October Issue 2012
The 21st Century Business and Economics Club hosted its first get together for Karachi’s elite business community on September 17th at the Carlton Hotel. The event was held to celebrate the conferment of awards by the President of Pakistan to 10 elite Pakistani businesmen, for their excellence and their contribution to the trade and business of Pakistan. Prominent businessman Mr Anees Younas’s speech was a series of funny, albeit inappropriate, jokes (some of them were aimed at the sexual indiscretions of the couples in attendance) leaving one wondering whether they might have been more suited to a comedy club rather than an awards celebration event. The audience comprised a who’s who of politicians and businessmen plus a sprinkling of foreigners from the Russian and Japanese consulates.
The founding president of the club, Syed Salahuddin Haider, in his opening speech — which he kept delaying due to the late arrival of several guests — stated that ‘the main aim of the organisation was to be more result-oriented and beneficial for Pakistanis in any sort of a way.’ Among those who took the podium to speak was S.M. Muneer, Chairman of the Din Group of Industries, who won the Sitara-i-Imtiaz. Commenting on the recent factory fire— which was ‘the’ topic of discussion, that evening — Mr Muneer defended the owners, by saying that the fire must have been the result of ‘sabotage.’ Later on Muneer celebrated his ‘monthly birthday’— which he explained is ‘celebrated on the 17th of every month’ by cutting a cake on stage. The event was wrapped up with a vote of thanks from the prominent MQM MNA, Khushbakht Shujaat who congratulated all the award winners, and said it was a “blessing for her to be around such stars.” Amongst the “stars” was her husband Shujaat Ali Baig who was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz. The lavish dinner that followed served as a ‘networking’ segment — you could see guests exchanging their business cards with each other.
This article was originally published in the October issue of Newsline.