NCHD Fundraiser in Boston
By Tahir Ali
(L to R): Dr Naseem Ashrsaf, President
Musharraf and Farrokh Captainty
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
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
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)