Daily Archives: March 24, 2008

Yousuf Raza Gilani elected new Prime Minister of Pakistan

 ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Monday elected PPP’s Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as the new prime minister of the country with thumping majority.

Gilani bagged 264 votes. The rival candidate Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, fielded by the Pakistan Muslim League-Q and its allies secured 42 votes.

In a maiden speech on the floor of National Assembly after he was elected as Prime Minister, he said, “I request the national assembly as my first job to pass a resolution for UN probe into the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.”

Elaborating the top priorities of the new government, the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani vowed to take all out efforts for the supremacy of parliament.

He also said the National Assembly should pass another resolution to apologize to the nation for hanging of Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto.

Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani also said that he would issue the immediate directives for release of the held judges.

Gillani also vowed to take efforts for the resolution of multiple problems of people, saying, “ We realize that the people of the country confront several problems including shortage of electrify.”

“Today, democracy has been restored thanks to the great sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto,” the 55-year-old Gilani, wearing a dark suit and tie, said in his first speech to parliament.

“I invite all political forces to join us because the country is facing such a crisis that a single man cannot save it,” he said.

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Filed under Benazir Bhutto, Citizens, Democracy, Elections, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics, Society, state

Glimpses into Islamabad’s Soul

Book Review by Fiona Torrens-Spence

Author: Fauzia Minallah

In the past travel writers have been dismissive of Islamabad, passing it off as ‘sterile’ and ‘dull’; somewhere to be got through before visiting the real Pakistan. And the local joke ‘Islamabad, twenty minutes from Pakistan’ also belittles the country’s capital city by implying it is essentially foreign to the rest of Pakistan; a soulless, high rise city full of diplomats and other feather bedded foreigners.

As Fauzia Minallah writes, Islamabad and its surrounding villages have both a soul and an immensely long and fascinating story. It is sometimes hard to locate historic sites and harder still to find information about them so I wish that I had been able to read Fauzia Minallah’s book before living in Islamabad as I know I have seen many sites around Islamabad, such as the prehistoric shelter which can be seen from the Kashmir Highway, and entirely missed the story behind them.

I would recommend any visitor to Islamabad to invest in a copy of her book, particularly if they will be living in Islamabad for long enough to get out and about and explore. The book has the best map of Islamabad and surrounding areas which I have yet seen. The map explains the city’s grid system and how it extends beyond the currently developed areas and shows the location of the places she describes in such a way that it would be comparatively easy to find them on one’s own. (Maps of the surrounding areas of Islamabad were non-existent when we lived in Islamabad which filled me with sadness as I am a very visual person.) Her book also has a very good timeline which puts the sites she describes into a historical framework.

Fauzia Minallah’s book has beautiful photos of Islamabad and reproductions of the paintings of the well-known Islamabad artist, Gulam Rasul illustrating the exceptional beauty of “the garden city” and its surrounding villages. The photography and arrangement of the art work is a tribute to Fauzia Minallah, who is a well known artist in her own right successfully exhibiting throughout Pakistan and Europe. Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Books, Environment, Heritage, Islamabad, Nature, Pakistan, public policy