“Hum Zinda Qaum Hain” staged at Taxila

 

In connection with Pakistan Day celebrations, an informative and constructive play “Hum Zinda Qaum Hain” was staged by Rawalpindi Arts Council here at community centre Taxila on Sunday. The main theme of “Hum Zinda Qaum Hain” was to prove that Pakistanis are brave nation and ready to face any difficult situation. A large number of people from twin cities watched the play and applauded the efforts of Rawalpindi Arts Council. The play was written and directed by senior artist Anjum Malik. Sapna Shah, Saleem Afandi, Salman Sunny, Hameed Baber and Dildar Khan were in the leading role of the drama. Tehsil Municipal Officer Qammar Zeeshan while addressing at the occasion said that the drama “Hum Zinda Qaum Hain” aimed to provide neat and clean entertainment to the people of Taxila and Wah Cantt along with constructive message.

Unruly trucks, dumpers turned roads in to “death traps” in Taxila

The unruly trucks and dumpers ruthlessly run by mostly Afghan drivers has made the on GT road as death traps as these vehicle has virtually turned in to death machines for commuters especially for motorcyclists as National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) have failed to check their violations.

According to official data of National highway and motorway Police (NHWMP) obtained by NNP, the reckless drivers of dumpers and trucks were the main offenders while the motorcyclists were major victims making the GT road as “road to death to the motorcyclist” due to reckless and over speeding of the drivers who are mostly Afghans. According to official data, as many as 21 fatal road incidents registered with Police from January to July this year. In these incidents, trucks and dumpers were involved in as many as 11 cases. The official data reveals that 18 people have lost their lives and 12 were injured in these incidents in which 13 were motorcycle drivers. Police sources said that many cases have not reported to police as both the parties have involve in reconciliation to settle the issue out from court of law. Interestingly, despite having two speed cameras, National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) Taxila circle have no data in which the unruly dumper and truck drivers were taken to stock for over speeding on GT road, what the experts attributes the main reason behind the fatal incidents which claimed dozens of lives on GT road in Taxila every year.

According to official data of district police, 11 non fatal and 17 fatal accidents registered with police in which 90 percent of cases dumpers were involved. “It is big achievement of the police that in 10 out of 11 non fatal incidents and 8 out of 15 fatal incidents, the drivers involved in recklessly driving in killing spree were arrested and send behind bars”. Said sub divisional police officer Taxila/ Wah circle DSP Sajid Gondal while commenting on the alarming increase in road incidents in area.

Sources in the police said most of the fatal and non-fatal accidents were not registered as both the victims and the accused parties decided not to register cases. It has also been observed that speeding, poor road engineering and violation of traffic rules have become common on the roads. There are a sufficient number of dumpers in the city which also cause accidents. According to the data of the local police and the NHMP, in most of the fatal incidents dumpers and tucks mostly carrying stone crush from Taxila and sand from Hassanabdal were involved which claimed many lives. The dumper drivers, mostly Afghan nationals, are uneducated and it is not known if they have driving licences. It has also been learnt that most of the dumper drivers are drug addicts and under the influence of charas resort to rush and haphazard driving. Besides, traffic authorities have also failed to ensure the implementation of rules and regulations on the roads. Due to the absence of monitoring by the government officials, owners do not properly maintain their vehicles. The drivers also do not follow traffic rules most of the time. Speeding, overtaking on narrow roads and violation of other traffic rules has become common. There are a large number of rickshaws in the city which are driven by under aged boys especially Afghan nationals who have no driving sense or knowledge of the traffic system. Some drivers are also seen driving with their headlights on high beam at night, endangering the lives of people travelling with them as well as those coming from the opposite direction.

 

“We have to cover 5 trips a day from Burhan to Rawalpindi, Margalla to Rawalpindi or Sang Jani Cement plat to Rawalpindi at every cost per day”. Said a driver Shah Zaman, puffing a chars filled cigrate while sitting a truck stand in Margalla. He said that early completion of these trips mean early going to home and every dumper and truck driver run their heavy vehicles to  complete his task.

Mewa Khan, another dumper driver while talking to this reporter has said that sitting on 8 feet height on a heavy vehicle with mighty iron and steel body make you supreme and motorcyclist  are seems straw for us which make them valueless thing on road so they become victim of heavy vehicles.

Rehana Masood, a student of transport engineering at University of engineering and technology Taxila while commenting on the issue has said that poor road engineering cause incidents as different u turns are highest example of poor road engineering. He said that every year dozens of people lost their lives and limbs at poorly established U turns on GT road in Taxila section but the national highway authority and other departments are looking the whole affair as idle spectators. She said that U turn near police station near Wahdat Colony, other at Timber market and third at Jameelabad become death trap for motorists especially dozen of motorcyclist crushed there but authorities tuned their back to the issue.

Asim Meer, who is running an NGO to monitor different aspects of road accidents, said: “The trend of underage driving is alarming and there is a dire need to regulate licensing.” Such an initiative, he said, was the only practical solution to minimise the risks posed by underage riding as parents often have no knowledge of what their children were actually doing on the road and the youth involved in such activities seemed to have a defiant attitude.” The road traffic accident rate is frightening, the number of vehicles is increasing and the roads are becoming narrow due to encroachments and heavy traffic, he added. He said the Word Health Organisation (WHO)’s most recent global burden of disease study reported road traffic accidents as one of the fastest-growing “epidemics” in the south-east Asian region. Most of the world’s road fatalities occur in low-and middle-income countries, which have fewer registered vehicles, according to the WHO.

“We make every possible effort to tame the alarming increase of fatal incidents and in this connection make all out efforts from preventive matters to punishment to the violators.” Said DSP Altaf Awan, Chief Patrolling officer of National highway and motorway Police Taxila beat. He said that in maximum road incident cases motorcyclists were found guilty of offense or error which led to claim their lives. He said that January to July this year 30345 drivers were challaned for different offenses on GT road in the circle.  He said that as many as 5760 motorcycles were impounded from January to July this year as their riders were not wearing helmets. He said that as per official record maintained after taking interview from the witnesses, in 5 of 13 cases of fatal incidents in which motorcyclist lost their lives the reason behind was their own negligence.

The 90 percent of the fatal as well as normal cases reported at the urban areas of the circle. He said. Clarifying the issue, he said that due to narrow roads and massive population, the road usurer become valuable of the incidents. Massive rush of pedestrians crossing road in haphazard manners, massive rush of rickshaws and other slow moving traffic and non availability of service lane has leads to increase of road incidents ratio in this circle. He said that in other urban areas of GT road like Gujjar Khan, Dena, Sohawa, the number of road incidents in urban areas of GT road is less due to availability of service road and if the same has established from Taxila chowk to bearer number 3, the road incidents ratio would be minimized in to large contest.

Passion of patriotism by collecting all notes, coins

When the nation celebrating its 70th Independence Day on Sunday, Malik Tahir Sulemen has open the door of his house in Dhabian locality adjacent to Taxila Museum to public especially school children, tourists, art lovers as well as professional and immature philatelists (stamp collectors) and numismatists (coin and banknote collectors) to show his treasure of all currency notes and coins issued since 1947 to show his passion of patriotism and love to country.

People gathered to see his largest private collection of coins and notes issued each and every one issued from George VI King Emporer and Rs 500 rupees notes issued in year 1955 and disbanded in 1965 on the pretext as this high domination notes was became tool of money laundering an, corruption.  And special currency note issued in 1997 in connection to 50 th independence day celebrations.

Mr Suleman started collecting coins when he was 10. He hasn’t stopped since. “I collect coins because the hobby informs me about history, inflation, government, political regimes, economies and religion,” he revealed. “You can learn about how civilizations begin, expand, become empires and decline . . . It’s been the hobby of a lifetime.” He added.  “ I have passionate love with  my country and to prove my love with my  own way I have started  collecting currency notes and coins and toady he has all notes and coins issued by government”,  he said with a fair degree of pride.

Talking to this reporter he said that coins are like “history in your hands. Coins in ancient times were like a newspaper, telling about who was in power, and whether the ruler was peaceful or a warmonger based on the design symbolism. For example, arrows (on coins) indicated war, while olive branches were a sign of a desire for peace.” He further added that every coin ever stamped has a fascinating story to tell about people, places and events. He said that collecting coins, currency notes and displaying them in special coin-holder books can be a very informative and educational hobby. One can learn a lot about significant places, historical events, wildlife, sports activities, culture, traditions and famous people of a country by looking at its stamps. He added that after a close inspection of a banknote, seeing all the richness of information a currency banknote provides. “I think its really worth to collect old notes and coins as it feels great to have a proof of country’s history in my hand rather than reading in history text books or seeing in the movie”. He said that from the 15th century onwards, coin collecting became a hobby of kings and nobles, who employed agents to scour Europe and Asia for coins of beauty. Numismatic research was actively encouraged by aristocratic families and a major trade in coins began, fuelled by waves of excavations of ancient sites but I have own motivation and aim- showing my love to country.

IMG_5070Revealing the interesting history of Pakistani notes, he said that initially, Indian coins and currency notes were used by Pakistan, simply over-stamped with “Government of Pakistan. These notes have image of George VI King Emporer on front side and printed by Reserve Bank of India. Examples of these notes are given below. He said that when Pakistan came in to existence on 14 August 1947, it had no currency notes or coins of its own, nor a central bank or mint to print paper currency or mint coins. In order to cope up with the requirement of the new country, the Governor General of undivided India issued the Pakistan (Monetary System and Reserve Bank) Order, 1947 on 13 August 1947, the day before partition. He said that under this order, the Reserve Bank of India was to act as the common currency authority for India and Pakistan until 30 September 1948, allowing a cushion period of almost a year for the newly born state to issue its own currency. As an interim arrangement, the currency notes and coins issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India were to be the legal tender in Pakistan.  He said that it was year 1955 that currency notes with the picture of Father of the nation Quaid e Azam was starts printing. He said that notes issued pre-1971 was in Urdu, Bengali and English but after separation of Bengladesh, Pakistani Rupee has only Urdu and English text.

Abdul Nasir, curator Taxila Museum while talking to this reporter has said that coins of a country can teach us many things about its history, politics, and society.  An educationist Prof Asif Mehmood Malik, while viewing the currency and coin-holder books of Suleman said that paper money teaches you arts, geography, history, foreign languages even politics. He added that once you assemble, diversify and maintain your world currency banknote collection, you kind of become a stockholder of the entire world’s economy.

AG Lone, a senior archaeologist at Federal department of archaeology and Museums after viewing the rich coins and currency notes treasurer has termed it a great asset and a unique way of showing love and passion to the country. He said that he has all the notes and coins issued since 1947 to date which is a laudable contribution to preserve the economic development of country.  Speaking about collections of notes and coins, he said collecting rare coins is a hobby that has been shared by kings, famous actors, writers, sports heroes and people from all walks of life since the time of King Midas 2700 years ago.  He said that coin collecting is one of the oldest hobbies on record. Emperor Augustus liked to give old coins to his friends and many coins of the late Roman period were based on coin designs from years before, which suggests that coins were stored as a matter of policy. Byzantine coin designs were similarly full of visual references to coins circulated centuries earlier. He said that Italian poet and thinker Petrarch collected coins on his travels, while at least two United States Presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams, had a keen personal and professional interest in coin collecting. Adams, who served as President from 1825 to 1829, not only collected but studied coins and used his knowledge to help guide the development of early American currency.

“Only in late 1950’s paper money collecting became more of a global phenomenon. By 1920’s paper money began to be issued by significantly more countries around the world and in early 1960’s practically the whole world was using paper money for buy or sell transactions between people, businesses etc”. Said Ejaz Ahmed a reputed numismatist of Islamabad.

“It is very interesting and unique collection which is even not available in any museum of the entire region as it go through us with the rich history of the country”, Said Qurat Ul Ain, a third year student at local college. She said that Although I am student of graduation but even I do not read or taught in school that the currency notes with Quaid e Azam picture was starts publishing in 1955- even 8 years after independence.

Noman Ilyas, a stundet of II nd year at local college while viewing the collection has said that “I have not seen or know about commentary coins and I have glad to see the four different coins issued  to mark special occasion”.  He said that I have learnt first time  I come to know that Pakistan has started printing his own currency notes in 1948 and with pictures of Quaid in 1955 while our first secretary finance was a British Sir Victor”.  He said that this is blessing for students and  youth that Mr Suleman has arranged this exhibition to get through the history of country for which mostly youth are ignorant.

“This is mini museum which preserve hundreds of coins and currency notes which open a window to past to the youth which know little about own history” said Eman Shahid, an intermediate class student of local college. “ I glad to see the first coin issue by Pakistani mint and currency notes with three different languages ie Urdu, Bengali and English which was in use”.

It may be mention here that in this day and age where every second day a new tool of communication dazzles the whole world, people like Mr Suleman may remain unsung hero.