Pakistan football team striker Shahlyla Baloch dies in Karachi car crash

Pakistan women’s football team striker Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch died in a car crash in Karachi late Wednesday night.

Baloch’s body will be taken to Kalat for burial.

Her sister Raheela told Dawn that the accident occurred in Defence phase 8 when the car struck against a pole.

Senior Superintendent Police (SP) South Saqib Iqbal Memon told Dawn that the accident occurred late Wednesday night.

Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch playing football.—Image Courtesy: Facebook page.
Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch playing football.—Image Courtesy: Facebook page.

He said, “Fadeian Baloch was coming from ‘Do Darya’ towards Village in his Toyota Corolla car with his cousin Shahlyla Baloch. On the way, when they reached the turning near the Emaar building, he lost control and the car hit the footpath and then against a barrier.”

He added that Shahlyla died in the accident and a legal action is being taken.

Born in 1996, Baloch was also a striker on the Balochistan women’s football team. Her sister Raheela Zarmain is associated with the football team as a manager. Their mother, Senator Rubina Irfan, has been the chairperson of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Women’s Wing. Her father has also been a provincial minister.

Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch playing football.—Image Courtesy: Facebook page.
Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch playing football.—Image Courtesy: Facebook page.

In a 2014 interview with Dawn, Baloch said, “I think we are criticised mainly because our mother is in the federation. There are other sister duos in the national team as well but they are never riled as we are.”

She was responding to accusations of favouritism after the sisters were blamed for Pakistan’s group stage exit at the SAFF Women’s Championship.

Supporters say Baloch was one of the most active members of the team and recall her as an individual who helped women’s football gain momentum in Pakistan.

Both sisters reached a significant level of recognition in the country.

Their mother, who led the founding of the team, has said she involved her daughters to inspire other parents.

Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch.—Facebook page
Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch.—Facebook page

Baloch started playing football when she was 7 years old and had received the FIFA’s youngest players award. In an interview with a youth magazine, she said she was also awarded the best player of Pakistan thrice 2009, 2011 and 2013 and that she was inspired by Maradona and Messi.

Tariq Lutfi, her coach, in a condolence message said that Shahlyla was the best female football player Pakistan has ever produced. Shahlyla’s death was a great loss to Pakistan women’s football, he said.


Taxila Museum to have new art gallery

A new gallery adjacent to Taxila Museum would soon be opened to public as officials of the Punjab archaeology department and museums have started with decorations.

The new gallery was constructed with an estimated cost of Rs5.5 million in 2000 but since then it has been lying closed because of litigation the contractor went into as the department had forfeited his security money.

Deputy Director Department of archaeology Mohammad Irshad Khan while talking to Dawn said since the building was not constructed as per the specifications the department and the contractor agreed to at the time of signing the contract, the amount was withheld.

This year, a local court gave its decision in favour of the Punjab archaeology department, paving the way for opening of the new gallery to the public, the deputy director said.

He said the employees of the department were putting showcases in place and once they were installed the process of placing antiques would start.

He said the placement of the right antique at right place was a skill and time consuming and sensitive job.

Curator Taxila Museum Mohammad Nasir Khan told Dawn that as many as 18 showcases had been established in new gallery where around 400 antiques would be put on display.

He said that among these showcases stucco and stone antiques would be displayed, while in other show cases Buddha heads, Buddha life stories and metal objects especially of bronze would be put on display.

He said that the selected artifacts were discovered from various Buddhist sites located in Taxila including Julian, Jinna Wali Dehri, Mohra Maradu, Bhir Mound, Sirkap and Badalpur.

He said that some of the original antiques confiscated by Customs authorities while being smuggled out of the country would also be put on display in these galleries as these were the master pieces of world famous Gandhara art.

These antiques would be first major addition to the Taxila Museum since 1928.

The gallery would formally be inaugurated and opened to general public as soon as the process of placement of antiques is completed, the Taxila Museum curator said.

Taxila’s medical waste not being properly disposed

TAXILA: Hospitals in Taxila are disposing of waste in public spaces, drains and various commercial and residential areas in Taxila, posing a risk to the health of residents as well as to the environment while the authorities look the other way.

Hospitals, maternity homes, private clinics and dental practices are throwing away medical waste including disposable syringes, bags for intra-venous fluids and other items used during treatment in the open. The waste can also be seen dumped along the sides of roads including GT Road, Faisal Shaheed Road, HMC Road and Railway Road.

The waste is either picked up by recyclers or by children looking for something to play with.

President of a local NGO, Munaza Peerzada said that the waste is not disposed of properly is putting resident’s health at risk. She said sharp instruments in the waste, including syringes and needles, can lead to the spread of diseases including Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV and AIDS.

Improper disposal poses health risk for locals, may lead to spread of communicable diseases

She said properly disposing of medical waste is all the more important because of the increasing quantity of such waste as well as because of the spread of communicable diseases.

None of the clinics and hospitals in the city and rural areas have proper arrangements for properly dumping medical waste. Used syringes are also resold at some of the stores. So far, not a single owner of a private hospital or an officer of concerned state-run health institutions has been penalised for negligence when dumping waste.

Asim Meer, who heads another NGO, said that according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), hospital waste is to be sorted into different categories which are no risk waste, sharps, hazardous waste- biological waste, plastic bags and containers- and specific hazardous waste including pharmaceutical waste or heavy metals. These are to be dumped in colour coded bags.

He said 80pc of Hepatitis B cases are caused by the improper disposal of hospital waste.

A junkyard owner, Hazrat Gul said the hospital waste is collected by people looking to sell it on and that because they are good quality, waste from hospitals usually sell for better rates.

Another junkyard owner said that a local manufacturing unit in Mazzar Colony is one of the largest purchaser of syringes and empty IV bags from which toys and eating utensils are manufactured.

When asked Tehsil Municipal Officer Qammar Zeeshan said the municipal administration is responsible for collecting general waste and that the health department was responsible for collecting medical waste. He said the health department was to ensure the implementation of Hospital Waste Management Rules 2005 and the disposal of the waste according to the said rules.

The Deputy District Officer Health Dr Sarfaraz Khan, on the other hand, said private clinics and hospitals were responsible for the proper disposal of their waste.

Drugs Inspector Malik Arshad said that because of a lack of proper legislation, government departments do not take strict action against offenders who put the health and lives of people and the environment at risk. He added that local hospitals will be warned of action if they did not properly dispose of their waste.

India were prejudiced hosts, accuses Israr

TAXILA: Pakistani karateka Israr-ul-Haq has accused India of being prejudiced hosts during the third South Asian Karate Championship in New Delhi last month.

Speaking to reporters upon his return to the country from India, where he won three silver medals and one bronze during the championship, Israr wasn’t too impressed by the reception received by the Pakistan team.

“They made the [Talkatora Indoor] stadium a battlefield,” he said as Pakistan ended in third place behind hosts India and Sri Lanka with three gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals.

“Their officials gave decisions against us,” added Israr, who clinched silver medals in team kata, team kumite and individual kata while taking bronze in the -84kg category.

“They lacked sportsmanship. While we welcome Indians with open arms, there was no hospitality offered to us.

“We [Pakistan] were not able to take part in the second editions of the event [two years ago] since we were not issued Indian visas despite being defending champions.

“This time around, the Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) applied for visas of 14 male and 12 female players but Indian Embassy issued visas to just six male and six female players.

“Despite that, we managed to grab 19 medals. Considering that, if our whole contingent would’ve been there we would’ve certainly captured the overall title.”

Satire: Diary of Farooq Sattar

Dear Diary…

Someone has been giving me missed calls all day like an angry wife, but I haven’t picked up the phone. In fact, I have unplugged the landline at home as well. This long distance relationship is over. MQM is not a multinational company and, from now on, will be operated from Karachi.

Bhai, what Bhai? I have no Bhai. I am an only child.

No more protection money; businesses can pay us a nominal fee for not protecting them, if they want. No more shutter down; we can burn tyres while shops remain open. We don’t want to leave Pakistan anymore; we just want to leave Sindh. MQM will continue to represent the Muhajir community of Karachi, just with a lot less singing.

We have categorically said to all sector and unit incharges that there must not be anymore targeted killings. Yes, if someone gets killed ‘accidentally‘, that is fine — but no more targeting.

We sacked four major Rabita Committee members because we feel so many people are not needed now that the MQM leadership has moved from London to a rangers’ internment camp. We will make a new Rabita Committee to Skype with Waseem Akhtar in jail, where Waseem Bhai says the facilities are even better than the mayor’s office.

“For one, the fans here work,” he wrote to me. “There are no cabinets full of files from the 1960s. In fact, there are no files at all; they’re not allowed under the conditions of my detention.”

The lack of paperwork means he can get work done quicker. “We must free Karachi from corruption and crime,” he writes, rattling his handcuffs.

If Altaf Hussain doesn’t like the new direction the party’s taking, he can leave a comment on our Facebook page.

I am the new Quaid. My duties include press conferences, cooking and cleaning. We are also going to put Nine Zero on rent and move out. There was a raid being conducted everyday; we should at least keep the authorities guessing.

I have held long consultations with Thakur and I agree when he says that the “minus-one formula” is better than 10 years in prison.

Thakur didn’t arrest me; he just took me into custody to ask some questions about other suspects. Actually, he didn’t even bring me to the Rangers Headquarters. I insisted on going in my own car, so basically I arrested myself.

For the longest time, we were blind. But Thakur opened my eyes — and taped them to my forehead and hung a floodlight right above them. I see the truth now, and sometimes I see flying horses and the fairies of Koh-e-Qaf.

During my interrogation, I was informed that I have been funding terrorism. I told them, sir, I can’t even fund the Karachi Municipal Corporation to pick up trash. How can I fund terrorism?

Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan has done nothing wrong either and I’m sure he will convince the rangers of that, just like I did. What they have done with him is wrong. SSP Rao Anwar is rightly suspended. Izhar has never hurt a fly, and hurting flies isn’t a crime anyway.

You can keep our missing workers, just as long as more leaders don’t go missing. A party rests on leadership, not workers.

We obviously feel a bit victimised because the rangers’ operation is only targeting organised crime. I am so scared of the rangers now that I’ve even stopped eating kernel rice.

Not only is MQM reformed, we also invite the rangers to contest the next elections as well, and Thakur to stand from an MQM seat reserved for paramilitary forces. We believe in democracy and right now there are more paramilitary forces in Karachi than civilians, so they deserve representation, too.

I injured my left arm while making tea, it had nothing to do with my arrest. The prime minister called inquiring about my health. I said I’m okay, just suffering from separation anxiety. I ended up in the hospital because the alternative was jail — I learned this from the great leader, Musharraf.

Our oath does still include Altaf, but that’s only because we haven’t hired any new oath writers yet. We are still looking for the best candidates. Maybe Arif Alvi.

It is difficult to say whether we will resign from assemblies. We have to wait to see what London tells us to decide by ourselves.

We will not join Pak Sarzameen Party. This Mustafa Kamal speaks against Altaf now; back then he used to consider him his spiritual father. When Altaf kissed Kamal’s forehead once, he didn’t wash his face for a month.

Got another phone call today, asking if I was the bookmaker Farooq Satta. I want to change my number now, but Thakur says it’s not allowed in case they have to pick me up again.

Yours brotherly,

Farooq Bhai

This article was originally published in the Herald’s October 2016 issue. To read more subscribeto the Herald in print.