Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jansher Khan: The Power-Packed Personality of World Squash Arena - - Dominated The World of Squash For More Than 13 Years

Jansher Khan was born on 15 June 1969, in Peshawar, Pakistan. He is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is generally considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his professional career he won the World Open a record eight times and the British Open six times.

Jansher Khan belongs to a family that is known for producing outstanding squash players. His brother Mohibullah Khan was one of the world's top professional squash players in the 1970s. Another elder brother, Atlas Khan, was a highly-rated amateur contender.

Jansher Khan won the World Junior Squash Championship title in 1986. He also turned to professional arena that year. At the time, the men's professional squash arena was dominated by another Pakistani player – Jahangir Khan.

Jansher Khan was totally different in many aspects from Jahangir, who was average height and squat, shy and sober. Jansher Khan was tall, slim, disruptive and humorous. Once he told some Dutch journalists, he was world number one that time), that he was retiring and taking up tennis. They swallowed it hook line and sinker - as did many British newspapers.

In 1986; Jansher Khan was getting hard training in West London. He would line up four or five players and play them one after the other - and beat them all for 3/0. If he stayed on court for three continuous hours, facing world class players, he felt satisfaction. He was firm to beat Jahangir at his own game - fitness.

The two JK's, as they became known, faced each other for the first time in the first round of the Pakistan Open in December 1986 and Jansher Khan took a game off Jahangir. Three months later they again came across in the final of the Spanish open, and once again Jahangir won 3/1. When Jahangir blew up Jansher Khan 9-6, 9-0, 9-5 in the 1987 British Open in April, it was thought that Jansher was just another dreamer. Nobody could even imagine what would be going to happen over the coming year.

The situation started to be unfolded in the Hong Kong Open in September 1987 when Jansher Khan defeated Jahangir in the semi-final. It wasn’t mere victory; but it was as convincing as incredible score-line of 3/0. That momentous win was just the start of eight-match winning streak over the previously invincible Jahangir. In the same month of September Birmingham witnessed once again that Jansher Khan beat Jahangir in the semi-final of the world open and went on to register his name as world champion.

Jahangir took it as challenge and worked hard to reverse Jansher Khan's winning streak in March 1988 and went on to beat Jansher Khan 11 times in their next 15 meetings. Their match in the 1988 World Open in Amsterdam had one historic and memorable feature; the first rally of the first game lasted only for 6 minutes and 15 seconds - and ended in a let.

They met for the last time in the World Open in 1993 and Jansher Khan won 3/1. In all they had faced each other 37 times in competition with Jansher Khan winning 19 times to Jahangir's 18 victories. But on game count, Jahangir led 79 to 74 and on total points had won just 23 points more than Jansher khan.

By 1997 his knees were giving him trouble and his fitness was decreasing. His opponents accused him of blocking access to the ball and constant fishing for penalty strokes. He just managed to hold off the challenge of the emerging Scot Peter Nicol in the 1997 British Open to scrape a 3/2 victory and again there were accusations of blocking that was not penalised by a weak referee.

A year later in the same venue Peter Nicol and his coach Neil Harvey devised a game plan to beat Jansher “tight on the wall into the back corners and no cross courts for the lanky Jansher to volley for winners”. After a long first game, won by Nicol 17-16, Jansher realised that his usual boast "I am fitter, so I win" was no longer true. He gave up and lost the next two games 15-4, 15-5.

The Khan winning era had finally come to an end. From 1951 when Hashim had won his first British Open, Pakistan had been a huge, dominating force in squash for 47 years. Nicol's victory was decisive in more aspects than one; because the Pakistan Squash Federation had become complacent during the supremacy of Jahangir and Jansher Khan; therefore, the junior development programme had not been accurate enough. Where once there had been six Pakistanis in the top ten, this year there is only one Pakistani in the world top 20.

The Jansher-Jahangir rivalry would dominate squash in the late-1980s through to the early-1990s. The pair met total of 37 times in tournament play. Jansher won 19 matches (74 games and 1,426 points), and Jahangir 18 matches (79 games and 1,459 points). This record doesn't include exhibition matches and league matches between them.

With Jahangir reaching the twilight of his career and then retiring, Jansher Khan came to launch himself as the sole dominant player in the game in the mid-1990s. He won a record total of eight World Open titles, the last being in 1996. He chose not to defend his World Open title in 1997 because the event was held in Malaysia, and he had a pending court order in Malaysia relating to maintenance payments for his son, Kamran Khan, following his separation from his Malaysian wife. Jahangir maintained a stranglehold on the British Open up to 1991 (he won the championship 10 consecutive times), but when he finally relinquished the title it was Jansher Khan who claimed it for the next six successive years.

Jansher officially announced his retirement from squash in 2001. He won a total of 99 professional titles and was ranked the World No. 1 for over six years.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Part 10: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1968-1977 and the War of '71 '65 (P-2)

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 4-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Private Collection

Flight Lieutenant Salim Beg Mirza of No 26 Squadron destroys an IAF Hunter near Pimple Hill, west of the Peshawar runway. The Indian pilot did not survive.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 4-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
"Army Staff College, Quetta"

The 1971 India-Pakistan War in the West began on 3 December 1971 and Pathankot airfield, located at the junction of Punjab and Kashmir, became the lynch-pin for all crucial land and air operations. It was bombed and pinned down by the PAF Mirage aircraft during the day and by the B-57s at night. The painting shows Pathankot airfield camouflaged with nets and camouflage paint, due to which the details merged very well with the surrounding terrain and were difficult to spot from the iisual distance by an attacking pilot. Here Squadron Leader Farooq Umer is manoeuvring and aligning his Mirage fighter recce aircraft to photograph this heavily defended IAF airfield after an earlier air strike by the PAF.

Visible at the beginning of the runway are two Indian aircraft burning on the main runway. Clearly visible on the parallel taxi tracks (on the left of the main Runway) are three grey patches indicating the points at which the taxi track has been freshly repaired, to recover from the damage caused by PAF strikes of the previous day.

Size: 28in x 40in Oil
Date: 1971
Artwork Located:
Presented to the President of Pakistan (1984)

A highly versatile and capable cargo aeroplane, PAFs C-130s have carried out many crucially needed tactical airlift, supply drop and para-trooping missions in support of Pak Army during both the 1965 and 1971 Wars. In peace time they have been used extensively for disaster relief and other humanitarian missions.

The painting depicts a Commando Assault in the midst of a battlefield during the 1971 War in East Pakistan.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 4-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Office of the Deputy Chief of Air Staff Operations

The last encounter

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jinnah International Airport - - Pakistan's Largest International And Domestic Airport Equipped With Aircraft Engineering And Overhauling Facilities

Current Location and General Information:

Jinnah International Airport previously known as Quaid-e-Azam International Airport (IATA: KHI, ICAO: OPKC) is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Sindh, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the Jinnah Terminal (جناح ٹرمینل). The airport is named after Crown attorney/statesman Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and its first Governor General, who was popularly known as the Quaid-e-Azam ("Great Leader").

The airport provides primary hub for the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Shaheen Air International, and Airblue as well as many other private airlines. The airport is equipped with aircraft engineering and overhauling facilities including the Ispahani Hangar for wide-body aircraft.

Historical Background:

During the 1940s there was a large black coloured hangar (also locally known as Kala Chapra) at the site of Karachi Airport, constructed for the British R101 Airship. Only three hangars were ever built in the world to dock and hangar the R101 airships. However, the R101 airship never arrived in Karachi (then part of the British Raj) as it crashed early in its journey in France. This hangar was so huge that aircraft often used it as a visual marker while attempting VFR landings at Karachi. Over the years, the hangar became known as the landmark of Karachi, until it was torn down by order of then-President Ayub Khan in the 1960s.

During World War II, Karachi Airport was a major transhipment base for United States Army Air Force units and equipment being used by Tenth Air Force in eastern India and Burma, as well as for Fourteenth Air Force in China. Several operational bomber and fighter units flew into Karachi for short organizational periods prior to their deployment. Air Technical Service Command had extensive facilities where aircraft were received, assembled and tested prior to being flown to their combat units at forward airfields. It also functioned as a major maintenance and supply depot for both air forces. In addition, Air Transport Command flew numerous cargo and passenger flights to the Middle East and to points within India and China.

The airport facilities were further expanded in the 1980s to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 respectively. The present day infrastructure of Jinnah International Complex is a result of an expansion programme carried out in 1994. Today, the new Jinnah Terminal handles both domestic and international flights, whereas Terminal 2 is now dedicated to Hajj operations.

Recent Situation:

In the past couple of years Karachi has seen a reversal in fortunes. The dwindling numbers of international airlines have stabilised and whilst there hasn't been a marked increase in the number of airlines flying in to Karachi, some have either increased the number of flights or resumed their old operations, either online or via codeshare service.

Economic factors may be partly responsible for the upswing in activity at the airport. As industrial growth in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan expands, some European and Asian carriers are mooting resumption of services to Jinnah International.

Jinnah International Airport in Karachi has always been the largest aviation facility in Pakistan. It is the primary hub of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). All other Pakistani airlines also use Jinnah International Airport as their main hub. These include Airblue and Shaheen Air International, as well as several charter carriers.

The building is linked via connecting corridors to two satellites, each having a provision of eight passenger-loading bridges. The eastern satellite is devoted exclusively to handling international operations. The western satellite is used for domestic operations, as well as some international operations. This is achieved through a flexible arrangement of gates. The two satellites supplement the departure lounges of the terminal building and also provide shopping facilities and snack counters.

The airport is also where the majority of PIA's maintenance network is located, although some of its maintenance work also takes place at Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Rawalpindi. There are several hangars at the airport; the largest being the Ispahani Hangar (named after Mirza Ahmad Ispahani, the first chairman of PIA) that can accommodate two Boeing 747s and one narrow body airliner (e.g. Boeing 737) at one time. On 15 February 2006, the first major overhaul of a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft (known as "C" check) was done at Ispahani Hangar. Most of the PIA aircraft are checked and regulated at the aircraft hangars in Karachi. The PIA maintenance also checks other airline aircraft in Karachi such as Philippine Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Air Universal.

Karachi was once a much busier airport. Between the 1960s and 1980s it was an online station of several major airlines of the world including British Airways, Interflug, TAROM, Alitalia, JAT Yugoslavia Airlines, Aeroflot, Philippine Airlines, Nigeria Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, EgyptAir, East African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air France, Qantas, Pan Am, Royal Jordanian, Libyan Arab Airlines, Japan Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Swissair, and SAS. However, due to the emergence of Dubai's airport on the world map, increased usage of longer haul aircraft, and the poor political climate of Karachi during the 1990s, several airlines discontinued their service to the airport.

Jinnah Terminal:

The Jinnah Terminal was completed in 1992 at a cost of US $100 million - at the time the most expensive civil construction project in Pakistan. NESPAK (National Engineering Services Pakistan) and Airconsult (Frankfurt, Germany) were responsible for the architecture and planning of the terminal. Sogea Construction, a French company, was the contractor. Mukhtar Husain (NESPAK) was the Chief Architect for the new terminal.

In Karachi, the VIP Lounge can be used by all first and business class passengers on all outbound flights. Private banking clients of MCB Bank Ltd can also use the lounge on complimentary basis under contract to CAA as part of their benefits package. Only passengers who have been pre-issued an airline card from the check-in desk can enter the lounge. Other passengers who wish to use the lounge may do so upon payment of charges of USD 6.00 (international) or PKR 100/- (domestic). The lounge features light savoury snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, satellite TV, audio entertainment, newspapers, magazines, telephones, fax facilities, wireless Internet, and mobile charging points. There are also two McDonald's kiosks located on-site at the airport. Airblue has also introduced its own lounge in the international terminal of the airport.

There are a number of banks that passengers can use at the airport including Askari Bank, Barclays, Citibank, Habib Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, MCB Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Bank; which offer ATMs, foreign exchange facilities, traveler's cheque encashment, and personal banking. Private banking clients of Barclays worldwide (high net-worth individuals) now have their dedicated lounge as well. It features a hot buffet, speciality coffees, multimedia entertainment, shower and spa facility, and concierge service.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Proud to be Pakistani - - "Pakistan" The Hidden Paradise of Asia; With Amazing Wild Life

I found a beautiful video uploaded by MrShareyarkhan on Youtube. I couldn't stop myself to show it here for my readers; as it is very much related to my blog's theme. Mr Khan presented beautifully some of the rarest wild life examples from the whereabouts of Pakistan. I have written an article on one of them, The Indus River Blind Dolphin, just few days back.

I hope my readers will love it. Mr. Khan expressed it as:

"The hidden Paradise of Asia with world's most amazing animals; like Blind Dolphins,Snow Leopard and Mangoo Peer's Scared amazing Crocodiles."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Proud to Be Pakistani - - Creating History: First Batch of Four Female Pilots Inducted in Pakistan Air Force (PAF)

Pakistan Air Force created history on March 30, 2006 when four females: Saba Khan, Nadia Gul, Mariam Khalil and Saira Batool received their flying wings after three and a half years of intensive training, breaking into an all-male bastion of Pakistan's armed forces. Indeed it was a red-letter day for feminists all over the world. Both the national and the international media gave extensive coverage to the event. Even the recipient of the coveted "Sword of Honour" got ignored in the melee. Nearly all the National dailies carried on their front-page the coloured pictures of the newly commissioned female pilots in their flying regalia occupying the cockpit of a T-37 jet trainer at the PAF Academy. At least four of the five leading English newspapers carried editorials, lauding the achievement.

Source: Bollywoodsargam

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nadeem (Nazeer Baig Mughal) - - A Living Legend; Who Made History in Pakistani Cinema

Nadeem (Urdu: ندیم) was born in 1941 and his real name is Nazeer Baig Mughal. He is a well-known Pakistani film star, who has performed in a number of telefilms and TV drama serials and hosted a prize-winning quiz show on ARY Digital 9a private TV channel in Pakistan). He has performed top roles in more than 200 films and undoubtedly considered as a legend in Pakistan film industry. Along with Waheed Murad and Mohammad Ali, he has ruled Pakistani cinema over the years, especially films in Urdu language.

Early Life

Nadeem (Nazeer Baig Mughal) was born in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh, which was included in British India. At the time of Indo-Pak partition, he was only 5 years of age. He migrated with his father Mirza Abbas Baig from Hyderabad Deccan to Karachi. After his initial education he graduated from Islamia College, Karachi. At that time the Islamia Club was ranked as the centre of great film and radio artists. A lot of musical competitions were arranged to discover the aptitude and talent of college students. Nadeem as well as many great artists like Talat Hussein, M. Zaheer Khan, TV producer Iqbal Haider, Aftab Azeem and Saleem Jafri were the product of that Club. Together with his friends like Ameer Ahmed Khan and Qasim Siddiqui and he won several music competitions. He was picked by then famous singer Firdousi Begum at one of those musical competitions. She was stunned by his singing talent and advised him to try his luck in playback singing in Dhaka's film industry. With such a brilliant singing talent, he also got a chance to sing a song for an Urdu film Sehra, the music of which was composed by Nisar Bazmi, but unluckily the film could never been released.

In the mean time he got a chance to travel to Dhaka in a cultural trip arranged by Islamia Club. There he was given an opportunity to sing a song in Captain Ehtisham's new film Chakori. Captain was producing a low budget black and white film as his previous colour film Sagar was flopped. At the time of casting, he chose Shabana as heroine and East Pakistani (Bengali) film actor Azeem as hero. But Azeem rejected the offer because of a very low amount was offered. So Ehtisham decided to cast Nadeem, against the will of his brother Mustafeez, in his film as hero. The film was released on May 19, 1967, in both East and West Pakistan. The film proved to be such a blockbuster that it made Nadeem a superstar overnight, and it also became the second 'Platinum Jubilee' film of Pakistan. The Presidential Award for Pride of Performance was awarded to Nadeem in 1991.

With his successful start of the film career Nadeem had to travel thoroughly for Karachi, Lahore and Dhaka to act in movies. In 1971, after the fall of Dhaka and formation of the Independent state of Bangladesh, he settled in Lahore which became his home. In early 2000’s he shifted again from Lahore to Karachi.

Nadeem's Film Career

The tenure of his film career is spread over 42 years. In the presence of top class artists like Santosh Kumar, Muhammad Ali, Waheed Murad, Habib and Kamal; he not only won Best Actor’s Nigar Award in his first film Chakori, but with successive super hit movies, namely Chotey Sahib and Sangdil, he made a record of success.

Even today, in 2010, Nadeem is considered to be the No.1 actor of the Pakistani silver screen. In the 61 years long history of Pakistani film industry, only 25 films have the distinction of celebrating Diamond Jubilee (completing a run of 100 or more weeks). Nadeem alone figures in 10 out of these 25 movies. His Diamond Jubilee films include:

• Nadan (1973),
• Anari, Pechan (1975),
• Talashi (1976),
• Aina (1977),
• Hum Donon (1980),
• Lajawab, Qurbani (1981),
• Sangdil (1982) and
• Dehleez (1983)

One of Nadeem's films, Aina, is the most successful movie ever made in Pakistan. A big hit all over the country, it was shown continuously for more than five years in Karachi completing more than 400 weeks. It also won 12 Nigar Awards which remains the highest number of awards won by a single Urdu movie, so it may be termed as a record breaking and trend setting movie in many aspects.

An Indian film, Noor Jahan, was released in Pakistani cinemas in 1980, with a special permission. It was taken as a challenge for Pakistan Film Industry. Parvez Malik, a well-reputed and talented director, accepted the challenge and produced “Hum Dono”, presenting Nadeem in double role. “Hum Dono” proved a blockbuster which ran for 165 weeks in Karachi, becoming the second most exhibited movie after “Aina”. Meanwhile Nadeem’s two more films Bandish and Saima also got released and tasted great success in a neck to neck fight with Noor Jahan. Bandish was run for 86 and 82 weeks in Lahore and Karachi respectively. Earlier in 1971, Nadeem became the first actor to play three different characters in his film “Jaltey Suraj Key Nichey” (under the burning sun).

Urdu movies witnessed a great recession in 1990s when films in the national language Urdu had almost been discarded. In this situation; Nadeem’s film “Insaniyat Ke Dushman”, entirely in Urdu, got an unparalleled success which once again motivated film producers towards the production of Urdu movies.

Being a wonderful and talented singer Nadeem has also many hit songs to his credit as a play back singer. In fact Nadeem, basically groomed as a singer, is the first actor in Pakistan who sang for movies as playback singer. Almost all of his two dozen songs have been popular. In 1967 his duet with Firdousi Begum “Kahan ho tum ko dhoond rahi hain yeh baharain yeh saman” was a super hit street song, and then after mote than 20 years in 1989, his duet with the melody queen Noor Jahan “Mundia dupatta chad mera” was a phenomenal hit.

In the years 2001 and 2002, Urdu films undergone for a lack of purposeful stories. Such scenario forced Nadeem to step down in terms of acting in movies and ultimately he decided to return to Karachi, his native town, saying goodbye to the film industry. TV producers, however, get benefited as they wasted no time in casting Nadeem in their Drama Serials. Nadeem, therefore, appeared in eight TV Serials, namely Bisaat, Chaltey Chaltey, Chehrey, Muhabbat Ka Ek Peher, Ambulance, Ek Safar Tanha He, Jaisey Jaante Nahin and Malika (2005). He also acted in six long and short plays, namely Haar Jeet, Rakh Mein Chingari, Fursat, Laws in Law, Wujood and Musafir Khaana (2005). He was co-producer in Bisaaat and Teri Yaad Aagai, a musical program in which Nadeem rendered his favourite songs. All these productions got popularity and appreciation from the viewers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Part 9: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1968-1977 And The War of '71 (P-1)

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil

Date: Nov-71
Artwork Located:
Private Collection

Three F-86Es returning to their home base at Masroor after a training flight.

Size: 3ft x 8ft Oil
Date: 15-Apr-71
Artwork Located:
Office if tge Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

This was a joint services operation carried out at Bhairab Bazar where the largest and the only leftover reserves of food grain were preserved in the silos. The silos were located at the bank of the river and were occupied by the Indian infiltrators. The storage was recaptured after a well coordinated attack by the three forces. The Pak Navy brought the army troops in the small makeshift boats, mostly with outboard engines and fitted with machine guns. (The larger boats could not operate in this area because of the shallow water). The F-86s from No 14 Squadron Dhaka strafed and rocketed the strong hold of the enemy, while the army moved forward. The army heliborne contingent was led by the late Brigadier Tariq Mehmood, affectionately known as "T. M.", who was then a Major.

Mission Leader Squadron Leader Abbas Khattak
No. 2 Flight Lieutenant Khalid Mehmood Khalid
No. 3 Flying Officer Shafqat Mehmood
No. 4 Flying Officer Qazi Javed

Size: 6ft x 4ft Oil
Date: 4-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Vice Chief of Air Staff's Office

The painting depicts Flying Officer M Shamsul Haq destroying one of the 4 SU-7s attacking Tejgaon airfield with his wing man Flying Officer Shamshad giving chase to a second SU-7. This is the beginning lof the greatest air battle of the day - led by Flying Officer Shams with the very young but spirited Flying Officer Shamshad on his wing immediately after they were scrambled at 0845. just as their wheels were locking up, 2 of a flight of 4 approaching SU7s fired their rockets at the F-86s, which were barely 200 ft above the trees. Shams broke into them and shot down one of the nearer pair of Sukhois with a Sidewinder, cheered by the squadron airmen watching from below. The remaining SU-7s turned tail but seconds later, Shams and Shamshad were directed by the Controller towards 4 approaching IAF Hunters. In the ensuing air battle, both pilots downed a Hunter each with their guns. Shamshad then returned to land but Shams spotted another Hunter over Tejgaon and fired his second Sidewinder at such close range that before its guidance system could take over, themissile streaked straight into the Hunter's tail pipe and blew up the engine. The Indian pilot's descent by parachute was in full view of many ground observers around the airfield. But now Shams, who had no ammunition left, was in trouble; he was suddenly surrounded by 4 Mig-21s which began to attack him in turn, driving him into a tight corner. The quick-thinking Shams immediately whipped into a max-rate steep turn at treetop height, with the Dhaka TV tower in the centre of it, jinking wildly as he turned. The Migs' attack pattern was effectively disrupted and, short of fuel, they soon exited the scene.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 26 Feburary 1971
Artwork Located:
PAF Art Collection

The painting shows a jet Provost trainer of the British Royal Air Force - piloted by Pakistani Flight Cadet Saeed Ahmad - as it passes over the RAF College, Cranwell, from where Saeed would soon get his wings. On graduation day, he became the first Asian cadet pilot to win the coveted'Battle of Britain Aerobatics Trophy' at the world's oldest flying institution. By a rare coincidence, he received the trophy from another Pakistani, Air Marshal A Rahim Khan, C-in-C, PAF who had been requested to review the graduation parade. The Air Marshal was in England at the time on a goodwill visit, touring various RAF establishments.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wasim Akram: The Living Legend of Cricket - - Immensely Talented Bowler With Amazing But Controversial Cricketing Career

Wasim Akram was born on June 3, 1966 in Lahore Pakistan. He is broadly renowned as the best and the finest left arm fast bowler that was witnessed by the cricketing world. He was a generously gifted cricketer; who had left his unforgettable marks in the books of cricketing history.

Controversial Career
Wasim Akram was the finest fast bowler of his generation and undoubtedly one of the best among all his predecessors. Even with his genuine pace he had complete control over both outswing and inswing deliveries because of his pin point control of line & length and deadly accurate seam position. He is also credited with being the first to master reverse swing and by the end of his career was producing it almost at will. Therefore, we can say unquestionably that there might be very few skills of the fast bowlers armoury which he did not have at his disposal.
Wasim Akram was one of Lancashire’s most successful overseas players ever. From 1988 to 1998, he led Lancashire’s attack in their Nat West Trophy, Benson & Hedges Cup and Sunday League winning sides. He was too good that local fans used to sing “Wasim for England”.
With a very deceiving ball-concealing action; Wasim Akram was exceptional with a very effective bouncer and an equally destructive Yorker. In companionship with Waqar Younis, he terrorised international batsmen in the 1990s. In 1992 irritated with the great performance against the English batsmen; the English press started accusing them of ball tampering. Wasim Akram brought a defamation action against the two former English cricketers, Allan Lamb and Ian Botham, responsible for all that and won sizeable damages. The two W’s continued to exhibit and improve the art of reverse swinging a cricket ball. The ball tampering accusation continued to hurt both bowling greats; a situation that was not helped when Wasim Akram’s mentor , Imran Khan, later disclosed doing with balls using a bottle top during his career but only in practice matches.
More severe allegations came later in his magical career. Especially at 1996 Cricket World Cup, a number of opponent players suspected that Wasim Akram, along with team-mates Salim Malik and Ijaz Ahmed, had attempted to fix the results of insignificant matches. All of three players were suspended by an interim inquiry of the Pakistan Cricket Board, but later they were vindicated and reinstated. Further match fixing allegations against the Pakistan cricket team cropped up again in 1999, while Wasim Akram was captain, but once again the accusations remained unproven.
He was the natural successor to Imran Khan as Pakistan’s leader and captain, but the match-fixing controversies of the 1990s hurted him, blunting his edge and dimming his luster. Never been a true all rounder (he averaged only 23.62 with the bat), he was sometimes charged of being sluggish with the bat. He made his critics silent in October 1996 when he piled up a massive 257 out of a total of 553 against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura.
One Day Success
Wasim Akram is considered the greatest bowler of any kind in one-day international cricket. He was also the first bowler in cricketing history to take more than 500 wickets in one-day internationals. A fast and furious bowler at the start of a game, he proved himself as the most deadly towards the end when he could get the old ball to reverse swing. His swinging Yorkers or toe-crushers were matchless and earned him a amazing number of wickets.
Wasim Akram was involved, more than any body else, in Pakistan’s famous World Cup victory in 1992 in Australia. He also headed Pakistan with success on numerous occasions. The peak points of his captaincy were the 1994 victory in the World Series in Australia and in 1999 World Cup, when Pakistan reached the final for the second time. The reverse side of his captaincy being the World Cup 1996 in Pakistan and India, when he had to pull out of the crucial quarter final match against India, due to a shoulder and back injury. Critics again alleged him of having done this to make illegal monetary gains.
He was Pakistan’s top bowler in the 2003 World Cup taking 19 wickets in 7 matches. After the 2003 World Cup when Pakistan failed to reach the super-eight round, eight players were fired by the Pakistan Cricket Board including Wasim Akram himself, and Waqar Younis , Shahid Afridi , Abdul Razzaq , Saqlain Mushtaq , Azhar Mahmood and Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Wasim Akram retired in 2003, after a brief spell with Hampshire County Cricket Club in England. Controversies still loved to follow Wasim Akram and he has been recently accused of buying a car and then not paying for it and was sued for having modelled in a Indian Whisky advertisement, and coaching at the Indian cricket team in the preparations for a home series against Pakistan.
Wasim Akram was married to Huma Mufti, daughter of Mr. Humayaun Mufti. Huma and Wasim have two sons, Taimur and Akbar, from their married life of 10 years. She left him alone on 25th October 2009 due to heart and kidney complications and laid to rest on October 26, 2009 at DHA graveyard at Lahore.
International Record
In his test career, Wasim Akram took 414 wickets (a Pakistani record, and 7th all time) at an excellent average of 23.62 and scored 2898 runs at an average of 22.64. In one-day internationals Wasim Akram was again a force to be reckoned with taking a record 502 wickets in 356 appearances scoring 3717 runs along the way.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Faisal Mosque (Shah Faisal Masjid) - - National Mosque of Pakistan: A Masterpiece Designed By Turkish Architect Vedat Dalokay

General Information: Faisal Mosque (Shah Faisal Masjid)

The Faisal Mosque (also known as Shah Faisal Masjid) in Islamabad is the biggest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the sixth biggest mosque in the world. It was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 to 1993 when overtaken in size by the completion of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. Subsequent expansions of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Makkah and the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Madinah Munawwara, Saudi Arabia during the 1990s relegated Faisal Mosque to fourth place in terms of size.

Faisal Mosque is conceived as the National Mosque of Pakistan. It has a covered area of 5,000 m2 (54,000 sq ft) and has a capacity to accommodate approximately 300,000 worshippers (100,000 in its main prayer hall, courtyard and porticoes and another 200,000 in its adjoining grounds). Although its covered main prayer hall is smaller than that of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (the world's third largest mosque), Faisal Mosque has the third largest capacity of accommodating worshippers in its adjoining grounds after the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Makkah, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Madinah Munawwara. Each of the Mosque's four minarets are 80 m (260 ft) high (the tallest minarets in South Asia) and measure 10 x 10 m in circumference.

History: Faisal Mosque (Shah Faisal Masjid)

The Faisal Mosque is named after the late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who supported and financed the project.

The impetus for the mosque began in 1966 when the late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia supported the initiative of the Pakistani Government to build a national mosque in Islamabad during an official visit to Pakistan. In 1969, an international competition was held in which architects from 17 countries submitted 43 proposals. After four days of deliberation, Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay's design was chosen. Construction of the mosque began in 1976 by National Construction of Pakistan, led by Azim Borujerdi, and was funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, at a cost of over 130 million Saudi Riyals (approximately 120 million USD today). King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz was instrumental in the funding, and both the mosque and the road leading to it were named after him after his assassination in 1975. The mosque was completed in 1986, and used to house the International Islamic University. Many conservative Muslims criticised the design at first for its non-conventional design and lack of the traditional dome structure, but virtually all criticism was eventually silenced by the mosque's scale, form, and setting against the Margalla Hills upon completion.

Location: Faisal Mosque (Shah Faisal Masjid)

The mosque is situated at the end of Shaharah-e-Islamabad, against the backdrop of the scenic Margalla Hills. This placement defines its importance, positioning it on elevated terraced land ensures its visibility during day and night for miles around. The mosque is dedicated to the memory of the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia who graciously defrayed the cost of the project as a gift to the people of Pakistan.

Design: Faisal Mosque (Shah Faisal Masjid)

The Faisal Mosque is the work of famous Turkish architect, Vedat Dalokay who won the Agha Khan Architectural Award with this project. The mosque's relatively unusual design fuses contemporary lines with the more traditional look of an Arab Bedouin's tent, with its large triangular prayer hall and four minarets. However, unlike traditional masjid design, it lacks a dome. The minarets borrow their design from Turkish tradition and are thin and pencil like. The interior of this prayer hall holds a very large chandelier and its walls are decorated with mosaics and calligraphy by the famous Pakistani artist Sadequain. The mosaic pattern adorns the west wall, and has the Kalimah writtern in early Kufic script, repeated in mirror image pattern.

The mosque's architecture is a departure from the long history of South Asian Islamic architecture. It is one of the most outstanding and modern Islamic architecture examples in the world.

General Zia's Mausoleum

The small mausoleum of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, whose 1988 funeral at the site was the largest in the history of Pakistan, is located in the grounds of the Mosque.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Part 8: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1958-1967 and the War of '65 (P-3)

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 1-Sep-65
Artwork Located:
Officer's Mess Headquarters 10 Corps

PAF scored its first victories in 1965 on 1st September when four Indian Vampire fighters which were attacking Pakistani troops in Chamb were shot down by two F-86 Sabres flown by Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Rafiqui and Flight Lieutenant Imtiaz Bhatti, two by each pilot. No Vampires were seen again for the remainder of the 1965 War. Controller on radar during this interception was Flight Lieutenant Farooq Haider from Sakesar.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 3-Sep
Artwork Located:
Office of the AOC Central Air Command

Squadron Leader Brijpal Singh Sikand, Commander of an Indian fighter squadron, surrenders to a PAF F-104 in combat. The painting shows him landing his Gnat fighter at Pasrur, a Pakistani airfield near Gujranwala. The F-104 was flown by Flight Lieutenant Hakimullah who became the air chief two decades later. Sikand was taken prisoner and later rose to be an IAF Air Marshal. This encounter was the most unusual event of the 1965 Air War.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 6-Sep-65
Artwork Located:
Air War College - PAF Faisal

Dawn over Wazirabad. Flight Lieutenant Aftab Alam Khan in an F-104A Starfighter destroys a Mystere IV and damages another, to mark the start of the India-Pakistan war. India launched the war over West Pakistan with an attack by a formation of four Mystere IV aircraft. The Mysteres crossed the international border to attack a Pakistani train near Wazirabad. Flight Lieutenant Aftab Alam Khan was on a routine morning combat air patrol in the Chamb/Mangla area. He was directed by the Controller at Sakesar, Flight Lieutenant Farooq Haider, to intercept the intruders. First contact with the enemy was made as the F-104 passed head on through the Mystere formation. In the ensuing combat at tree top level, he skillfully outmanoeuvred the opponents to destroy one Mystere and damage another. The remaining members of the formation managed to slip away in the poor light conditions, only to tell the tale of the "dreaded F-104 and the deadly Sidewinder". Apart from being the first encounter to start the war in earnest, the engagement was also significant in other respects. It marked a new era of dog-fighting at very low altitude. It was also the first combat kill by any Mach-2 aircraft, and the first missile kill for the Pakistan Air Force.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: Sep-61
Artwork Located:
Presented to the Chief of the British Royal Air Force (1992)

In 1961, Flight Lieutenant Hameed Anwar, a young PAF Officer on exchange posting with the British Royal Air Force, brought distinction to his parent Service by being selected as a member of the RAF's official display team. Hameed, a veteran of the PAF's own formation aerobatic team, was eagerly welcomed into the "Blue Diamonds".

The painting shows the team of sixteen Hawker Hunters performing at the Farnborough Air Show.

Size: 12ft x 4ft Oil
Date: 2nd Feburary 1958
Artwork Located:
Air Headquarters Officer's Mess Islamabad

2nd February 1958 was a significant day in the history of aviation as well as that of the Pakistan Air Force. On that day, for the first time a formation of 16 fighters (F-86 Sabres) performed a loop during an air display at Masroor Air Base at Karachi. The painting is partly symbolic, depicting the leading elements of the 16 "Falcons" (their call sign) taking off from the runway at Masroor. In the background is an impression of the 16 Sabres in immaculate formation as they looked after having joined up, climbing vertically for a loop. The team was led by the renowned fighter pilot and wartime leader of the Air Force, Wing Commander M Z Masud, who was later awarded Hilal-e-Jurat in the 1965 War.

The Team

Wing Commander M Z Masud
Squadron Leader Nazir Latif
Squadron Leader S U Khan Ghulam Haider
Squadron Leader S M Ahmad Aftab
Squadron Leader Ahmad M Sadruddin
Flight Lieutenant Sajjad Haider
Flight Lieutenant A U Ahmad
Flight Lieutenant Hameed Anwar
Flight Lieutenant Muniruddin Ahmad
Flight Lieutenant M Arshad
Flight Lieutenant Jamal A Khan
Flight Lieutenant A M K Lodhie
Flight Lieutenant Wiqar Azirn
Flight Lieutenant M L Middlecoat

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 1965
Artwork Located:
Auditorium Gallery - Air Headquarters

Squadron Leader Muhammad Mahmud Alam emerged from 1965 War as Pakistan's top scoring fighter ace. The painting shows him in his favourite F-86 F-35-NA with the victory tally marked alongside the aircraft. (Nine kills and two probables). Squadron Leader Muhammad Mahmud Alam, Commander of No 11 Squadron in 1965, was already a notable leader and highly experienced pilot. He also excelled in gunnery competitions - a skill that no doubt contributed greatly to his becoming the first and only jet ace in one mission. This Pakistani Squadron Commander established a combat record which has few equals in the history of jet air warfare.

Flying an F-86F Sabre over the battle lines on September 6, Alam
first engaged a flight of IAF Hunters. In the ensuing dog-fight, he scored two kills. On September 7, he led an intercept mission against IAF Hawker Hunters that were attacking Sargodha airfield. When the six Hunters broke, Alam loosed a Sidewinder missile at their "'tail-end Charlie". The missile quickly found its mark and blew the Hunter out of the sky. The Hunter pilots also saw the F-86s, and all five broke left in a line-astern formation, crossing in front of Alam's guns. Alam then performed a virtuoso, but well-dQcumented feat of gunnery by shooting down four of the Hunters in rapid succession. In action again on the 17th, Alam bagged another brace of Hunters to bring his final score to nine confirmed kills and two probables.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 10-Oct-65
Artwork Located:
Entrance - Directorate of Plans

No 24 Squadron of the PAF operated the GD/ Martin RB-57Fs, the highly specialised ultra high altitude reconnaissance aircraft. Their enormous 122 ft wing span earned them the name of 'Droopies'. The RB-57F could cruise comfortably at 80,000 ft out of the reach of any fighter or SAM of that time. They were in PAF service during the 1965 War and overflew most of the IAF airfields at heights up to 67,000 ft or more. During one of the post-war reconnaissance missions, the 'Droopy' shown in the painting was badly damaged by 3 Russian supplied SA-2 SAMs. The aircraft was hit when it lost some height over Ambala during a turn towards its home base. The fragments of exploding SAMs around the aircraft caused major structural damage and almost knocked out the vertical stabilizer and one of its auxiliary turbojets, which hampered its accurate flight. Despite the intense enemy activity, the skilful handling of the situation both by the pilot and the navigator made it possible for the aircraft to land back at Peshawar. The aircraft skidded along the runway with its nose wheels jammed before it came to a final halt.

The Pilots

Pilot Navigator Squadron Leader Rasheed Meer
Flying Officer Sultan Malik

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: Nov-65
Artwork Located:
Private Collection

The painting shows a pair of No 15 Squadron Sabres near the K-2 peak. The tail fins of the squadron F-86Fs carry the unit's emblem - a cobra poised to strike. Until the Base Commander ordered it off the air base, a fully grown cobra mascot and its basket were kept for a time in the flight commander's office, and fed by volunteer pilots.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 20-Dec-65
Artwork Located:
Officer's Mess PAF Sargodha

The first two F-6s (Mig-19s made in China) arrive at Sargodha Air Base. The pilots flew over the Karakorams directly from the Chinese airfield at Hotian. The F-6 carried VHF radios, Soviet style instruments and many pieces of equipment that were strange to the PAF pilots and technical hands. The Pakistani markings were not yet painted and the pilots wore leather helmets and throat mikes. Many officers and men of Sargodha gathered near the runway to watch the landings.


Squadron Leader M Sadruddin
Flight Lieutenant Khalid lqbal

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Tarbela Dam" The Biggest Earth Filled Dam in The World - - Major Source of Pakistan's Hydroelectricity

Tarbela Dam (Urdu: تربیلا بند ) is a dam on the Indus River in Pakistan. It is situated 50 kilometres North-West of Islamabad near the Haripur District. It is the biggest earth filled dam in the world and it generates major portion of Pakistan's hydroelectricity. Tarbela Dam is part of the Indus Basin Project, which is an outcome from a water treaty signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan; ensuring Pakistan water supplies free of upstream control by India. Construction of Tarbela Dam started in 1968, and went on continuously until completion of the project in 1976. The dam has a volume of 138,600,000 cubic yards (106,000,000 m³). With a reservoir capacity of 11,098,000 acre-feet (13.69 km³), the dam is 469 feet (143 m) high and 8,997 feet (2,743 m) wide at its crest. This critical height is used to control the flow of the Indus during seasonal fluctuations.

A new, smaller hydro-electric power project has been constructed downstream known as the Ghazi Barotha Hydel Power Project. It is made exclusively for producing electricity and has a water channel with the highest flow in the world.

While the dam has satisfied its purpose in storing water for agricultural purpose in Pakistan, there have been environmental consequences to the Indus river delta i.e. drop of seasonal flooding and reduced water flows to the delta have decreased mangrove stands and the plenty of some fish species.

The Project – Main Features

The Project consists of a 9,000 (2,743 meters) long, 465 feet (143 meters) high (above the river bed) earth and rock fill embankment across the entire width of the river with two spillways cutting through the left bank discharging into a side valley. Its main spillway has a discharge capacity of 650,000 cusecs (18,406 cusecs) and additional spillway 850,000 cusecs (24,070 cusecs). Two supplementary embankment dams close the gaps in the left bank valley. A group of 4 tunnels (each half a mile long), through the right abutment rock have been developed for irrigation releases and power generation. During the construction phases, these tunnels were utilized primarily for river diversion. Irrigation tunnel 5 located on the left bank, for which NESPAK were the Project Consultants, was put into operation in April 1976.

A power station on the right bank near the toe of the main dam houses fourteen (14), power units, 4 units, each with installed generating capacity of 175 MW are set up on tunnel 1, 6 units (NO.5 to 10), 175 MW each on tunnel NO.2 and 4 Units (NO.11-14) of 432 MW each on Tunnel 3, thus making total generating capacity of Tarbela Power Station as 3478 MW.

The lake is 50 miles (80.5 km) long 100 square, miles (260 square kilometres) in area and has a gross storage capacity of 11.6 MAF (17.109 million cu. Meters) with a live storage capacity of 9.7 MAF (14,307 million cu. Meters). The total catchments area above Tarbela is spread over 65,000 sq. miles (168,000 sq. kilometres) which mainly brings in snowmelt water supplied in addition to some monsoon rains. Two main upstream tributaries join the Indus river, Shyok River at an elevation of 8,000 ft. (2438 meters) above sea level near Skardu and Siran River just north of Tarbela.

Project Implementation

On May 14, 1968, the World’s largest single contract for the construction of civil works at that time, the Tarbela Dam Project was signed at a price of RS.2,965,493,217 ($ 623 Million) between the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan and the Tarbela Dam Joint Venture which consisted a group of three Italian and three French heavy construction contractors. Later five German and two Swiss contractors also joined the group making up a consortium of thirteen European firms led by Italian firm named Impregilo.

The construction of Tarbela Dam was carried out in three phases to meet the diversion requirements of the river. In stage-1, the river Indus was allowed to flow in its natural channel while work was continued on right bank where a 1500 feet (457 meters) long and 694 feet (212 meters) wide diversion channel was dug up and a 105 feet (32 meters) high buttress dam was constructed with its top elevation at 1, 187 feet (362 meters) The diversion channel was capable of discharging 750,000 cusecs (21,238 cusecs). Construction under stage-I lasted 2½ years.

In stage-II, the main embankment dam and the upstream blanket were constructed across the main valley of the river Indus while water remained diverted through the diversion channel. By the end of stage-II, tunnels had been built for diversion purposes. The stage-II construction took 3 years to complete. Under stage-III, the work was carried out on the closure of diversion channel and construction of the dam in that portion while the river was made to flow through diversion tunnels. The remaining portion of upstream blanket and the main dam at higher levels was also completed as a part of stage-III world.

Life Span

Because the source of the Indus River is glacial melt-water from the Himalayas the river carries huge amounts of remains/residues. The annual suspended residual load is about 430 million tons per year. This means that, over time, the reservoir will fill up with these residues. The practical life of the dam and reservoir was estimated to be somewhere around fifty years, since the dam's completion in 1976, meaning that the reservoir would have been full of sediment by 2030.

Sedimentation, however, has been much lower than predicted, and it is now estimated that the useful lifespan of the dam will be 85 years, to about 2060.

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