Acting CG Happy at Community’s Show of Unity in Responding to Flood Crisis
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Los Angeles, CA: Dr. Mohammad Khalid Ejaz, Acting Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles, has thanked all Pakistani-American and other organizations for their generous donations to help the flood victims in Pakistan.
Pakistan ’s worst floods in recorded history began more than two weeks ago in the mountainous northwest and have spread throughout the country. Some 20 million people and 62,000 square miles (160,000 square kilometers) of land — about one-fifth of the country — have been affected. The scale of the disaster has raised concerns it could destabilize the country.
In an interview with Pakistan Link, Dr. Ejaz said he was happy that despite different political affiliations and orientations, the Pakistanis living in US have responded to the current flood crisis in Pakistan in unison. He pointed out that his Consulate is receiving funds for Prime Minister’s Relief Fund from other states and towns such as Arizona, Denver, Hawaii and Salt Late City.
He said the Consulate sent letters to all Pakistani organizations and on his appeal, many organizations have decided to donate part of their flood relief funds through government channels. Dr. Ejaz acknowledged that initially there was some reluctance to send aid through government channels but now many organizations are sending aid through government channels.
Dr. Ejaz emphasized that it is important to channelize the relief aid through the government because it has the largest organization. At present army, air force and government institutions are helping the flood victims and all these efforts need resources.
He said that many people who may be reluctant to send aid through American Muslim charities may send money direct to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund Account No. 401-211-458 with the Habib American Bank in LA.
Dr. Ejaz said any money deposited with the Habib American Bank will not be tax-deductible, therefore, the Consulate has arranged with Fatima Welfare Foundation which is a tax-free (501(c) charity organization to collect funds on our behalf. “All the donations sent to this organization with a memo, Consulate General, will be sent to us.”
He said that relief supplies in the shape of commodities are most welcomed but it takes time to reach them to the victims. On what kind of relief supplies are needed, Dr. Ejaz said immediately we need tents and readymade food.
He also informed that any donated medicines will be sent through PIA from New York.
Dr. Ejaz said that with the support of local organizations, the Pakistani Consulate has arranged “Solidarity with floods affectees in Pakistan.” He was happy that the dean of Los Angeles Consular Corps, Jorge T. Lapsenson, Consul General of Argentina, accepted his invitation to be the chief guest at the event while diplomats from other consulates have also been invited to the event. He pointed out that there are 90 consulates in Los Angeles, that is why it is often called a ‘mini UN headquarter’.
Dr. Ejaz said that with the gesture of Mr. Lapsenson and other diplomats we were able to mobilize support of other communities in raising funds for the relief work in Pakistan. “Whenever we contact other nationalities, they know that their diplomatic mission is behind our efforts,” he said.