LONDON: Pakistan High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria visited ‘Open Kitchen’ set up by renowned charity organisation ‘Muslim Hands’ in Hounslow area of London today. Hounslow is home to a large number of Pakistanis. Appreciating the good work of Ehsan Shahid Choudhry of the Muslim Hands and his team of volunteers, Mr Zakaria announced that the High Commission would provide food through this kitchen for 100 people for three days with effect from today to join hands in this noble cause.
The High Commissioner has been visiting and coordinating with such food banks, set up by Pakistani charitable organisations in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. These organisations have taken upon themselves to serve those people in this country who are in need of support. The integrity and dedication of these community leaders belonging to Muslim Hands, Pakistan Community Centre, Willesdon, Conservative Friends of Pakistan (CFOP), MyLahore, and Overseas Pakistanis Welfare Council (OPWC) has attracted not just the donors on massive scale but also volunteers from diverse backgrounds.
Earlier, the High Commissioner visited the Food Bank set up by Pakistan Community Centre, Willesdon Green in London. He commended the philanthropic work of Tariq Dar, Chairman Pakistan Community Centre and his team by reaching out to the vulnerable segments of the society and catering for their essential needs. (A report on his visit has been published in previous edition of ‘The Nation’.
Overseas Pakistanis Welfare Council (OPWC) has also been distributing food packages to key workers of different departments during pandemic. The OPWC distributed food packages to key workers of Royal Mail, NHS and Police on behalf of the High Commission a few days ago. Mr Zakaria appreciated Mr Naeem Abbasi and Haji Abid Hussain of OPWC for their charitable work.
‘MyLahore’, a Pakistani restaurant chain has also been providing food packages to the key workers and the needy during the pandemic. On behalf of the High Commission, ‘ MyLahore’ delivered food to NHS and other frontline workers as a token of Mission’s respect for them. This restaurant was visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a few months ago.
Conservative Friends of Pakistan (CFOP) have also been providing food for key workers in various regions of the UK. Mr Zakaria lauded the efforts of Syed Qamar Raza of CFOP and other team members in this regard.
Similarly, One Million Meals campaign was initiated by three Pakistani social entrepreneurs namely Arif Anis, Suleman Raza and Bilal Bin Saqib. The High Commissioner appreciated the campaigners for their humanitarian work.
On this occasion, the High Commissioner said: “The British Pakistani charitable organisations are doing a commendable work by providing nutritious meals to support people in these difficult times of pandemic and lockdown. They are making Pakistan and the Pakistani nation proud through their selfless service to humanity. Being open and free to all, these kitchens and food banks reflect the true spirit of human equality, fraternity and brotherhood. These philanthropic organisations provide important platforms for community engagement and empowerment and hence, be supported in their community building work. I am happy and feel satisfied to note that the British Pakistanis are generously helping such initiatives.”
The services of the British Pakistani welfare organisations during the ongoing pandemic have been duly acknowledged by the Royals, the British Government and the media.