On behalf of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), Engr Aamir Hasan, Federal Secretary for Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development along with Dr Amer Sheikh Managing Director, OPF on Wednesday handed over a donation worth Rs20 million to Lt General Muhammad Afzal, Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for provision of ‘halal’ food for Pakistani students stranded in Wuhan, China.
Stuck between the advice of World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese government against the evacuation of foreigners from China and the growing pressure of parents of Pakistani students stranded in Wuhan and other COVID-19 affected Chinese cities, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development was directed by the Islamabad High Court in mid-February to arrange a meeting with parents of Pakistani students in China and brief them about the efforts made by the government regarding facilitation and evacuation of stranded Pakistani students.
During the briefing, the complete lockdown situation in affected Chinese cities was explained to the parents by Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for OP & HRD and Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. Parents who complained regarding limited access of their children to halal food due to the lockdown were assured that the government would take all possible steps to ensure provision of halal food to their children.
Sources at OPF have confirmed that OPF Board of Governors had approved donation of Rs 20 million for provision of halal food to Pakistani students stuck in China, due to personal interest and concerted efforts of the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for OP & HRD. OPF officials have also apprised that besides OPF’s donation, two of the OPF board members, Irfan Mustafa and Majid Ali Chaudhry have also pledged to donate Rs1 million and Rs0.5 million respectively to assist in the emergency relief efforts for the students.