NCHD Fundraiser in Boston
By Tahir Ali

 


(L to R): Dr Naseem Ashrsaf, President Musharraf and Farrokh Captainty

Boston: Scores of Pakistani Americans among others gathered at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Boston to witness and participate in what turned out to be as Shahid Khan, noted "one of the largest Pakistani American gatherings in Boston". This was a fundraiser event to support the National Commission for Human Development of Pakistan (NCHD).
Shahid Khan, welcomed the guests and reminded the audience that "Pakistani traditions are traditions of generosity and compassion." He thanked his team members by name which included, to name only a few; Aftab Ahmed, Aijaz Baloch, Iffat Khan, Siraj Khan, Hassan and Naheed Usmani and Pervez Wahid.
Sirhaj Khan, the president of Pakistan Association in Boston (PAGB) also thanked the numerous volunteers, whom he called the "foot soldiers".
Elizabeth Latham, representing the US Committee for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), assured the audience that UNDP regularly monitors the finances as well as project activity in the field. She added, "Between UNDP, Government of Pakistan, private sector and individual Pakistanis like yourself - we can meet our millennium development goal to reduce global poverty in half by 2015."
Farrokh Captain, Chairman of the Pakistan Human Development Fund (PHDF), praised the efforts of Dr. Naseem Ashraf, the Chairman of the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), and claimed that the commission does "all the hard work". Farrokh substantiated his claim by showing a video which captured a pictorial view of NCHD's achievements in remote districts and villages in Pakistan. The video also showed the president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf visiting the people in these villages and commenting, "I am extremely impressed, I can see the glitter in their eyes. While on one side I see poverty and darkness, on the other side I see light and hope."
Dr. Naseem Ashraf, thanked the audience and said, "Let me categorically say at the outset no initiation like this ultimately will succeed unless the government, private sector is improved - the good news is that there is support from the government. Taking it to scale is the biggest challenge. Nobody can take it to scale without the participation and support of the government - without the legitimacy and authority of the government you cannot even walk into the district, we work outside the formal beau racy."
Dr. Naseem Ashraf indicated that partnership between the government, civil society and UNDP is the key to reaching out to millions of people. He was grateful for the wonderful support from the Pakistani-American community and assured everyone of the sincerity and integrity of this mission.
Lord Ahmed of Rotherham addressed the audience and giving his experiences at the US airport told the authorities that he was proud to be a Pakistani, and wanted everyone in the room to feel the same.
NCHD plans to have these events in 13 US cities between the East and West Coast.
More information and statistics on NCHD's activities and achievements are clearly listed on their web-site (www.nchd.org), which cites the programs of the NCHD that include:
- Capacity building, training & enhancement of competency of govt. functionaries, elected representatives & non-governmental organizations working in the social sector
- Literacy and non-formal basic education programs supported by skills training programs for income generating activities
- Global resource mobilization to raise funds for these programs
(Tahir Ali is author of "Muslim Vote: Counts and Recounts" published by Wyndham Hall 2004)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 pakistanlink.com . All Rights Reserved.