Ramadan exhibition showcases works of world-renowned Pakistani artists to spark interest in calligraphy

Ramadan exhibition showcases works of world-renowned Pakistani artists to spark interest in calligraphy
A visitor looks at a painting exhibited at Ramadan exhibition showcasing Qur’anic calligraphy by leading artists at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 20, 2024. (AN Photo)
Short Url
Updated 21 March 2024
Follow

Ramadan exhibition showcases works of world-renowned Pakistani artists to spark interest in calligraphy

Ramadan exhibition showcases works of world-renowned Pakistani artists to spark interest in calligraphy
  • The PNCA exhibition, which has works of artists like Sadequain, Aslam Kamal and Guljee, will last throughout Ramadan
  • The event has attracted students from schools and other education institutions along with seasoned art enthusiasts

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s premier arts council, dedicated to promoting and preserving the nation’s cultural heritage, has set up a Ramadan exhibition showcasing Qur’anic calligraphy by leading artists, attracting art enthusiasts and the general public who believe the initiative will boost interest in the traditional art form.
The Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) was established in 1973 and periodically organizes various cultural events, exhibitions, workshops and performances to highlight Pakistani art and culture both nationally and internationally.
Its decision to hold the ongoing exhibition coincides with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan since calligraphy holds a profound significance in Islamic art since it also serves as a means of spiritual devotion and communication.




The photos shows paintings exhibited at Ramadan exhibition showcasing Qur’anic calligraphy by leading artists at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 20, 2024. (AN Photo)

The art form dates back to the early days of Islam when the holy Qur’an was revealed. The intricate and ornate scripts used to transcribe the Islamic scripture became a central focus of artistic expression, embodying the beauty and reverence of religious teachings.
“This is the permanent collection of PNCA that is displayed here today and many people are visiting it,” Noshaba Naz, a designer at the council, told Arab News. “We have the work of many senior artists such as Sadequain, Aslam Kamal, Ustad Elahi Bux, Nasir Khan Seemab, Rasheed Butt and Guljee.”
“These are the people who have made a name for themselves through the art of calligraphy,” she added. “Not only in Pakistan but in the whole world, I think, these people are known for their calligraphy work.”
The exhibition has also attracted schools and other education institutions where teachers want their students to develop interest in calligraphy.
“Being a Muslim, our foundation is Islam, our foundation is Qur’an, and when you see Qur’an in different scripts such as Sulus or Kufic manuscript, so when you see it written in the best way possible, then it will create more interest [in young people] to read it, to see it, to open it,” Sehrish Jabeen, who works with the Unity International School and had brought a group of students with her to the gallery, told Arab News. “So this is why calligraphy exhibitions must be held.”




The photo shows a painting exhibited at Ramadan exhibition showcasing Qur’anic calligraphy by leading artists at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 20, 2024. (AN Photo)

The event has more than 25 pieces on display, showcasing a range of mediums and techniques.
It has also attracted professional artists who have been in the field for many decades.
“After coming here, the biggest peace we feel is seeing the work of our teachers, such as behind me the work of Sajid Rasheed sahib is displayed,” Shakeel Tabassum, who has been a calligrapher for about 15 years, said. “He held my hand and taught me how to walk. He taught me calligraphy. He taught me the Kufi manuscript.”
He lamented a general lack of interest in calligraphy in Pakistan, saying the presence of school children at the event could change that.
The development of calligraphy in the Muslim world was strongly tied to the Qur’an, though it is not limited strictly to religious subjects and played an important role in Persian and Mughal maniatures as well.
The PNCA exhibition will remain open to public throughout Ramadan, though the gallery will be closed on Friday and Saturday.


Pakistan condemns ‘excessive force’ by British police at Manchester airport after video of violence

Pakistan condemns ‘excessive force’ by British police at Manchester airport after video of violence
Updated 16 sec ago
Follow

Pakistan condemns ‘excessive force’ by British police at Manchester airport after video of violence

Pakistan condemns ‘excessive force’ by British police at Manchester airport after video of violence
  • The video shows a police official kicking a British-Pakistani on his head before stamping his boot on it
  • The incident sparked protest outside Greater Manchester Divisional Police headquarters on Wednesday

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday expressed concern over the “use of excessive force” by British police at Manchester Airport after a video of officers hitting dual Pakistani nationals went viral, which later led to the removal of a male officer from operational duty and the arrest of four people.
The video showed the officer holding a taser over a man lying face down on the ground, with a woman in traditional Muslim attire next to him. The officer can be seen kicking the man’s head once before stamping his boot on it again and then using his knee to pin the man down.
He then moves toward another man, who can be seen holding his hands behind his head, telling him to kneel before kicking him in the stomach and pinning him to the ground.
Throughout the incident, two female police officers can be seen at the site trying to stop at least three men from filming. A London-based journalist working with a Pakistani media outlet confirmed that the arrested men were British-Pakistanis.

 
“We have seen the disturbing reports about the incident at Manchester Airport. Apparently, it involves dual-national Pakistanis,” foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said during a weekly news briefing on Thursday.
“We are obviously concerned about the conduct of the police and the excessive use of force in the viral video,” she continued. “We also advise all Pakistani nationals abroad to abide by the laws of the host country and respect the local culture, customs and legal system, police and cooperate with the local police.”
She confirmed the Pakistani mission in Manchester was in contact with the members of the Pakistani community and also the local police.
Earlier, Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry in Britain said three police officers were assaulted, a female officer’s nose had been broken, and other officers sustained injuries that required hospital treatment.
He also confirmed the arrest of four individuals on suspicion of assault and obstructing police in carrying out their duties.
However, he added: “We know that a film of an incident at Manchester Airport that is circulating widely shows an event that is truly shocking. The use of such force in an arrest is an unusual occurrence. One male officer has been removed from operational duties.”
According to Manchester Evening News, hundreds of people staged a protest outside the Greater Manchester Divisional Police (GMP) headquarters in Rochdale on Wednesday evening. It said some protesters had covered their faces and were chanting “GMP shame on you” while others used fireworks.
“We’re no longer going to settle for this police brutality,” the report quoted a protester as saying. “We put our trust in the police and what they do instead they inflict violence upon us when we surrender to them. This is supposed to be the police, instead, they are gangsters in uniforms. We’re not going to put up with this anymore.”
The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said he raised public concerns with the deputy chief constable, assuring that investigation into the issue would be handled properly.


Pakistan PM to visit Tehran on July 30 for Iran’s president-elect’s inauguration

Pakistan PM to visit Tehran on July 30 for Iran’s president-elect’s inauguration
Updated 51 min 59 sec ago
Follow

Pakistan PM to visit Tehran on July 30 for Iran’s president-elect’s inauguration

Pakistan PM to visit Tehran on July 30 for Iran’s president-elect’s inauguration
  • Masoud Pezeshkian won the presidential election held after Ebrahim Raisi’s death in helicopter crash
  • Pakistan and Iran have made peace overtures after exchanging airstrikes earlier this year in January

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign office announced on Thursday Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will visit Iran on July 30 to attend the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Dr. Masoud Pezeshkian.
This will be Sharif’s second visit to Iran in three months, as he previously visited the neighboring state to offer condolences on the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May.
Earlier this month, voters in Iran gave a decisive win to reformist candidate Pezeshkian in the runoff election against the ultraconservative Saeed Jalili to replace Raisi.
Pezeshkian is now required to take an oath in Iranian parliament before assuming the office of the head of the state next week.
“At the invitation of the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, [Shehbaz] Sharif, will visit Tehran on 30 July to attend the inauguration ceremony of the President-elect of Iran, Dr. Masoud Pezeshkian,” the foreign office spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, informed during her weekly media briefing.
She said the visit demonstrated the dedication of both countries to enhancing high-level interactions and bilateral collaboration.
“The visit attests to the commitment by the two countries to strengthen leadership level engagements and bilateral cooperation,” Baloch said.
Pakistan and Iran have had a history of rocky relations despite several commercial pacts. Their highest profile agreement is a stalled gas supply deal signed in 2010 to build a pipeline from Iran’s Fars gas field to Pakistan’s southern provinces of Balochistan and Sindh.
Pakistan and Iran also find themselves at odds due to the instability along their shared porous border, with their leaders routinely trading blame after militant attacks in their respective territories.
Earlier this year in January, Pakistan and Iran exchanged airstrikes, with each government claiming to have targeted militant hideouts in the other country.
Both states have since made peace overtures and restored bilateral ties through multiple high-level visits.


Religious affairs minister reports 50,000 Pakistanis missing in Iraq during religious tourism

Religious affairs minister reports 50,000 Pakistanis missing in Iraq during religious tourism
Updated 25 July 2024
Follow

Religious affairs minister reports 50,000 Pakistanis missing in Iraq during religious tourism

Religious affairs minister reports 50,000 Pakistanis missing in Iraq during religious tourism
  • Chaudhry Salik Hussain shares the startling figure while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs
  • He says his ministry has formulated a new policy to address the issue, which is awaiting the federal cabinet’s approval

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Chaudhry Salik Hussain shared a startling figure on Wednesday while discussing the number of Pakistanis who went to Iraq for religious tourism but decided not to return, saying there were 50,000 such cases without specifying the period during which these people went missing occurred.
Every year, thousands of Pakistani pilgrims travel to Iran, Iraq and Syria to visit religious shrines in these countries.
During the briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the minister said the government had formulated a policy to streamline such visits to the Middle Eastern states, adding it was awaiting the approval of the federal cabinet.
A statement released after the committee’s proceedings reflected that participants discussed the issue at length.
“Chaudhry Salik Hussain revealed during the meeting that nearly 50,000 Pakistanis had gone missing in Iraq,” the statement said.
It informed the government wanted to promote the group system for pilgrims visiting the aforementioned countries, adding that Iraq had its own monitoring system for pilgrims on its borders.
The meeting also reviewed the issues faced by pilgrims at the Taftan border between Pakistan and Iran, which they mostly cross to visit the shrines in the three Middle Eastern states.
Meanwhile, Senator Raja Nisar Abbas, who is part of the Senate committee, said a majority of people who go missing in other countries travel there illegally.
He maintained that those who go for pilgrimage to these countries have their travel documents collected at the border.
He also highlighted the issues faced by pilgrims at the Taftan border, pointing out that they had to wait for several days in the absence of basic facilities.
Abbas proposed that a complaint cell be established for these people, similar to the one that helps Hajj pilgrims.


KSrelief sponsors five eye camps conducting over 2,000 surgeries in Pakistan

KSrelief sponsors five eye camps conducting over 2,000 surgeries in Pakistan
Updated 15 min 22 sec ago
Follow

KSrelief sponsors five eye camps conducting over 2,000 surgeries in Pakistan

KSrelief sponsors five eye camps conducting over 2,000 surgeries in Pakistan
  • The camps were set up in Sindh and Balochistan provinces in areas with limited eye care services
  • Over 21,000 medical examinations were held and 4,683 pairs of corrective glasses distributed

ISLAMABAD: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has successfully completed its sponsorship of five eye camps in Pakistan, conducting over 2,000 surgeries and distributing more than 4,500 pairs of corrective glasses, according to a statement on Thursday.
KSrelief has made significant contributions to Pakistan by providing food aid, medical supplies and disaster relief assistance. In recent years, it has actively supported Pakistani communities affected by natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, and has launched health care projects including mobile clinics and vaccination campaigns.
This was the third phase of its project to combat blindness and eye diseases in the country, undertaken in collaboration with Al-Basar International Foundation and Al-Ibrahim Eye Hospital Karachi, providing advanced eye care to individuals facing financial challenges or lacking access to specialized treatment.
“Throughout the program, more than 21,614 medical examinations and 2,038 surgeries were successfully performed,” said the statement released by the humanitarian organization. “Additionally, 4,683 pairs of corrective glasses were distributed, along with prescribed medications, ensuring comprehensive care for all patients.”
KSrelief said its camps were “strategically located” in both rural and urban areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces, adding they targeted regions with limited eye care services.
“The primary objective was the early detection and treatment of eye-related issues to prevent blindness and improve the quality of life for thousands of people,” the statement added.
The organization described the impact of the initiative as “significant,” saying it benefitted communities in both provinces.
The camps were set up in Karachi, Shikarpur and Matli in Sindh, and Khuzdar district in Balochistan provided specialized eye care services.
KSrelief plans four more eye camps in September that will be set up in Kharan, Mardan, Jhelum and Talagang to facilitate more patients in other provinces as part of the third phase.


US declines to take position on Imran Khan’s incarceration, calls it Pakistan’s internal matter

US declines to take position on Imran Khan’s incarceration, calls it Pakistan’s internal matter
Updated 25 July 2024
Follow

US declines to take position on Imran Khan’s incarceration, calls it Pakistan’s internal matter

US declines to take position on Imran Khan’s incarceration, calls it Pakistan’s internal matter
  • A group of British parliamentarians called for Khan’s release after holding a hearing with PTI members this week
  • Khan says all cases against him are fabricated and an attempt to keep him away from the country’s political arena

ISLAMABAD: A US State Department official said on Wednesday the administration in Washington does not take a position on Pakistan’s internal political matters after a question was raised about the continued incarceration of former prime minister Imran Khan, who was arrested last August and tried on a number of legal charges.
A group of British parliamentarians called for Khan’s release this week after holding a hearing attended by members of the ex-premier’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, who maintained that Pakistan was witnessing a deteriorating law and order situation and an increase in censorship.
Asking a question about the State Department’s budget request of $101 million to strengthen democracy in Pakistan, a journalist noted that Pakistan’s “biggest leader” was in jail for about a year while the US envoy, Donald Lu, had not made an effort to meet him.
“Internal political matters in Pakistan are something that we do not take a position on,” Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in response to him.
However, he added: “We urge respect for democracy, respect for human rights, and treatment of all political parties equally.”
Pakistan’s former prime minister was ousted from power in a no-confidence vote in April 2022 and blamed Washington for conspiring against his administration with the help of his political rivals at home, an allegation denied by US officials.
Earlier this month, a local court asked the authorities to set him free after his acquittal in one of the cases against him.
His sentence had previously been suspended in other legal matters. But just as he was about to be released, authorities in Pakistan decided to arrest him by bringing new charges against him.
Khan and his party have repeatedly said all cases against him are fabricated to keep him away from the country’s political arena.