Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Muhammad Naeem Malik

Mr. Muhammad Naeem Malik is a Chemical Engineer by profession with 30 years experience in the petroleum sector. He started his carrier with petro-chemical industry in the private sector and then joined Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources in 1981 where he has worked on various important assignments in the Government of Pakistan. He remained Director General (Gas), Director General (Oil), Director General (Special Projects) and Director General (Petroleum Concessions). He brings with him diversified experience of upstream, midstream and down-stream oil and gas sector.

Mr. Malik remained Director on Boards of almost all the public sector petroleum companies including SNGPL, SSGCL, Pirkoh Gas Company, PPL, OGDCL and MGCL. Presently he is Director on the Boards of PPL and Mari Gas Company Limited and Member HDIP Board of Governors.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sara Suleri

Sara Suleri Goodyear, the author of 'Meatless Days' and 'The Rhetoric of English India' was born in Pakistan. She obtained her B.A. ( Honours) degree from Kinnaird College, Lahore and an Masters of Arts degree in English from Punjab University, Lahore. In the year 1983, she completed her Ph.D. from Indiana University. Since then she has been teaching English at Yale University. At Yale Suleri started the Yale Journal of Criticism and is responsible for editing the same.

Her first literary work -'Meatless Days' depicts her childhood life whereas her second book -'The Rhetoric of English India' deals with representation of India in the British Empire from Edmund Burke to post-colonial times. In 'The Rhetoric of English India'Suleri reconstructs a diverse Anglo-India narrative in which English and Indian idioms inevitably collude. According to Jane Marcus, CUNY Graduate Center and the City University of New York, " This is the most brilliant contribution to postcolonial criticism since Edward Said's Orientalism. Sara Suleri has written a masterpiece of calm, well-thought-out, cogent, and inspiring analysis."

Her special literary interests include postcolonial literatures and theory, contemporary cultural criticism, literature and law. Her field of study encompasses19th- and 20th-century English literature, Postcolonial literatures, cultural criticism, and Urdu poetry.

Najam Sethi

Najam Sethi, 63, graduated from Government College, Lahore, Pakistan, in 1967. He was awarded the Presidents Gold Medal for standing first among 50,000 students of Punjab University.

He took an MA degree in Economics from Cambridge University, UK, in 1970 and was awarded the Davies Prize for Economics by Clare College. He was a PhD research student at Clare College from 1971 to 1972.

While in Pakistan to research his dissertation subject, he was detained as a political prisoner by the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto regime from 1975 to 1977 for protesting military action in Baluchistan province following the illegal dismissal of the elected governments in two provinces. Amnesty International included him among its list of political prisoners in Pakistan at that time. He was discharged honorably in 1978 when all political prisoners were freed.

In 1978 he established Vanguard Books, an independent, liberal, secular publishing house which has published over 400 titles since then in history, politics and economics.

In 1984 he was imprisoned by the military government of General Zia ul Haq for one month (“preventive detention”) without formally being charged for any crime. But the real reason was Gen Zia’s aversion to a book published by Vanguard Books. It was titled “From Jinnah To Zia” and authored by the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Mohammad Munir. The book was a sort of mea culpa in which the author had admitted his grave error in legitimizing the first martial law in Pakistan in 1958, thereby paving the way for Gen Zia’s martial law in 1977. It was very critical of Gen Zia.

In 1989, along with his wife Jugnu Mohsin, he launched The Friday Times (TFT), an independent national weekly paper which espouses secular internationalism, human rights, regional peace and democracy. Newsweek Magazine described him in the 1990s as a “crusading editor” for exposing corruption in government. He has unfailingly written the editorials of the paper every week since 1989.

In 1999 he was imprisoned by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on trumped up charges of treason. The real reason was relentless exposure in The Friday Times of corruption in the Sharif family. The supreme court of Pakistan rejected the trumped up charges of “treason” and freed him after one month. While in detention he was tortured and suffered a heart attack, which necessitated heart surgery in 2000.

In 1999 the Nawaz Sharif government started to harass him by slapping over 50 income tax fraud cases. It also accused him of being a “non-Muslim” and tried to deprive him of his voting rights. But all the cases against him were rejected by the tax tribunals and high court of the country and all his rights were restored by the Chief Election Commissioner.

In 1999, he was awarded the JOURNALISM UNDER THREAT AWARD by Amnesty International, UK, and the INTERNATIONAL PRESS FREEDOM AWARD by the Committee to Protect Journalists, New York.

In 2002 he launched Daily Times, an independent national daily newspaper published from Lahore and Karachi and Islamabad. Like The Friday Times, this daily paper was an outspoken liberal humanist internationalist voice in the country. Its editorials constantly argued for peace with India, supported the war against Taliban-Al-Qaeda terror and opposed religious fundamentalism and extremism.

In August 2008, he launched AajKal, a national Urdu daily paper from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Within a year, the paper became the most outspoken voice of rational discourse, internationalism and liberalism in the Urdu print media of Pakistan.

In 2007 he set up Beyond Borders, a public interest production company for South Asia television channels. The mission statement of this project is to promote South Asian cultures, build confidence and trust and sustain democracy, civil society and human rights in the region. The company has produced 13 short films on the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 based on the short stories of the grand literary masters of India and Pakistan. It is also producing a 13 part serial titled ROOTS, which is a compilation of interviews of famous Indians and Pakistanis who crossed over to the “other” country at the time of partition and have inspiring stories to tell of the warmth, love, humanity and affection of the “other” community. The aim of these projects is to build trust between Indians and Pakistanis, Hindus and Muslims, and promote the cause of peace in the region.

In 2007-8, he received open death threats from the Taliban-Al Qaeda for supporting the war against terrorism. The Taliban’s mouthpiece in Waziristan did a cover story in which it identified Najam Sethi as an “enemy of Islam”. Radical Islamists demonstrated against his papers in Islamabad and openly called for his elimination.

He was awarded the Golden Pen Press Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers in 2009 for courage in upholding secular values, human rights and press freedom.

Najam Sethi is the only journalist in Asia to receive three international press freedom awards in a decade.