Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dr. Muhammad Zahir

Dr. Muhammad Zahir, born in 1978, belongs to a small village Abazai of the historic region of Charsadda (ancient Puskhalavati).  His family moved to Peshawar early in his life in order to provide better education opportunities to their offspring, so almost all of his early and undergraduate education was based at the historic city of Peshawar.
He completed his Master of Arts degree in Archaeology from University of Peshawar in 2001 and was awarded the Gold Medal for securing the highest marks in the history of the Department of Archaeology since 1991 until 2013.  The provincial Public Service Commission of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province selected him as one of the youngest lecturers in 2002 in his province. He joined Hazara University, Mansehra – Pakistan, as lecturer in 2007 and has been working there since then. In 2008, he won a scholarship to pursue PhD degree at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. His PhD thesis, “The Protohistoric Cemeteries of Northern and Northwestern Pakistan: The Deconstruction of Archaeological and Burial Traditions”, was “accepted as submitted”, a very rare honour in the UK education system in general and Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences in particular.
Since 2001, Dr. Zahir has been extensively involved in different archaeological excavations and survey, publication and museums’ documentation and management projects both in Pakistan and abroad.  He has also worked in the development and implementation of the UNESCO project for the preservation of the endangered movable cultural assets of Gandhara art in Pakistan.
Beside his teaching and research responsibilities, Dr. Zahir has recently teamed up with a production team from Pakistan Television (the largest television network in Pakistan) as its lead researcher, scriptwriter and presenter of a documentary series on the chronicle of Buddhism in Pakistan.  Despite the ongoing Talibanization and radicalization in the Pakistani society, this documentary series on Buddhism, currently on air, has elicited tremendous positive response from viewers all over Pakistan.
He plans to use the resources at Harvard to deconstruct and conduct a genealogical analysis of the concepts of Aryans in Pakistan archaeology; its use in the interpretation of archaeological remains, ethnic identities, and the personal and professional interests of archaeologists/academics involved, and the state patronage, and acceptance in Pakistan. This will be published as a research paper in a peer reviewed journal.
During his time at Harvard, Dr. Zahir will be under the mentorship of Professor Richard Meadow, who is the Director of the Zooarchaeology Laboratory at the Harvard Peabody Museum, a Senior-Lecturer in Anthropology at Harvard, and Project Director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project. He has been excavating at sites in Pakistan since 1974.
Of Dr. Zahir, Professor Meadow wrote,
“He has both the possibility and dedication to raise the bar quite significantly on the quality of archaeological work, interpretation, and instruction that is done in Pakistan, which would be a great boon to the country. He is developing a public presence within Pakistan and promises to be an important spokesman for the importance of the study and the preservation of the past for Pakistan’s future…”
While at Harvard, SAI will connect him to the intellectual community at Harvard and other peer institutions. He will also be engaged in our seminar series and symposium, and will facilitate a seminar discussion on his past and current research.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dr. Humayun Khan

Dr. Humayun Khan is the Chairman of Institute of Rural Management. He was educated at the prestigious Bishop Cotton School in Simla, India and later at Edwardes College Peshawar and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He holds an honours degree and an MA from Cambridge University. He was called to the Bar from Lincoln’s Inn, London in 1954. Later, he earned another MA and a Doctorate from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He joined the then Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) in 1955 and served as Assistant Commissioner, Tank; Assistant Commissioner, Nowshera; Deputy Commissioner, Bannu; Political Agent, North Waziristan and Political Agent, Malakand.
He was Home Secretary, NWFP in the NAP-JUI Government in 1972-73, after which he moved to the Pakistan Foreign Service. He served in the country’s missions in Moscow and the UNO at Geneva before he was appointed Ambassador to Bangladesh in 1979. In 1984 he became Ambassador to India and served there for four and a half years. He returned as Foreign Secretary of Pakistan in 1988 and held the post till 1989, when Benazir Bhutto made him an OSD. On the dismissal of her first Government in 1990, he was appointed High Commissioner in London. He retired from government service in 1992 but was immediately selected as Head of the Commonwealth Foundation, an inter-governmental international organization with its headquarters in London. He held this position from 1993 to 2000, when he returned to Peshawar. He has since served on the National Finance Commission and on the Board of the National Rural Support Programme. He also works with the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy and on a number of committees dealing with relations between the countries of South Asia. He has written extensively on Indo-Pak relations and is co-author of DIPLOMATIC DIVIDE published in India.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Zeek Afridi

When Zeek Afridi sang Bibi Sheerinay (‘Sweet Lady’ in Pashto) everyone from children to grown ups joined in the chorus. The song has not just become an anthem of the undying Pashto spirit, but its catchy beat has conquered the entire nation as well. Today, it’s a challenge just to catch up with the singer who has single handedly revived the wavering interest in Pashto music.

From Tirah in Khyber Agency in Fata, the good-looking and soft-spoken Zahid Khan Afridi, popularly known as plain and simple Zeek, has finally arrived on the Pashto music scene it seems. He is rightfully being touted these days as yet another success story from the NWFP. “I wanted to break the monotony prevailing in Pashto music. Music is a passion with me. As most Pakhtun youngsters had almost given up listening to Pashto songs, I wanted to bring them back to their cultural roots. I don’t want to make music my profession as sometimes adopting an art as a profession robs one of talent,” says Zeek.

He always wanted to perform on stage during his school days but being an introvert child, would not dare make a public show of his talent. And so the young Zeek took admission in a music school in Peshawar run by an Afghan music teacher, Ehsan, where he learnt the intricacies of music for the next 16 months. “Ehsan was a Persian speaking music teacher. I went to great lengths to pay his fees, even subletting my hostel room at the university. I also sold my belongings to meet my music expenses. Eventually, I was able to play the harmonium, tabla and rabab. My first songs were drawn from Persian folk songs such as Bia keh birum ba mazaar and Wah wah dilber jan,” he says.

He says there is no dearth of talent but it needs a channel. “The new Pashto pop singers are doing well but learning music is a prerequisite. Selecting good poetry and then tunes should never be under-estimated.” His next album is expected to do more business as his Pakhtun fans have increased manifold even in countries such as Germany, UK, Australia, Afghanistan, South Africa, America and Holland.

“Once you become recognized, you can draw fans from every age group and any culture. I want to raise funds for the Afghan refugee children who have been deprived of their rights to education and shelter for a long time now, and also do something for the earthquake affectees,” says Zeek Afridi with a spark of zeal in his eyes and determination in his voice.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Riffat Shaheen Qazi

Ms. Riffat Shaheen Qazi official Spokesperson FBR, a BS-21 officer and currently posted as Member Facilitation and Taxpayer Education (FATE) in the FBR Headquarters, has been designated as Official Spokesperson FBR.

Ms. Qazi, a senior officer of the 7th Common, has been serving as Member FATE since January 22, 2010. Previously, she served in various key positions across the country in her illustrious career spanning over 32 years. Before being appointed as Member FBR, she was heading the Regional Tax Office Rawalpindi where she led a series of tax recovery drives as the Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue Service.

Ms. Qazi brings with her a rich professional and academic experience. She holds a Master’s degree and an MPhil in Economics from the University of Peshawar. Later she completed Masters in Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University USA. Her last academic pursuit was at the prestigious Harvard University, where she attended an extensive Senior Executive Management training course.
Ms Qazi recently in May/June 2011 enriched her experience by attending a certificate course from the Royal Institute of Public Administration International London UK on Developing a Modern Human Resource function.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shazia Tehmas

Ms. Shazia Tehmas Khan was born on January 01, 1974 at Peshawar. She has a master’s in journalism from University of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Representing Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians in the Provincial Assembly of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ms Khan serves as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Population Welfare Department, a member of the Standing Committee on Excise and Taxation Department, and a member of the Standing Committee on Tribal Affairs Department.

Dr. Khalid A Mufti

Dr. Khalid A Mufti
M.B.B.S., DPM (UK), MRC Psych. (London), FRC Psych (London)
Medical Director Ibadat Hospital Peshawar, Member Federal Mental Health Authority Pakistan. He is ex-Principal Khyber Medical College Peshawar, former Professor and Head Department of Psychiatry, Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar. He has more than 30 years of experience in academics, research and clinical practice. Main areas of interest are psychiatric problems and drug abuse prevention.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sardar Tariq Azizuddin

Sardar Tariq Azizuddin comes from a Peshawar Sadozai family known as the Peshawar Sardars, who have historical blood links with the former Afghan King Shah Shuja and the founder of modern day Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali. His late father and the other members of the family have a history of military service in various Regiments of the Pakistan Army. He was born in Peshawar on 31 May 1951, where he spent his early life and education. He graduated in Political Science and History from the University of Peshawar.

He joined the Pakistan Army in 1969 as an Officer Cadet and was commissioned in a Cavalry Regiment, Probyn’s Horse in 1971. He saw action in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. He rose to the rank of Captain. He transferred from the army to the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1975.

In the Foreign Service, he served in various Pakistan Diplomatic Missions. He was Vice Consul in Manchester, UK (1979-83), First Secretary in Cairo, Egypt (1986-89), Counsellor & Deputy High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1989-92), Counsellor & Charge’ d’Affaires in Kabul, Afghanistan (1992-94), Consul General in Los Angeles, USA (1997-2001), Ambassador of Pakistan Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina (2001-2004), Ambassador of Pakistan in Kabul, Afghanistan (2005-2008). He is currently Ambassador of Pakistan in Ankara, Turkey since January 2009. In between the foreign assignments, he served on different positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, Pakistan, as Section Officer, Director, Director General and Chief of Protocol.

He was decorated with Sitara-i-Shujaat (Star of Valor) for his service in Afghanistan in 1992-94.

He is married to Naila, daughter of Sardar Abdul Wahab Khan, who was the son of Amir Mohammad Yaqub Khan, Ruler of Afghanistan 1878-81. He has a daughter Saira and two sons Ali and Assad.

He enjoys hunting (ducks&partridge) and gardening.