News Buzz

March 2021

GIKI Beats MIT and Stanford


The Pakistani team Invictus, comprising students from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI), won against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University.

The students were part of the 2021 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) competition where they had to design, build and fly an aircraft. They secured 2nd position in the competition.

They were also congratulated by the U.S Embassy of Pakistan in a social media post.

Mahira Khan
Turns Producer


While Mahira Khan’s films ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’, ‘Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad’ and ‘Neelofar’ are just around the corner, she has ventured into producing a web series with co-producer Nina Kashif. Known as Soul Fry Films, the project is titled ‘Baarwan Khiladi’ and includes Daniyal Zafar, Shahveer Jafry and Kinza Hashmi.

Directed by Adnan Sarwar and written by Shahid Dogar, the web series is a coming of age story set against the backdrop of cricket. It is about friendships, relationships, unity, failure, success, love and courage. Mahira gives a small peek into a labour of love and hard work.

The film will also be Tapmad’s first originally produced web series.

Nestlé Dates


Nestlé has launched Mackintosh’s Quality Street Dates, its first product in almost 5 years, designed specifically for consumers in the Middle East and North Africa and inspired by the region’s most iconic staple fruit - dates.

Mackintosh’s Quality Street’s Dates is a new edition to the brand but with a local and contemporary twist. It is made of the finest and most delectable dates, inspired by the top favourite sweets and stuffed with nuts and covered with chocolate.

The pack includes three irresistibly indulging flavours: Praline Hazelnut, Caramel Hazelnut and Toffee Almond, made with premium milk chocolate and popular flavours.

Amer Pasha Makes a Move


Amer Pasha has joined Nutshell Communications as Chief of Strategy and Planning. His forte is in the Digital Payments and FMCG industry. He will also be pursuing his ambition of launching a start-up in Pakistan’s retail tech segment.

He is a seasoned professional having more than 30 years of diversified working experience in Pakistan, South East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Central Asian Republics. Until recently, he was based in Dubai with Visa Inc.

Before joining Visa, Amer worked with Coca-Cola Export Corporation. He has also been associated with Reckitt Benckiser, Bank of America and American Express.

Azaan Debuts


Despite being a star kid, Pakistani music composer and screenwriter, Azaan Sami Khan has made a name for himself in the industry establishing himself as a musician and also gearing up to make his big acting debut.

The music composer unveiled an album that includes nine songs. The first single ‘Mein Tera’ was released in February 2021. According to the artiste, the album is his way of branching into something far more intimate than just producing chart-topping music. The album also includes ‘Meri Sajna Re’, a collaboration with the music maestro Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, along with other songs tilted ‘Maahiya’, ‘Dholna’, ‘Mein Tera’, ‘Jaadugari’, ‘Aashiqui’, ‘Ik Lamha’, ‘Zama’ and ‘Tu’. The album will be released under the banner of HUM Music.

Azaan Sami Khan has previously produced super hit tracks in critically and commercially acclaimed films like ‘Parey Hut Love’, ‘Superstar’ and ‘Parwaaz Hai Junoon’.

Bullet Train


Two of Hollywood’s ace stars Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt, both two-time Oscar winners, will be sharing the screen for the first time in the Sony action film ‘Bullet Train’.

The film is based on bestselling Japanese author Kotaro Isaka’s novel ‘Maria Beetle’. It will follow five assassins aboard a bullet train in Tokyo where they find similarities between their undertakings.

‘Bullet Train’ will also star Lady Gaga, Joey King, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman and Masi Okaand Andrew Koji.

The script of the film will be written by Zak Olkewicz, while David Leitch will direct and supervise the script.


Realme First Store


Realme is the fastest-growing smartphone brand and has been focusing on both offline and online markets. The brand is set to launch its 100+ stores all across Pakistan, starting with the first store being opened in Peshawar. The store features all Realme products, including smartphones, a complete lineup of AIoT products, including smart wearables, smartwatches, and category N home/lifestyle products.

Globally, Realme brand stores exhibit the brand’s DNA of young, trendy and fashionable products.

Soon, it will be opening a store in Karachi as the brand is all set to mark new records in Pakistan for a great customer experience.

Emirati Global FM Vice Chairman


The Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA) has appointed Eng. Ali Al Suwaidi as MEFMA’s Vice President and Global FM Vice Chairman for 2021.

Al Suwaidi is one of the leading founders of the FM industry in the Middle East. From his voluntary role as MEFMA’s Vice President and a former Board Director at Global FM, Suwaidi developed the industry at all levels.

He also held several regional and international workshops and webinars presenting the industry’s latest and best practices. Moreover, he chaired several initiatives aiming to leverage FM human resources competencies.

Pakistan’s Charlie Chaplin


Wearing a bowler hat and toothbrush moustache, Pakistan’s Usman Khan darts through traffic swinging a cane, teasing motorists and shopkeepers for laughs and a few rupees with a Charlie Chaplin impersonation that has become a viral sensation. The 32-year-old actor in Peshawar hopes his silent film antics will bring a bit of joy to the city.

The idea to impersonate Chaplin’s iconic character from ‘The Tramp’ came to him as he watched a video of the legendary film actor while recovering from an illness.

His act has proven to be a hit because, within two months, he has attracted more than 850,000 followers and generated millions of likes on TikTok.

Skincare Brand


Recognizing the potential of collaborations with Turkish stars, many Pakistani brands and marketing specialists have used this as an opportunity to promote their products and services.

Recently Dr. Fazeela Abbasi, skin specialist and Hamza Ali Abbasi’s sister, announced Chengiz Coşkun as the face of her brand DFA. Chengiz Coşkun, best known for his role as Turgut Alp in the show ‘Diriliş: Ertuğrul’, will showcase the first-ever men’s exclusive skincare line by DFA.

Dr Fazeela Abbasi specializes in combining the aesthetic talent of an artiste with the scientific precision of a dermatologist. Her philosophy is to create the most beautiful and natural results possible.

Virtual Book Launch

Omer book

At the virtual book launch of the novel ‘Divided Species’, the author Omar Iftikhar sheds light on the story of the science fiction that revolves around extraterrestrial beings landing in Karachi. These beings, the Taleykens, are from the fictional planet Arplon in the Cygnus Constellation who wants to find and secure a mineral resource, capable of destroying human life that was buried beneath the city many years ago.

Safwa Mir, a seasoned content developer, believes that Omar used the full capacity of a sci-fi genre to be creative. Omair Alavi, an entertainment journalist, said that the book is for sci-fi genre fans.

The event was hosted by Awais Khan, author of ‘In the Company of Strangers’, who said that it is refreshing to read a sci-fi novel set in Karachi. The book is published by Auraq Publications.

British Actor of the Year

Riz Khan

Riz Ahmed is on a roll as he is winning accolades one after the other. Recently, the actor tweeted that he had won the London Critics’ Circle Film award in the category of ‘British Actor of the Year’ for ‘Sound of Metal and Mogul Mowgli’. His short film ‘The Long Goodbye’ has also won ‘Best Short Film of the Year’.

The actor has joined the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm. He will also be a part of Barack and Michelle Obama’s next venture in which they will adapt Mohsin Hamid’s critically adored 2017 novel, ‘Exit West’ into a Netflix film.

Mohsin Hamid’s ‘Exit West’


Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground Productions, is adapting British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s critically cherished 2017 novel ‘Exit West’ into a Netflix film featuring Riz Ahmed.

‘Exit West’ is a love story set against an epic global migration enabled by a supernatural phenomenon. It is the story of two people as they seek a better life together, all the while yearning for a home to which they may never return.

The New York Times described the novel as one of the 10 Best Books of 2017. It was also selected for the Booker Prize long list. Former U.S. President Barack Obama named it one of the best books he read in 2017.

The film will be directed by Yann Demange and Morten Tyldum and co-produced with Joe Russo, Anthony Russo and Mike Larocca.

Kon Kiska Aadmi Hai


Pakistani musician and activist Shehzad Roy recently released ‘Kon Kis Ka Aadmi Hai’ highlighting the curiosity to know who is working for whom and making assumptions rather than fact-checking and seeking the truth.

The singer addressed the importance of one not being afraid to raise his voice and do his best to find out facts before indulging in a blame game. He emphasizes that it’s important to know who is a friend and who is a backstabber.

‘Kon Kis Ka Aadmi Hai’ mentions Modi and the current farmers’ protest in India. The song also pokes fun at India by reminding them of how Pakistan shot down its plane and served pilot Abhinandan tea and biscuits.

Directed by Faisal Qureshi, the lyrics of the song have been written by Nadeem Asad. The video also features Shehzad Roy’s son on drums, Australian artiste Gabrielle Brinsmead on cello and designer Yousuf Bashir Qureshi on keyboard.

Cool Kids

Asim Abbasi

Pakistani filmmaker Asim Abbasi has been establishing a name for himself and the country on the international stage. His film ‘Cake’ redefined Pakistani cinema while his recent web series ‘Churails’ broke all stereotypes. Both his ventures were successful and had one thing in common - they portrayed women in strong characters that lead the narrative.

Asim is now preparing for this third project. He and his team are currently looking for young children for a few roles in the web series. Rehearsals will start in the summer of 2021, while shooting will begin by September 2021 in Gilgit.

Judging from Asim’s previous work, it’s safe to stay positive and eager for the coming web series.

Uzma is Back!


Actor and model Uzma Khan made a comeback on Instagram after months of absence.

The starlet had disappeared after an assault video was leaked on social media. The incident had led to the revelation of her alleged extramarital affair with a man named Usman Malik.

GO becomes Training Organization for CA Trainees


GO Pakistan has announced that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) has approved it as an Approved Training organization for CA trainee students.

At a ceremony marking the collaboration, Zeeshan Tayyeb, GO’s Chief Operating Officer, said the OMC will give students three and a half years training, after which the candidates will become OMC-trained Chartered Accountants. He thanked Makhdom Mehmood Raza, Senior Manager Finance for leading the project on behalf of GO Pakistan.

He also expressed his gratitude to ICAP for confidence in GO as the first OMC in the private sector to become an Approved Training Organization outside Practice (TOoP).

Mr. M. Ali Latif, Vice President, ICAP and Tax Partner Muniff Ziauddin & Co. Chartered Accountants, said that addition of GO Pakistan as TOoP will not only create an ideal learning opportunity for aspirant CA trainee students who want to specialize in the oil and gas sector and learn industry specific skills, but also enable GO Pakistan to transform raw talent into tailor-made business professionals for key positions by inculcating the relevant skills-sets in the CA trainees students.