Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Special Postage Stamps on Gems And Minerals of Paksitan February 24, 2012:- Emerald:- Emerald, the name is of ancient origin, the Latin “Samaragdus” known as Green Stone, is a variety of the mineral beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3) 6) colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. It has hexagonal crystal system, having hardness of 7 – 8 in Moh scale.
The inclusion in emerald can be highly distinctive; bubbles of gas in a liquid (like a sprit level), within spindle-shaped or, more rarely, truncated prismatic cavities; birefringent, circular plates of mica; multifaceted pyrite crystals or calcite rhombohedra.
The typical color is beautiful due to traces of chromium in the crystal structure. An emerald has various shades from light or dark green to bright or leaf green. The most common shape for gem is the step or trap cut, which is also known as emerald cut. Stones of fine colour, weighing more than 2 carats, are among the most highly valued gemstones.
Unlike diamond, where the loupe standard, i.e. 10x magnification, is used to grade clarity, emerald is graded by eye. Thus, if an emerald has no visible inclusions to the eye (assuming normal visual acuity), it is considered flawless. Stones that lack surface breaking fissures are extremely rare and therefore almost all emeralds are treated, “oiled”, to enhance the apparent clarity.
In Pakistan, Emeralds are found at Mingora, Gujar Killi, Shamozai, Charbagh, Makhad of Swat; Gandao of Mohmand Agency, Barang of Bajaur Agency, Kot of Malakand Agency, khaltaro of the Gilgit Biltistan and Dokoo of Shinger Valley.
Rubby:- The name comes from the Latin rubrum, “red”. It is the most valuable variety of corundum group. Its crystal system is trigonal. Ruby is a-alumina (the most stable form of AI2O3) in which a small fraction of the aluminum3+ ions are replaced by chromium3+. This crystallographic arrangement strongly affects each Cr3+, resulting in light absorption in the yellow-green region of the spectrum and thus in the red color of the gem.
The brightest red and thus the most valuable rubies often have areas full of inclusions in the form of minute rutile neddles, which interfere with the light producing a distinctive silky shine known, in fact, as silk. When the silk is not heavy, the stones are clearer, more attractive and even more valuable. Other, mainly crystalline inclusions are normally found as well. Rubies of this type are not usually more than a few carats in weight. There are exceptions, generally containing copious inclusion and have hardness 9 in Moh scale.
The ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, together with the sapphire, the emerald, and the diamond.
The brightest and most valuable “red” called pigeon blood-red, commands a huge premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated.
Some rubies show a 3-point or 6-point aster whereas, some rubies show a 3-point or 6-point asterism or “star”. These rubies are cut into cabochons to display the effect properly. This is one example where inclusions increase the value of a gemstone. Furthermore, rubies can show a change in color though this occurs very rarely as a “cat’s eye” effect. These rubies are cut into cabshon to display the effect properly.
In Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) Rubies are found at Aliabad of Hunza Valley, Basal area of Naran, Astore of Gilgit Baltistan and also huge and best quality deposits are found in Nangimali and Batakundi.
Sapphire:- The name of this blue variety of corundum is probably derived from the Latin sapphires and Greek sapheiros. This is one of the two or three gem-varieties of corundum, with another one being the red or deep pink ruby. Trace amounts of other elements such as iron, titanium, or chromium can give corundum blue, yellow, pink, purple, orange, or greenish color. Pink-orange sapphires are also called padmaraga. Pure chromium is the distinct impurity of ribies. However, a combination of e.g. chromium and titanium can give sapphire a color distinct from red.
Although blue is the most well-known color, sapphires are made up of any color of corundum except for red. Sapphires may also be colorless, and they are also found in shades of gray and black having a trigonal crystal structure with a hardness 9 in Moh scale.
Inclusions are, as a rule, less obvious in very dark stones, due to their general lack of transparency, whereas medium to large pale stones often show distinct “veils” or “feathers” caused by very fine inclusion and foreign crystals, which are sometimes transparent, sometimes dark, submetallic, opaque, and, very occasionally, bright red.
In Pakistan Sapphire deposits are found in Aliabad and Muzaffarabad (AJK).
Peridot:- The name could be derived from the Greek “peridona” meaning “giving plenty” or from the Arabic word Faridat or Zabargad. Later the stone was known as Topazion. Probably around the 18th century, the French were the first to call the yellowish-green stone Peridot, although the English have similar claims, It was probably, regarding their history, more of a French name. However, the name source of the Peridot is not very clear.
It was discovered a couple of thousands years BC ago by the sailors landed on a small Island of the Serpents, red sea, under the bright moonlight they saw glowing crystals among the volcanic earth. At first light those crystals turn green glitters in the sand.
Peridot belongs to the forsterite-fayalite (most of the gem variety is predominantly foresterite, named after the German naturalist, John Forester) mineral series which is part of the Olivine group. It is one of the “idiochromatic” gems, meaning the color created by the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself, not from minor impurities, and therefore will only be found in shades of green.
Its chemical formula is (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 with hardness of 6.5-7 in Moh scale.
In iron-and magnesium-rich intrusive rocks it usually occurs as unhedral crystal; but in effusive rocks, such as basalts, it more often has a prismatic appearance. Peridot shades very from a yellowish (olive) green, a stronger, almost bottle green, or pale yellow tinged with green. It has unexceptional, vitreous luster, increasing its resemblance to olive oil.
In Pakistan Peridot occurs to the southeast of west Sapat Gali, and to the north of Rah Wali Sapat (Parla Sapat, Kaghan-Naran area) and to the west of Ratti Gatti (Kohistan area).
Paksitan Post is issuing a set of four special postage stamps of Rs. 8/- denomination in eacs desigen on Gems and Minerals of Pakistan on February 24, 2012.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Birthday Celebrations of Air Marshal Nur Khan Commemorative Postage Stamp February 22, 2012:- An ace fighter pilot, a visionary commander and an epitome of a leader, Air Marshal Nur Khan emerged on the global landscape as a true icon, a legend and a national hero.
(then Attock District), Malik Nur Khan was born on February 22, 1923. After
successfully completing his primary education from government school Taman and Aitchison College,
he joined Royal Indian Military College (RIMC) in 1934. During training at this
premier institution, he showed remarkable performance and was well known and
respected for his razor-sharp intelligence and Sportsmanship. He was
commissioned on January 6, 1941 as a fighter pilot in the Royal Indian Air
Force, at the age of seventeen years ten months only. After serving in No.3
Squadron of the Royal Indian Air Force, he participated in the World War II at
the Dehra Dun
front. At the time of partition in 1947, Nur Khan opted for Pakistan Air Force
and later served the PAF on various appointments which included command of
Chaklala, Burma Peshawar, Mauripur stations, No.1
Group at Peshawar and
besides various tenures at Air HQs in different capacities. He remained
involved in the induction of aircraft under U.S military aid. He made
relentless efforts in the induction of F-86s instead of F-84s, dispite
opposition. PAF Academy
Air Marshal Malik Nur Khan showed his true colours, when he was given the prestigious command of Pakistan Air Force, on July 23, 1965. As Commander-in-Chief of PAF, he established the foundations of aggressive tactics, construed the time according to situation, and adopted ways and means that were in the best interest of service. As a true leader he knew the art of winning hearts and minds of the under command. He remained involved in the affairs of the PAF Airmen, cared for them and took actions that raised their morale. He was a statuesque man, who commanded the Pakistan Air Force during the country’s first real test since independence, during Indo-Pak war in 1965. It was his thorough insight into the complexities of war that saw the Pakistan Air Force soundly quashed the aggressor’s aircraft both on ground and in the air. It was due to his visionary leadership that in 1965 war, a small but courageous and well trained air force knocked out there time bigger air force.
After the cease fire in 1965 war,
Pakistan suffered from US
sanctions and Arms Embargo, which adversely affected the PAF and all of its origin
weapon systems were grounded. At this very crucial juncture, Air Marshal Nur
Khan once again rose to the occasion. He called upon his visionary skills by
looking to US China and for
military replenishments to overcome the considerable problems the PAF had
suffered due to lack of spares. Within months, his relentless efforts bore
fruit and first batch of Chinese F-6s and French Mirages as a strike aircraft
were delivered, so that the PAF could continue to defend the country, which the
adoring population was expecting at that time. France
Apart from rising to the coveted position of C-in-C of PAF at the age of 42, he went on to make a name for himself in many diverse fields. It was during his secondment to Pakistan International Airlines from 1959 – 1965, that his willingness to lead from the front thrust him into the global spotlight. Within months of taking over the responsibilities of PIA, he was able to convert the national airline from a non-descript and struggling career into a dynamic and successful international airline to become the first in the region to operate the new revolutionary Boeing 707. In February, 1964, he was also appointed Chief Administrator of Civil Aviation and Tourism. His vision on tourism and initiatives resulted in promotion of hotel business in
His tenure on this appointment saw acquisition of foreign hotels and extending
help to over 46 foreign airlines to train their pilots, engineers, employees
and revive their fortunes. Pakistan
Nur Khan also rendered colossal services for the uplift of national sports of Hockey, Cricket and Squash and enabled
to reach the pinnacle. In Hockey, he was able to get Pakistan claim two Olympic, World
Cup and Champions Trophy titles, the later two being his own brainchild apart
from many new innovations to uplift these sports from decline and decadence.
When he became chairman PCB (then BCCP) in February 1980, he made the Asia Cup
an enduring reality and introduced neutral umpiring in cricket World Cup to the
subcontinent for the first time. When Nur Khan took over the responsibility of
reviving Squash in the country, the game saw its zenith. His revolutionary
steps for the uplift of the game included introduction of talent hunt scheme
which paid dividends and produced a surfeit of world class Pakistani players in
the 70s: Qamar Zaman, Gogi Allauddin, Hidayat Jahan, Mohibullah Khan, Junior
and others. In 1975, his efforts bore fruit as Qamar Zaman brought back the
British Open title to Pakistan
after 12 years. He during his short stints as Minister of Education and
Governor of West Pakistan made all endeavours to promote education and improve
the social fibre of the nation. Pakistan
The services rendered by Air Marshal Nur Khan were acknowledged both at national and international levels and he became a highly decorated officer of PAF. His decorations include Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Hilal-e-Jurat, Hilal-e-Shujat, Sitara-i-Pakistan and Sitara-i-Quaid-e-Azam. The King of Jordan awarded him the Order of Istiqlal (2nd Class) and was decorated as Commander of the National Order of the Cedars by the President of Lebanon, besides the award of Grand Officer in the order of Range Nassau with Swords by the Dutch Government.
Air Marshal Nur Khan was a very proud, patriotic, devoted and a decorated “SON” of
. His charismatic
personality, dynamic leadership, visionary wisdom, razor-sharp intelligence,
outstanding management abilities, and inexhaustible diligence made him the most
accomplished person of modern history. His long, distinguished and illustrious
services in diverse fields earned him a name that would be surely remembered
till the end of times. He was the man with Mida’s touch; whatever he touched
became gold, whatever he envisaged became reality, whatever he pursued became
exemplary- truly “Giant among men”: Pakistan
The saga of epic quests and achievements ended when the legend expired on December 15, 2011, leaving behind a trail of courage, professionalism and dedication for the nation to cherish and follow.To commemorate Birthday Celebrations of Air Marshal Nur Khan, Pakistan Post is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 8/- denomination on February 22, 2012.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
In his book ‘A Century Of British Chess’, Philip Sergeant writes that Britain’s first chess club, Parsloe’s, which opened in 1774, numbered among its early supporters George Eliot, later General Eliot, Governor of Gibraltar and commander of the forces during the Great Siege of 1779-1783. Many famous military men have played chess. Down the ages Gibraltarians, together with other local residents and
garrison personnel, have included chess amongst their leisure activities.
The Gibraltar International Chess Festival, now one of the most prestigious open tournaments in the world, began as a much smaller event in 2003. Its popularity has grown year on year, and today well over 300 participants, players of all levels, return to the Rock every January, many calling Gibraltar their favourite event on the chess calendar. For eleven days the festival venue, the Caleta Hotel, is transformed into a hive of chess activity. Arriving here from all corners of the world, players can be sure that old friendships will be renewed, and – win or lose – new ones made.
In a separate development, the first Gibraltar International Junior Chess Festival took place in August, 2011. Children from the
UK, Spain, and Gibraltar
took part. Over the past decade, thanks to a dedicated teaching programme, many
hundreds of children in Gibraltar have
received chess tuition at school. One young Gibraltarian, Stephen Whatley, has
scored notable tournament successes in the , while several other young local
players show similar promise, with more juniors keen to follow. UK
The games featured on the stamps have been specially chosen as representing the best of the many thousands contested in
Gibraltar over the past decade.
All the players shown are grandmasters. Two are women. Pia Cramling ( Sweden) has played in all ten Gibraltar
festivals, while Natalia Zhukova ( ) won the top female award
in 2010. Michael Adams, Nigel Short (both Ukraine England)
and Vassily Ivanchuk ( Ukraine)
are all former Gibraltar champions. Viktor
Bologan ( Moldova) and Fabiano
Caruana ( )
are elite players with aggressive styles popular with the public. Chess legend
Viktor Korchnoi ( Italy )
fought two World Championship matches with arch-rival Anatoly Karpov. Switzerland
The festival is followed by fans online thanks to the technical back-up of Gibtelecom,
main telecommunications provider, whose loyal support over ten years has been
crucial to the festival’s development and success. Tradewise Insurance (Twi)
took over the role of lead sponsor in 2011, and demonstrating the fullest
commitment they are raising the profile of chess still further. Thanks to
these, and other, local sponsors, and with an important contribution from the
Gibraltar Government’s Sports & Leisure Authority, the small territory of
Gibraltar has, in ten years, firmly established itself as a capital city of
2012 sees the start of a new theme for Åland franking labels. Reputable stamp artist Juha Pykäläinen was commissioned to illustrate old wooden duck decoys; first out is the eider duck.
Wildfowl decoys are lifelike dummies used by hunters to encourage birds to land nearby. The oldest decoys were made from plants such as bulrush, and the first decoys carved from wood were unpainted. Decoys are now mostly made from plastic. The new series of postal labels shows painted wooden decoys.
One of the largest sea ducks is the eider with a body length of 60 to 70 cm. It has a large bulky shape with a short neck, a large head and a long wedge-shaped bill without knob. The bill is feathered on the sides from the base of the bill to the nostrils. The eider can be readily distinguished by its characteristic triangular head shape with the bill and forehead forming a straight line. The wings are broad, short and relatively small with a wingspan of 95 to 105 cm. The male eider is also called eider drake.
This stamp issue, produced in association with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), illustrates the National Bird of the
Long ago, these beautiful birds were found all over the
but they were killed for food and sport and taken away on passing ships on
which they died. Now they are a protected species and watched over by the
Society for the Protection of the Flamingo in The Bahamas through the Bahamas
National Trust, a statutory body set up in 1959. Bahamas
The flamingo has a large breeding colony on Great Inagua. It is one of three major nesting groups found in the West Indian region. The other two being in the
Mexico, and Bonaire of the Netherlands Antilles.
flamingo generally breeds between March and mid-July. The birds court each
other with a variety of display behaviours that include head movements,
marching, wing displays and vocalisations. These communal displays serve to
synchronize hormonal cycling for breeding. They construct large nests out of
mud that may reach a foot in height and the female will usually lay one or two
eggs which she and the male will take turns to incubate, folding their legs and
straddling the nests. The eggs are elongated, chalky white with a blood-red
yolk and take about a month to incubate. The young are born agile, able to run
and swim; but look nothing like their parents. Both parents feed the young by
regurgitation and the pink colouring comes from eating shrimp and other aquatic
creatures containing carotenoid pigments which are deposited into the feathers
and skin. Without these the flamingo’s feathers would be white. They are
fledged in around 75 days.
Chicks reach their adult size in 1½ to 2 years and don’t have their adult plumage for 2 – 4 years. In the wild, the flamingo can typically live for up to 30 years. In captivity this can be longer.
Flamingos are very skittish and will fly away if disturbed. They are very vocal and have numerous calls. Breeding pairs have location calls to help locate each other and alarm calls are used to warn the group of danger. The usual call is a loud goose-like honking sound. The chicks even make calls while they are in the egg, which their parents learn to recognize.
The flamingo prefers areas with plenty of mud and water such as mudflats, brackish lakes and shallow coastal lagoons where it uses its backwards bending legs to stir up the mud in search of food which comprises seeds, blue-green algae, crustaceans and molluscs. This is then filtered through two rows oflamellae or comb-like bristles that line the inside of its bill and trap the food. It also has bristles on its tongue that help it filter food out of the water. They will feed at any time of the day or night. When an area no longer provides sufficient food the flamingos will migrate to another area at night.
Monaco Post has issued a stamp to commemorate the 5th World Cat Show 2012 which will be held in the Auditorium Rainier III,
on February, 11-12, 2012. Organized by the Feline Federation of Monte Carlo
according to the criteria of the World Cat Federation, the event will feature
the "Russian Blue", whose specimen is shown on the stamp. Monaco
This stamp issue, produced in association with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), recognizes some of the lesser-known species of seabird breeding on
The species depicted are part of the rich biodiversity found in South Georgia's unique environment. WWF is one of the
world's leading organisations who work towards conservation and sustainability.
In addition to the set, there is a Souvenir Sheet showing a Juvenile Southern
skua (£3.50p) and a sheetlet of 16 (4 sets in staggered format) with face value
of £13.20p. The stamps in the sheetlet ‘bleed off’ at the edge.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Arfa Karim Randhawa (2 February 1995 – 14 January 2012) was a Pakistani student and computer prodigy, who in 2004 at the age of nine years became a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), the youngest in the world until 2008. She was invited by Bill Gates to visit the Microsoft Headquarters in the
A science park in USA Lahore was named after her,
the Arfa Software Technology
Arfa was born to a family from the
of Chak No 4JB Ram Dewali in Faisalabad, Punjab. After
from a visit to Microsoft headquarters, Arfa gave numerous television and
newspaper interviews. On 2 August 2005, Arfa Karim was presented the Fatimah
Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology by the then Prime
Minister of Pakistan ,
Shaukat Aziz on the occasion of 113th birth anniversary of Fatima Jinnah. She also received the Salaam Pakistan
Youth Award again in August 2005 from the President of Pakistan. Arfa Karim is also the recipient of
the President's Award for Pride of Performance, a civil award usually granted
to people who have shown excellence in their respective fields over a long
period of time. She is the youngest recipient of this award. In recognition of
her achievement Arfa was made brand ambassador for Pakistan Telecommunication
Company’s 3G Wireless Broadband service named EVO in January 2010. Pakistan
In 2011, at the age of 16, Arfa Karim was studying at the Lahore Grammar School Paragon Campus in her second year of A-levels. On 22 December 2011 she suffered a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure that damaged her brain, and was admitted to
Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in critical condition. Lahore
On 9 January 2012, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, contacted Arfa's parents and directed his doctors to adopt "every kind of measure" for her treatment. Gates set up a special panel of international doctors who remained in contact with her local doctors through teleconference. The panel received details about her illness and provided assistance in diagnosis and treatment. Local doctors dismissed the option of moving Arfa to another hospital owing to her being on a ventilator and in critical condition. Members of Arfa's family have lauded Bill Gates for offering to bear her treatment expenses.
On 13 January 2012, Arfa Karim started to improve and some parts of her brain showed signs of improvement. Her father, Amjad Karim Randhawa, said Microsoft had raised the possibility of flying Arfa to the
for care. US
On 14 January 2012, 16-year-old Arfa Karim died at 9:50 PM (Pakistan Standard Time) at Combined Military Hospital (CMH)
Her funeral prayer was offered in Cavalry Ground Lahore at 10 AM on 15 January
2012, and later at Lahore
the same day. The funeral was attended by the Chief Minister of Faisalabad Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif. She was buried at her ancestral
village in . Faisalabad
On 15 January 2012, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced that the name of
Park would be changed to . Arfa Software
Monthly Universal Post for the month of February 2012 has been printed. This magazine includes philatelic information. You will find here the information regarding new issue of
and World Wide. If
you are interested to purchase this magazine kindly contact Malik Sadiq, Editor
Monthly Universal Post. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Pakistan