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Showing posts with label Pakistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pakistan. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Jimmy Engineer, Goodwill Ambassador of Pakistan

A Goodwill Visit

By Muhammad Zahid Rifat, Commentary article from the Daily Times

Besides official delegations which visit foreign countries from time to time to promote bilateral relations, cooperation and trade, prominent figures from different fields can and are doing quite appreciable work to promote and highlight the positive, soft, moderate and forward looking image of Pakistan and its peace loving people before the world. This is what world renowned Pakistani artist, social crusader, peace activist and philanthropist Jimmy Engineer has been doing quite actively, sincerely and successfully for some time.

Jimmy Engineer, who regards himself as unofficial goodwill ambassador of Pakistan, recently completed his month long goodwill visit to Canada. During the visit, Jimmy Engineer participated in a number of well-attended functions and events in Mississauga (Ontario), Toronto and Ottawa.

Jimmy Engineer attended a function in Toronto titled 'Artists for World Peace' which was organised by the Universal Peace Federation and the Women's Federation for World Peace, at which he along with two other people was conferred with a certificate as The Ambassador for Peace.

During his frequent goodwill tours to foreign countries, his work was selected and showcased at The Mall, Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga Ontario.

On the opening day of the week long painting exhibition, Jimmy Engineer talked about life; illustrating his thoughts and motivation behind his paintings. He also answered questions from the audience which included a large number of people from the Pakistani community as well as local artists, art lovers and diplomats.

He told the appreciative and responsive audience that the sole purpose behind different countries frequently displaying his creative art work is to tell the world at large that Pakistan has great people and great artists. He said displaying his art in foreign countries indeed carries a message, as a lot of people do not know much about Pakistan and this is the best way to highlight the positive side of Pakistan.

Jimmy Engineer said he wears four hats, as a social worker, an artist, a human rights worker and a peace activist.

Prominent figures who were present at the inauguration of the exhibition included Senator Salma Attaullah Jan, MP Iqra Khalid, MP Khalid Rasheed, Consul General of Turkey in Canada Erdeniz, President Flato Developments Inc Shakir Rehmatullah, President Canada — Pakistan Business Council Samir Dossal, Founder and Chief Executive officer of Mindshare Workspace Mississauga Robert Martellacci, President of Ontario Zoroastrian Neville Patrawala and Consul General of Pakistan, and Imran Siddique among many others.

By and large, the visiting world renowned artist, social crusader and philanthropist Jimmy Engineer, has dedicated his life to social causes; his paintings were highly appreciated not only in Pakistan but also all over the world. Through his arthe spreads the message of peace and harmony and promotes a soft and a positive image of Pakistan and its people, each of his paintings duly highlights the different aspects of the lives of the people, their struggle and achievements.

Over the last four decades, Jimmy Engineer has created more than 3000 paintings, 1000 calligraphies and 1500 drawings which are in museums and private collections in more than 60 countries including Italy, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Russia, India, China, Yugoslavia, Japan, Australia, Canada, Britain, Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Singapore, Sweden, Belgium, Abu Dhabi , Dubai (UAE), Austria, Spain, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Turkey, USA and of course Pakistan. Many of his paintings have remained undocumented as he has been giving countless of these away to charities to raise money for good causes.

As a social crusader, to his credit he continues to spread awareness about food programmes intellectually and developmentally disabled by entertaining them in posh hotels and restaurants and other places of entertainment in Karachi, Lahore and also in Sri Lanka. To raise awareness he has taken almost 100 solo walks for myriad of issues, mainly relating to disadvantaged children, widows and orphans as well as to the hardships and the endemic health problems they continue to endure.

Jimmy Engineer was duly covered and appreciated by the Canadian press and TV as well.

Jimmy Engineer attended a function in Toronto titled ‘Artists for World Peace’ which was organized by the Universal Peace Federation and the Women’s Federation for World Peace, at which he along with two other people was conferred with certificate as The Ambassador for Peace, in appreciation and acknowledgement of his service and contributions as a peace activist. He also addressed the gathering on the occasion and also answered questions from the guests present. Both the Universal Peace Federation and Women’s Federation for World Peace enjoy consultative status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations.

The Canada-Pakistan Business Council has also acquired two wonderful works of art of Jimmy Engineer which are part of his ‘Peace Series’ for the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum. The paintings have been selected by Museum Curator Deepali Dewan.

Jimmy Engineer embodies national integration. He was born to a Parsi family in Loralai, Balochistan, had his education in Lahore and is settled in Karachi, since he became a professional and is perhaps the most well travelled Pakistani artist with international art exhibitions in a number of countries around the globe.

The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and Retired Deputy Controller (News) Radio Pakistan, Islamabad and can be reached at zahidriffat@gmail.com

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Recognizing International Women's Day, March 08, 2012

akistan’s Democracy Striving for Women’s Empowerment

US Ambassador Sherry Rehman


WASHINGTON - Pakistan ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman Wednesday said Pakistan’s democratic government has enacted a series of legislative measures to protect and advance socio-economic rights of women as the participation of half of the country’s population in national life is imperative to help the country grapple with current challenges and march forward as a strong nation, The diplomat was speaking at an event “Empowering Women : The Way Forward” at the Pakistan embassy, which she hosted to mark the International Women’s Day.

“The Pakistan story you hear in Washington is often only about the country that fights the frontlines of terror and extremism. I want to take the opportunity to say that we are not just about bombs and bullets, Pakistan is also about women who lead the way forward,” she told a gathering of American State Department officials, leaders of Pakistani-American community and women activists.

The event was also addressed by Melanne S. Veneer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and prominent women activist Khawar Mumtaz, who is CEO of Shirkat Gah organization.

On the occasion, the Pakistani embassy also recognized the outstanding achievements of Pakistani women including Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, the Karachi-born director of Pakistan’s first Academy Award winning film ‘Saving Face’, Ayesha Jalal, historian and professor, and the Director of the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at Tufts University, and Shaista Mahmood, a leader of the Pakistani-American community and spouse of Riffat Mahmood, the Ambassador-at-Large.

Shad Begum, who hails from Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and whose courageous achievements would be recognized by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday, also attended the event and was praised for her work.

In her address, Ambassador Rehman, who draws inspiration from the martyred Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, the two-time prime minister and founding father Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who both envisioned a Pakistan where women and minorities would enjoy full constitutional and legal rights as citizens of the country and contribute to its development without any discrimination.

Sherry Rehman, who has served two terms as member of the Parliament, particularly referred to President Aisf Ali Zardari’s Thursday’s scheduled signing on the bill that empowers the National Commission on the Status of Women, to be completely autonomous of government control.

“This Commission has done seminal work on women’s empowerment, and for the first time in the history of Pakistan, it will work totally independently of government, while being funded by it. This is how the Election Commission of Pakistan will work as well, again for the first time in the history of Pakistan, made completely independent by the recently passed 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill, appointed by bipartisan Committees of Parliament, ensuring that voters and candidates work from a level playing field,” the ambassador said.

The top Pakistani diplomat in Washington referred to civil society dynamics in the country like the media and said democracy brings an empowerment dividend, and Pakistani women “will be the first to rock the vote and claim their place in the sun as leaders at all level.”

The ambassador, who has had an abiding commitment to protection of the rights of vulnerable segments of the society, informed the gathering that the National Assembly has made enormous strides on protecting and advancing the rights of women in the society.

“We passed landmark legislation criminalizing sexual harassment in the workplace. We passed legislation making it mandatory to appoint neutral mediators at all levels to adjudicate charges of sexual discrimination.”

“Last December, I was proud to vote for revolutionary legislation that made it illegal to deprive a woman of her rightful inheritance, made it illegal to force a woman into marriage to settle a civil or criminal dispute; and banned compelling or arranging or facilitating a woman’s marriage to the Quran.”

“And only last month in a truly historic action, the Parliament passed legislation clearly and unambiguously defining domestic violence and establishing procedures to protect women and children against domestic abuse. Many people have been removed for harassing women, even in government universities through the new law,” she noted amid applause from the gathering.

At the same time, the ambassador acknowledged the scale and nature of the obstacles in the way of women’s empowerment.

“Those who have power will invariably seek to monopolize it. Social justice doesn’t just materialize, no matter how many laws we make. Laws are the foundation for change, but for reform to take root, the battle for one’s rights has to be fought at every step of the way. And sometimes, we have to take a bullet to uphold our beliefs, in the hope that our children do not have to.” Source: Pakistan Today

Changing Mindset Essential to Realize Dream of Women Empowerment

Goodwill Ambassador Fiza Batool Gilani

Ambassador Fiza Batool Gilani

ISLAMABAD, Mar 8 (APP) - Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment, Fiza Batool Gilani on Thursday said change in mindset of people regarding gender equality can only help turn the dream of women empowerment into tangible reality. Addressing at a ceremony in connection with International Women's Day, Fiza Batool said “active participation of womenfolk in social, economic and political spheres of national activity is imperative to ensure national progress”. Fiza Batool lauded the role of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto as “ardent advocate of women empowerment”. The Shaheed leader has inspired generations of womenfolk across the world, particularly in Pakistan, through her leadership and initiatives for the cause of women, the ambassador said.

Elaborating the national theme “Legislation for protecting women’s rights” on international Women Day, Fiza batool lauded the role of the current parliament which has passed several legislations for the protection and promotion of women rights.

“Pro women legislation are a clear manifestation of the priority the Pakistan people’s Party government attaches to the cause and agenda of women empowerment”, she said.

Fiza Batool Gilani stressed upon all mothers that they should treat their sons and daughters on equal footings so that the concepts of gender equality and non-discrimination against women become the part of their training at home.

“Mothers must not give precedence to sons over daughters and both the genders should be treated on equal basis at home”, she emphasized.

The ambassador said that curricula being taught in institutions must incorporate the concepts of gender equality and non-discrimination against women. Source: Associated Press of Pakistan