| Updated at: 0115 PST, Saturday, January 22, 2011|
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said that Islamic Charitable Organizations through their noble deeds can help improve the perception about the Muslims around the world.
He appreciated the contributions of all the charitable organizations under the umbrella of Muslim Charity Forum of UK, during the earthquake of 2005 and the recent devastating floods in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister was talking to a delegation of the Muslim Charity Forum from UK, which called on him here at PM House on Friday afternoon.The Prime Minister said that timely assistance and support by charitable organizations within the Muslim Charity Forum made significant difference during the floods in different parts of the country.
The natural disasters such as the floods last year are beyond any single country's ability to cope with, he said and added it was a difficult task for the government agencies to reach out to each and every flood affected person in the early days but various NGOs, both local and international helped ease the situation.
The Prime Minister said that it is heartening to note that the Islamic charitable and humanitarian organizations are performing well to serve the cause of humanity in different parts of the world.
He also lauded the contribution of elected representatives of the Muslim community in UK and elsewhere both for their community as well as for the country they are living in.
The charitable organizations and the elected representatives of the Muslim community serve as a bridge between the country they are living in and the country of their origin, he added.
The members of the Muslim Charity Forum of UK appreciated the commitment of the Prime Minister for personally leading the whole relief operation during the devastating floods.
They said that the people of Pakistan had shown great endurance and resilience both at the time of earthquake as well as during the floods of 2010.
They further said that despite facing economic difficulties, the people at large are very friendly and hospitable towards various international charitable organizations.
Chairman of Muslim Charity Forum Dr. Hanly El-Banna, who belongs to Egypt, while briefing the Prime Minister about the activities of the organizations mentioned that Muslims' humanitarian organizations under the forum are working across the globe in 25 countries, where people are suffering on any account including natural disasters. These countries also include a number of non-Muslim countries as well.
As regards the floods in Pakistan, he said, the forum had collected over US $ 50 million and is engaged in constructing small family houses, dispensaries and schools in different parts of the country.
The forum coordinates and bridges the gap between charitable organizations like Islamic Relief, Human Appeal, Muslim Hands and Human Relief, he said, adding, all these organizations are registered with the Charity Commission of UK which regularly monitors their activities and audit their accounts. It is also the objective of the forum to alleviate poverty and establish educational and health facilities for the poor and vulnerable, he mentioned.
The Secretary General of the Muslim Charity Forum also suggested that Pakistan Government may also establish a Charity Commission under a law to regulate the charitable organizations and NGOs. It would help coordinate the humanitarian activities in different areas of the country according to needs of the people.
The delegation included Dr. Hany El-Banna, Chairman Muslim Charities Forum UK, Sahibzada Syed Lakht-e-Hassanain, Secretary General, Muslim Charities Forum UK, Dr. Nabeel Al-Ramadhani, Trustee, Muslim Charities Forum UK and Othman Salim Mahmood Maqbool, Trustee, Muslim Charities Forum UK.
The meeting was also attended by Minister for Zakat and Ushr, Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Minister of State for Finance, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar and Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lt Gen (Retd) Nadeem Ahmad.