Youth Awareness

We are aware of the Pakistani starlet Veena Malik falling all over Bollywood

actor Ashmit Patel in Bigg Boss. Her antics have made Veena quite a ‘drama queen’ on the reality show. But not many know that Veena actually bagged the show, thanks to none other than Ashmit’s own public relations officer, Dale Bhagwagar.
Earlier in Pakistan, Veena Malik achieved instant popularity when she claimed that her ex-boyfriend, cricketer Mohammad Asif, was involved in match-fixing. The cricketing scandal made bigger headlines when Asif, along with two other players Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt, were suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board, while Interpol and Scotland Yard began investigating the case.

Even then, not many knew Veena Malik in India, before Ashmit’s publicist Dale Bhagwagar stepped in. It began with an obscure news report with Veena alleging from Pakistan that Bollywood actress Neetu Chandra (also a PR client of Bhagwagar) was having links with the now-tainted Mohammad Asif, and that she was also involved in the match-fixing scandal with him.
The frivolous allegation enraged Neetu and her publicist, and the latter called a press meet, vehemently refuting Veena’s outrageous claims. The PR specialist’s hard-hitting denials all over the media turned out to be a hundred times stronger than Veena’s controversial allegations. In the bargain, the Pakistani starlet hit national headlines in India. Adding to the drama, live debates ensued between Veena and Neetu’s publicist on Indian television for almost two weeks.
Some media professionals even speculated that out of the many actresses in Bollywood, Veena probably chose to attack Neetu Chandra, well knowing that she had a far-reaching publicist with her. Many even believed, Veena deliberately provoked the PR guru into mass retaliation in media, to attain instant fame in India and get a passport to Bollywood.
Since Bigg Boss loves controversy and confrontations, both Neetu Chandra and Veena Malik got invited to be a part of the reality show. Neetu declined, while Veena jumped to the opportunity.
And now, in the Bigg Boss House, Veena is seen kissing, cuddling and caressing the PR client (Ashmit Patel), of the same publicist (Bhagwagar), responsible not only for her popularity in India, but also her presence on the reality show.
Wonder if Veena is working her charms on Ashmit in a bid to ‘use’ the same publicist once again for free national media mileage outside the Bigg Boss House, while she openly flirts with the actor inside!

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We will tell you, she does everything perfect. Irrespective it’s putting up a decent fight with an inmate of Big Boss or telling her not so sob (if you are cricketer Mohammad Asif) or shaking her legs. Her musical entry was followed by school girl kind of introduction (I wanted to, know myself, I couldn’t refuse etc and then finally an apologetic Pakistani who explains why India) why she is in. Then she pulled off the sob with Shweta Tiwari. And why not, Shweta Tiwari has her own sobs. They say that birds of the same feather flock together. Even though we have belted out an insensitive portrayal of her agony, the audience hasn’t. A lot of the audience can connect. Its not just us, but, even other brutal media has called her “pulling a Rakhi Sawant” on us. By the way did you see Rakhi Sawant wince on camera as Veena Malik pulled on a pose in the entry dance?

Veena, as we said is doing thing right. Even though others say that she is copying Rakhi Sawant, but, she does not has the status what Rakhi Sawant has in India (Pakistanis can speak for themselves, we know Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi will deny everything we say and then use the matter to beg more aid from US). Another yard stick to measure he success is that Pakistanis are saying that she is a disgrace. Go Veena! Go!

Veena has been known in Pakistan for engaging the viewers. Now, we know that she is charming enough to engage us too. We think she can play a role of a bahu in one of our saas bahu operas. The plot can be her cricketer husband ill treating her because she put excess oil in the aloo sabji. Then she exposes her cricketer husband in wicket for pure ghee scandal. It would be a great soap opera.

In the beginning Veena said that we are her family (sigh!) and Salman khan agreed. We think the audience agrees with her too. May be that’s why she is so popular.

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By: The Hindu

China and Pakistan on Sunday decided to strengthen communication  and coordination in regional affairs  on “hotspot issues” like Afghanistan, and agreed to “advance pragmatic cooperation” in pursuit of common development and enhance collaboration in border management.

In a joint statement issued at the end of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s three-day visit to Pakistan, the two countries reiterated their resolve to work in tandem on major

international issues including United Nations reform, climate change, and food and energy security. Earlier, addressing a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, Mr. Wen assured Pakistan of China’s steadfast support while maintaining that terrorism should not be linked to any one country or religion.

Acknowledging Pakistan as an important member state of the region, the Chinese leader said Islamabad played a vital role in safeguarding peace, security and stability. “The Chinese side held the view that Pakistan has made great efforts and endured great sacrifices in fighting terrorism, and reiterated that it respects the counter-terrorism strategy constituted and implemented by Pakistan in light of its own national conditions,” said the statement.

The two countries reaffirmed their resolve to cooperate through bilateral and multilateral frameworks to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism — all of which threaten regional peace, stability and security. On the specific issue of Afghanistan, the two voiced support for the unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and also Kabul’s bid to advance peace, reconstruction and national reconciliation.

Rejoicing in their enduring relationship that turns 60 next year, China and Pakistan shared the view that “against the backdrop of a complex and ever-changing international and regional situation, it is of high significance to consolidate and deepen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation”.

In keeping with this spirit, both voiced respect for each other’s territorial integrity and the joint statement reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the One China policy. Pakistan also supported the “peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and China’s reunification” and the efforts made by the Chinese government to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On developmental matters, China and Pakistan have decided to intensify cooperation in infrastructure development, energy and agriculture on a priority basis. Currency swap arrangements will be established and qualified Pakistani banks will be allowed to open branches in China.

While the possibility of establishing trans-border economic zones will be explored by both sides, Pakistan has decided to establish a Special Economic Zone for Chinese businesses to attract more investment from China.

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{December 19, 2010}   Wikileaks Mirrors

Here you will find all the mirrors of Wikileaks…

Wikileaks Mirrors

Find all the current Wikileaks Mirrors and Links here. Helpful, if the main site – – is down.

Important Wikileaks Links

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{December 13, 2010}   URDU NOHAY AND MARSIYA

Urdu Marsiya and Nohay, a historical perspective.


Urdu marsiay and nohay, or elegies, have not only rendered to the Urdu language literary and poetic beauty, but also a medium of religious, cultural, and intellectual expression. Although some Urdu marsiay and nohay deal with topics other than the seventh-century battle of Karbala, most of them have focused on the events that paved the path to this battle and the agonizing aftermath of this event. In this paper, I will discuss the salient characteristics of the genre of marsiya and the variations of the Karbala theme within this tradition according to changing social, cultural, and political contexts.

In order to comprehend Urdu marsiay and nohay, it is essential to glance briefly at the historical and social milieu that nourished this genre. The tradition of marsiya has its roots in the pre-Islamic Arab and Persian worlds, where human sentiments and pathos were expressed in form of elegiac poetry. This tradition continued after the advent of Islam, with many companions of the Prophet Muhammad, such as Umar, arranging for elegies to be written about their deceased family members. In 680 C.E., on the bank of the river Euphrates, Hussain, a grandson of Muhammad, along with his seventy-one companions, was killed in a deserted place, Karbala, for refusing to pay allegiance to the Ummayad ruler, Yazid. This event became a major theme for the marsia’s and noha’s of the ensuing centuries. As history indicates the first noha was recited by Imam Hussain’s sister, Janab-e-Zainab, and son, Imam Zain-al-Abedin, in the aftermath of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom. There were, however, severe restrictions imposed on such mourning ceremonies since the Ummayad rulers could not afford to foster empathy for the family of the Prophet.

When Shi’ism became the official religion of Iran in the fifteenth century, Safavid rulers such as Shah Tahmasp, patronized poets who wrote about the tragedy of Karbala, and the genre of marsiya, according to Persian scholar Wheeler Thackston, “was particularly cultivated by the Safavids.”The most well-known fifteenth-century Persian marsiya writer was Muhtasham Kashani (d. 1587), whose works consequently became a source of elegy emulation for Iranians as well as Indian poets of ensuing generations.

Persian and Arabic languages and literatures had a momentous influence on Indo-Muslim culture in general and on the evolution of Urdu language and literature in particular. The Adil Shahi and Qutb Shahi dynasties of South India (Deccan), predominantly Twelver Shi’is in religious persuasion, patronized Dakhni (an early South Indian dialect of Urdu) marsiay and nohay. Although Persian marsiay and nohay of Muhtasham Kashani were still recited, the Adil Shahi and Qutb Shahi rulers felt the need to render the Karbala tragedy in the language of common Muslims. In the Adil Shahi and Qutb Shahi kingdom of Deccan, marsiay and nohay flourished, especially under the patronage of Ali Adil Shah and Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, marsiya writers themselves, and poets such as Ashraf Biyabani. Urdu marsiay and nohay written during this period are still popular in South Indian villages. One such marsiya expresses the pathos of the moment when Imam Hussain’s loved ones bid him farewell:

Farewell, O King of martyrs,
Farewell, O Ruler of both worlds,

Mustafa [the Prophet] mourns for you in Paradise,
like Yaqub mourned in the aftermath of his separation with Yusuf.

The Yaqub-Yusuf motif, which by no means is restricted to marsiya, recurs over and over in this genre since the son of Imam Hussain, Ali Akbar, was supposedly as handsome as the Qu’ranic Yusuf, and since the Imam’s distress after the martyrdom of his son was analogous to Yaqub’s sorrow after his son parted from him. The North Indian marsiya writers used similar motifs and metaphors when the centre of Urdu literature moved to the North after the kingdoms of the Deccan were annexed by the Mughals.

As Mughal power began to wane in the aftermath of the rule of Aurangzeb (1706), other autonomous Muslim powers sprung up in India. The Navabs of Avadh, Twelver Shi’is and patrons of Urdu literature and poetry, provided auspices for the sublimation of the marsiya genre in North India.

Contrary to popular perceptions, Urdu marsiay and nohay are not confined to the gatherings of Muharram but are recited throughout the year in ceremonies preceding weddings and death anniversaries. However, in the kingdom of Avadh, during the months of Muharram and Safar, marsiay and nohay were recited on a daily basis in the majalis (gatherings to commemorate the tragedy of Karbala) held twice a day in imambareh (places of gathering for the majalis). The adab (etiquette) of these majalis was such that the audiences would sit facing the taziyah (models of the shrines of the martyrs of Karbala), and listen to the narration of the popularly perceived events of Karbala in Persian; they would then hear the Urdu marsiya written for that particular day. The recitation of marsiay and nohay was also considered an art, and the writers were not always considered the best orators to generate pathos among the audiences. The Navabs thus invited effective reciters (marsiya khwan and noha khwan) who had a considerable following themselves. After the recitation of marsiay and nohay, the family of the Prophet was praised and the enemies of this family rebuked. The majlis would close with self-flagellation. Keeping this historical and cultural background of Urdu marsiya tradition in mind, it is apposite to delve into the salient characteristics of this genre.

The main purpose of Urdu marsiay and nohay is to praise the heroes of Islam, who fought on the side of Imam Hussain in Karbala, and to induce empathy for the family of Ali and Fatima. The metaphors utilized in Avadh, Delhi, and the surrounding vicinity to glorify the accomplishments of early Islamic heroes in Urdu marsiay and nohay were similar to the metaphors and similes used in qasaid, or odes, written in praise of Indian rulers. Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869) described the “King of Martyrs,” Imam Hussain, by using metaphors, similar to the ones he used in his odes:

The glory and jewel of faith, Hussain Ibn-e Ali,
who shall be called the candle of the gathering of grandeur.

The fountain of paradise [Salsabil] is in the path of those,
who call him the thirsty martyr of Karbala.

It is a strange occurrence that an enemy of Islam,
battles with Ali and is considered only to be mistaken.
After Ali there is Hassan, and after Hassan there is Hussain,
How can I exonerate any person who has mistreated them.

Ghalib, in his marsiay and nohay, not only praised the family of Ali, but expressed loyalty to the family of Muhammad by rebuking their opponents. It is difficult for Ghalib to comprehend how the enemies of the Prophet’s family can be exonerated by Muslims. Ghalib’s criticism could have been aimed at the belief of many Muslims that the judgment of the companions of the Prophet should be left to Allah. Ghalib considered Imam Hussain to be the ideal king; the precepts of loyalty demanded aversion toward any enemy of the king.

While Ghalib used regal imagery to underscore the virtues of Imam Hussain, Mirza Dabir (1803-1875) described the Imam as also being the paragon of a true lover. Dabir used ascetic and mystical imagery, commonly implemented in Urdu and Persian poetry, to describe Imam Hussain. Imam Hussain is depicted as the ideal lover due to his penchant for suffering in order to attain Allah:

For the sake of thirst, he [Hussain] fasted in youth,
For the sake of thirst, he turned away from Zehra’s [Fatima’s] milk,
For the sake of thirst, he never accepted the Euphrates’ favor,
For the sake of thirst, he abnegated water from the Seventh of Muharram.
The world remembers the story of his slaying,
and his utterance of `thirst, thirst’ while biting the tongue.

Dabir interpreted the Imam’s thirst as if it were a means to unite the Imam with Allah. It was as though Allah tested his beloved by depriving him of water in the sweltering desert of Karbala. But Imam Hussain was not the only one put to the test of Allah; each and every person on the side of the Imam –from the six month old child, Ali Asghar, to the seventy-one-year-old companion of the Prophet Muhammad, Habib Ibn-e Mazahir– was subjected to the agony of thirst. The mystical imagery of forbearance was utilized by Dabir to make his view of the suffering side of the Imam more fathomable to an audience attuned to mystical poetry.

The marsiay and nohay of Mir Taqi Mir (1722-1810) and Muhammad Rafi Sauda (1713-1780) are similar to those of Ghalib and Dabir in that they perform their panegyrical function for the martyrs of Karbala; but these poets also wrote marsiay and nohay in which the narration of the Karbala tragedy was saturated with cultural and ceremonial imagery of North India. The North Indian Muslim cultural terminology used by Mir and Sauda includes sehra–the veil of flowers that the groom and the bride wear on their wedding day in India and naig–the demand of the groom’s sister for money before allowing her brother to approach his bride

In addition to the wedding of Karbala, other parts of the Karbala tragedy were painted with Indian colors. Mir Anis’ (1802-1874) description of the women of the Prophet’s household embarking on the journey to Karbala and the protocol that was followed was quite similar to the protocol followed by the begmat (ladies) of Lucknow:

Even if there is a young boy on the roof,
he must get down,
If he is coming this way, he must stop.
No stranger should travel on this road,
For God has made her [Zainab, sister of Hussain]nobler than Mary,
Even the male angels have closed their eyes.

This part of Anis’ marsiya echoes the rigidity with which purdah (veiling) was observed in nineteenth-century Avadh.

The marsiay and nohay of Anis were also heavily laced with durbar imagery, which registered in the mind of the readers and listeners the manner in which Imam Hussain and his companions must have eagerly awaited their martyrdom:

On the right side of the camp were the relatives of the Imam,
their glowing faces brightened the dark desert of Karbala.

Like beads in a rosary, they were all united.

They anxiously waited for their death.

They would desire neither food nor water,
their aim was to offer their heads to Allah.
The young boys pleaded to be the first martyrs,
and the older ones left this decision up to the Imam.
In the middle of this assembly was the King of the world,
like the sun amidst the stars.

The foregoing verses create images similar to those associated with the Mughal durbars, or the Navabs of Avadh sitting in the Diwan-e-Khas (hall of the private audience) while being praised by their loyal friends and advisers.

In the marsiay and nohay of Mir Ishq (d. before 1890), the farewell of Imam Hussain to his friends and family in Medina is also similar to that of a North Indian king before he commenced on a course of war: crowds gathering to bid farewell, subjects praying for the master’s health, and so on. The farewell of Imam Hussain’s son Ali Akbar, who was eighteen years old during the battle of Karbala and bore a striking resemblance to his great grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad, is similar to the farewell any beloved son of Avadh would receive before he went to war: the family comes to bid him farewell and prays for his well-being; sisters express their aspirations for his wedding; and mothers give sadqa (alms that are supposed to remove any curse that might afflict a person) to the poor.

The marsiay and nohay of Mir Anis reflect the popular prayers of women of Lucknow. When an unmarried son departs for the battlefront, his mother expresses her desire to see his sehra; when a brother leaves the house, his sister prays that the brother’s wife always has sandal-wood powder in her hair and children in her lap; and when a slave joins his master in the war, the slave’s wife prays for her husband’s death in exchange for his master’s life. The ideals of brother-sister and mother-son love, fertility of a woman, and loyalty to the king, were aspirations of the Muslim culture of North India and were channeled through literary genres like the marsiya.

Images associated with the 1857 uprising against British rule were also incorporated into marsiay and nohay. As Intezar Hussain states in his study of Mir Anis’ poetry, Urdu marsiay and nohay were shaped by the political situation of their day. The tumultuous events that afflicted Avadh in the mid-nineteenth century were juxtaposed with the tragedy of Karbala, generating emotional catharsis as well as consoling North Indian Muslims by associating their plight with the travails of Imam Hussain.

Marsiay and nohay would also induce catharsis when families in Avadh lost their beloved members. Marsiya writers would narrate the family’s agony by comparing it to various events of Karbala. When the Navab of Patna, Sayid Ahmad Hussain Khan, lost his sixteen-year old son to smallpox, Mir Anis was asked to write a marsiya in honor of the youth. The marsiya written by Anis opened with a prayer in which the poet asked Allah to spare parents the grief of their children:

Oh God, give no parent the sorrow of their child.
May no inauspicious being be the victim of the scar of their son,
May this wealth, even of the enemy, be preserved,
and may any agony, but this, afflict your people.

By recasting the events of Karbala in local imagery, marsiya writers were also able to infuse their poetry with intellectual concerns.

In the twentieth century, the number of Muslim socio-religious reformers who capitalized on the Indianized version of Karbala to channel their concerns for the society increased. Many twentieth century Urdu marsiay and nohay were given a solid intellectual dimension by the incorporation of issues–the Khilafat movement, India’s independence, and the plight of the Indian Muslims, and so on–into the frame story of Karbala. Among the modern marsiya writers who have appropriated the events surrounding Karbala as the underpinnings of their socio-religious reform ideology are Josh Malihabadi and Vahid Akhtar. Josh Malihabadi (1898-1982), renowned as “Shair-i inqilab,” or the Poet of revolution, used the medium of marsiya as a means to propagate the view that Karbala is not a pathos-laden event of a bygone era, but a prototype for contemporary revolutionary struggles. Josh’s writings during the late 1930’s and the early 1940’s, when nationalist feelings were running high in South Asia, had a momentous impact upon his generation. Josh attempted to galvanize the youth of his day by intertwining their contemporary struggle of liberation from colonization with Hussain’s battle:

O Josh, call out to the Prince of Karbala [Hussain],
cast a glance at this twentieth century,
look at this tumult, chaos, and the earthquake.
At this moment there are numerous Yazids, and yesterday there was only one.
From village to village might has assumed the role of truth,
Once again, Human feet are in chains.

By interlacing his marsiay and nohay with metaphors that had nuances of a revolutionary struggle and depicting the `anti-Muslim’ forces as being on a par with the tyranny of Muawiya and Yazid, Josh gave the impression that the state of the Muslim community was imminently threatened by a massive, ideologically-based assault upon everything Islam valued. As far as most Muslims are concerned, Yazid’s rule had been the `Other’ of the true Islamic state for centuries. To identify one’s enemy in terms of Yazid was the ultimate demonization that conjured up the most horrific images of opponents, whether the opponents were the British colonizers and their indigenous collaborators, or the corrupt, hypocritical politicians who were about to replace the British colonizers. Josh is a good example of the colonized intellectual who uses nostalgic paradigms to enable his audience to conceptualize the potential for an ideal society. His marsiay and nohay fit into the Fanonian category of “literature of combat.” As Frantz Fanon has pointed out, the strategies of resistance used by intellectuals like Josh were common in several other colonized cultures:

There is a tendency to bring conflicts up to date and to modernize the kinds of struggle which the stories evoke, together with the names of heroes and types of weapons. The method of allusion is more and more widely used. The formula `This all happened long ago’ is substituted with that of `What we are going to speak of happened somewhere else, but it might well have happened here today, and it might happen tomorrow.’ Josh, through his marsiay and nohay, reinterprets Karbala so that it corresponds to his ideals of the future. By explaining contemporary issues through references to past Islamic heroes, Josh enabled his audience to conceptualize the potential for a pure Islamic society. The extensive use of the images of the family of the Prophet was destined to have a special resonance with readers who had been reared to regard this household as the apotheosis of virtue. The nobility of thought and action of the heroes of Karbala is poetically pitched at a level which makes striving for the characteristics of these early Islamic heroes a contemporary necessity.

Vahid Akhtar, Professor of Philosophy at Aligarh Muslim University, has been crucial in keeping the tradition of marsiya dynamic in present-day South Asia. His marsiay and nohay rely on the images, metaphors, and nuances inherited from nineteenth century masters like Anis and Dabir, and on the values invested in this genre by socio-religious reformers like Josh. On the back cover of his recently-published marsiya anthology, for example, is the famous Arabic saying: “Every place is Karbala; every day is Ashura.” By positing a similarity between Hussain’s historic battle and the present day struggle of human kind against renewed forms of Yazidian oppression, Akhtar deflects the interpretation of the martyrs of Karbala as mere insignia of Islamic history; they are instead posed as the sinews for the revival of an ideal Islamic state of being.

The genre of Urdu marsiya is a fitting example of a spiritually-exalted literary enterprise imported into the subcontinent from the Arab and Persian world which evolved in conjunction with `Indian culture’. marsiay and nohay remain important socio-religious texts, permeated by emotional undercurrents, in the cultural repertoire of South Asia. Through these texts, the events surrounding the battle of Karbala were emplotted in a myriad of ways congruent with changing political and cultural milieus. Urdu marsiay and nohay thus furnish a literary landscape which reflects the underlying social, religious, and intellectual bonds of South Asian cultures.


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{December 13, 2010}   Tips for Success in Interviews

  • First impression is the best impression. You will be judged by ; the way you dress, your educational qualification, work experience, body language, manners, ability to absorb the information and interpret it intelligently and clearly. So take care to be at your best.
  • Carry your relevant documents in order – like certificates, copy of application sent, bio-data etc. in a folder so that it can be easily shown when asked. Take a pen also.
  • Present the documents only if the interviewer ask for it.
  • Never be late for an interview.
  • Greet the interviewers as soon as you enter.
  • Sit down only when you are asked to. It is better not to pull the chair, either lift it or move it and always enter from the right side of the chair.
  • Say ‘please and thank you’ whenever required.
  • Listen carefully and pay attention to the question. If the question is not clear to you ask politely for a repeat.
  • Reply confidently and immediately to the point, keeping your answers short unless asked for a longer description.
  • While answering, look directly at the person asking the questions and try to be pleasant.
  • Replies connected to any details regarding your bio-data should be authentic.
  • It is better to admit if you don’t know something.
  • Remember to say ‘sorry’ if your opinions or answers are rejected.
  • Avoid indulging in certain mannerisms in your speech or behavior.
  • You can ask when you can expect to hear from them before you leave.
  • Don’t forget to say “Thank you” at the end of an interview to every interviewer before leaving.
  • Shake hands only if the interviewer initiates the gesture.
  • Walk out confidently without looking back.
  • Gently shut the door behind you as you leave.

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Review these typical interview questions and think about how you would
answer them. Read the questions listed; you will also find some
strategy suggestions with it.

(Excerpted from the book The Accelerated Job Search by Wayne D. Ford, Ph.D, published by The Management Advantage, Inc.)

1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short
statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound
rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise.
Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to
the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest
back and work up to the present.


2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major
problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers
or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep
smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an
opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking

3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for.
If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good
explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are
on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific
statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith
Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It
is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization
before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are
going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide
variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement.
Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus
on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is
a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the
research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely
important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term
career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This
can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not
relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if
you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like,
That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position?
In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not,
say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready.
Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather
than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag,
just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d like
it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.

14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you
like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the
right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the
individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the
organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in

15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here.
Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s the
type of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing a
benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type
of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying
negative things about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to
highlight your best points as they relate to the position being
discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not
mention any other candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted
and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work
applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with
anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get
along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples:
Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability
to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your
professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude

23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you
are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another
job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with
this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something
like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and
can’t wait to get to work.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization,
violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor objections will
label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is
no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities:
Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise,
Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of
your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former
boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and
develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include:
Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did
not win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an
example that relates to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want
another job more than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are:
Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures:
You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a
success.Your boss tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if
you think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get
the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems
later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself
future grief.

37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead ofyour own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about
the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive,
salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions
depending on which management expert you listen to. The situational
style is safe, because it says you will manage according to the
situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make
it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An
example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and
thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind
spots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do
their own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well
qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about,
bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard working
quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of
humor, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. All
bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute betweenothers.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique
and not the dispute you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to
get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show
acceptance and no negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? are


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By: Sana Naseer Shaikh

Learning is a social progression, progressive innovation of our own unawareness. A reflection is not simply a trademark, a intend a jingle or an easily remember picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.  It’s a great dilemma of our society that most of the universities of Pakistan not paid proper attention to the students regarding to their educational career. Most of the students are indulge in morally wrong activities.

There is a lot more to flirting than amusing, according to a new research study that says finding success in romance depends in part on understanding your own personal “flirting style.” Whether or not you desire sidling up to an unfamiliar person in a bar or you’d rather sit back and wait for an object of attraction to approach are distinctions that once familiar can help people navigate the unsteady seas of relationships, according to Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas. “Knowing something about the way you communicate attraction says something about challenges you might have had in your past dating life,” Hall said.
“Hopefully, this awareness can help people avoid those mistakes andsucceed in courtship.”

Most of the people now-a-days are indulge in this disease, for getting their own inner satisfaction; it’s more common in our society, I thought it was a bit harsh…This survey shows that there are some extremely disturbing attitudes swirling around our campuses, All forms of self-defeating behavior are unseen and unconscious, which is why their existence is denied. We’ve long been calling for better services for students who have suffered violence, and these results confirm not only that domestic abuse amongst students occurs far too often, but that students don’t know where to turn when it happens. It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.
Almost nothing is known from hybridization studies about the inheritance of courtship behavior of females, or of their responsiveness to particular male signals.

The Punjab University Academic Staff Association seems to have divided over alleged harassment case involving a senior faculty member, what-ever the real reasons are or how much it’s based on truth. But it’s really embarrassment for teacher’s community as well as all of
us. How can parents send their daughters to universities for getting education & how they believe on the credibility of universities? It would be demolished the image of universities. I also mention here about the cultural show which was held in LUMS recently, where exposed
too much vulgarity, making fun & spreading nudeness at all. There are many people whose flirting styles fall into the type of “playful” and are aimed largely at enhancing their own self-respect.

These people are less likely to have lasting and momentous relationships. In some ways, the very early part of budding relationships is important to the success of long-term relationships, including marriages. Badness is only spoiled goodness. Between persons of equal income there is no social distinction except the distinction of merit. Money is nothing: character, conduct, and capacity are everything.

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{December 12, 2010}   When in the hot seat

By: Mariam Naeem Khan

Interviews can be nerve-racking especially when you have little clue on what might impress the interviewers. A weak performance in answering questions can sabotage your chances of getting the job, hence read between the lines. While answering, be specific and match your skills with the company’s requirements, staying within the parametres of your job description.

A fter submitting your resume to numerous vacancy advertisements in the newspapers, networking with many contacts and filling thousands of on-line application forms, you finally receive that long awaited interview call.

However, are you ready to make the impression of a lifetime? Here are a few interview tips that can help you make a lasting impression and can increase the likelihood of landing you a job offer: Choose your outfit carefully In lots of cases, interviewers make a mental decision in the first 10 seconds of the interview whether a candidate is right for the position. This is why personal presentation is essential.

Select an outfit that fits nicely and makes you feel confident. Avoid wearing dark colours as they generally represent authoritative personalities; medium shades are more approachable and pleasant. Remember to cut and file your nails; if you wear them long and like applying nail varnish, make sure they are manicured.

Also, while you should always wear a deodorant or a perfume, don’t over-use them. Your employer/s may be allergic or the scent may simply make them uncomfortable. Shoes must be polished, hair combed and adorned with sober accessories to give you a professional look. Go prepared Before appearing for an interview, it is essential for the job seeker to do some primary research about the company and learn about its projects, its products, its services and most importantly its recent development in the industry. An interviewee should be prepared to respond to the most common question a majority of employers like to begin their interview with, “What do you know about our company?” A wrong or misinformed answer can be disastrous.

Next, know your job description. Why? Because most of the interview questions are likely to revolve around your job description and the skills needed to deliver the tasks. Match your skills with those mentioned in the job description and evaluate which skills you’ve used on your previous job. This will save you from any unannounced hiccups during the interview. Also, do not forget to take your CV along. Remember your manners Punctuality and good manners can take you to your dream job! Be punctual and arrive only five to ten minutes before the interview time.

“Reaching too early makes a candidate anxious and they keep rehearsing the interview in their head. It’s a bit frustrating on the interviewer’s part too, as they need to rush things to facilitate this individual who’s been waiting for long. This could affect the performance of both the parties,” says a top recruiting manager from a multinational company.

Smile a bit and be courteous. Don’t appear shy or confused. Politely ask the receptionist for the officer who will be interviewing you. Greet and shake hands firmly when they appear. Don’t take a seat until asked and thank the panel after being seated. Interviewers usually start by introducing themselves, so listen attentively and acknowledge each one of them. Your body language counts The old adage, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” is still a relevant motto. Slouching back in the seat with disinterested eyes will not help your application even if you’re giving the best possible answer. Similarly, leaning too much in the chair with clasped hands and an extremely earnest look will put the interviewers off.

The best position is to sit up straight and slightly lean towards the interviewer when they ask a question. If there is more than one interviewer, change your body direction to the individual who’s putting forth the question. Carry an interested countenance and nod moderately to show your enthusiasm. Maintain a direct eye contact with the interviewer whose question you’re answering, but also, occasionally, look at other examiner.

Do no fidget about as it shows nervousness. Sitting crossed-legged with one shaking above the other is bad manners. Also, folding your hands on your chest implies that you’re getting defencive. Interpret the meaning of questions Interviews can be nerve-racking especially when you have little clue on what might impress the interviewers. A weak performance in answering questions can sabotage your chances of getting the job, hence read between the lines and hit the nail on the head.

A common interview question is, “Why do you want to work for us?” This is a tricky question. While answering, be specific and match your skills with the company’s requirements, staying within the parametres of your job description. A detailed response would show the interviewer you’ve done your research and that you are worth investing in.

For instance, they may ask you about your greatest weakness. You may reply that you have none or that you’re weak at Math. But a better response would be to identify a weakness during your inter view preparation phase and say, “I’m emotional, but I’m practising self-reflection on my behaviour, responses and thinking patterns.” Such a response would show the employer you’re self-aware, are willing to take feedback seriously and will take action in the areas that need improvement. Always ask a question when they give you a chance Towards the end of the interview, employers always give candidates a chance to ask questions. Sadly, many job seekers don’t realise the importance of the questions they ask. The kind of question you ask will give interviewers a fair idea of how professional you are. Asking either silly questions or no questions is a mistake.

A common question that interviewees do ask is, “When can I expect the result of this interview?” Please, ask something more productive and informative. Ten candidates before you have asked the same question and this leaves no difference between you and them. A few good interview questions can be:

“How would you describe your management style?” This will give you an insight of how things work in this company.

“Can you please describe the qualities that you’re looking for in the ideal candidate?” This will give you a chance to evaluate your answers during the interview.

“What do you like the best about this firm?” He/she gives his/her opinions and feels valued. ¦

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{December 12, 2010}   Chaotic Karachi

By: Naushaba Burney

W hen, as an excited schoolgirl, I first arrived in Karachi from the big and beautiful New Delhi, I was delighted. The first capital of newly-independent Pakistan was relaxed, uncrowded and with the added attraction of a breezy seaside. It was also as clean and safe as can be.

It didn’t take Karachi very long to change and we are all familiar with our thrusting, jostling metropolis that has bloated into one of the world’s largest cities. Until recently though, this port city was an exciting place with people of every hue and variety engaged in trade and industry, art and cultural activities and a host of other professions. Job-seekers, not just from the four corners of the country but from across our borders east, west, north and south flock to this metropolis to earn a livelihood.

The focus of these enmeshed and inter-connected millions started to change some years back and today the countless divisive groups are at each other’s throats. Violence, in other words, has become endemic. Newspapers print a daily tally of death — young men mostly plus a woman or two — that is going up alarmingly. That large numbers of highly trained and heavily armed Taliban are holed up in various parts of the city today is no secret. Their ferocity and total absence of humanity, the bloodletting of countless innocent souls including children are no longer unknown to Karachiites.

I heard an interesting story about tolerance at a recent meeting I attended. At a new housing development for people of average means there was only one mosque. All the different groups that constitute Islam today wanted to take over the mosque for their exclusive use. Since that was not possible and violence loomed, sensible leaders from all the diverse factions got together and actually, yes actually, agreed to share the mosque. Harmony was restored without a shot being fired or a head broken.

But let’s focus at this point at the daily struggle we wage on the city roads as we head towards offices, schools, markets, whatever. Homeward bound in the evening, it’s the same story. In other big cities the incessant traffic flow, even heavier than Karachi’s, appears well-managed since everyone obeys the traffic rules. Nobody, not even the police, bothers about road rules and regulations here and push, shove and thrust forward as if moving ahead of the other drivers is a matter of honour and pride, even if it means scraping or knocking down other road users.

The staggering escalation in the number of motorbikes swarming on Karachi roads, exacerbated by the recent explosion of modernised motor rickshaws has made getting anywhere not just a difficult but dangerous activity. Especially since the bikers insist on crowding in the fast right lane normally designated for automobiles. Karachi must be the only giant metropolis without a mass transit system. All three big cities in neighbouring India now have acquired mass transit systems. Even tiny Dubai has launched mass transit, can you believe that. The bridges, flyovers and underpasses that have appeared on the Karachi road network in the last few years are a boon no doubt. But they cannot substitute for a mass transit system, preferably underground.

The traffic police who look so smart in their starched white outfits tend to act as if modelling their uniforms on the city roads is their sole function. Getting nearly killed by a speeding car which drove right through a red light, I stepped up to a nearby traffic policeman and asked him why he hadn’t hauled up the offending driver. His reply: ‘What can I do? It is big people like yourself who should write in the media about drivers who break traffic rules.’ While quite baffled by his response, and upset too, I suppose the traffic policeman should be commended for at least being aware of the power of the media. It would help, of course, if traffic policemen were also aware of their own power. But wait a minute! Haven’t we all seen people break all kinds of rules and laws and get away with it simply by dropping a few big names? So until this city gets a mass transit system, it would help if the police strictly enforced the traffic rules. Also, shouldn’t the educated, or at least literate, white-collar types also stop cutting corners when driving and scrupulously obey traffic regulations?

Introducing any kind of change in a monolithic metropolis like Karachi is a laborious process, but the crazy wedding scene which had broken all bounds, with rukhsattis taking place at 3am, has, of late, improved markedly. The lights-out-at-midnight rule has taken hold, and with food being served on time guests start to leave around 11pm. But then event managers or wedding planners have moved in and what a difference that can make. Wedding spaces are now decorated with such flair and taste that they compete with the bride for your attention. And the profusion of flowers, with heaps of roses massed in elaborate arrangements, can only be called dazzling. Life in Karachi during this heavenly winter weather can be great if only the violence and crime graph could be lowered. ¦

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