Thousands queue to visit coffin of late Thai king

Thousands queue to visit coffin of late Thai king


Tens of thousands of Thais streamed into Bangkok’s Grand Palace on Saturday as the public was granted its first chance to enter the throne hall where the body of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is lying in state.

Bhumibol, who died at 88 two weeks ago, was adored by many of his subjects and seen as an anchor of stability in a kingdom rocked by turbulent politics.

Thai King Bhumibol, world’s longest-reigning monarch, dies

His passing has thrust the country into a year of official mourning, with most Thais wearing only black and white since his death and TV channels devoting hours of airtime to footage from his 70-year reign.

For the past two weeks crowds have massed outside the Grand Palace, a compound of shimmering temples and pavilions in Bangkok’s old quarter, to pay tribute before a portrait of the monarch.

But Saturday was the first time the public has been allowed to enter the decorated throne hall where his body is lying in a coffin behind a gilded urn.

“I have been waiting here since 1:00am,” said Saman Daoruang, an 84-year-old sitting in a thousands-long queue that snaked around a large field outside the palace.

Authorities have said that 10,000 mourners will be permitted to enter the throne hall per day, in small batches.

Ailing Thai king’s health ‘not stable’

Like many in the crowd, Saman has been sleeping in a tent on the grassy parade grounds since he arrived in Bangkok by train from northern Nakhon Sawan province.

“But I haven’t been able to sleep because I was so thrilled and proud to come here,” he told AFP, clutching several portraits of the monarch.

Thailand’s arch-royalist military government, which came to power in a 2014 coup, has encouraged mass displays of devotion for the late king and helped arrange a flurry of free bus, train and boat rides to move mourners to the capital.

It has also stepped up its enforcement of lese majeste — a draconian law that punishes criticism of the monarchy with up to 15 years in prison per offence.

The law has significantly curbed public discussion about the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who has yet to attract the same level of devotion as his father.

Anxious prayers for ailing Thai king outside hospital

In a move that surprised many, the 64-year-old asked to delay his proclamation as king in order to grieve with the nation, according to junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who has presided over the transition.

The regime has not provided a clear timeline for when the prince will formally ascend the throne.

Shoaib Akhtar advises against foreign teams touring Pakistan

Shoaib Akhtar advises against foreign teams touring Pakistan

Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar warned against inviting international teams to Pakistan due to the prevailing security situation in the country.

The 41-year-old’s comments came in the light of a terrorist attack in Quetta which claimed the lives of 62 people, after a Police Training Centre was targeted.

Speaking to a local news channel, Akhtar said, “Until there is complete normalcy as far as security situation is concerned, we shouldn’t take the risk of inviting any foreign team to Pakistan.”

Decision to hold PSL final in Lahore stands: Sethi

The former fast-bowler added: “The security situation is such that we have to be patient. I am sure international cricket will return to Pakistan, but it will take some time.”

Earlier this month, Pakistan Cricket Board official Najam Sethi announced that the final of the second edition of Pakistan Super League would be held in Lahore in February.

Lahore blast damaged plans to bring West Indies to Pakistan: Najam Sethi

Sethi also said on Thurday that the board succeeded twice in convincing Ireland and West Indies to play some matches in Pakistan, however, both times some untoward incidents took place.

No top Test side has toured Pakistan since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Nevertheless, Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe have sent their teams to Pakistan since that incident.

Shoaib Akhtar was quoted by Press Trust of India

Phenomenal Ronaldo deserves Ballon d’Or: Zidane

Phenomenal Ronaldo deserves Ballon d’Or: Zidane

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo smiles during training session. PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane backed Cristiano Ronaldo’s case for a fourth Ballon d’Or on Friday despite the Portuguese superstar’s current struggles in front of goal.

Ronaldo won both the Champions League with Real and Portugal’s first ever major tournament at Euro 2016 to make him the favourite to land the award for the world’s best player on January 9 next year.

“He clearly deserves the Ballon d’Or,” said Zidane ahead of Saturday’s trip to Alaves in La Liga. “Not just at an individual level, but above all on a collective level…he knows everything he is achieving is thanks to his hard work and the work of those around him.”

I am back to what I was, says Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is expected to face competition from five-time winner Lionel Messi, Madrid teammate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid and France forward Antoine Griezmann for the award.

However, his form has slumped since his return from a two-month injury layoff after suffering knee ligament damage in the Euro 2016 final.

“What Cristiano has done is raise the bar so high that every time he doesn’t score it is a problem,” added the Real Madrid manager.

Ronaldo has netted just four times in nine appearances for Madrid so far this season, by a distance his worst return at this stage of the campaign in seven seasons with the European champions.

Zidane ‘not worried’ by Ronaldo strike rate

“He is angry (about not scoring), but there is no bigger worry than that,” continued the former Ballon d’Or winner. “Every time he doesn’t score there is a furore, but he has to live with these things. He is a phenom.”

Ronaldo is expected to be partnered by Bale and Karim Benzema once more in the Madrid front line despite the fine form of Alvaro Morata.

The Spanish international came off the bench to score the winner against Athletic Bilbao last weekend and bagged a double in a 7-1 rout of Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

However, captain Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and Casemiro remain out injured.

Sharjeel ‘ready’ to don whites for Pakistan

Sharjeel ‘ready’ to don whites for Pakistan


Pakistan’s Sharjeel Khan has made a name for himself in international cricket as a hard-hitting batsman.

And while his aggressive style of play has earned plaudits from around the globe and has all but secured him a place in the starting line-up of Pakistan’s limited-overs squads, the swashbuckling opener feels he can be a valuable player for the country in Test cricket as well.

With the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee weighing the pros and cons of fielding an extra opener ahead of the team’s tour of New Zealand next month, the 27-year old, who is in consideration for the spot along with Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood, is hopeful of making the cut.

“It’s always an honour to represent Pakistan in any format but representing the country in Tests would be very special,” Sharjeel told The Express Tribune in an interview. “I want to prove myself in all formats of the game.”

Sharjeel has played 76 first-class matches since making his debut in 2009 and has made 4,853 runs at an average of 37.91.

He has scored 241 runs in five innings for UBL in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy since returning from the limited overs series against the West Indies and he believes his current form makes a strong case for him.

“I am enjoying my time on the pitch and I think I am ready to launch my Test career. I am always ready to give my best wherever I am given the chance.”

Sharjeel, who made his debut in 2013, made an impressive comeback after being sidelined for a year due to a dip in form and has since then played some memorably explosive knocks.

His innings of 152 off 86 balls against Ireland earlier this year gave him global recognition as being one of the most aggressive batsmen of the world, however, the Hyderabad-born believes there is a lot more to him than ‘just hitting fours and sixes’.

“I love to play big shots but my batting is not all about hitting four and sixes,” he said. “I’ve been focusing on staying longer on the crease and can play shots in any direction.”

Sharjeel, focusing on fitness, sheds 5kg

The bulky batsman who simply relishes “all Pakistani cuisines, especially biryani”, in his efforts to improve his game, has taken the excruciating path of giving up his love for food in order to improve his fitness.

“It has been difficult [giving up food]. But we have been given a strict diet schedule which I am following and that has helped me reduce my weight by 5kgs,” he revealed. “Proper fitness has become crucial nowadays and I am well aware of it. Our coach [Mickey Arthur] is also very particular about it.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2016.

Anti Ahamadyyia conference in Peshawar Pakistan

Anti Ahamadyyia conference in Peshawar Pakistan  





This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of iRabwah. iRabwah is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, nor in any way associated with any of the community’s official websites.

USA: Humanity First Texas Chapter plans for clinic in Mexico

USA: Humanity First Texas Chapter plans for clinic in Mexico

“We were struck by the fact that a lot of the things they need aren’t necessarily expensive equipment or supplies. It’s something that we can very easily supply to them and it’s something that can really change their lives.”

When UT graduate student Usama Malik and his friends arrived in Rowlett, Texas, in January, they were dumbfounded by the devastation a tornado had left in its wake. Homes were torn down and rubble littered the streets, but the group focused on aiding a man who had been tossed aside by the rampaging force after it had ripped directly through his property.

“There was so much destruction, so much debris everywhere,” Malik said. “If you looked at his house there was nothing there, [and] the fact that he survived was a miracle.”

Last spring, Malik co-founded Humanity First Texas Chapter, the UT-student auxiliary of Humanity First USA, an international disaster relief and human development organization. The UT chapter is currently working on setting up a clinic in Chiapas, Mexico, that will cater to indigenous women and children of the area who lack access to basic healthcare. They are holding a benefit dinner for the clinic at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27 in the Student Activity Center Ballroom.

“Our [chapter’s] help meant the world for that person because at that time, he had no one else,” Malik said. “To actually go out there and see how bad of a situation it is really changed people’s perspectives.”

Lila Al-Kassem, an international relations and global studies sophomore, is the National Programs director for Humanity First Texas Chapter. In addition to raising money to pay for supplies, the chapter also plans to send volunteers to Chiapas during spring break to oversee and help with the clinic.

“We really wanted a way to educate people about Chiapas, about the conditions [in which] women and children live there,” Al-Kassem said. “We also wanted to show the Austin and UT communities how wonderful the Chiapas community is.”

Anila Bhatti, a maternity nurse who worked at the Humanity First USA clinic in Guatemala, informed members of the UT chapter about the conditions and needs of the Chiapas community, which is a shuttle ride away from Guatemala. She said one of the illnesses prevalent in the area is cervical cancer, which can be screened for in tests that only cost a few dollars in the U.S..

“We were struck by the fact that a lot of the things they need aren’t necessarily expensive equipment or supplies,” Al-Kassam said. “It’s something that we can very easily supply to them and it’s something that can really change their lives.”

Bhatti coordinated women’s health camps in Guatemala and Mexico for Humanity First for nearly two years and will fly in to speak at the dinner. She will also talk to volunteers about what they can expect overseas.

“In these camps, we can really connect with the people and the culture,” Bhatti said. “The first time I [volunteered abroad] I had all these ideas and expectations, and the trip really surpassed that.”

The Humanity First Texas Chapter also works within a more immediate community outside the directive of Humanity First USA. Last year, they put on a fashion show with the Counseling and Mental Health Center for domestic violence awareness and prevention. When the group works on fundraisers and awareness events outside the scope of their umbrella organization, they turn to member ideas for the issues they’ll address.

“It’s not just a student organization, it’s an experience, and it’s meant to change you for the better so that you can not only empathize with other people, but so you can get a feel for yourself and see how you can best serve mankind,” Malik said. “You can’t serve mankind without knowing mankind.

Read original post here: USA: Humanity First Texas Chapter plans for clinic in Mexico

Perspective: Sir Zafrulla’s integral numbers and integrity | Muhammad Zafrullah

Perspective: Sir Zafrulla’s integral numbers and integrity | Muhammad Zafrullah

“Later that day Mirza Anas Ahmad, one of the college Professors, was heard saying “Zafrullah collided against Sir Zafrullah!””

The somewhat peculiar arrangement that I had during my high school days had left me a late riser and bold at missing classes. The bad habit continued at the college and in later life. Some of my college professors did not like my unruly ways and would often refuse to let me in if I showed up late in an early morning class. Some of them of course took it as a personal trait and chose to work around it, sort of.

Professor Abdur Rashid Ghani who taught me Mathematics was one of those who would let me be. But he made sure that I wouldn’t miss anything important. So if there was an important class or an event he would get someone to bring me from my room at the nearby hostel.

At one such occasion there was a knock at the door and I was told that Sir Zafrulla Khan, then a judge at the International Court of Justice, was coming to our college to give a speech. Got ready on the quick and rushed to the college auditorium. As expected, the auditorium was packed to the full. This was to be expected as Sir Zafrulla was a famous member of my community, Ahmadiyya Community in Islam, which ran Talim ul Islam College. Those in need of brushing up their knowledge about Sir Zafrulla may look up the Wiki article:

It turned out that instead of giving us his own views about the world affairs or about how to live in this world as good practicing Muslims the wise man had chosen to read an article on integrity from the Readers Digest. I think integrity was a current fad then, like courage and was part of efforts of winners of WWII to explain that they won because they were morally better and the axis lost for being mean. . Articles written on this theme were the ones that led me to coin: History has the nice bad habit of being written by the winners. As far as I am concerned war is a mean business of killing or being killed. In my opinion, wars are won by being mean, using all the means and by using all of them and not by being nice and morally better.

Of course I did not know all this then. My immediate problem was to understand what he was reading, as a mere B.Sc. student my ears were not accustomed to hearing English. On top of that Sir Zafrulla decided to go into testing mode. In an effort to “explain” to us what integrity really meant he asked: Does any of you know what an integral number is? There was pin drop silence and as I began to see the kind of knowing smile of “I knew it” begin to take shape on his face I raised my hand.

“ one, two, three, four, five are all integral numbers or integers”, I croaked timidly. “No”, was the curt response’ and then thus spake the master educator: An integral number is one that cannot be divided by any number other than itself or by one. The auditorium came to life again with cheers for Sir Zafrulla. I thought those numbers were called primes but looking at the mood around I shrugged my shoulders and moved to the corner I was standing in, being a late arrival I did not get a seat. Sir Zafrullah continued his reading of the article.

But of course when he read the example of “praiseworthy” integrity shown by an officer who jumped, unarmed” in front of a tank to “save” his men, and got taken prisoner I could not keep silent. I thought it was silly for an officer to come out of his hiding place to help his men who obviously could not be helped. I thought he was being disloyal to his country, in that if he had escaped he could have led a whole contingent of men against the enemy.

In a shaky timid voice and decidedly poor English I explained my view point. (I used unloyal for disloyal.). The learned gentleman refused to accept that and mentioned the name of an Ahmadi saint who got martyred in Kabul, saying that he went to Kabul. I fell silent because I didn’t know why and under what circumstances the revered gentleman went to Kabul. But I was certain that the revered gentleman didn’t jump into the situation unthinkingly.

I don’t seem to recall any reading after the second rebuffing. When the meeting ended I stayed back in the corner, to avoid jeers and jostles that were apparently in store for me. Finally when I did come out, from another door, I expected that there would be no one there. But close to the door that opened in a corridor that took you to the staff room there were still a bunch of people, standing.

From their attire (gowns) I knew that most of them were professors. They seemed to have surrounded Sir Zafrulla who stood tall, a picture of serenity. Consider it a case of curiosity killed the cat or of me being a glutton for punishment, I decided to go close and listen to them. When I got close I heard one of my professors saying “But sir the boy was right, what you described is called a prime.” Later that day Mirza Anas Ahmad, one of the college Professors, was heard saying “Zafrullah collided against Sir Zafrullah!”

One reason for relating this story is that it is a memory from my college days. The other is serious business. It is to point out that the fellow did not quite know what the word integral could mean, if he did not know what integral number could mean. So what would he do when faced with India’s claim that Kashmir was an integral part of India? Make long winded ineffectual speeches, instead of saying Kashmir is as integral to Pakistan as it is integral to India?

The fact is the northern mountains, the Himalayas, save the subcontinent of India from the northern winds, and serve as a source of life, causing rains and rivers, and Kashmir being one of the states in those mountains. So Kashmir must have been allowed to stay free like most of the mountain states (at that time). The independence of Kashmir is more important because the life giving rivers that sustain the subcontinent flow from Kashmir.

The result of not using that argument on time and asinine insistence of making Kashmir a part of Pakistan on the basis of religion caused to turn the world against giving Kasmiris their right to be free. As a result of not seeing the fact that the argument that worked with the support of voters and got us Pakistan could prove to be counter-productive when used at international forums is responsible for Kashmir being still split and Pakistani rivers running dry or delivering the wrath of seasonal floods.

Now I don’t know who said that Kashmir was an integral part of India and I don’t care but as the great Krishna Menon the evil manipulator represented India at the UN, I have concocted the following picture:

  • Notes: (1) The “peculiar arrangement” the I mentioned in the beginning can be explained as follows. With my family facing hard times, financially, I was faced in my ninth grade with the possibility of having to leave school to support my family, unless I was allowed to skip school two or three days a week. I talked about it to the Headmaster (principal) of the school.
  • Knowing my past performance the Headmaster, Mr. Mehmood ul Hasan Qureshi, knew that at the very least I was a sure first class student, even with part-time study, agreed to let me skip school, occasionally. This continued until my matriculation Exams, and I often hold it responsible for my irregular habits.
  • (2) For the record the integrity can be used to represent the quality of being whole on one hand and the quality of being honest and morally sound. It can also be used for the quality of acting honestly on the basis of sound judgment. Being integral, on the other hand could mean essential to make a whole and can also be use used as a characteristic property or the property of being denoted by an integer. In proper Mathematical terminology a function can be the integral of another function, but that seems to be beside the point.
  • (3). For completeness here’s a Wiki article on Krishna Menon:
  • Read original post here: Sir Zafrulla’s integral numbers and integrity

This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of iRabwah. iRabwah is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, nor in any way associated with any of the community’s official websites.