Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tahir Hasan Elects as President of KPC, Moosa Kaleem as Secretary

Tahir Hasan Khan, a senior reporter of The News and a candidate of The Democrats panel, was elected president of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) by polling 493 votes as the panel made a clean sweep of the annual elections of the press club on Saturday.

All candidates of the two rival panels — The Panel and The Panel (Green) — were defeated. As many as 996 out of the total 1175 members cast their votes.

According to the results, the first runner-up for the post of president was Khalid Farshori, who bagged 275 votes, and the second runner-up, Khurshid Abbasi, received 203 votes.

The post of vice president went to Fazil Jamili, who polled 561 votes, followed by GM Jamali with 292 and Zaheer Ahmed with 107 votes.

Mohammad Anwer Khan became treasurer by receiving 537 votes. The first runner-up was Ihtishamul Haq Mufti with 279

Moosa Kaleem
votes, while Jamshed Gul was the second runner-up with 151votes.

Moosa Kaleem was elected general secretary of the KPC. He polled 521 votes, followed by Faheem Ahmed with 347 votes and Shahid Ghazali with 117 votes.

The slot of joint secretary was won by M Arif Khan, who secured 479 votes. Iqtidar Anwer got 249 votes and Bilquees Jehan polled 211 votes.

The following seven candidates were elected to the Governing Body: Shams Keerio, 560 votes; Arif Jiaja, 557 votes; Shakeel Salawat, 508 votes; Noman Rafiq Khan, 507 votes; Ghazala Fasih, 487 votes; Hamid Nazir, 419 votes; and Syed Shahzad Ali Shah Jillani, 439 votes. (The News)

Monday, December 13, 2010

KPC’s heritage building set to have its facade eclipsed

By Shahid Husain
The more than 115-year-old heritage building of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) is set to have its beautiful façade eclipsed because its office-bearers are erecting a huge steel structure right in front of it.

The enthusiastic leadership of the club had previously built a structure despite being advised by architects against doing so apparently to accommodate a growing number of members.

Construction is not allowed in a heritage building unless it is approved by the Heritage Committee.

To build the huge steel structure that will hide the KPC’s beautiful façade, a majestic Neem tree has also been cut. “It’s target killing,” a very senior member of the club commented. Other trees are also being chopped.

Previously too a beautiful Christmas tree was chopped and replaced by an ugly one for unknown reason.

Veteran journalist Hamdan Amjad Ali, now dead, would tell junior members very fondly that the sapling of the Christmas tree was brought by a journalist from the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and planted in the club. The tree grows very slowly, about an inch in a year, but had become tall and beautiful. Yet another tree was cut and replaced by “rockery”.

The KPC has not only a heritage value but it has also been the hub of political activity. The political clout associated with the club be gauged from the fact that Pakistan Peoples Party’s founding chairman and former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto initiated his campaign against military dictator General Ayub Khan from the KPC and General Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, the information minister of yet another military dictator, General Ziaul Haq, dubbed the club as “enemy territory”.

Established in 1958 by a group of enthusiastic journalists in a Victorian-style bungalow on what was then Ingle Road and now Sarwar Shaheed Road, the Karachi Press Club has played a vital role in the democratic struggle in general and the struggle for press freedom in particular.

“The Karachi Press Club was inaugurated by late General Azam Khan, rehabilitation minister in the Ayub cabinet and a former governor of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). We are the product of martial law but we are deadly against martial law,” says Habib Khan Ghouri, a senior journalist and a former president of the club.

The KPC became the hub of intense political activity after 1977 during the era of General Ziaul Haq when a movement was launched for the restoration of daily Musawaat and daily Hurriyat that were banned by the military government and hundreds of journalists were arrested across the country. Sadly enough, some journalists were even flogged after a summary trial in a military court.

Known across the country for its defiance, the KPC has always opened its arms for the downtrodden. No wonder that May Day has been celebrated in the club with gusto and trade union workers, students, teachers, lawyers, fisherfolk and peasants always find solace in the club whenever they face any problem.

The KPC is housed in a double-storey building and is a majestic heritage monument. The ground floor comprises the main hall where press conferences and functions with large audiences are held. The upper floor houses a well-stocked library, a committee room, a TV lounge.

Responding to a question by The News, KPC secretary AH Khanzada said that the steel structure was on “nuts and bolts and removable” and would not hide the façade of the KPC.

He further said that the Steel Mill chairman promised to help in erecting the steel structure when he visited the KPC.(The News)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sharmila Farooqui attends Family Gala at KPC

Advisor to CM, Sharmila Farooqi gives shield to press club member Asif Jiaja during a ceremony on the occasion of the Family Gala held at KPC