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Pakistan unveils 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha, evoking diverse heritage
15 November 2017 - Pakistan unveiled the remains of a 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha image on Wednesday (15 November), part of an initiative to encourage tourism and project religious harmony in a region roiled by Islamist militancy. A reflection of the diverse history and culture of the South Asian country, the ancient Buddhist site in Bhamala province was first discovered in 1929. (more)

Is Pakistan's solar power poised to take off?
8 May 2017 - Solar energy production in Pakistan is poised to take off . . . energy experts say. New high quality solar maps -- essential to securing financing for major solar projects -- show Pakistan is one of the world's best countries for producing solar energy because of its arid climate and latitude. ... consumers are already installing small-scale roof-top solar systems for their homes and businesses. (more)

Canada to build another 1000 megawatts solar in Pakistan
5 March 2017 - Pakistan got a much needed boost for its power sector when, recently, a Canadian government entity announced plans to set up large-scale solar power projects in the south Asian country. The Canadian Commercial Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan to set up 1,000 megawatts of solar power capacity. The capacity is expected to be installed over a period of three years . . . . Last year, Canada signed an agreement with the government of Balochistan province [in Pakistan] to set up 1,000 megawatts solar power capacity. (more)

Ancient Buddhist sculpture returned to Pakistani government
28 April 2016 - An ancient stone sculpture of Buddha's footprints that was smuggled into the United States and had been expected to sell for more than $1 million was returned to the government of Pakistan on Wednesday. The piece, called a Buddhapada, was taken from a Pakistani region rich in Buddhist history decades ago. The repatriated piece is a large stone slab with columns and two large footprints. Within the footprints are symbols, including a swastika, a 5,000-year-old Sanskrit symbol that denotes auspiciousness and was co-opted by Nazi Germany. (more)

Pakistan, Iran aim to boost trade to $5 billion
26 March 2016 - Pakistan and Iran aim to increase annual trade volumes between the two countries to $5 billion by 2021, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday, 26 March. Trade between Pakistan and Iran fell after western powers imposed sanctions on Iran on Tehran aimed at halting a nuclear programme. Energy-starved Pakistan suffers about 12 hours of power cuts per day and is keen to import Iranian oil, gas, iron, and steel. Iran is interested in Pakistani textiles, surgical goods, sports goods, and agricultural products. (more)

Solar-powered ATMs to deliver clean drinking water in Pakistan
14 May 2015 - Punjab province is set to launch an innovation for water-short Pakistan: Solar-powered ATMs that dispense clean water when a smart card is scanned. The two-foot-square prototype machine looks and functions like an ATM, but dispenses water instead of cash. Users are issued a card they can use to claim a daily share of water. (more)

Malala, Satyarthi receive their Nobel Prizes for child campaigns
10 December 2014 - Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for refusing to quit school, and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi received their Nobel Peace Prizes on Wednesday after two days of celebration honouring their work for children's rights. Satyarthi is credited with saving around 80,000 children from slave labour. Although the focus was undoubtedly on Oslo on Wednesday, Nobel Prize winners in literature, chemistry, physics, medicine, and economics were gathering in Stockholm, due to receive their prizes from the King of Sweden later in the day. (more)

Anti-erosion effort stops Pakistani farmers abandoning mountain fields
16 August 2014 - A new plantation is part of a multi-million-rupee initiative to protect land and slopes, launched in 2008 by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P) and funded by the Coca Cola Foundation. Now in its sixth phase, which concludes in June 2015, the programme aims to address soil erosion and landslides in several of the 12 villages located around Ayubia National Park. It uses mountain stabilization techniques, such as erecting brushwood retaining walls, building check dams, and restoring vegetation and tree cover. (more)

Pakistan boosts clean-energy spending
17 July 2014 - Worsening energy shortages in Pakistan are driving politicians in Punjab, the largest and most energy-hungry state, to back a surge in spending on renewable energy, the latest budget figures show. The federal government has earmarked hefty funds in its budget for the fiscal year 2014-15, which began on 1 July, to harness Pakistan's huge clean energy potential, especially solar, to power the economy. (more)

Pakistan's off-grid solar market can teach the world
20 June 2014 - When it comes to the off-grid solar market, the South Asian countries you normally hear about are India and Bangladesh. One is home to the largest potential market in the world, the other is home to the world's most successful and booming market to date. The potential off-grid solar leader you never hear about, is Pakistan. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Pakistan: Satellite TV broadcast explores Consciousness-Based Education
13 October 2015 - On 7 October, a broadcast on Sindh TV News (Pakistan) featured an in-depth exploration of Consciousness-Based Education and the role of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) programme in education. Dr Ashok Kumar, certified teacher of Transcendental Meditation in Pakistan, appeared on the show 'Education in Focus'. The programme was broadcast in the Sindhi language, one of the main provincial languages of Pakistan. One focus of the comprehensive show was the scientifically proven benefits of Consciousness-Based Education in promoting academic success; reduced stress, violence, and social conflict; and increased harmony and peace in society. This approach has been successfully adopted in schools around the world, including in the UK, USA, South Africa, Thailand, Latin America, and other countries. (more)

Transcendental Meditation becoming widely popular in Pakistan
15 April 2014 - Since becoming certified as teachers of Transcendental Meditation, over the last few years Dr Ashok Kumar and his wife have have travelled to all of Pakistan's provinces, teaching the technique to hundreds of people. This includes, Dr Kumar said recently, people from every religion, race, and lifestyle, including retired and active duty senior military personnel and their families. Doctors and well-known consultants from a medical university hospital in Karachi have learned. They have taught engineers, government officials, mind science experts, yoga teachers, and experts in communication and personal development--as well as students, schoolteachers, school principals, and deans of universities, businessmen, entertainers, farmers, and villagers. (more)

Pakistan's maritime defence is not impregnable: Experts recommend coherence-creating Invincible Defence Technology
2 February 2014 - The Global Alliance for Preventive Wings in the Military requests that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his military leaders seriously consider, investigate, and deploy a scientifically-verified and field-tested approach for permanent invincibility, known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT). IDT involves creating Preventive Wings of the Military--military societal coherence-creating units who practise Transcendental Meditation and its advanced Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi Programme twice a day, seven days a week. Validated by 23 studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, IDT has been employed to reduce violence and conflict in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America--a solution to achieve the goal of true invincibility. (more)

Pakistan: Hundreds learn Transcendental Meditation
24 January 2014 - Programmes developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to promote an ideal quality of life for people around the world have been established in every type of country--affluent and impoverished, peaceful and war torn. In the past several years hundreds of people in Pakistan have been learning Transcendental Meditation, and their daily practice is quietly generating an influence of peace and harmony for their country and the region, an area plagued by wars and unrest for millennia. (more)

Pakistan: Medical professionals utilize Transcendental Meditation in their practices
24 January 2014 - Interest in Transcendental Meditation is growing among medical professionals in Pakistan, who have begun utilizing the technique for relieving stress and symptoms of various maladies in their patients. Medical practitioners are using Transcendental Meditation to help treat people with migraine headaches and psychiatric issues. Research has been proposed on the application of Transcendental Meditation to improve quality of life for heart patients and young people with physical disabilities, and also in rehabilitation for young people with substance abuse problems. (more)

Pakistan: People from all areas of society learning Transcendental Meditation
24 January 2014 - Since being trained as teachers of Transcendental Meditation a few years ago, Dr Ashok Kumar and his wife have taught the simple, natural, stress-relieving technique to almost 700 people in Pakistan. Travelling to every province throughout the country, teaching in large metropolitan areas as well as small towns and villages, they have taught people from many different religions, races, and lifestyles. As more and more people learn Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes, especially practising together in groups, the peaceful effect of their daily meditations is creating a foundation for a lasting state of peace and harmony throughout the region. (more)

Pakistan: Television programmes aired on Transcendental Meditation
24 January 2014 - Dr Ashok Kumar, director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Pakistan, has recorded more than 10 satellite television programmes on Transcendental Meditation on TV One news channel. He has also participated in group forums and discussions on Transcendental Meditation, and with practitioners of the technique on live television shows. (more)

Pakistan: Top web TV talk show interviews Dr Ashok Kumar on Transcendental Meditation
10 September 2012 - Dr Ashok Kumar, a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Pakistan, recently appeared on the popular 'Cross Question' talk show on Cee TV--a top-rated Pakistani web channel. Respected TV anchor Riaz Aajiz conducted a lively and wide-ranging interview with Dr Kumar, who gave a comprehensive introduction to the Transcendental Meditation technique. Dr Kumar's dynamic presentation covered many topics including what Transcendental Meditation is, how it differs from other meditation practices, and an overview of extensive scientific research documenting its many benefits--for example reduced stress, increased integration of brain functioning, and improved health in individuals; and decreased violence and increased coherence and peace in society. (more)

How Pakistan can have an 'invincible' military
20 April 2012 - PM Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and other leaders in Pakistan 'could make their mark if they adopt this most ideal defense system,' writes Dr David Leffler recently in PK Articles Hub about Invincible Defence Technology, which has been successfully applied by members of many faiths worldwide to produce societal coherence and eliminate conflict. 'The implementation of IDT would become a turning point in the history of Pakistan's national defense, and Pakistan would lead the world into perpetual peace.' (more)

Create an international military Yogic-Flying zone in Kashmir: Pakistan Defence
23 August 2011 - Over the years 'no-fly zones' have gained worldwide attention, with the goal of hampering military aircraft of a bellicose country from conducting operations. While no-fly zones might potentially save lives, the authors of an article just published in Pakistan Defence urge the militaries of India and Pakistan to jointly establish a military 'Yogic-Flying zone' in the disputed border region of Kashmir--to create a ground of coherence in collective consciousness that would resolve deeply held differences, and create a lasting peace not only in Kashmir, but potentially worldwide. (more)


Flops
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South Asia smog disrupts travel, sickens thousands in Pakistan
10 November 2017 - Two weeks of thick toxic smog has disrupted normal life in parts of Pakistan, with flights canceled, road accidents surging and nearly 15,000 people being hospitalized in and around Lahore, officials said on Friday (10 November). The Pakistani crisis is part of a wider smog emergency that has hit neighboring India, forcing authorities in New Delhi on Friday to plan to spray water over the city. (more)

New government school blown up in Pakistan's restive northwest
20 February 2016 - Militants blew up part of a newly constructed government school in Pakistan's South Waziristan region late Friday night, a spokesman for a wing of the Pakistani Taliban said on Saturday, the latest in a string of attacks on educational institutions. 'We have blown up the school because it was a government installation' said Azam Tariq, a spokesman for an arm of the Pakistani Taliban known as the 'Sajna' group, which claimed responsibility for the attack, warning the group would continue to attack government targets. Twenty people were killed and dozens wounded last month when militants launched an attack on Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a little more than a year after Taliban gunmen massacred 134 students at a military school in nearby Peshawar. (more)

Deadly Pakistani school attack raises security questions
20 January 2016 - Once again, Islamic militants stormed a school in northeastern Pakistan in a deadly attack that lasted for hours. And once again, the blood of students and teachers stained classrooms and hallways, raising questions about whether security forces are able to protect the country's educational institutions from extremists. (more)

A look at the Pakistani Taliban militant group
16 December 2014 - A look at the Pakistani Taliban, a militant organization that has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar. Known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, it is headed by Mullah Fazlullah, a militant commander who claimed responsibility for trying to kill education activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012. The teenager survived the shooting and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Here is a look at the Taliban militant group: (more)

Taliban assault on Pakistan school leaves 141 dead
16 December 2014 - In the deadliest slaughter of innocents in Pakistan in years, Taliban gunmen attacked a military-run school Tuesday and killed 141 people -- almost all of them students -- before government troops ended the siege. The massacre of innocent children horrified a country already weary of unending terrorist attacks. Even Taliban militants in neighboring Afghanistan decried the killing spree, calling it 'un-Islamic'. (more)

Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State
17 November 2014 - A splinter group of Pakistan's Taliban has pledged support to Islamic State (IS), a spokesman said on Monday, in another indication of the appeal of the Iraq- and Syria-based jihadist group in a region traditionally dominated by al Qaeda and local insurgencies. Jundullah is one of several Pakistani groups exploring relations with IS, whose fighters have captured swathes of Iraq and Syria in a drive to set up a self-declared caliphate. They share an aim to kill or drive out religious minorities and establish a hardline Sunni theocracy. Analysts say that so far IS has mainly attracted sectarian groups rather than anti-state militants like the Taliban. Pakistan has a ready supply of hardened fighters and a population often receptive to sectarian hatred. (more)

Pakistani Taliban declare allegiance to Islamic State and global jihad
5 October 2014 - The Pakistani Taliban declared allegiance to Islamic State on Saturday and ordered militants across the region to help the Middle Eastern jihadist group in its campaign to set up a global Islamic caliphate. Islamic State, which controls swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been making inroads into South Asia, which has traditionally been dominated by local Taliban insurgencies against both the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments. In a message marking the Muslim holy festival of Eid al-Adha, the Pakistani Taliban said they fully supported IS goals. The statement, released in Urdu, Pashto, and Arabic, came despite recent speculation that the Taliban leadership, whose goal is to topple the government and set up a Sharia state, is actually wary of IS, which is driven by different ambitions that have little to do with South Asia. The Pakistani Taliban have been beset by bitter internal rivalries over the past year. (more)

Pakistan protesters march on Prime Minister's residence
30 August 2014 - Hundreds of people were injured as Pakistani police battled throngs of protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets outside the prime minister's official residence and the adjacent parliament building. With the daybreak Sunday, protesters started regrouping and made repeated attempts to make their way through heavy deployment of police and barricades to reach the premier's residence. Police strengthened their lines and responded by lobbing tear gas canisters. Islamabad police chief Khalid Khattak said the protesters were armed with big hammers, wire cutters, axes, and even a crane. Defence Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif said police later managed to clear most of the protesters from the parliament building's parking area and lawns. More than 300 people -- including women, children, and police officers -- were admitted to two government hospitals in the Pakistani capital, medics and police said. (more)

Pakistan's juniper forest sacrificed for fuel, fruit orchards
11 August 2014 - One of the world's largest and most ancient juniper forests in southwestern Pakistan, already stressed by water shortages, faces a further threat as its trees are cut down for fuel and to clear land for orchards. Some of the trees in the juniper forest in the picturesque Ziarat valley of Balochistan province are believed to be as much as 7,000 years old. The forest covers an area of around 280,000 hectares (700,000 acres), of which around a third belongs to the state. Protecting forests is crucial to curbing extreme weather and other problems associated with climate change, as trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. But persuading local residents not to fell them is difficult due to the profits to be made from selling timber, and because many people lack other sources of energy to heat their homes and cook food. (more)

Pakistani police and protesters clash, four dead, 500 arrested
9 August 2014 - Violence flared in several towns and cities in Pakistan on Saturday between police and supporters of an anti-government cleric, killing at least four people and injuring scores, police and witnesses said. Activist cleric Tahir ul-Qadri called off a large protest rally planned in Lahore on Sunday. Following a police crack down, he urged supporters to hold smaller protests in their home towns instead. The violence, which started on Friday, exacerbated tensions ahead of the Lahore demonstration. Qadri had planned to protest against deadly clashes between his supporters and police in June. Shopkeeper Muhammad Hussain said those clashes began when police tried to stop Qadri supporters from travelling to Lahore. (more)

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