PADF Launches a Long-Term
Relief Support Structure
By Hazem Kira
view of the PADF meeting
Newark, CA: In its third meeting
in less than ten days, the Pakistan-American Democratic
Forum, a grassroots organization, initiated work under six
committees to operationalize its long-term relief support
The PADF Chair Dr. Agha Saeed told a meeting on October
16 in Newark that “after 30 years of historiography,
Arnold Tonybee, the famous twentieth century historian,
wrote that for all this time he had perceived history erroneously.
History, he came to conclude, does not evolve on the pattern
of cause and effect but on the pattern of challenge and
response. Only those nations survive that are able to meet
the challenge of history.
“The present quake is a challenge for the entire Pakistani
nation and it will take everyone, the government, the NGOs,
the charity organizations and the political parties as well
as diaspora communities to rebuild the quake-ravaged nation.
A national disaster can only be remedied by national effort”.
Based on the assumption that it will take five to ten years
to remedy the damage done by the October 8 quake, the five
PADF committees started their work on a number of interrelates
issues, which are detailed below:
IT Committee: This committee, comprising of Mr. Sagir Ahmed,
Mr. Abdul Rahman Rafiq, Mr. Pathan Khan, Mr. Syed Hamid,
Mr. Irshad Rana, Mr. Zafar Mohsin and Mr. Khalid Khokhar,
is charged with the task of instituting high-tech tools
for data collection and management, web-based strategic
mapping, and communication.
1. Resource Development Committee: Comprising of Ms. Umber
Saadat, Mr Iqbal Ahmed, Mr. Ahmed Hashmi, Mr. Abid Malik
and Mr Hazem Kira, this committee has the responsibility
to develop new resource by negotiating with pharmaceutical
(and other) companies for free or reduced-rate merchandize
including but not limited to medicine, tents, blankets,
jackets, etc. Moreover, this committee will also help qualify
major Pakistani charities for getting matching funds from
US corporations and foundations.
2. Logistics Coordination Committee: Comprised of Mr. Murshad
Khan, Mr. Saqib Khan, Ms. Kamila Ahmed, and S. Abdul Aleem,
this committee is responsible for building new relief networks
by linking providers of free products with providers of
free transportation and free distribution; also facilitates
contacts between US-based NGOs and Pakistan-based NGOs.
3. Community and Media Outreach Committee: Comprised of
Ms. Raana Faiz, Mr. Inam Chaudhry, Ms. Hina Chaudhry, Mr.
Sattar Rydhan and Mr. M. Irfan, this committee takes all
necessary steps to keep the community and the media informed
and involved with the long-term relief effort. Also, researches
and publicizes relief programs, methods and approaches that
can generate and sustain long-term development at the grassroots
4. Strategic Planning Committee:
Comprised of Dr. Ausafur Rahman, Mr. Jawed Umrani and Mr.
Mishraq-ul-Quraish, this committee has been tasked to define
and detail action agenda for the PADF Quake Relief Project.
Mission, Vision and
The PADF Relief Project Mission statement stipulates the
following objectives: Create a core group of Pakistani Americans
who are willing to make a long-term commitment to help millions
of quake-impacted children, women and men; sensitize the
global relief community to pay special attention to the
needs of the most vulnerable, particularly rural poor, women
and children; negotiate with manufacturers of relevant materials
to donate their products free of costs or at significantly
reduced rates to the qualified charities; help Pakistan-based
charities in getting qualified for matching funds by US
corporations and foundations; create new relief networks
by linking providers of free products with providers of
free transportation and free distribution; research and
publicize those emergency relief programs, methods and approaches
that can generate and sustain long-term development at the
grassroots level; and promote networking among relief organizations.
Its five guiding principles are long-term commitment, unity
of purpose and division of labor, problem-solving orientation,
channeling human ingenuity, and helping to create a genuine
national effort. A national calamity can only be remedied
through national effort involving every sector of the community,
including the expatriates.
Members of the PADF Quake Relief Network have made the following
recommendation for Pakistani-American community action:
1. Adopt a school. As reported in Dawn, more than 8, 000
schools were destroyed just in five districts of the NWFP.
The PADF has called on Pakistani-American communities to
adopt at least one school and take full reasonability for
its construction and operation for one year.
2. Contribute generously and responsibly. Give it to those
organizations that have a track record of honesty, efficiency,
and low overhead cost. Keep in mind that not every charity
has service delivery network in AJK or NWFP.
3. Help qualify major Pakistani/Muslim charities for matching
funds by US corporations and foundations.
4. Ask Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to airlift
cargo free of charge for Islamic Relief, Edhi Foundation
and Hidaya Foundation as well. Currently the PIA is providing
free airlift only for goods earmarked for the President’s
5. Help PADF in contacting major pharmaceutical companies
for free or reduced cost medicine.
6. Adopt an orphaned child or provide financial help to
a Pakistan-based family to adopt a child.
7. Set up a fund to provide artificial limbs for injured
8. Help prevent exploitation of children and sexploitation
of women specially, abductions, kidnappings, rape and forced
9. Remain seized of the latest developments and help prevent
looting, embezzlement, nepotism, favoritism, malfeasance,
hoarding, and fraud.
10. Keep the community informed and involved.
For more information visit www.VoiceofPakistan.Net, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 252 – 9858.