April 2020

Symposium on Intra-Afghan Dialogue


A symposium on the Intra-Afghan Dialogue was held by IPRI is Islamabad. Eminent speakers including former Pakistani ambassadors and diplomats participated. Most speakers said peace in Afghanistan may not suit New Delhi’s ambitions for regional hegemony and it could continue intervening in the politics and decision-making of the country.

The diplomats cautioned that Afghan politicians must be wary of issuing irresponsible statements which may derail efforts to finding a solution to the 20-year old conflict. It was hoped the dialogue will lead to a consensus for a political dispensation that would be in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan.

CMC receives Presidential Award

Syed Jawaid Iqbal receiving the Presidential Award for Public Relations from the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi. Also seen in the picture: Mr. Hameed Haroon, President APNS ( left), Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting.

CMC was honoured with the Presidential Award for Public Relations at the 24th Award Distribution ceremony of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS). The Award is in recognition of CMC’s support and excellence in services for the promotion of public relations and corporate affairs in Pakistan.

The Award was conferred on Syed Jawaid Iqbal, President & CEO of CMC, by the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, at an official ceremony in Islamabad on Feb. 27, 2020.

CMC has pioneered the concept of public relations in Pakistan’s corporate sector. It pursues a culture of teamwork nurtured by support and knowhow from the international Ketchum network in providing professional services to clients.

Speaking on the occasion, the President asked the media to come forward in resolving issues of importance to the nation such as the eradication of polio, etc.

On the occasion, Syed Jawaid Iqbal thanked the APNS leadership and said his company and he was proud to be recognized for their services by a professional body. APNS is the only representative body of the print media in the country.

CMC is the sole affiliate of Ketchum USA in Pakistan

Daren Sammy Zalmi’s Head Coach

Daren Sammy has become Peshawar Zalmi’s Head Coach for the next two years. Muhammad Akram will continue his role with Zalmi as Director Cricket as well as bowling coach whereas Wahab Riaz is the new captain. Daren has played a big role in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan.

Darren has been awarded Pakistan’s highest civilian award and honorary citizenship. As a celebrated West Indian cricketer, he is already a star in Pakistan. A regular PSL player, Darren has showed up in all PSLs for the last five years and brings positive vibes to Pakistan cricket.

Gender Equality in KSA

Amid recent reforms that have revamped the conservative picture of KSA, a recent World Bank report places Saudi Arabia first in gender equality in the GCC region and second in the Arab region, giving the kingdom an overall score of 70.6 out of 100, a 38.8 jump since its last ranking. Saudi women are bringing passion, energy and enthusiasm to the workplace in greater numbers than ever.

Moreover, in its bid to empower women, the kingdom has begun allowing them to be heads of the household and has removed the legal obligation that they obey their husbands. In terms of parenthood, Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, has prohibited the dismissal of pregnant workers. While equalising roles in almost every walk of life, the kingdom has determined the age of 60, at which both men and women can retire with full pension benefits.

Another step towards gender equality in KSA is the country’s new trend for women to study what have traditionally been regarded as exclusively male domains. Now improvements in the position of women in Saudi Arabia are visible in offices, workplaces and on the streets. Hence, the workforce is increasing overall productivity, profitability and sustainability.

As for what young Saudi women will do after graduation, the Vision 2030 strategy envisages a big increase in the female workforce, rising to as much as 30 per cent over the next decade.

Spider-Man Collects Waste

Indonesian cafe worker Rudi Hartono struggled to persuade residents of his small coastal community of Parepare to follow his example and pick up rubbish strewn on the streets and beaches until he dressed up as Spider-Man. At first, he did the same activity without wearing the costume and it did not attract the public’s attention but after wearing the costume, the public’s response was extraordinary.

Many parts of Indonesia suffer from having little in the way of organised public services to deal with trash, with plastic waste in particular often ending in rivers or in the oceans. Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, generates 3.2 million tonnes a year of waste, with nearly half ending up in the sea.

Hartono usually collects waste as Spider-Man before his cafe work begins at 7 p.m. and his efforts have helped put a spotlight on the waste issue nationally. He has been interviewed by newspapers and appeared on television chat shows dressed in his Marvel comics superhero costume to explain his motivation.

‘Khwaab’ Debuts

After 2 years of several single releases and music videos, Kashmir, in collaboration with Pepsi and Zellbury, has finally released its debut album titled ‘Khwaab’. The song has been released alongside another single ‘Dhoop,’ accompanied by a music video directed by Umar Anwar shot in Thailand. The album has nine songs, plus two bonus songs. It is a compilation of all the songs the band has released individually over the past two years.

Just after winning Pepsi Battle of the Bands in 2018, the band announced the album ‘Khwaab’ to be released song by song, ultimately leading to a compiled album. The band members were visibly excited as they had put their heart and soul into making the music and hoped people would feel that.

Hyundai Prophecy

Hyundai Motor has unveiled its new ‘Prophecy’ Concept EV, showcasing the key elements of its styling and technology. ‘Prophecy’ is inspired by the company’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design philosophy. It embodies ‘Optimistic Futurism’, which focuses on the emotional link between humans and automobiles by balancing nature and technology, emotion and practicality.

The group is expanding its product line-up to include 44 electric vehicles. It also plans to invest almost 50 billion Euros for research and development in future technologies by 2025. It expects to sell more than 670,000 battery and fuel cell electric vehicles annually by this time and to be positioned among the top three EV providers globally. In Europe, more than 75% of its line-up will be electrified by the end of 2020. The company aims to supply almost 80,000 zero-emission vehicles to European consumers this year.

Prophecy establishes a new standard for the EV segment. The extended wheelbase and signature shorter overhang of the EV platform gives Prophecy an iconic silhouette of perfect proportions. The result is a new EV architecture defined by pristine surfaces, pure volume and harmony of aesthetics and functionality.

The name ‘Prophecy’ reflects the concept’s purpose, as it signifies a bright future for both Hyundai’s designs as well as innovative mobility solutions for the EV customers of tomorrow.

‘Doctor Strange’ Sequel

Sam Raimi may do the film ‘Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness’. The studio approached him after the departure of Director Scott Derrickson who made the first part of ‘Doctor Strange’. While Raimi, who has also directed Toby Mcguire’s Spiderman trilogy, might work for the ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel, Derrickson will be attached to the project as Executive Producer.

Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning to his role as Doctor Strange. It will be the first horror film in the Marvel Cinematic universe. The film will be focusing on ‘Doctor Strange’ going back to the multiverse where he will be fighting off the horror.

Zameen Polo

The President’s Bodyguard (PBG) Risala outclassed the ASC Polo Team by 12-6 to clinch the country’s most prestigious polo title, the Zameen National Open Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup, at a jam-packed Lahore Polo Club ground.

PBG Risala has won the Quaid-e-Azam National Open Polo Championship after 43 years. High-flying Nicholas A Recaite emerged as the star of the final by smashing a superb seven goals, while Raja Mikael Sami hammered a hat-trick and Hamza Mawaz Khan banged in a brace. Eulogio Celestino played well for ASC and contributed with a hat-trick, while Dr Shahzad scored two goals and Mumtaz Abbas Niazi struck once.

Moneygram Brand Ambassador

The actress and host Rabab Hashim is the new face of Moneygram for Pakistan. Moneygram is the leading global money transfer company.The launch of Rabab Hashim’s collaboration with the brand includes a series of television commercials aimed at expatriate Pakistanis.

Rabab will also be attending a host of exclusive meet and greet events around the globe, representing Moneygram and Pakistan.

Buraq Center Opens

The Buraq Center by LADIESFUND is a collaboration between Dawood Global Foundation, the German Consulate in Karachi and LUMS National Incubation Center (LUMS NIC). It offers a world of possibilities to women entrepreneurs and innovators while transforming the gender equation and opening opportunities to empathise, ideate and create at the speed of thought.

The slogan of the center is ‘Watch Her Fly’ and the logo shows a magenta pink Pegasus. The center was designed by Sanki King, who has also made a stunning giant graffiti art magenta pink Pegasus for the center, which was unveiled at the opening.

The German Consul General Eugen Wollfarth, who has been a great supporter of LADIESFUND was present at the inaugural. LADIESFUND has sponsored international fellowships for eight girls to study in Germany.

The Buraq Center has shortlisted its first 10 incubatees who will be trained under a curriculum provided by NIC Lahore and certified by NIC Lahore, along with Dawood Global Foundation.

Tours of the space were given at the inauguration, showcasing the bold, pink look that was both feminine and powerful, featuring wired incubatee desks, networking tables, a soundproofed interviewing space and pink bean bags. The center is looking for a collaborator for a meeting room.

Spotted at the event were Idris Kothari, Khalid Mirza, Ameena Saiyid, Senator Nasreen Jalil, Nazneen Tariq Khan, Moidul and Seema Hassan, Fazal Dadabhoy, Caroline Bates, Shannon Grewer, Khursheed Hyder, Pervez Madraswala and many diplomats.

Handwashing Doodle

Google created a doodle honouring Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, “the father of infection control” and a pioneer in hand washing. Washing of hands was not always a common practice. With the COVID-19 outbreak, the Google Doodle featured the good doctor and a demonstration of how to wash hands.

NBP Outshines

The National Bank of Pakistan celebrated women’s day by conducting an interactive session with a large gathering of its female employees at the NBP Head Office. The session was conducted by Asma Shaikh, SEVP/Group Chief, HRMG. She asked the participants to speak about their challenges and share their success stories with others. She encouraged all the females to learn to express, write and think no matter at whatever stage they are in, in their careers.

Sadaffe Abid, NBP BoD, CEO, Circle Women Association encouraged the women not to underestimate themselves because when women are given the rights, the skills and the opportunities to succeed, it creates a powerful ripple effect. Sadaffe Abid wears many hats and inspires many to follow in her footsteps.

Recently, NBP received the ‘Business Performance Award’ in the Public sector category at the 24th All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Awards in Islamabad. Syed Khurram Hussain, SVP/Divisional Head, SMD/ SBAG, received the award for NBP.

Fareeha Jay Book

Alif Kitab Publications, writer Umera Ahmed’s publication house, has published the health lifestyle book ‘It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle’ by the UK registered dietician and health enthusiast, Fareeha Jay.

A graduate from the University of Plymouth, England, Fareeha Jay believes there’s far more to a healthy lifestyle than counting calories and how many steps you walked in a day. She cuts through the noise surrounding fitness stereotypes, explaining the intricacies of nutrition and how to follow a healthy eating lifestyle.

Fareeha Jay provides some practical tips and an honest, rational approach that aims to empower you to create habits that will transform the way you perceive food and health. It help you lose weight for good.