball game compared to films but he is enjoying the experience and getting to know its different aspects.

The restaurant’s main offerings are desi food like BBQ, karahi, daal makhni, etc They also have continental food but mainly focus on taste for which they have specialized chefs. With a soothing and romantic ambiance with old trees, Yasir has high hopes for his new business.

His wife Nida Yasir has just launched a new clothing line by the name of Nida Yasir Collection (NYC) – not to be confused with New York City. The collection features women’s fashion-wear. She thinks Pakistani women are conscious of their clothing and that is why she has launched a brand with various colours that speak for themselves.

The idea for the line is enough to invoke inspiration in anyone. Says Nida, “I have always wanted to reach out to every woman and every household in Pakistan at some level. I am extremely humbled with this experience and would love to expand it into different directions to bring in more products.”