Pakistani scientist set to unveil world’s first eco-friendly aircraft engine 

World's first generation contrail free engine to be unveiled in Pakistan late 2020. (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
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Updated 12 February 2020

Pakistani scientist set to unveil world’s first eco-friendly aircraft engine 

  • Statistics reveal contrails have contributed 15 percent to global warming and the number is said to be rising
  • The new engine design will turn contrails into clean water and even make artificial rain

ISLAMABAD: The world’s first-generation contrail-free aircraft engine, currently being built in Pakistan for the global aviation industry, is expected to be ready between mid-to-late 2020, the technological marvel’s inventor, Dr. Sarah Qureshi, revealed while talking to Arab News earlier this week.

Qureshi has been working on the project since 2018 to eliminate the negative impact of commercial air carriers on the stratosphere that contributes to global warming.

In a one-on-one with this publication, the Pakistani scientist explained the contrail phenomenon, a visible white streak of smoke emitted from an aircraft’s jet engines during flight, and discussed its harmful effects on Earth’s atmosphere.

An environmentalist at heart, Qureshi turned her academic research at Cranfield University, UK, into a save-the-planet endeavor and embarked on a mission to build the world’s first pollution-free jet engine.

The world aviation industry, she claimed, ignored to develop the technology and focused more on extracting monetary value by building fuel-efficient engines.

With global temperatures rising, oceans warming up, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets shrinking, glaciers retreating, Arctic sea life declining, and oceans acidifying as carbon dioxide levels skyrocket, the climate change debate has grown fierce as activists across the world highlight environmental hazards and try to spread awareness about the phenomenon.

Taking a swing at Elon Musk’s trip to Mars program, the scientist says that “unless you have a confirmed ticket” to the red planet, “which does not have a livable atmosphere,” Earth is the best bet and must be saved.

In this video, Arab News gives its readers a quick glimpse into Qureshi’s invention and the threat the aviation industry currently poses to the planet.


Father and son linked to murders of Muslims, including two Pakistanis, in New Mexico

Updated 13 sec ago

Father and son linked to murders of Muslims, including two Pakistanis, in New Mexico

  • Police charged Afghan Muhammad Syed with two  murders, linked four killings to personal grudges
  • Son Shaheen Syed was arrested last week on federal firearms charges for providing a false address

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico: Police believe the son of the prime suspect in the killings of four Muslim men may have played a role in the murders, which have shaken the Muslim community in New Mexico's largest city.

Cellphone data shows Shaheen Syed, 21, was in the same "general area" of Albuquerque as his father at the time of the Aug. 5 killing of 25-year-old trucking entrepreneur Naeem Hussain, according to a filing by federal prosecutors for a Monday detention hearing during which Syed was denied bail.

Syed's attorney John Anderson said the allegations were "exceedingly thin and speculative."

Police last week charged Shaheen Syed's father, Muhammad Syed, 51, with two of the murders and linked the four killings to personal grudges, possibly fueled by intra-Muslim sectarian hatred. Shaheen Syed was arrested last week on federal firearms charges for providing a false address.

"Law enforcement officers also have recently discovered evidence that appears to tie the defendant, Shaheen Syed, to these killings," the filing said.

Agents believe Shaheen Syed observed Naeem Hussain leaving an Aug. 5 funeral service for two of the murdered Muslim men, based on FBI analysis of cell tower data. He then followed Hussain to the area of a parking lot where he was shot dead.

"Telephone calls between Muhammad Atif Syed and the defendant (Shaheen Syed) would be consistent with quick surveillance calls, both before and after the shooting," the filing said.

Prosecutors did not provide evidence on the other shootings.

Imtiaz Hussain said he believed at least two people were involved in the Aug. 1 murder of his brother Muhammad Afzaal Hussain.

A pistol and rifle were used to shoot Afzaal Hussain, a city planning director, 15 times in around 15 to 20 seconds, according to police records and Imtiaz.

“For one suspect it is difficult to use two weapons in that short an interval,“ said Imtiaz Hussain.

The victims Naeem Hussain and Afzaal Hussain were not related.

Muhammad Syed, an Afghan refugee, has been charged with killing Afzaal Hussain, who was from Pakistan, and cafe manager Aftab Hussein, 41, who had ties to Afghanistan and Pakistan. A fourth man, supermarket owner Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, was shot dead on Nov. 7, 2021.

Police have said they are working with prosecutors on potential charges for the murders of Naeem Hussain and Ahmadi.


Young British-Pakistani racer lives in the fast lane to prove Pakistan ‘the best’

Updated 9 min 3 sec ago

Young British-Pakistani racer lives in the fast lane to prove Pakistan ‘the best’

  • 22-year-old Enaam Ahmed is two races away from entering prestigious Formula 2 league in the US
  • Ahmed became British Formula Champion at 12 and European and World Champion at age of 14

KARACHI: A British-Pakistani racer, only two contests away from getting into the prestigious Formula 1 league in the United States, says his inspiration is to change the way Pakistan is perceived by the world and put his country of origin on the map of world sports.

Enaam Ahmed, 22, was born to Pakistani parents in London where he started racing on Go-Kart tracks while he was eight. His passion grew with time, and he ultimately became the British Formula Champion at 12 and a European and World Champion at the age of 14. He is currently in the American Formula 3 league, before which he was car racing in the British Formula 3 and became a champion at 17.

“My inspiration really is to change the way the world perceives our country [Pakistan] and the Muslim world, in terms of sports,” Ahmed told Arab News in a Zoom interview from London earlier this month.

“Representing the country [Pakistan] is what gives me the power, what gives me the motivation to succeed ... What keeps me going is this burning ambition to prove that we can be the best.”

Ahmed said he had had his family’s support from the beginning of his interest in racing.

“I couldn’t really be here without them. I didn’t expect to be racing in the high-level series like I’m doing as a professional, I just started off with my little Go Kart, then worked my way into little races.”

Ahmed’s father, Shami Ahmed, said his interest in racing had come about by accident.

“It all started by accident, I was invited by a friend to take Enaam to a Go Karting track,” said the proud parent, saying sustaining his son’s passion was “financially challenging until we started getting support from sponsors and backers.”

“I believe Enaam has much more potential and the best is still to come. It’s great that he has taken it on himself to be an unofficial ambassador of Pakistan.”

The journey has been exciting and challenging. While Ahmed has traveled and raced in some top teams and against some of the best drivers in the world, he also had to face racism initially as a rare person of color alongside the black British driver, Lewis Hamilton, who had inspired him to enter the profession in the first place. Ahmed has also found it difficult to find good sponsors, which he said was the reason he missed the chance of getting into Formula 2 in Europe.

“There were moments when I didn’t want to give up but it was looking like I would have to give up because there was no option,” he said. “There were some situations when I didn’t have a sponsor one week before a race, but I always found a way.”

Despite the odds, there has been no looking back for Ahmed, who has never lost a race and always finishes in the top three.

“I have always done things to be the best or nothing,” he said. “I don’t do things just to take part or come second or third. I am here to win.”

Speaking about his special connection with Pakistan, he said he was “put on this earth to race for Pakistan and become a champion.”

“I have two biggest motivations: One is to make my country proud and raise the flag of Pakistan the highest it has ever been; and to relieve my parents, my family of work,” he added.

Currently, Ahmed is on the Road to Indy series, a racecar driver development program that provided a scholarship-funded path to reach the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500.

Speaking to Arab News, a top official at the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) applauded Ahmed for his passion to represent his country.

“It’s encouraging to see Enaam Ahmed representing Pakistan in the global racing scene but there is no federation for motorsports in Pakistan,” PSB director general, Col (r) Muhammad Asif Zaman, said.

“Formula car racing requires heavy investment and facilities, and we don’t have that. However, it would be worth considering adding racing to adventure games such as mountaineering and watersports.”


Post-Hajj flight operations conclude in Pakistani cities of Lahore, Peshawar, Multan

Updated 34 min 40 sec ago

Post-Hajj flight operations conclude in Pakistani cities of Lahore, Peshawar, Multan

  • Pakistan’s national airline operated over 154 return flights till August 13
  • Over 83,000 Pakistani pilgrims performed the Hajj pilgrimage this year

ISLAMABAD: A spokesperson for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) said on Tuesday post-Hajj flight operations had been successfully concluded at airports in the Pakistani cities of Peshawar, Multan and Lahore.

Up to one million pilgrims from around the world performed the annual Islamic pilgrimage, Hajj, after Saudi Arabia lifted coronavirus restrictions for the first time in two years. Pilgrims were required to be vaccinated and under 65 years of age. 

The kingdom allotted Pakistan a quota of 83,132 pilgrims this year, out of which 34,453 people availed the government’s Hajj scheme while over 48,000 performed Hajj through private operators.

Pakistan started its post-Hajj flight operations last month, with the first flight of the national carrier, PIA, arriving in Lahore from Jeddah with 213 passengers on July 14.

“After Lahore, post Hajj operations were also completed at Peshawar and Multan airports,” the PCAA spokesman said. “The post Hajj operation at Peshawar Airport started on July 14 and ended on August 13.”

From Peshawar airport, a total of 3,276 pilgrims had gone for Hajj through 40 flights.

“Peshawar’s Bacha Khan International Airport welcomed 3830 pilgrims who returned home in 62 flights,” the spokesperson said.

The post-Hajj operation at Multan International Airport ran from July 15 to August 13.

“A total of 39 flights were operated from Multan Airport through which 4,586 pilgrims traveled,” the spokesman said. “2,345 pilgrims returned home through 31 scheduled flights.”


Gunmen kill two policemen guarding Pakistan polio team

Updated 16 August 2022

Gunmen kill two policemen guarding Pakistan polio team

  • Pakistan has reported 15 polio cases since April this year
  • Polio only remains endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan

PESHAWAR: Two officers guarding a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan were shot dead by unidentified assailants, police said Tuesday, the latest deaths in an ongoing campaign to eradicate the disease.
Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan are the only countries where polio remains endemic, but vaccination teams have been targeted for years by Islamic militants in both nations.
“Two gunmen hiding near a small water channel opened fire on the policemen from a very close range,” senior officer Waqar Ahmad Khan told AFP.
“The gunmen spared the two-member polio vaccination team ... and fled on a motorbike.”
The incident happened in Kot Azam, Tank district, close to tribal districts where the military has clashed with militants since 2003.
Scores of polio workers and security officials guarding them have been killed since 2012 by militants who claim vaccination programs are part of a Western plot to sterilize Muslims.
Another conspiracy theory holds that the vaccines contain pig fat and are therefore banned by Muslims.
Islamist opposition to inoculation campaigns grew after the CIA organized a fake vaccination drive to help track down Al Qaeda’s former leader Osama Bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
In April, Pakistan reported the first case of polio in 15 months.
Since then, 14 more polio cases have been reported — all from the same ultra-conservative district where many villagers are against vaccines.
The United States reported its first case of polio in almost a decade in July, while Britain said last week that around one million children in London will be offered a booster vaccine after the virus was detected in sewage samples.
 


Pakistan’s finance minister says IMF executive board meeting expected on August 29

Updated 16 August 2022

Pakistan’s finance minister says IMF executive board meeting expected on August 29

  • The country was required to get ‘adequate financing assurances’ for the meeting to take place by the end of August
  • Miftah Ismail said the rupee was beginning to regain its value and stock market was benefiting from bullish sentiment

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s finance minister Miftah Ismail said on Tuesday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was expected to hold its executive board meeting on August 29 before resuming a $6 billion loan facility sanctioned more than three years ago.

Pakistan was striving for the continuation of the loan program which stalled earlier this year after the previous administration of ousted prime minister Imran Khan went against its terms and conditions by subsidizing fuel and energy prices in the country.

Pakistan’s new government managed to secure a staff-level agreement for the resumption of the loan on July 13, though it required the approval of the IMF executive board.

The finance minister said during a news conference in the federal capital the IMF had sent its revised letter of intent, saying he would sign the document and send it back to the global lender later today.

“We are hoping that [the IMF] board meeting will be held in the month of August, probably on the 29th, after which the disbursement [of loan] will start,” he said. “You are aware that the [IMF] loan program has already resumed.”

The IMF resident chief in Pakistan, Esther Perez Ruiz, issued a statement earlier this month, saying the country had met all preconditions for the resumption of the loan program, though the executive board meeting would be held after Pakistan managed to secure “adequate financing assurances.”

The country’s acting governor of central bank also told the media the government was striving to bridge the external financing gap of $4 billion by reaching out to friendly countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and China.

Discussing the overall economic state of the country, Ismail said Pakistan’s national currency had started recovering its losses in recent weeks.“The dollar went out of control on July 17 and started depreciating rapidly for several days, though it is now beginning to come back,” he said.

Ismail added the Pakistani rupee had remained the strongest global currency since the beginning of August and the country’s equity market had also displayed a bullish trend during the same period.

He attributed the appreciation of rupee to his decision of temporarily halting the import of luxury goods while praising local importers for cooperating with the government.