Archive for September 4th, 2010

Grandsons of Mahatma Gandhi and Sir Abdullah Haroon Appeal for Pakistan Flood Relief

As reported by The United Nations

Miseries of millions unleashed by unprecedented floods in Pakistan brought together grandsons of two famous men in the Indian sub-continent to raise money for the sufferers.

Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistani ambassador to the UN, reached across the lines of history to make a joint appeal here to people to open their wallets to help the flood devastated people of Pakistan.

Acknowledging the gesture of Gandhi’s grandson, Hussain Haroon said Mahatma Gandhi was not only the father of nation to Indians, but also for Pakistanis and the people of entire sub-continent.

Appearing in a joint appeal at the UN headquarters, the Pakistani ambassador introduced Rajmohan saying “Mahatma Gandhi had a very special relationship with all of the Indian sub-continent and also the Muslims” and noted that their grandfathers were very personal friends.

Hussain’s grandfather Sir Abdullah Haroon was a close associate of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, whom the founder of Pakistan described as one of the strongest pillars of Muslim League.

But Haroon acknowledged that though Gandhi and his grandfather were on opposite side of the political spectrum, yet they had immense strength and respect for each other.

“My grandfather Sir Abdullah Haroon was a very personal friend of his (Gandhi), and when my grandfather passed away, we still have Gandhi’s letter where he said to my grandmother, I would have trusted your husband with a blank check,” Haroon said, making reference to the history.

And many a time Mahatma Gandhi proved his selflessness, he asserted.

“When I remember the fledgling Pakistani state did not receive its share from the then newly formed Indian government, the Mahatma went on a fast unto death in Delhi, and the Indian government had to buckle down and pay Pakistan its share,” the Pakistani ambassador acknowledged.

“When the Hindu-Muslim riots took place in Calcutta, he not only went there with Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, he brought together both elements, and the rioting stopped in the city because he was fasting until it would stop. And people realised that it had to stop,” he said, adding it was because of one of these very reasons that he was assassinated.

Adding his voice to the appeal for generous support for the people of Pakistan, Rajmohan Gandhi said, “Now, in this catastrophe, as in all wars and conflicts, the poorest are once more the prime sufferers, losing not a portion of what they had, but all they had. Their sorrows are unrecorded, their heroism unsung, their pain unremembered. I pray that this flood will help us in South Asia to reorder our priorities.”

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