A memorable evening spent in Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Dr. Manzar Sohail giving his opinions

Dr. Manzar Sohail giving his opinions

Dr. Irfan and Kanwar Javed discussing current situation in Pakistan

Dr. Irfan and Kanwar Javed discussing current situation in Pakistan

It was Saturday, 26 January 2013 – Australia Day. I had my flight from Sydney to Sunshine Coast, where my two friends were staying for attending an international conference on Bioenergy. I was going to see them after a long time. Professor Dr. Muhammad Irfan Khan is the Chairman of Department of Environmental Science at International Islamic University, Islamabad. Mr. Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal is Senior Researcher at SDPI (Sustainable Development Policy Institute), Islamabad. Both were staying in Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast.

Plane landed Sunshine one hour later than the scheduled time at the Sunshine Coast airport. Kanwar and Dr. Irfan came to pick me up with their local friend Dr. Manzar Sohail, Senior Research Fellow at Sunshine Coast University. We greeted each other warmly and then Dr. Sohail drove us to the resort. Sunshine Coast was experiencing very heavy rain that day.

I as very excited to see my old friends after a long time and had number of questions in my mind regarding the global environmental and sustainability issues, and prevailing living conditions in Pakistan as both of them keep in touch with the famous and journalism personalities like Talat Hussain and Javed Chaudhry. Kanwar was a candidate for MNA seat from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for his constituency in Mailsi, Punjab before Shah Mahmood’s joining of the party; after which later favoured his own candidate for the seat.

To my surprise, Dr. Irfan and Kanwar both highly appreciated the Punjab Government. They informed me that in Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif took all the measures to eradicate the corruption and Punjab was the only province where they found better conditions (except electricity and gas load shedding) as compared with the other provinces, as they have to travel throughout Pakistan for working on different projects as specialists. Kanwar added that Dr. Tahir ul Qadri had around 200,000 supporters with him in the long march and Imran Khan did not make a good decision by not joining them. He also informed that people expected Imran to lead them; however PTI did not come up to the expectations of their party members even.

Dr. Irfan put some light on the role of media in current conditions. He briefed that famous journalist Javed Chaudhry is very different from what he seems. He added that during one of latter’s lectures as a guest speaker in Islamic University; he had to face tough questions from the students and could not reply them satisfactorily. Both intellectual friends of mine stressed that Imran Khan must select the good candidates himself for the upcoming general elections in Pakistan, without taking any pressure or compromising on any thing.

Then we went out for a delicious dinner to a restaurant, where we discussed the burning issues like Shahzeb’ and Kamran Faisal’s murders. Dr. Manzar Sohail also took part in the discussions and agev his valuable opinions. After the meal Dr. Sohail took the permission to leave. We came back to hotel and now started discussing the conference, which they had been attending in Sunshine Coast. They made me proud of them by telling that Pakistani team (a total of four members) played a vital role in decision making and delegates from the USA, UK, France, China, Korea and many other countries appreciated them in high words. They said that they could never expect Pakistanis having such a high level of intellect. Dr. Irfan’ and Kanwar’s suggestions were made part of the final declaration. I highly appreciated both of my friends and told that I was so delighted to see them bringing country’s image to such a high level. Then we ended up our discussion and went asleep.

Next morning (Sunday) I left for Brisbane at 8:15 am. It was a memorable evening that we spent together and I learnt lot of things from Dr. Irfan, Dr. Sohail and Kanwar Javed.


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