Islamabad photo exhibition pans the camera on Pakistan-Saudi ties

Senate chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, center, along with Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, inaugurated an exhibition organized by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: PID)
Updated 13 February 2019
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Islamabad photo exhibition pans the camera on Pakistan-Saudi ties

  • Event was inaugurated by Senate chairman ahead of Saudi crown prince’s visit
  • Islamabad and Riyadh enjoy a multi-faceted and deep-rooted cooperation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Senate chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani on Tuesday inaugurated a photography exhibition which throws light on the historic relations between Islamabad and Riyadh, a statement released by his office said.
The exhibition, organized by the Saudi embassy in Islamabad, seeks to highlight their longstanding bilateral ties. 
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, and leader of the house in the Senate, Senator Shibli Faraz, were also present on the occasion. 
The exhibition highlighted different development projects undertaken by Saudi Arabia in Pakistan. 
While talking to reporters after the ceremony, Sanjrani said that the Pak-Saudi ties are ‘deep-rooted’ and that the two countries will continue to work for the betterment of Muslims around the world. He also lauded the Kingdom for investing heavily in Pakistan, adding that the move would open new doors for employment opportunities.
The exhibition was inaugurated just days ahead of a scheduled visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman who is set to arrive in Islamabad over the weekend.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sanjrani also held a meeting with ex-army chief General Raheel Sharif who is the top commander of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC).
A statement released by his office quoted him as saying that “the coalition is not against any state, nation or a particular sect. However, it aims to counter-terrorism and eliminate it by further augmenting the ongoing efforts.”
“Terrorism has no place in any religion or belief and peaceful coexistence is the only way forward to expedite the pace for regional development and making the world a better place to live,” it added.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy multi-faceted cooperation in diverse fields which has been cemented by recent efforts to enhance bilateral ties.


In Peshawar prison, women inmates share food and prayers in Ramadan

Updated 27 May 2019
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In Peshawar prison, women inmates share food and prayers in Ramadan

PESHAWAR: Located next to iconic landmarks like the Provincial Assembly and the High Court, the central prison in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar is a handsome old building bursting at the seams with over 1,800 prisoners. 38 of them are women.

The existing building was established in 1854 with an occupancy limit of 425 prisoners, but with the influx of thousands of inmates, a new block is now under construction and slated for completion by the end of the year. 

Inside the prison kitchens, convicted prisoners make round traditional bread and prepare Iftar meals for other inmates. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

The prison department provides basic facilities and food to inmates still under trial and to those convicted in the male, female and juvenile sections. During the month of Ramadan, these facilities extend to include special meals at Iftar, like sweet rice, chicken and potatoes served with a side of milky hot tea. 

A female inmate cooks chicken gravy for herself and other prisoners in the prison barracks before Iftar. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

“We get good food in this month (of Ramadan) and are free to offer our prayers and recite the Holy Quran at any time,” said Shahida, an inmate who has been in the prison for five years but was convicted for murder late last year. 

Acting superintendent of the prison releases prisoners after the court orders arrive. The inmates receive the good news right before Iftar time in Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

The large hall of the women’s section has a scattering of beds, but most inmates sleep, eat and pray on quilts spread out on the floor. 

A police officer stands guard outside the entrance to the women’s section in Peshawar’s central jail. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

"Some of the women get sick often,” said Iffat Shaheen, assistant superintendent of the women’s prison section. “Right now we have two pregnancy cases and one case of HIV AIDS, so we try to give them good meals. A few prisoners have small children inside prison with them and they get milk as well.” 

A female inmate gives English lessons to some of the children at the Peshawar central prison. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

Another female inmate convicted for possession of drugs has been in prison for seven months. She declined to be identified but said they had a lot of free time in Ramadan that could be put to good use. 

Women in Peshawar’s central prison spend their days reading the Quran and reciting prayer beads during the month of Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

“This is a helpful time for us to learn skills like handicrafts and sewing,” she said. “When we leave prison, perhaps these things will pave the way for a good, halal living.” 

A woman inmate at Peshawar’s central jail has decorated her hands with henna in anticipation of the holy festival of Eid, which will mark the end of Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)
Rooh Afza, a popular indigenous drink made from herbs and flowers, is served around Peshawar’s central prison by the bucketfuls before Iftar. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)
Weekly menu written out for prisoners at Peshawar’s central jail in Urdu. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)