Indo-Pak “Social Media Mela”
Coming up: the first Pakistan-India Social Media Mela 2012. Organised by Peaceniche, the event promises to be truly “a festival of ideas and action”, bringing together some of the finest minds in social media. The two-day extravaganza features dialogue, thought leadership, and engagement with entrepreneurs, journalists, activists, and creative professionals from Pakistan, India and beyond.
The event promises to be a “heady mix of compelling ideas, panels, debates, workshops, and presentations… everything but a boring business conference”, say the organizers. Check out the website www.smm2012.com for details and updates. On twitter @socmm12; follow hashtag #socmm12
Emergency landing CBM
The emergency landing of an Air India flight at Nawabshah airport in Pakistan early Monday morning provided the opportunity for an unexpected confidence-building measure. Pakistan not only allowed the flight to land, but PIA paid for refuelling the “relief plane” that handled the evacuation, with the Indian High Commission serving as guarantors.
Pakistani officials offered refreshments to the passengers and invited them to use the airport lounge, but the pilot reportedly preferred to keep them on board. Air India flew in a team of eight engineers to Nawabshah to repair the Airbus that made the emergency landing.
“Made in Pakistan” in Mumbai
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) is organising a ‘Made in Pakistan’ exhibition in Mumbai from August 31 - September 5, 2012, in collaboration with the Jang Group-Times of India initiative Aman ki Asha.
FPCCI is the apex trade body of Pakistan and has been working to enhance trade relations between India and Pakistan. The events organised by FPCCI, especially at the IITF Delhi and the Consumers’ Fair in Chandigarh, created great opportunities in enhancing trade in textile fabrics and made-ups, footwear, marble handicraft, designer clothes, food products and home textiles.
A groundbreaking organ transplant
For Jalandhar-based Varinder Kumar, 59, a recipient of a liver transplant, Pakistan will always be remembered with a moist eye and a warm heart. After all, he owes his life to a woman there.
As Kumar’s liver started failing earlier this year, he came to Delhi’s Apollo Hospital. With no matching donors in his family, he finally underwent a swap transplant with Dileep Sachdeva, a Pakistani businessman in Sindh who was in a similar predicament. Sachdeva’s wife Amrita’s blood group matched Kumar’s and the blood group of Sunny, Kumar’s son, matches Sachdeva’s.
On June 2, Amrita gave part of her liver to Kumar and Sunny swapped part of his with Sachdeva in what is probably the first Indo-Pakistan swap liver transplant. Today, Kumar says gratefully, “It’s destiny that we met. Amrita calls me everyday and invited me to Pakistan. I’ll go; they’re like family to me now.”
Sachdeva says philosophically , “We are all one, at the end of the day.”
India, Pakistan may play cricket at neutral venue
India and Pakistan will work on a money-sharing agreement to facilitate resumption of cricketing ties at a neutral venue, government sources confirmed to TOI. The development seems to be one of the biggest takeaways from the foreign secretary-level talks this week, which otherwise failed to produce any substantive breakthrough for the cricket-crazy neighbours.
India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series since 2007. The attacks in 2008 made any resumption all the more untenable.
Indo-Pak tensions and a ‘missing’ person
The kidnapping of a Pakistan Ordnance Factories employee Zafar Iqbal, 54, from his residence in Wah on April 28th seems to illustrate how Indo-Pak tensions are being used to settle scores.
The family was unable to register an FIR until May 16 and have filed a writ petition in the High Court for his recovery.
According to intelligence sources, the Federal Investigation Unit (FIU) of the POF picked up Iqbal because he contracted a second marriage with an Indian lady in Goa four years ago. According to his son Touseef Hassan, the marriage was not a secret, and had the prior approval of his bosses. Iqbal’s disappearance follows an altercation he had with a serving major of the POF. His family believes his kidnapping is linked to this episode.
Police told Justice Khawja Imtiaz Ahmad of the Rawalpindi High Court bench at the hearing on July 20th that they have no clue about Iqbal’s whereabouts. The hearing will continue on July 5th.