Saturday, 6 June 2015

Budget: challenge of implementation

Budget: challenge of implementation

The allocations are ordinary, the ambitions are muted and the rhetoric is soaring. —AFP/File
Government entities reach it's midpoint running with a funds that offers all of us strategies to the very poor, rewards to the rich and a prayer to the state.

The allocations are ordinary, the actual aspirations are moderate and the rhetoric will be jumping. The money minister stated he's rescued the continent from default throughout his / her initial season, stabilised the actual economy from the subsequent season, and is particularly currently preparing to adjust armor and weapon upgrades to go to growth.

Because of the conclude with the next economical season, stores will certainly rise to $19bn in addition to growth comes in at 5. 1pc, a complete portion place more than where it can be these days. Even more, expense will certainly climb by simply three portion points connected with GDP to the touch 07. 5pc. These are not smaller claims in addition to just about all eye at the moment are about the details to view exactly how this will be done.

Likewise understand: Ishaq Dar eye 7pc growth by simply stint conclude

The narrative is often a enjoyable a single, though the street map on what the actual objectives installed along is going to be reached will be unclear. Government entities seems to be relying upon the stroll throughout development wasting in addition to investments beneath the China-Pakistan Economical Hallway to encourage the actual national economy.

This could still possibly be feasible, yet any type of growth chances are to provide is going to be directly depending on offline industries, and intensely short-lived throughout mother nature.

Intended for growth being inclusive in addition to lasting, every day market in addition to farming should be taken from the doldrums, in addition to right here most of us discovered hardly anything higher than a spattering connected with strategies in addition to rewards in addition to minor by using critical plan route.

The budgetary quantities themselves disclose a reasonably large stroll throughout outer receipts in addition to FBR taxation's. Outside financial products are fixed to go up by simply more than Rs100bn, which heats up additionally inquiries about the way the present stabilisation has become organized.

Their particular midpoint narrative — from default to stabilisation to growth — is definitely an classy a single without a doubt. But currently some time provides come to move beyond narratives to outcomes. Along with right here the actual inquiries stay.

The out-turn from recently just isn't because positive for the reason that minister provides colored, in addition to scepticism will be heavy from the air flow regarding next year’s claims. A minimum of a part of that year’s growth appears to have leave thin air.

Agriculture growth provides relied heavily upon livestock in addition to whole milk, groups notoriously tough to measure. Manufacturing growth appears to have soared throughout cotton ginning, once again the notoriously tough market to measure, even though spinning has demonstrated bad growth, prompting inquiries regarding where that ginned cotton travelled.

A new narrative that is certainly elegantly built any time viewed from the mileage just isn't adequate. Government entities should converse an even more critical eyesight connected with exactly how this hopes to rectify the actual fluctuations which are escalating in the economy whilst growth unquestionably sputters anew.

Rising credit, lagging gross income in addition to skewed sectoral habits connected with growth are very poor foundations where to build inclusive in addition to lasting growth.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

What's made Deepika-starrer Piku such a hit?

What's made Deepika-starrer Piku such a hit?

A crucial prefered by, a money-spinner and also a ethnic touchstone – and also to believe Piku is concerning bowel moves along with demise.
A crucial prefered by, a money-spinner and also a ethnic touchstone – and also to believe Piku is concerning bowel moves along with demise.

It is author, Juhi Chaturvedi, will be everybody’s most liked screenwriter for the time. The woman humourous and frequently touching query of the frayed connections between Bhaskor Banerjee, a cantankerous along with constipated 70-year-old Bengali gent, along with his / her unmarried, harried girl Piku, will be this year’s nearly all less likely family members outing movie.

Theatres across the country are generally inflammation with youngsters, parents along with grandpa and grandma, a lot of whom bring up almost all as well nicely for the movie’s styles regarding inter-generational turmoil, doubts more than growing old along with demise, the regarding caring for suffering parents, as well as the need regarding coping with physical doesn't work properly with no experience or maybe shame.
Focused simply by Chaturvedi’s normal collaborator Shoojit Sircar along with starring Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone along with Irrfan since the outsider whom wades in to the family ruin, Piku provides cemented Chaturvedi’s reputation as one of the nearly all empathetic along with clever chroniclers involving middle-class Of india. Your ex Twitting schedule is full of encomiums how she gets kept a new looking glass to help standard interpersonal realities, along with wherever the lady turns, the girl with explained to simply by lovers involving exactly how Bhaskor can be so uncannily like their very own silver-haired family member.

“The film seems to be have carressed a new sensation problems – parents can certainly relate to the load and the sense of guilt involving what exactly Piku goes by way of, whilst children much like the toilet interactions, ” the lady mentioned. “Finally, a person is dealing with toilet! Even so the film furthermore relates to the insecurities involving final years that will moms and dads can not right look at using children. In addition to Shoojit chance all this and so magnificently. ”

The particular soft-voiced writer provides formerly worked tirelessly on Sircar’s Shoebite, starring Bachchan along with stated in 2008 yet shelved from copyright struggle involving its producers. Your woman very first stumbled on see for my child amusing script regarding 2012’s humor Vicky Donor, which starred Ayushmann Khurana along with was concerning one more taboo subject, semen donation. Vicky Donor designated Chaturvedi like a writer to help look out for, yet Piku may show to be career-altering for the 40-year-old past promotion skilled. One of several leads to regarding Piku was a new conversation involving Chaturvedi along with Sircar in regards to the difficulties involving taking good care of aging moms and dads. “We spoke a whole lot regarding it he mentioned, precisely why don’t anyone write a thing and pay attention to what goes on? In addition to shit occurred! ”.

The daughter who was a mother

Piku is a light-hearted look at ageing, ailing parents — Publicity photo
Chaturvedi based Bhaskor’s character on her grandfather, who stayed with her family while they were living in Lucknow, but a deeper inspiration for the issues discussed in Piku is her late mother. Mridula Chaturvedi died three years ago after suffering from various ailments for 30 years, and her daughter had to step into the roles of nurse and parent far too early. “My mother had hypertension and then suffered a hemorrhage when I was in the second standard,” Chaturvedi said. The hemorrhage eventually led to kidney failure when Chaturvedi was in her late teens, and one of the side effects of the medication was depression.
Chaturvedi’s elder brother was in boarding school, so the task of helping nurse her mother fell on the daughter. “You become an oncologist, a cancer specialist, a nephrologist, everything,” Chaturvedi said. “Humour held me together. When you are sitting in a hospital corridor for hours, how much can you grieve over things?”
She was a “very quiet” child, who kept herself occupied by helping her grandfather with the gardening. Her eye for observation and ear for conversational dialogue were sharpened by years of being in an attendant’s position. “When I would go to other people’s houses, I would entertain myself by looking at their photo albums and observing how they kept their houses,” she said.
Her grandfather, Dinanath Chaturvedi, and her father, Dhirendra Chaturvedi, were both in the state education department, so her childhood was spent in capacious government accommodation and characterised by the Nehruvian imperative of simple living and high thinking. Chaturvedi is from that generation of middle-class Indians whose exposure to the movies included squatting in front of the television set on Sundays afternoons and taking in the best of Indian language cinema. She describes her growing-up year as being suffused with an appreciation of the arts and literature and a disdain of mainstream cinema. Satyajit Ray, one of Chaturvedi’s favourite filmmakers, was perfectly acceptable, but popular Hindi films were not.
Fortunately, her grandfather loved Hindi film music and Tabassum, the feisty television hostess from the 1980s, so the film music programme Chitrahaar and the weekly chat show hosted by Tabassum, Phool Khile Hai Gulshan Gulshan, were permitted. “Going to the cinemas was not a done thing,” Chaturvedi recalled. “I remember there was this movie called Mangal Pandey, starring Shatrughan Sinha as a dacoit, and my grandfather thought it was about the freedom fighter and took us kids along to the theatre. We, of course, enjoyed it.”
Although Chaturvedi spent her formative years in what she calls a “role reversal”, she didn’t let her situation stifle her ambitions. “The good thing was I had this streak in me – I made sure I lived my life,” she said. “I didn’t want to go around feeling sorry for myself.”

Ad men and mad men

Chaturvedi studied fine arts at the Lucknow College of Arts and Crafts, and moved to Delhi in 1996 and later Mumbai to work for the advertising company Ogilvy. The member of the young set whose parents espoused Nehruvian values but that was equally at ease with the consumerism introduced by the market-oriented economic policies of the 1990s found the advertising world swarming with people who wanted to tell stories through their commercials. Among the people Chaturvedi worked with as an art director and copywriter was Piyush Pandey, the influential adman. If some of Chaturvedi’s dialogue hits the sweet spot just the way a smart advertising punchline does, it has to do with the 13 years she spent at Ogilvy, picking up the skills to make commercials that were slices of life and dripped with everyday details and relatable characters rather than plastic backdrops and artifice.
“The emphasis of greater realism and character sketching came from Piyush Pandey,” Chaturvedi said. “The accent was on humour and making the advertisements clutter-breaking. The chiselling of characters, the fine-tuning of lines, the respect for any world you are putting in a commercial, all of this comes from advertising. Piyush will not take a minute to say, ‘kya bakwaas hai’ (what nonsense) and that voice is always there at the back at my head.”
Chaturvedi worked in several companies after quitting Ogilvy, including Bates Chi&Partners, where her husband, Asheesh Malhotra, is president and Mumbai head, and Leo Burnett. She quit the world of hard-selling last year, after having written three films for Sircar. “I had made up my mind to write films, and my heart wasn’t in advertising anymore,” she said. “I was drawing a salary but it felt so wrong.”
Chaturvedi had met Sircar when his company produced Ogilvy commercials in the early 2000s, but their first real collaboration was on a series of Titan commercials featuring Aamir Khan. Sircar made his debut with the Kashmir-setYahaan in 2005, and when he embarked on Shoebite in 2008, he asked Chaturvedi to write the dialogue and contribute to the screenplay. “I had no ambition or inclination for Bollywood,” Chaturvedi said. “When you are in advertising, it seems a better place.”
When she went on the sets of Shoebite, she realised just how much larger the scale and scope of film production was. “After doing films, even writing ads felt limiting,” she said.
When she pitched the idea of Vicky Donor to Sircar, his initial reaction was understandably muted. “The starting point was the one smart idea of a donor who goes around donating his sperm but can’t have his own children,” she said. “When I told Shoojit about it, he laughed and said, I don’t know what you are on, but it sounds like fun.”
Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturverdi — boxofficeindia.co.in
Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturverdi — boxofficeindia.co.in
The larger world explored by the movie – the infertility industry, adoption, the lengths Indians will go to for the sake of a family – opened up as Chaturvedi started fleshing out the screenplay. “The story suddenly wasn’t about Vicky anymore,” she said. She met a few infertility experts such as Aniruddha Malpani while working on the screenplay, but many of its observations about the quirks and foibles of south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar neighbourhood came from the time she lived there while working in Delhi from 1996 to 1999. “We used to live in a house behind Amar Colony, and the whole thing was exactly like in the film,” she said.
The comedy, which Sircar started with his own money until the actor John Abraham came on as producer, was a surprise sleeper hit. Piku was her way of assuring herself that she could repeat the feat. “I had to see if I could do it again,” she said. “That’s why I needed Piku, to assure myself that I wasn’t a fluke.”

Mirror, mirror

Chaturvedi also wrote the dialogue for Sircar’s Sri Lanka-setMadras Cafe, loosely based on the plot to assassinate former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The 2013 production was duly noted by critics, moviegoers and awards juries, but it also suggests that gritty political material is not quite Chaturvedi’s forte. “It wasn’t my story and screenplay, and I only contributed the dialogue, but the good thing is that I stretched myself to another kind of writing,” Chaturvedi said. “Because it was a political subject, everything had to be carefully written, and I could not write anything straight.”
Madras Cafe involved many rewrites, but the movies that emerge out of Chaturvedi’s consciousness involve less recasting. What they do involve is conversations with the self. Chaturvedi writes in a room in her tastefully decorated apartment in south-central Mumbai and rehearses her lines with herself committing them to the page. “I talk and blabber to myself, and my maids sometimes walk by to check if I am okay,” she said. “My writing time is not much as much as my character build-up time. I work out the characters and lines in my head and the actual typing comes after that.”
By talking to herself, she also tests the efficacy of the dialogue: does it sound arch or as though it might have been uttered by real people? “If a line doesn’t come out naturally in spoken language, it will not work,” she said.
Since Piku emerged from her own experiences and memories, the rehearsal process was more draining than usual. “I had alopecia while working on the movie – I was crying while I was writing parts of it,” she said.
The comfort she shares with Sircar has contributed immensely to the movie’s ability to fuse her concerns with his vision. “Other than films, we have so many things to talk about, and we are on a similar wavelength,” she said. “We have very similar family structures, and the middle-class fears are the same. Shoojit is neither swayed by Bollywood nor his success. These days, he lives mostly in Calcutta and even when he isn’t there, he will be ordering pizza over the phone for his wife and kids.”

Putting the silver lining to the dark cloud

One of the characteristics of Chaturvedi’s writing is her insistence on placing a silver lining to dark matter. It worked just fine for Vicky Donor, in which adoption is presented as a solution to infertility. In Piku, cheeriness prevails even during potentially sobering passages, such as Bhaskor’s selfishness in clinging on to his daughter, or her inability to have meaningful relationships because of her domestic situation.
In the immortal words of British writer Meera Syal, life isn’t all ha ha hee hee. “It is important to say these things in a light-hearted way so that you are able to deal with them,” Chaturvedi reasoned. “It would have been a different movie – it is already dark enough. I don’t want a parent to watch the film and come out feeling, I am a burden. Or, a child to watch Piku and say, I am not prepared for a parent’s death. And when you see somebody else living the same life, you feel a little light yourself. You are not alone, you are not the chosen one, and everybody is going through this.”
Her writing seeks to lower the distance between the big screen and the hundreds of eyes plastered on to it, she added. “I don’t want to write regressive stuff, hypothetical stuff, glorify murders and killings,” Chaturvedi said. “Two hours of somebody’s time in today’s day and age, it’s very precious. If, in the process, I have audiences on my side, and they can identify themselves with that they are watching, that is what I want. The barrier between cinema and the audience should not be there.”

Cook endorses decision to bar KP ahead of Lord’s opener

Cook endorses decision to bar KP ahead of Lord’s opener

Cook endorses decision to bar KP ahead of Lord’s opener
MANCHESTER: Alastair Make meals dissmissed off in Wednesday he or she presented a good ultimatum in order to England management to help remedy your pet from the captaincy if Kevin Pietersen ended up being were recalled, yet contracted using Pietersen’s extended exile from the crew.

Cook’s comments at Lord’s, on the eve from the first Check in opposition to Completely new Zealand, had been their first in public places on the recent problems in British cricket.

Ex- chief Phil Strauss ended up being designated movie director of cricket and also instantly sacked instructor Philip Moores, and also advised Pietersen, removed since 2013-14 Ashes collection, that they won't be regarded until following the summer season marketing campaign.

“I carry out agree with choosing one, ” Make meals stated of blocking Pietersen. They decreased to express the reason why, using some lose faith.

“This has become taking place for 15 possibly even months. We’ve got a chance to start genuinely excited, we will need to genuinely, genuinely give attention to what’s crucial that you all of us [as players]. For me, it’s in relation to foremost the crew away down the road at Lord’s. That external stuff throughout the last 10 possibly even days to weeks isn’t significant. ”

Pushed in relation to whether or not he or she may enjoy using Pietersen, Make meals stated it absolutely was immaterial. “That’s an excellent determination I’ve got a chance to help to make, or have to help to make, ” he or she stated. “That’s an excellent determination I've got to concern yourself with. ”

Even so the probability of each of them within the identical salad dressing place over and above summer time has become widely speculated in British classifieds. The majority of imagine Make meals, not ready to eliminate Pietersen for criticisms in their autobiography, banned the batsman’s recognition by means of unhealthy in order to resign while chief.

Your England and also Wales Cricket Panel, and so the mass media declare, gone while using very least worst type of ADVERTISING trouble.

Although Make meals holds swing just providing he’s chief, if final results don’t come in opposition to Completely new Zealand, subsequently especially Sydney, he or she shall be substituted by means of fresh vice-captain Dude Underlying.

“There ended up being absolutely no ultimatum, ” Make meals stated. “I can certainly reject which, My spouse and i don’t very know in which which came from. ”

They stated he or she as well as the avid gamers weren’t contacted by means of Strauss and also fresh leader Mary Harrison in connection with goes in opposition to Moores and also Pietersen. “I want to buy to be because of this, ” stated Make meals, in denoting the rely on between your crew and also management to complete their own work without interfering while using different.

Make meals appreciated Strauss punctuational away their good reasons and also eye-sight on the crew in Wednesday, and also stated he or she ended up being i'm sorry for Moores, who was simply any players’ instructor and also assisted your pet improve. Make meals known which, while chief, he’s dealing with any 4th country wide instructor, caretaker John Fabrace, the former helper.

Strauss ended up being searching for Moore’s alternative, and also Fabrace, which trained Sri Lanka in order to victories on the globe T20 and also Japan Cup a year ago, validated he or she ended up being ready to become go instructor, or proceed while helper.

Make meals validated he will available the batting using Adam Lyth, who will help to make their debut because the alternative to the upon the market Jonathan Trott, yet wouldn’t uncover the circumstances from the squad’s different uncapped player, rapidly bowler Level Solid wood.

Concerning Completely new Zealand, chief Brendon McCullum stated the overdue appearance of herself, Kane Williamson, and also new-ball bowlers Harry Southee and also Trent Boult coming from IPL work, won't always be made available as an justification whenever they don’t struck the floor running.

“Last calendar year, many of all of us gone from the IPL on the West Indies and also all of us have scored 500 within the first innings, consequently it can be a optimistic, ” McCullum stated. “We’ve however been recently participating in cricket, however been recently participating in in demand surroundings. The guys have simple game titles which in turn we’ll try to roll away, and also they’re extremely specialized about how each goes in relation to points, to ensure that won’t always be justification for us. ”

On the other hand, Southee will return to the world of merely one of their finest triumphs in Thursday with the first Check at Lord’s.

24 months before, the bowler accumulated any desired place on the Lord’s honours aboard with a fit haul of 10-108, limited to Completely new Zealand in order to endure any smashing 170-run eliminate since they had been dismissed for just 68 into their next innings en route to your 2-0 Check collection decline.

Although Southee ended up being on the profitable side in January whenever their stunning seven-wicket haul setup any smashing victory with the Black Caps in excess of England at Wellington.

Today he's aiming to appreciate additional red-ball success in exactly what is definitely the 100th Check concerning England and also Completely new Zealand.

“It’s always nice to return to your floor in which you’ve received success. And you start taking actually zero again in Thursday, ” stated Southee.

Competitors (from):

THE UK: Alastair Make meals (captain), Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Dude Underlying, Moeen Ali, Tom Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Nike jordans, Stuart Wide, John Anderson, Level Solid wood.

BRAND-NEW ZEALAND: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult Doug Bracewell, Level Craig, Martin Guptill, Shiny Holly, Mary Latham, Henry Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford, Harry Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, N. T. Watling, Kane Williamson.

Umpires: Marais Erasmus (South Africa) and also Sundaram Ravi (India).

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Social Protection Policy” being extended to Gilgit-Baltistan

Social Protection Policy” being extended to Gilgit-Baltistan

“Social Protection Policy” being extended to Gilgit-Baltistan
Gilgit: The Planning Commission of Pakistan is planning to expand its “Social Protection Policy” to the Gilgit-Baltistan region to provide social justice to the people.
This was announced in a consultative workshop on Monday which was organized by the Planning and Development Department Gilgit-Baltisan in collaboration with Planning Commission of Pakistan  and World Bank.
The workshop was attended by government officials, NGOs representatives and civil society activists where they shared their ideas and activities related to social protection.
“The workshop has been organized to document the issues of social protection in Gilgit-Baltistan so that a comprehensive policy could be developed” said Lubna Shehnaz, a social policy expert from Ministry of Planning Commission Islamabad while explaining the objectives of the workshop.
She said that the governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations should discuss their priorities and come up with their recommendations in documenting process of the policy.
“The Social Protection Policy will be develop keeping in view the social context of Gilgit-Baltistan hence for all stakeholders should play a vital role during the policy documentation process” said Secretary Planning and Development Department Gilgit-Baltisan Muhammad Jahanzeb Awan.
He said a series of consultative workshops will be organized at national and regional levels during the whole process.

Pakistan was with us when China stood isolated: Xi Jinping

Pakistan was with us when China stood isolated: Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China addresses the Parliament. — DawnNews screengrab
ISLAMABAD: President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping in a historic address to the joint session of Parliament today hailed Pakistan and China's long-standing ties, saying Islamabad stood by Beijing at a time when it stood isolated on the world stage.
Jinping began his address by extending warm greetings and best wishes to the "brotherly people of Pakistan" on behalf of the 1.3 billion people of China.
"Pakistan and China’s struggles have brought their hearts and minds together," he said, as lawmakers applauded.He said Beijing and Islamabad have been of tremendous support to one another, saying both countries have stood by each other in times of need. He also referred to the assistance offered by the two countries to one another in the events of natural disasters.
"Pakistan is the first foreign country that I visit this year and [it is my] first visit to your country, but Pakistan is not at all unfamiliar to me," he said.
"It has made tremendous efforts and endured enormous sacrifice."
He also lauded Islamabad's anti-terror efforts, saying Pakistan had shown great character and courage in the face of adversity. "Pakistan has stood on the frontline in the international fight against terrorism," said Jinping. He also announced that his country will provide assistance for the development and reconstruction of federally administered tribal areas (Fata).
President Jinping said he and his colleagues have been overwhelmed with the warm welcome extended to them by Pakistan. "During my current visit, President Mamnoon Hussain, PM Sharif and I jointly agreed to elevate China-Pakistan relations to an all-weather strategic partnership," he said.
He also announced that his country firmly supports Pakistan's commitment to uphold its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, Radio Discussing the history of Pakistan-China relations, the Chinese President said it is often termed as higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the ocean and sweeter than the honey by the Pakistani brothers while Chinese people refer to Pakistani people as good friends, good partners and good brothers.
He pointed out that Pakistan is one of the first countries which recognised China as a state and it was the first Islamic country to develop diplomatic relations with Beijing.
Xi Jinping said both countries should maintain strategic communication on regional and international issues. He said China supports Pakistan's constructive role in Afghanistan.
He said both the countries share common threats and they should stick together to confront them. He said China will enhance Pakistan's capability in fighting terrorism and meeting non-traditional threats.
Jinping arrived at the Parliament House on Tuesday where he addressed a joint session of the National Assembly (NA) and the Senate on the second and last day of his visit to Pakistan.
An address to parliamentarians has been a feature of all visits to the country by Chinese presidents and prime ministers and it was the fourth such event. However, Mr Xi was the first Chinese president to address a joint sitting of parliament.
Regarded as a historic visit, Jinping's trip to Pakistan is being viewed as one of game-changing proportions with the region’s developing geo-strategic landscape. It comes at a time when Tehran and the west have successfully managed a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme and as Islamabad treads a tricky terrain over its position on the conflict in Yemen.
Ties with New Delhi have not been able to overcome the snags that developed in recent few months and relations with the United States have been relatively lukewarm.

Pakistan's highest civil award conferred upon Chinese President

— DawnNews screengrab
President Mamnoon Hussain hosted a luncheon in honour of the Chinese President Xi Jinping which was also attended by senior military and civil leadership.
During the investiture ceremony, President Mamnoon Hussain conferred on President Jinping Pakistan's highest civil award, the Nishan -e- Pakistan.Xi oversaw agreements on pipelines, power plants and other projects as part of a massive $46 billion joint development programmme that Beijing hopes will stabilise its longtime ally's economy and extend China's influence in western Asia. Pakistan hopes that the investment plan will end a chronic energy crisis and transform it into a regional economic hub.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Spotlight: Funding, exclusivity are problems at the Lahore Music Meet

Spotlight: Funding, exclusivity are problems at the Lahore Music Meet


Plenty of musicians staged outdoor performances. — Photo: Lahore Music Meet
Plenty of musicians staged outdoor performances. — Photo: Lahore Music Meet
It was a bright sunny Saturday when I ventured into the Alhamra Art Centre kpk
I expected people to turn up in droves, driven by their immense love for music. However, even way past noon I was met with a nearly deserted venue.
There were just a bunch people walking around, while an underground band tuned its instruments in one of the lawns. This was supposed to be the ‘lunch break’ between panel discussions, but the sessions had run overtime.
It turned out the event started at least half an hour after its scheduled time. But once they began, the sessions went on smoothly and wrapped up in the one hour they were allotted. Despite this hitch, founders Noor Habib and Natasha Noorani were optimistic and said the event had exceeded their expectat

What was LMM all about?

The Lahore Music Meet was a one-of-its-kind event meant to initiate dialogue and discourse among stakeholders on the problems the music industry (if it can be called that) faced and how they could be solved.
Following some limited social media promotion, those looking forward to it were curious to find out what it had in store for them.
Questions on my mind were: what topics will be discussed? Who all will perform? Will it also turn out to be an ‘elitist’ gathering like the litfests?
First and foremost, the young team of founders behind LMM should be commended for coming up with this idea and then executing it at this scale with barely any funding.
That it fell short of the expectations of a lot of visitors is another story, but at this age (all four founders are in their early 20s) doing something long overdue and this big is definitely laudable.
“I did not expect it to unfold like this. People are here and its so vibrant; the response generally has been incredible.The spirit of the event was to get people together and share their stories and that’s happened,” co-founder Noor said.
Natasha added, “It makes us really happy when people who’ve never met are coming together, sharing ideas, and some are actually contemplating collaborating on projects.”

The hitch: money, money, money

Low attendance could be attributed to a relative lack of advertising.
The event was just promoted on social media, with no prior media coverage. This, according to the organisers, was due to a lack of funds.
Attendees could lounge on takhts between sessions.
Attendees could lounge on takhts between sessions.
“That’s fine because the people who are attending are relevant and are as motivated as we are. The idea was to have everyone onboard who wants to make a difference and create a fraternity. I think we’ve taken a step towards that,” Natasha said.
She added that they did not have a big budget and since it was their first time organising the meet no one trusted them with the money as they were young, right out of or in college.
“We reached out to a lot of people, but the main thing was funding. You have to pay the artists who’re performing or giving workshops. We spent on that and on making sure the sound was impeccable. Advertising costs money, which we did not have a lot of,” she said.

The big question: was the music meet inclusive enough?

The organisers had tried to make the programme as inclusive and interesting as possible, incorporating discussions on many kinds of music, problems facing the local industry, musicians sharing their experience with aspiring individuals, workshops and more.
This was a job pretty well done; a session on classical music was scheduled to run side by side with a session on 'music of resistance'.

Music sharing site Patari sets up a stall.
Music sharing site Patari sets up a stall.
But Uzair Sultan, attending LMM with his family and whose children had their own music band, was a little critical.
“This event should have helped develop music sense in people, but since it was only advertised on social media, only a certain type of person is here. They should have got musicians from the Walled City where Taxali Gate has its own music. This isn’t mainstream; there are no locals here. They should have engaged the general public; Lahore has so many music lovers. Where were Abida Perveen, Tina Sani?” he said.
Some of the participating musicians lauded the idea behind LMM and congratulated the founders for coming up with an initiative to encourage dialogue on music.
“It’s a great initiative. The invited panelists were all experts in their fields and this music fest will grow like the literature fests,” said Arieb Azhar.
Underground musician Umar Aziz appreciated how dialogue on music has been initiated and problems they faced surrounding royalties, copyright, management and piracy had all come to the fore. “Musicians have delivered talks and taught people. I just feel more musicians should have been invited,” he added.
Piracy was one of the issues discussed at LMM.
Piracy was one of the issues discussed at LMM.
Master sitar player Rakae Jamil said the event was a positive step in creating a better environment for music in Pakistan and that more of such events were needed to cultivate in the audience music sense.
“It’s a good effort for a first try. A bit more organisation could have helped, yet it’s amazing. The good thing is it covered all kinds of music from rock, pop, classical to metal and gets together people from the music industry and all genres of music,” he said — and that sums up the meet pretty well as a whole.

Iran, Turkey agree on the need to stop Yemen war: Rouhani

Iran, Turkey agree on the need to stop Yemen war: Rouhani

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. -AFP

TEHRAN: Turkey and Iran agreed on the need for a political solution to Yemen's war, which has raised tensions between them, Iran's president said Tuesday after talks with his visiting Turkish counterpart.
The two countries are at odds over Yemen. Ankara has accused Tehran of backing Huthi rebels there and, in turn, being charged with fuelling tensions in the region.
“We talked about Iraq, Syria, Palestine... We had a long discussion about Yemen. We both think war and bloodshed must stop in this area immediately and a complete ceasefire must be established and the strikes must stop” in Yemen, Iran's Hassan Rouhani said during a joint press conference broadcast by state television.
Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan made no remarks about Yemen, but talked at length about bilateral relations with Iran.
Iran, which supports the Huthi rebels in Yemen, has condemned air strikes by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supported by Turkey.
Rouhani said he hoped the two countries, “with the help of other countries in the region, help there to be peace, stability, a broader government and dialogue” between Yemenis.
Know more: Pakistan, Turkey to work for peaceful resolution of Yemen crisis
“We agree on the fact that instability, insecurity and war must cease throughout the region,” he said. Erdogan, a conservative Islamist, denounced at the end of March what he called Iran's will for “domination” in Yemen, calling on Tehran to “withdraw all its forces from Yemen, Syria and Iraq. “Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif reacted by accusing Ankara of fuelling instability in the Middle East.
Iranian newspapers and conservatives for their part denounced Erdogan's “insult” and called for his visit to be cancelled.
Turkey and Iran are also opposed on Syria, with Tehran the main regional ally of President Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting the rebellion.
Several ministers accompanied Erdogan, who is also expected to meet Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his one-day visit.
Despite the tensions, the neighbouring countries want to strengthen trade to 30 billion dollars (28 billion euros) in 2015.
Erdogan pointed out that the balance of trade was unfavourable to Turkey, since “Iran exports $10 billion and imports only $4 billion in Turkish products. “He also expressed hope for trades “in the currencies of the two countries “and not in dollars or euros so they are not affected by fluctuations of foreign currencies. And he asked for a reduction in the price of gas purchased from Iran.
“The gas we buy from Iran is the most expensive. If the price drops we can buy more,” Erdogan said. “That's what a friendly country is. “He also called for expanding air links to medium-sized cities in Iran, and for an increase in electricity imports, as is already the case for several Turkish provinces.
During the visit, eight documents, particularly in the areas of transport, customs, industry and health were also signed.

 
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