Friday, February 24, 2012
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is expected to delay the auction of 3G licences after obtaining input of a consultant hired by the Authority to offer services for the auction of these licences.
A senior official of PTA on the condition of anonymity told this scribe that delay of the auction of 3 G licences, scheduled for March 29, is expected.
He said that the decision regarding the increase in the base price of 3 G licences for bidding from $210 to $291 million as per the recommendation of Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) is not dependent on PTA alone.
An auction supervising committee was established by the government headed by Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance.
Federal Minister for Water and Power, Naveed Qamar and the Federal minister for Privatisation, Ghous Bux Khan Mahar are also members of this committee.
Any decision regarding the up-coming auction of 3G licences would be taken up by this committee in collaboration with PTA.
Senator Pervez Rashid, PML (N) while talking exclusively to Business Recorder said, "PTA has gone through strong criticism from some members of the Upper House on modalities of 3G auction.
It was the need of hour to hire a consultant to monitor the whole process of the action of 3G licences because the whole process needs to be transparent and free of corruption".
He maintained that the opposition wants a transparent auction of the 3G licences because it is a matter of national interest.
"During the recent meeting of the Standing Committee of IT, we have recommended the PTA to go for the auction of 3G licences only and the word or terms like 4G/LTE should not be used.
PTA should be limited to the auction of 3G only and the auction of 4G technology should be brought forward at any other time to make more money", the Senator said.
He added that the committee has also recommended the PTA to increase the base price of 3G licences from $210 million to $291 million to add maximum amount in the national exchequer.
"It has also been recommended in the committee that no defaulter will be able to participate in the bidding and the amount that would be received through auction should be in foreign currency not in Pakistani rupees.
All amount will be received within a period of 60 days", the Senator disclosed.
Pervez Rashid said that the 2G licences were being awarded under the base price of $290 million and according to PTA, the broadband capacity of 2G was more than the broadband capacity of 3 G.
That is why the base price of 3 G for bidding is less than that of 2 G.
Senator Haroon Akhtar Khan, PML (Like-minded) told this scribe that it was decided on the floor of the Upper House that all those senators who have already disapproved the government's plan to auction new telecom licences including 3G through bidding with base price of USD 210 million, would be invited in the Standing Committee of IT to discuss the issue of the auction of 3G licences but the committee did not invite him (Haroon Akhtar Khan) which is contrary to the decision taken by the Senate.
It is learnt that if any of the current mobile networks like Mobilink, Telenor and Warid etc would be awarded the 3G licence, it would be able to offer services immediately.
New entrants will not be allowed into the market until March 2013 due to an agreement not to offer any new radio spectrum when the government sold a 26% stake in the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunications Company in 2006 to Etisalat.
Source Business Recorder
Posted by News Agent at 3:19 PM
LAHORE: “Whatever the past had, it’s gone; the best is always yet to come,” states director Syed Noor. Despite having faced a slump last year due to box office failures coupled with regular bouts of illness, he says there is no looking back as he announced his upcoming films on the occasion of his 61st birthday at the Metropole cinema. Express
“People keep telling me to stop making Punjabi films,” said Noor, who revealed he has three films in the pipeline for the coming year. “I always say why shouldn’t I make Punjabi films?”
Noor, considered one of the best film-makers in Pakistan, has super-hits like Choorian, Jeeva and Deewane Tere Pyar Ke to his credit. However, with a slump in the overall film industry and the economy in general, the director faced many failures as well. Unswayed by these setbacks, he held on to his determination of keeping the Punjabi cinema alive and continued making films. “We had many problems and failures in the industry. I feel that made me sick in some ways,” said Noor, whose film Dane Pe Dane failed at the box-office in 2011. “After thinking long and hard about the issues the industry faces, I came to the conclusion that it’s important to show the industry in a positive light and until that happens, even good work will be overlooked.”
Shareeka, which will be directed and written by Noor, will star Shaan and Noor’s wife Saima, while Tariq Tafu will be doing the songwriting for the film. The story, which will revolve around six families, will be shot in Punjab. Without sharing too many details, the director said that the film, which he claims is a “fun comedy”, will be relatable to all families in the province. Noor further stated that aside from the two confirmed stars, he also plans to feature some new actors.
Meri Shaadi Karao
Speaking about his other venture, Meri Shaadi Karao, the director confirmed it will include Indian Punjabi Daler Mehndi’s son Gurdeep Singh in the lead role. The film, which is a co-production of Noor and Mehndi, is scheduled to be released in June this year. Noor is of the opinion that the Indian industry could be a good starting point and one can learn a lot from it. Shot in Dubai, the story will revolve around six characters: three Pakistani and three Indian. Also, the music will be produced by the likes of Arif Lohar amongst some Indian musicians. The director, however, has received mounting criticism for calling a ban of Indian films, while being involved in a Pak-Indian co-production. “As long as Indian films don’t damage our industry, I’m okay with them,” said Noor. However, he added, “Film exhibitors decide which film to play in their cinema and many refuse to play Pakistani films, which is unfair.”
Price of Honour
Additionally, the director confirmed that the private screenings of the issue-based film Price of Honour have started. The film, which he hopes to release in June, explores the issue of honour killings and violence faced by women in Pakistani society. “The subject of the film is sensitive so we are privately screening it to get a good idea of how people will react,” said Noor.
Popular Punjabi films
Majajan is a Pakistani Punjabi film directed by Syed Noor which was released across theatres in Pakistan in 2006. Majajan is a love story, inspired by the life of Baba Bulleh Shah and his ‘ishq’ with his ‘murshad’.
This is one of the most popular films in the history of Pakistani cinema. It is a Punjabi film starring actor Sultan Rahi in the lead role with Aasia and Mustafa Qureshi as the villain Noori Natt. Maula Jatt is a classic, a film that reached cult status in Pakistan.
Choorian is a Pakistani Punjabi film produced by Chaudhary Shahzad Ali and directed by Syed Noor. It’s a story about a city boy Bakhtu (Moammar Rana) who is in love with his uncle’s daughter Billo (Saima).
SOURCE: forumpakistan.com, imdb.com
Thursday, February 23, 2012
TEHRAN: Security forces in Iran have killed four members of an armed militant group, Jundallah, in the southeast, the official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday. Four senior members of the group were killed in an ambush overseen by the intelligence ministry in Sistan-Baluchestan province, IRNA said. It added that a policeman was also killed in the gunfight. It did not provide further details. Jundallah (Army of God), whose leader Abdolmalek Rigi was hanged in June 2010, has waged a deadly insurgency in southeastern Iran for almost a decade. It has claimed a number of attacks against civilians and officials in the region. Overwhelmingly Shia, Iran has a significant Sunni ethnic Baloch population in Sistan-Baluchestan, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iranian officials claim the group has received support from the intelligence services of the United States, Britain and Pakistan.
BUENOS AIRES: A packed commuter train slammed into a retaining wall at a railway terminus in Buenos Aires during rush hour on Wednesday, leaving at least 49 dead, 550 injured, and dozens trapped in the wreckage. “The train was full and the impact was tremendous,” a passenger identified only as Ezequiel told local television, adding that medics at the scene appeared overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. Witnesses said passengers were hurled on top of each other and knocked to the floor “in the blink of an eye”, some losing consciousness and others seriously injured. “Unfortunately, we must report that there are 49 dead in the accident,” including a child, police spokesman Nestor Rodriguez told a news conference. Civil defence officials said at least 550 people were injured in the crash, which witnesses said occurred after the train’s breaks failed as it was arriving at a station on the western outskirts of Buenos Aires. The toll surpassed the city’s last major rail disaster just five months ago when two trains and bus collided during rush hour, killing 11 people and injuring more than 200. A dozen ambulances were dispatched to the scene, and officials said many passengers had suffered multiple fractures and abrasions. At least 30 people were trapped in the twisted wreckage of the first and second cars of the train, Alberto Crescenti, the head of the city’s emergency services office, said. Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said the train entered the station at a speed of 20 kilometres (12 miles) an hour, and failed to stop, crashing into a retaining wall at the end of the track. “It was a very serious accident,” he said at a news conference. “Cars piled up on top of each other and one of them went six meters (yards) inside another car.” “People suffered contusions, but there are much more complex cases involving traumas of the thorax. There are people trapped alive in the cars.” Fire-fighters and rescue workers had to break through skylights in the train’s roofs to open a path to those trapped inside. “I felt the explosion of the crash. It was very loud. The train did not brake, I saw people hurt in their necks, arms, legs,” said Pedro Fuentes, a passenger. An investigation into the crash has been opened.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012