Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Facebook Family - Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan and the Beast!

A wonderful couple with a really adorable pet called Beast, a hungarian sheepdog also known as komondors.

Mark Zuckerberg's new house is still quite modest and more on that go to gawker here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prices of Fruits and Vegetables in Pakistan

A very modest list of a weekend Sunday Market/Itawar Bazar organized by CDA in G-10/G-11 green belt: 68 types of vegetables and 30 types of fruits 10 types of fish and two kinds of chickens: free range/poltry were available...very impressive!

Pakistan is blessed with a very fertile soil - thanks to the Indus Basin as well as the wonderful climatic conditions - perfect to just-grow-anything. Really! Throw the seeds and see what will happen next -  with much less effort you will have your homegrown, organic veges and fruits in a matter of weeks - voila!

In all,  I have to say that the weekend markets run by CDA have played an important role in making fruits/vegetables accessible to all the citizens of the capital, Islamabad.

While living in Pakistan, I never noticed or appreciated the variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables until I had to leave this country and moved to places where I paid up to 15USD for one pomegranate (if I'm lucky), or 10USD for just one mango or having strict ginger rationing that used to come through special shipments or never saw a guava in 3 years.

All this happened in the so-called globalized and very interconnected world where labor, capital and the produce have no borders anymore but the myth burst for me finally while living in Korea when I realized that we are living in a very protective world - full of the invisible boundaries, dirty politics and barriers to produce from the developing world to the developed one.

I still remember, a friend who bought a box of four oranges from USA for 50 USD in Seoul at Sinsaegae Store- just because she got emotional to see oranges from her hometown and also she was of the opinion they the oranges from her hometown are the best.

Well back to our fresh, seasonal fruits/ vegetables in Pakistan - nothing can beat us. There is a fad in countries (OECD/developed ones) about well-being lifestyle which means: you eat organic, you eat seasonal and you eat locally produced fruits and vegetables. On the whole, it means that you are among the elite/privileged/well-educated group of people. I mean that's what it's like in States or even in some European countries, Japan and Korea. What you eat defines and categorizes you.

The fun part is what West defines and labels as all the above mentioned group of people- we in South Asia call them lower income families for what they eat and shy away from. I think that what people get to eat in Pakistan in general is a blessing in disguise - less meat  and more vegetables, that is. In short, Pakistanis eat less crazier than in other place. I still remember how much my mother used to ignore non-seasonal fruits and vegetables which she believed were not good in taste and were not as healthy as the seasonal produce and probably this was and still is the common wisdom of the land.

I also remember my Special Lectures Series on Korean Culture - an event organized by Kyung Hee University in which one of the famous professors of Korean Traditional Medicine emphasized the importance of eating seasonal produce as well as indulging in local food of the country of sojourn which can help balance the yin and yang dynamics.

If you are living in Islamabad, you will notice that all of a sudden you'll see some specific fruits in every nook and corner.  Small stalls are set up to press fresh juice - right in front of your eyes and the prices are ridiculously low or let me say one of the lowest in the world. Usually a specific fruit is seen for about 8 weeks or so and then it disappears and is replaced by another. When I first visited Pakistan after 8 years - it was autumn and I saw citrus fruits littered all over the place - on the road sides, bus stops, restaurants, bazaars, side walks and even in people's small gardens - you name it. Islamabad turned orange. Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of citrus fruit in the world and the varieties ranges between oranges, mandarins, grape fruit, kinnu and much, much more. Then I saw them disappearing and we had pomegranates and guavas, they disappeared and we saw strawberries and then cherries and then melon and water melons, kiwis, lychees, chikoo, falsas and finally mangoes made their way.

Unfortunately Pakistan exports only a fraction of its fruit varieties elsewhere in the world, a lot of it is wasted in packing, transporting and non availability of basic equipment as well as techniques. While reading an abstract on HEC website I found out in an abstract of a PhD thesis that: 
Pakistan has unique but complex network of up to five or six intermediaries between the primary producer and the end user.  

No wonder, this means a lot of wastage of the produce, rise in prices and all that. Also, we are muddling in politics more than doing extensive trade and business deals. I personally know how expensive and divine status an orange has in Russia and Central Asia. It is very, very expensive in this region and Pakistan can sell it's orange or even barter it (why not) with these countries but we have been unsuccessful (for whatever reasons). These hits and misses of losing business opportunities in emerging markets have only added to poverty in Pakistan and we must NOT forget that.

Back to fruits so let's talk mango. Mangoes are the pride of Pakistan considering the enormous varieties and the gorgeous taste they have. Mangoes are literally found in hundreds of types. Yes, hundreds. Pakistanis call them the 'King of all fruits'. They all taste different, smell different and have a fantastic texture and pulp consistency and fibre variations. Our childhood favourite was 'Chussnie Amm' - a type that you rub it in your palms and make it soft and then make a hole on top of it and start sucking the juice in (we were all mango suckers). My mom's favourite is Sindhree Amm. Some other types of mangoes are Chonsa, Langra, Tota Pari, Anwer Ratole, Malda, Fajri, Neelam etc.for pictures and types of mangoes click here).

We have a rich variety of fruit and vegetable and if one fails to find their required vege/ fruit then it is due to the lack of knowledge of the local name for it. I heard an American expat friend that she couldn't find gooseberries in Pakistan and I told her that we grow them a lot ( and it is called Amla in Urdu - an important ingredient in Aruvedic treatments). My mom used to make a homemade shampoo using gooseberries. People also make achar and press them  to extract oil for scalp (considered good for hair). Same goes with butternut, acorn squash and zucchini. I think it is more of a case of lost in translation scenario and nothing more. I have even found seaweeds in some markets that was locally produced - are you surprised- well, so was I.

So, I believe that one must explore the local fruit/vegetable bazaars or markets, indulge in them, find some local dishes that satisfy your taste buds and be conscious of yin and yang balance - no health guru or consultant is needed but only a bit of a reflection, curiosity, respect to foreign food culture is all we need when we eat and shop.

Here I'm listing the prices of some of the fruits and vegetables in Islamabad, Pakistan for reference ( I made a huge list but it got deleted so doing it all over - I ended up with fruits only).

The most noticeable fact is that the most expensive fruit costs 2.5USD per kilogram in Pakistan whereas the most expensive vegetable costs not more than a dollar - actually some are for a few cents a kilo.

Fruit prices for one kilogram quantity are mentioned below in dollars (American) in Islamabad, since we have two theree variations of the same fruit so you will be able to see the minimum to the maximum price in dollars:

Apples (various varieties): 50 cents - 2USD.
Pomegranate (2 types): 1.5USD - 2.5USD
Bananas: 40 cents to 1USD for a dozen (12 pieces).
Guava (4 types): 50 cents - 2USD
Peaches ((3 types): 60 cents - 1.5 USD
Apricots: 60 cents to 1.5USD
Mangoes (over a hundred type of mangoes): 50 cents to 2USD
Lychees: 1USD- 2 USD
Strawberries: 1.25 USD - 2USD
Cherries(3 types): 2USD - 2.5 USD
Falsa (Grewia): 2USD
Persimmon: 2USD
Melons ( 4 types): 20 cents
Watermelons (2 types): 15 cents
Papaya: 1USD
Pineapple: 2USD
Grapes (without seeds): 2USD
Chiku fruit (Sapota): 1USD
Shareefa (Aarticum/suger-apple): 2.5USD
Jamun/Black plums: 1USD
Loquat: 75 cents.
Grapes with seeds: 1USD
Oranges ( a couple of varieties- i know about 20 types): 50 cents for a dozen to 1.75USD for a dozen.

Now if we look at vegetables they are only a few cents per kilogram and I can hardly think of any vegetable that was sold for a dollar a kilo. So anyhow, in this situation I wonder how much do our farmers and especially small landowners earn off their hard labor?  I feel so bad about the conditions of "real" farmers in Pakistan who are living in abject poverty and are unable to feed themselves but feed the entire country and also Afghanistan.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Essay Contest ( Discover Korea)!

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is organizing a contest and winners will get great prizes.

All you have to do is to write an essay about a three-day trip to hidden travel destinations in Korea, and what you would do during your trip.

The winner will be given a chance to visit the destination and take part in various cultural activities.

Eligible Applicants: All non-Koreans around the world (Foreigners living in Korea and Koreans with foreign nationality may also apply).

How to Apply: Write an essay about a three-day trip to hidden or unknown travel destinations in Korea that you want to visit (additional user created contents also accepted)

Accepted Language: All 11 Languages Broadcast by KBS World Radio

Application Period: June 1 ~ July 15, 2012 (through e-mail or postal mail)

Judging Criteria: originality, creativity and how informative the content is

Prizes include:

Grand Prize: One winner will win an all expense paid trip to Koreaincluding round trip airfare

Other Prizes: 2nd and 3rd place winners as well as eight other top essays will win digital cameras, MP3 players etc. (prizes subject to change)

Approximately 100 other participants will be given small memorabilia

Please Note: All pictures, sounds or videos used in user created contents must not violate copyright infringement laws

For more information please visit the homepage at:
or email at:

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Summer Plant is called...?

I wish I had known the name of this plant but anyways whatever we call it - I really like it. It is also an indicator of summers as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 Years in Seoul: Looking Forward, Looking Back…

10 years ago, in May of 2002, I was super busy in packing my suitcases - nervously looking at heaps of stuff and puzzled what things to take along and what to leave on my move from Islamabad to Seoul. I had no idea what to expect and what awaits us as a family in Korea. Near end of a decade is almost here in a few days for me and yes, Korea has changed me forever that I could never have imagined.

The fact is that Korea was never on my radar of ‘to-visit-x-countries’ list but once I got here – Seoul has never ceased to amaze me. I had no idea, a decade ago, I would be witnessing the historic FIFA World Cup (of 2002) – Live or I would be celebrating Korea’s advance into the semi finals and the celebrations afterwards on the streets of Seoul or I would be doing my graduate and post graduate studies here or I would be changing my major to Korean Studies, or would be desperate to learn Korean language to at least survive Korea armed with the simple vocab such as: hello (Annyong Haseyo), how much? (Ul-ma-aeiyo?), how are you? (Chal jinay-say-yo), yes (Nay) , no (Anniyo), why (way), quickly/ hurry-up (Palli-pulli) etcetra. I didn't know any of the many people I now know in Seoul more than I have known in my hometown. My gut feeling on reaching Seoul was sort of “I’m lovin it”.

I really had no idea that the transformations will be so swift and will lead to the reverse cultural shock in my own country. Nobody can  prepare us to deal with this shock – to integrate back into the culture of your home country after living abroad. At times, this process seems much harder than assimilating into Korean culture or any foreign culture. That’s it.

Over the years, some of the Korean customs that have become my second nature include the extensive use of chopsticks for both eating and cooking. I think that they are better than forks/spoons and are quite handy.

To this I will add the ‘no-shoes-indoors’ policy which I endorse strongly. The norm in Korea is that you should take off your shoes and put on one of the many pairs of slippers stored by the door in the shoe cabinet available in every single house. There is an additional set of slippers for bathroom too. Now when I see somebody roaming around the house in their shoes that they wear outside – it’s quite disgusting.

Apart from shoe policy, one thing that I do extensively is bowing even while saying hello or Salam to people.

Living in Seoul was not just a physical journey for me – it is a cultural, spiritual, emotional and also an academic journey. Just have to say that no two people will ever have the same experiences or the exact same conclusions. It is something up close and personal but nevertheless, it gives all of us an opportunity to grow.

Jhumpa Lahiri said it so wisely that: "...Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May in Korea and Spring's All Around!

All the photos were taken right outside my room at the Research Center, probably 100 meters radius.

Backside of my room.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quote of the Day!

"In a closed society where everyone's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity."

(Hunter S. Thompson)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cosmetic Surgery and Son Ye-jin

Ye-jin and her mini blog: http://me2day.net/actor_yejin!

Korea Herald reported here that actress Son Ye-jin's recent photograph has fired up a debate on her appearance. Korea ranks on top with respect to plastic surgeries. Plastic surgery  or cosmetic surgery is simply not a big deal anymore but if somebody doesn't go under a knife surely that is a big deal. People are not quite satisfied with their Korean-ness.  A lot has been said and written on plastic surgery here and every aspect of it is analyzed in debth.

Now a days, eyelid surgery is so common that parents may promise their daughter an eye job if she passes her college entrance exam reported the New York Times here.  Apgujeong (also called the Beauty Belt with 200 clinics), it is not hard to find young women shopping in department stores immediately after their surgeries, wearing masks or sunglasses. " reported the newspaper. Korean women want a revolution with their face,” said Dr. Park, a leading practitioner of double-jaw surgery. Hence I can NOT understand why all of a sudden it matters?

My Vietnamese classmate YH returned to Korea to get surgery (nose job) and I tried to convince her that she must learn to feel comfortable in her skin and the way she looks and also that she must know that she is already very pretty. She went back but we haven't met for a while and I wonder how things are at her end now. Sometimes we end up doing things just because of peer pressure or the pressures and demands from society that we live in.

By the way, Son, Ye-jin's asset is her typical Korean face but she must be given a space to make choices for herself like everyone else besides people should stay away from controversy theories. I guess she is looking different because she is vacationing in Maldives these days and does not wear make-up etc and seems very casual.
 I am pretty sure that this mini blog of hers is NOT meant for this purpose.
I have to say that plastic surgeons in Korea are amongst the best in the world and over the years Korea National Tourism Organization has started Medical Tourism in a hope to start altogether a different kind of a Korean Wave that revolve around plastic surgeries in particular and other medical treatments. Actually, they have been quite successful since 2007 when it all started. These days the number of medical tourists has reached 150,000 as of 2011. A large number of women from China, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Vietnam etc. visit Korea only for cosmetic surgeries and sometimes to become a look-alike of a Korean actresses.  A very interesting article was published by Joong-ang Daily in which they claimed that:

"7,901: Number of foreign visitors who came to Korea for medical procedures in 2007.

81,789: Number of foreign visitors who came to Korea for medical procedures in 2010.
32.4: Percentage of the 2010 medical tourists were from the United States (highest).
19.4: Percentage of the 2010 medical tourists were from China.
16.8: Percentage of the 2010 medical tourists were from Japan."

The revenues generated by medical tourism amounts to about a billion dollar and hence Korea will increase the number of patients to 500,000 by 2015 and to 1 million by 2020. Cosmetic surgery and fertility treatments are the most sought-after and other popular choices by foreign tourists include dentistry, cancer-related procedures, laser eye surgery and skincare.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Parents, I Love You (Parents Day in Korea today)!

It is Parents Day today or 아버이날. One of the famous portals in Korea DAUM'S has a theme today which says: 부모님, 사랑합니다! (Title of this post).  Another portal NAVER says: 사랑 합니다, 고맙습니다! ( I Love You and Thank You!) - they also have a beautiful animation with a wonderful music. Google Korea is also celebrating the day by having carnations on its opening page via google doodle.
Parents Day is a Confucian tradition, thousand of years old and it is about filial piety. Today carnations are given to the parents alongside a gift to thank them for their unconditional support, love and selflessness. To thanks them for their patience and their sacrifices. Hence, families get-together and celebrate it in their own way but the government has also made a special arrangement to open- for-free (no tickets) many places including parks and museums etc. A lot of companies and hotels have special packages and promotions for this day to market and cash-in the Parents Day by providing an opportunity to enjoy it in a slightly different way than usual.
One day or one life is not enough to thank parents but it is more of a realization of the importance of having them around in thick and thin and to be grateful about it. I personally loved the idea and the way its celebrated when I first came to Korea but then we have seen it in different forms and shapes around the world - like Mother's Day or Father's Day. Almost all the countries and religions have a tradition of paying respects to the parents (both living and dead) and the importance of having a family but we keep forgetting it or we keep on taking it for granted unless it is too late. This idea is beyond age groups, race, religion, ethnicity or geography. It it something that unites humanity and it is beautiful because we are so divided today that hardly anything or any idea is agreed upon universally.
On this auspicious day, I pay my respects to all parents across the world.
Happy Parents Day: love you all!

CDA - Water Tankers Service!

A German friend in curiosity asked me about the science of fibre glass tanks on the rooftops of Korean houses and he wondered what those were meant for? When I told him how it works he thought of it as quite primitive and on that I advised him to visit Pakistan and he will know what primitive actually means!

Many of the countries in the periphery are progressing in one way or the other but Pakistan - it is moving towards Dark Ages and we will surely make them darker than the original. I will give an example of the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad - relocated in 1960s from Karachi, a port city in the south. Like metropolitan governments elsewhere we have an administrative body known as the Capital Development Authority (CDA) established in 1960. One word that would sum up the working of this organization is "inefficiency". They are a huge failure and their failure add to the miseries of common citizens of the city.

6-8 hours of power shutdown, load shedding of gas and insufficient supply of water is a norm of this capital city of Pakistan. I only mentioned these three things because they make up the minimum basics of living anywhere. CDA has set up all sorts of complain offices with a staff that numbers in hundreds and thousands but does nothing.  I do not understand why a huge inefficient workforce is put in place which is just a burden to the tax payers pocket? I feel that a handful of efficient staff can do wonders - but all it takes is doing duties responsibly and honestly but then the word honest and responsibility does NOT exist in a Pakistani lexicon anymore. They are replaced by corruption and irresponsibilty. This place is good enough to drive anyone crazy. A case in point is that of water supply tanker service run by CDA. They start taking calls  and I kept track of it from 6:00 am. I was lucky to get to talk to them at 6:30 a.m. One has to call their office and leave a request with your address. Our complain number was 101. CDA has 4 trucks in my area. and even after 15 hours there was no truck. I was told that the tanker will come at 10 p.m and then I was told that it is 12 mid- night. and then 1 a.m. CDA charges RS.35 or about 25 cents for this service almost free but then they never show up - that is the problem. Sometimes if people pay them extra money like Rs.350/- then they do show up at a decent time or else they will never come, it is a lie. Personally I filed complains 5 times and I never saw a tanker - not even once - actually their way of doing business is slightly different - one has to bribe the staff and there you go. I do not know if there is a method to punch CDA but if I could I would have done so!

Monday, May 7, 2012

How many Pakistani Blogs are there?

Mahathir Mohammad blogs and so does the former President of Korea Roh, Moo-hyun and there are numerous examples of how blogs and blogging have challanged the monoply of the few and now changed the way things used work.

Numerous research projects have worked on the topic of how bloggers are acting as a catalyst for furtherance of democracy and democratic movement. NYT mentioned in one of its article that bloggers are becoming a Fifth Estate, challenging the government’s monopoly on information in Singapore, evading censors in Vietnam, and influencing events in places like Thailand, Cambodia and China. The Internet has become the main battleground against censorship in Malaysia, where a system of self-censorship in an atmosphere of government pressure and intimidation has produced a constricted press.

A researcher on Malaysian blogs, Julian Hopkins, says that he wanted accurate statistics on the overall Malaysian blogosphere, but eventually came to the conclusion that it is very difficult, if not impossible to get them. In a nutshell, these are the problems:

"• Most Malaysian bloggers use platforms such as Blogger, and Wordpress. These are hosted in the US (I think, but not in Malaysia anyway). Most Malaysian bloggers in my experience do state their location in their profile, but not all. So, a crawl of these sites that picked up profile information would capture many of the Malaysian bloggers, but not all. I suspect this is what Sysomos did recently.
• The more serious bloggers usually have their own domain. Hosting is a lot cheaper with American or European companies. Hence the core of Malaysian dedicated bloggers will have their blog hosted outside of Malaysia. And their blogs will not be picked up in crawls of .blogspot blogs, etc.
• Many bloggers have more than one blog. Some will have many blogs. Many of these will be inactive. Any survey of blogs needs to have some measure of how active they are – for example by deciding that one post in the last three months means the blog is active.
• Private blogs (with password protection) cannot be crawled (thanks to Tim Highfield for this point).
• A proper survey of Malaysian blogs needs to look for blogs in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil (this is probably the easiest problem to overcome). "

It is indeed a very difficult task to come up with the correct statistics on how many people are blogging in a country X but I think that to have a rough estimate of the number of bloggers from Pakistan would definitely be an interesting one and much more complicated than Malaysia because Malaysia still has a sytem in place whereas in Pakistan - statistics can always be misleading on just about everything. I wonder if we exactly know the population of Pakistan? I am sure it is more than 200 million but officially the numbers is somewhere between 180 million. If I only look at the residents of my street the number of people in 9 households was 38 but now it is 90 in a matter of 10 years. It has more than doubled.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Seoul Friendship Fair 2012 (May 5-6, 2012)

“2012 Seoul Friendship Fair (SFF)”celebrates multi-culturalism in Korea and this event has been taking place for the past 17 years. This coming weekend (May 5 and 6) you can enjoy all sorts of food from different countries in SFF from noon onwards. The venue of SFF is Seoul Plaza, the street of Mugyo-dong and Cheonggyecheon. If you are new to Seoul then Seoul Plaza is across from Doksugong or Plaza Hotel, Seoul and it is a 10 minute walk from Gyongbok Palace. It is one of the most interesting of festivals with embassies also participating in, attracting bigger crowd and a lot of variety.

This is a great place to experience international cuisine alongside many performances from around the world.

Country booths also provide info. on countires, tourism, food and handicrafts, hence, do NOT miss Seoul Friendship Festival 2012 this weekend May 5th.

For more on SFF read this aricle on Korea Herald here.

Month of May has many festivals and events - watch out for HI Seoul Festival and Buddah's Birthday - which are lurking too.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May is the Family Month in Korea

May kicks off with a holiday and actually the month of May is called a 'family month' in Korea. Spring is at its full bloom, weather is wonderful and there is every reason to express our appreciation and love for those around us.

In May we have the Labor Day, Children's Day, Parents Day, Teacher's Day, Buddah's Birthday and also the Mother's Day to name a few days we have in Korea. If we dig deeper, multicultral families also celebrate a day especially meant for them.

I wrote about Children's Day here and Parent's Day here. A nice article on how to spend the month of May read this article here in Korea Herald.

Wish everybody a joyous MAY!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sahaylee - A Female Elephant in Critical Condition

The male elephant (Kawan from Indonesia) stands close to comfort the sick elephant at the Marghazar Zoo here on Sunday. - Dawn

Marghazar or the Islamabad Zoo MUST close down. Every now and then, animals die or suffer due to neglect, greed and politics of zoo authorities here in Islamabad and also elsewhere in Pakistan. These days, Sa-hay-lee ( also written as Sahaily - meaning a female friend)- a gift from Sri Lanka to Pakistan is in a critical condition. Her former name was Menika and she was given to Pakistan's Murghzar Zoo in Islamabad in 1991. She was born in 1989 and was raised in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and from there she was moved to Sri Lanka's National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwala Zoo) up until 1991 before moving to Islamabad.

It has been more than 24 hours that the elephant could not stand and fall down since her right rear foot got injured with some sharp object (authorities have still been unable to determine that). "It is said that elephants never lay on ground during day time but the female elephant has been down for the whole day, which shows its condition was critical”said a vet. An elephant costs Rs15 million and management of the zoo has been playing with the life of animals for the sake of a few hundred rupees which are collected every month.

According to Dawn News, an officer of Capital Development Authority (CDA) requesting not to be named said: “Money which is collected from the citizens for offering them a ride and having pictures with the elephant is the reason behind all what happened.

“Whenever a new director takes charge of zoo, he tries to depute his favorite persons at the cage of the elephant. Mahaut (caretaker) of the female elephant, Bilal, was suspended about six month ago and two zoo attendants Riaz and Adil were deputed at her cage.

“Later, Bilal was reappointed on his previous position but he was not allowed to go in the elephant’s cage. And when the female elephant got injured, both attendants ignored it as they had no prior experience of taking care of elephants.”

No foreign country should give any animal as a gift to Pakistan in future if they want the well being and safety of the animal. I think that to foster closer ties amongst countries - animals must not be used but instead our brain. In Pakistani zoos - very cruel conditions prevail and I believe that zoos in this country must be closed down if they are only meant to inflict injury and sufferings! 

Update on the Female elephant in Islamabad:
She died just a few hours after I posted about Sahaily. She got rid of the sufferings at the hands of Pakistani zoo administration which she had to bear for almost her entire life. When she came to Pakistan at the age of two. Zoo staff and especially the officers concerned MUST BE fired. I fear for the life of the male elephant from Indonesia - may God have mercy on him. Rest in peace Sahaily (Sahaylee) ~ you will be missed!