The Institution of Engineers Pakistan (IEP) Lahore Centre arranged a two day International Engineering Convention on December 23 and 24, 2014. As a Central Council Member of the IEP, I planned to attend the same. Below is a brief excerpt of my Lahore visit in line with the Engineering Convention.
International Engineering Convention The inauguration session of the International Engineering Convention was held on December 23, 2014 and together with Pakistan, foreign delegations from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh arrived in Lahore to participate. Nepali Delegates:
- Engr. Dhruba Thapa, President NEA
- Engr. Dilip Kumar Jha
- Engr. Krishna Singh Basnet
- Engr. Dinesh Kumar Pathak
Sri Lankan Delegates:
- Engr. Dr. Sarath B. S. Abayakoon
- Engr. Wimalasena Gamage
- Engr. M. Abdus Sabur, President Bangladesh and Secretary General - FEISCA
The inauguration session started with recitation of few verses from the Holy Quran by Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan from Karachi. Engr. Amir Zamir Ahmad Khan opened the session and requested all the foreign delegates to light candles to commemorate the "Shuhadas" of Peshawar School incident of December 16, 2014. In addition, Engr. Suhail Bashir also made Dua and requested all participants to give a silent two minutes standing ovation for all the Shuhadas. The Convener, Dr. Engr. Javed Yunas Oppal then welcomed all the guests and delivered the opening speech for the convention. In addition, other notable members who addressed the audience were:
- Engr. Syed Khalid Sajjad, Chairman Lahore Centre - IEP
- Engr. Mian Sultan Mahmood, General Secretary - IEP
- Engr. Syed Jamshed Ali Rizvi, President - IEP
- Engr. MianShahmimHaider, Chief Guest
- Engr. M. Abdus Sabur, President Bangladesh and Secretary General FEISCA
The Technical Session was the heart of the convention. Extremely informative papers were presented by some very prominent senior engineers from Pakistan and foreign delegates. Institution of Engineers Karachi Centre was represented by Engr. Rukhsana Rahooja who presented two papers during the two-day convention. During the stay, I made few new friends from IEP Islamabad Centre.
Dinner at Salt’n Pepper Village Restaurant IEP Lahore later arranged an exquisite evening at Salt’n Pepper Village Restaurant by entertaining the delegates with live music and dinner. A wide array of cuisines was set up with a special focus on local Punjabi delicacies. In addition, the live music scene was really a good idea and made the evening more pleasant. Local singers from Pakistan were singing on request of IEP members and songs from yesteryear with great rhythm and poise. We also had a chance to hear live Nepali song by Mrs. Tuna Thapa, wife of Mr. Thapa-President NEA.
Dinner at Engr. Mian Sultan Mahmood Residence Engr. Mian Sultan Mahmood also arranged a beautiful dinner evening at his residence. It was a typical winter Lahore evening and the weather was really cold and foggy. There was a beautiful bonfire which actually made it possible to sit outside in the cold weather. The dinner was very delicious and the service and presentation of all the dishes were great. The highlight of the evening was the local sweet dish and Kashmiri Tea which really set the mood in the cold Lahore weather. The foreign delegates enjoyed every minute of their stay at Mian Sahib’s residence. The IEP Convention finally concluded by exchanging gifts and mementos to all foreign delegates from IEP HQ and Lahore Centre; the same was from the other side as well. The delegates enjoyed the popular Peshawari Cap especially worn in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province which helped them to save their head from the cool evening breeze.
Visit to Lahore Fort and Minar-e-Pakistan: The first place I visited along with the foreign delegates in Lahore was the Lahore Fort popularly known as "Shahi Qila" in native Urdu. It is one of the largest urban parks of Pakistan and is a great tourist attraction. We were also told that it is also a UNESCO heritage site which is a proof in itself from the importance of this great fort. There has been a lot of debate on when it was actually built, but the base structure was laid at the time of Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century. Inside the building also exist the great Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha Pavilion and Moti Masjid. We had a great time seeing all these places with our host Engr. Syed Saleem Akhtar and his wife Mrs. Rubina Saleem of IEP Head Quarter. We later went to see the “Minar-e-Pakistan” located within Iqbal Park. It was completed in 1968 after eight years of construction and is a reflection of Mughal, Islamic and Modern architecture. It provides a great panoramic view of the Lahore city by going up the stairs or elevator. It consists of 4 platforms made of stone and polished marble on top. Minar-e-Pakistan carries huge significance since the famous Lahore resolution was passed here on March 23, 1940. Seeing the Minar-e-Pakistan was a real emotional experience and reminded us of our great freedom struggles to free Pakistan. We were not so fortunate as due to security reasons the elevator was closed and we were not allowed to go close to the Minar. After our return from the Fort we decided to visit the "Y-Area of DHA Lahore". The guests did some shopping and after visiting various shopping malls we returned to our hotel and had a nice dinner and Dr. Engr. Javed Yunas Uppal also joined us. After dinner, he thanked all the delegates for participating in the convention. Next morning all the delegates started leaving with lots of sweet memories to cherish remember from Lahore.
Visit to the Shrine of Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh (RA) During my stay at Lahore, I also had a chance to visit the shrine of Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh. Engr. Ayaz Mirza-Secretary, IEP Karachi Centre & Engr. Syed Qudrat Ullah of Islamabad were along with me during the visit. Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh was a great Persian Sufi and scholar in the 11th century and had a significant contribution to the spreading of Islam in the South Asian region. It’s a beautiful shrine with a large marble courtyard, a mosque and buildings nearby. It is the one of the most famous and frequently visited shrines of Pakistan and people come from all over Pakistan and also from neighboring countries to pay homage to the great scholar. We prayed Fatiha for the deceased and moved on to our next destination.
Visit to Matrix Engineering Company and Punjab University: The International Engineering Convention was over and since I had a few more days in Lahore before my visit to India via Wagah Border, I decided to meet Engr. M. Yousaf Mian, Director Strategic Planning Matrix Engineering (Pvt) Ltd which is situated at Sundar Industrial Estate Lahore. Unfortunately, Engr. Yousaf Mian could not come to Lahore and, therefore, sent his son Mr. M. Farooq Yousaf from Karachi instead to get my trip materialized to visit the factory. Farooq Yousaf came at my hotel and we travelled to Sundar Industrial Estate and visited the Matrix Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. We were welcomed by Engr. M. Yousaf Zia, Director Operations and his staff. It was a good complete tour and I was really impressed by their setup and their compliance of all engineering standards. The prime thing was that Health and Safety was very religiously followed and we could see the standardized HSE warnings and banners posted all over the factory. We had our lunch and offered Friday prayers and hit for the headquarter of Matrix to meet the other three directors of the company. Later, we reached the Head Quarter of Matrix Engineering Company and met all the other three directors and I liked the way all four of them are running the company meeting all the International Standards. I wish them all the success.
Visit to Punjab University: Finally, we reached our final destination the office of our host Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali at Punjab University. Mr. Ismaeel Ali, a staff member of Dr. Ali took us around and gave us a nice tour of the Campus. We met Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali at the University Officers Mess and thanked him for waiting for us for so long as we were late but his staff took care and gave us a good tour of all the major facilities and departments of the University. Finally Mr. Farooq Yousaf dropped me at the hotel and I thanked him that he came all the way from Karachi to take me all around and made my stay very viable in Lahore.
Lahore City visit with Engr. Col ® Rifat Hayat As I have few more days to stay in Lahore, so I called my old classmate Engr. Col ® Rifat Hayat he came and the first day we went to Lahore Services Club and we had a good lunch. Later we decided that we would visit the city area the next day. Next day, Rifat Hayat took me around and since I had not been to Lahore’s famous Metro Bus Service, I decided to take a ride the first thing in the morning. Later, we took a walk through Old Lahore. We visited the Bhatti, Lahori and other gates which are the landmarks to this historic city. I had a great time and really enjoyed the trip. Later we had lunch in the Lahori Gate area.
Visit to Shaukat Khanam Merorial Cancer Hospital On my request Engr. Rifat Hayat took me to visit the Shaukat Khanam Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre. Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital is a charitable hospital founded by the legendary cricketer and politician Imran Khan and is named after his late mother who died of cancer. It was completed in 1994 and is one of the biggest cancer hospitals of Pakistan. The hospital has modern equipment to treat its patients and it is also claimed that 75% of the patients receive free treatment. It is a really impressive initiative considering that our majority population is unable to bear huge treatment costs of cancer. I was impressed to see that the hospital has kept all international standards and the staff is dedicated and doing a great service to the humanity. We took our lunch in the staff canteen and found it very affordable and reasonable for all who visit the hospital.
Wedding Ceremony of Faisal Tahir Khan I attended the wedding ceremony and Valima reception of Faisal Tahir Khan, son of Tahir Khan, my first cousin who lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Both the functions were good and I finally caught up with all of my other cousins whom I have not met for years, especially Dr. Tariq Khan who I met after a very long time. He lives in Dubai. Finally, my trip to Lahore concluded and now I had to leave for India to visit my relatives and friends in different cities of India. Last but not the least, I am thankful to Institution Of Engineers Pakistan Head Quarter and Lahore Centre for their hospitality, Matrix Engineering Company (Pvt) Ltd. Engr. Col ® Rifat Hayat, Tahir Khan, Engr. Syed Saleem Akhtar and IEP Karachi Centre for taking out their valuable time and making my trip to Lahore a memorable one. Download Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan presentation.