Nov 232017
Iran allows women weightlifters to compete internationally

FileWomen weightlifters from Iran will be allowed to compete internationally for the first time, the president of the country’s weightlifting federation said on Thursday.In a sign of changing attitudes, Saudi Arabia also confirmed the setting up of a women’s programme, opening the way to the country also fielding a national women’s team six years after the sport’s governing body allowed the wearing of the hijab, in competition.Iran has one of the world’s strongest weightlifting cultures and its men have won seven Olympic gold medals this century.Ali Moradi, president of the Iranian Weightlifting Federation, said, ”We have established the Iran Weightlifting Federation Women’s Committee and we have talented female athletes.“They have high capacity like men athletes, and I hope that, wearing special clothes for Muslim athletes, they will be able to take part in international championships in the near future.”Attila Adamfi, director general of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), said: “This is good news, and it’s very significant in Iran, where weightlifting is at the highest level for men, and zero level for women.”Mohammed Alharbi, president of the Saudi Arabia Weightlifting Federation, also confirmed that a new women’s programme had been set up.Iran and Saudi Arabia are the biggest Islamic nations yet to compete in female weightlifting.Both countries field men’s teams at the IWF World Championships in Anaheim, California, starting next week, and are expected to announce more details there.Moradi has invited the United States to Iran for the Fajr Cup, an international invitation competition for men, in Ahvaz in March. [Read More…]

Nov 062017

To improve all mechanism to avoid cross-border terror activities, Pakistan and Iran have agreed to deny exploitation of their borders by terrorists, a statement issued by the military’s media wing said. The development came during the meeting of army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa with Iranian civil-military leadership in Tehran on Monday. COAS visiting Iran.Meets Iranian Mil and Civ leadership including Iranian CGS, Foreign Minister & the President.(1/3) — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) November 6, 2017 “The Pak-Iran border is the border of peace and friendship,” Gen Qamar was cited by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor as saying. The chief of army staff (COAS), who is on a three-day official visit to Iran, held meetings with President Hassan Rowhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Presidential Palace. Gen Qamar also met Chief of General Staff (CGS) Maj-Gen Muhammad Bagheri at General Staff Headquarters where he was presented guard of honour. The COAS laid floral wreath at Martyrs Monument. Iranian leadership acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices, contributions & positive role towards peace(2/3) — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) November 6, 2017 “Pakistan and Iran are two brotherly neighbors with shared history, culture and religion, Gen Qamar said, adding that both armies also have history of defence collaboration and cooperation which has great mutually benefiting potential for its enhancement. Iranian leadership thanked the army chief for his visit and acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices and achievements in war against terror, contributions towards regional peace and the important [Read More…]

Oct 042017
Iran-Funded Center a Lifeline for Jakarta’s Marginalized Shia Minority

JAKARTA, INDONESIA The first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram, is not a very big deal for most Indonesians, outside of New Year’s Day. But every night of Muharram since it started on Sept. 21, hundreds of Shia Muslims have come together at a tile-clad building in South Jakarta to ceremonially mourn the death of the prophet Muhammad’s grandson.They listen to a live or streaming sermon in Bahasa Indonesia or Farsi and pray, often tearfully.The mourning rites of Muharram are an important Shia tradition, but as Indonesia’s Shia minorities face growing intolerance, they have steadily lowered their profile. So this month’s nightly gatherings at the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC), which was built in 2002 with funding from Iran, are among the largest sites of Shia activity in the whole country.Over 99 percent of Indonesian Muslims belong to the Sunni denomination, but that belies Shia cultural influence in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. (Sunni and Shia are the two major Muslim denominations, which diverged early in Islamic history over a debate on the rightful successors to the prophet.)Shia Islam may have been the first strain to reach Indonesia, through Arab traders who reached Aceh around the 12th century, and Shia traditions like veneration of the dead and visiting shrines are still observed in pockets across Indonesia, even by Sunnis.But most of Indonesia’s roughly one million Shia are concentrated in the Jakarta metro area, and the ICC is a nexus of their community.Iranian Outpost in IndonesiaICC, clad in blue and white ceramic [Read More…]

Sep 282017
Buy it if you can

The price of tomato in wholesale markets was reduced to Rs100 per kilogram, but retailers are still selling tomatoes for Rs150-200 per kilogram. According to the relevant authorities, customers will soon notice a decline in the price of tomatoes since the government has imported tomatoes in large quantities from India and Iran. However, consumers can only get benefit of this decline in the price when retailers also sell tomatoes at low prices. The relevant authorities must take remedial measures to keep a check on retailers. Mohammad Shumayil (Karachi) Click for detailed story

Sep 242017
More airlines to fly with

Airports in Pakistan look deserted and dull in the absence of many airlines from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Despite being a nation of over 200 million, the country only has a handful of foreign airlines, mainly from the Middle East, which are offering services to Pakistanis. On the contrary, our eastern neighbour India is served by top airlines from every corner of the globe. Similarly, our neighbour Iran is also wooing world class airlines to start their services in the country. Unfortunately we are lagging behind and not promoting ourselves in a better way. It is time we invested in the infrastructure and up gradation of airports in the country so that they come at par with the airports of developed countries. I do hope that with passage of time different top foreign airlines would choose Pakistan as a destination of choice. Raashid Mohsin (Islamabad) Click for detailed story

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