Posts Tagged ‘ Indian High Commission ’

Aman ki Asha’s Gift of Life to Six-Year Old Muzaffar

By Lubna J. Naqvi for The News International

He has the cutest smile. One that was nearly wiped out forever by a congenital heart disease that his parents had no means of getting treated in Pakistan.

Muzaffar Ahmed Khan was only three years old he developed a seemingly never-ending severe chest congestion and cold. His father Rozay Khan, a teacher at a private school in Loralai, took the boy to a medical specialist the nearest big city in Quetta, 260 km away – a long road trip by any standards, and more so for a sick child. The trip led to a doctor diagnosing the boy as having a congenital heart condition. The treatment – risky and expensive heart surgery – was way beyond the reach of his father.

The boy lived on with the help of various medications, but without the required surgery, he was not expected to live much longer. The despair and pain of the family, and the discomfort of the sick child, can only be imagined.

It was a news report in the daily Jang of October 2, 2010 that set them on a path they will forever be grateful for. The paper had a report about a nine-year old Pakistani boy Muhammad Sufiyan, who also had a congenital heart problem. The report said that Rotary International and Aman ki Asha had taken Sufiyan to India where he underwent a successful operation at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore. Suddenly there was hope.

Rozay Khan contacted the Rotary Club representatives in Quetta, and provided them with Muzaffar’s medical documents. Things began to move. The Rotary officials contacted their counterparts in India and sent them the documents. Within a week the family was asked to make arrangements to travel.

Muzaffar was to be accompanied by his father and uncle Qaisar Khan. The Indian High Commission granted their visas within three days. Aziz Memon (President King Group) former governor of Rotary Club helped expedite the travel and other logistics.

They flew to Mumbai on May 5, 2011, and the next day, to Kolkata. There was some difficulty at the immigration, says Rozay Khan, but Rotary representatives in India helped smooth their way.

On May 7 Muzaffar was admitted to Kolkata’s Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences. He underwent a two-and-a-half hour operation on May 11. He was discharged on May 19, with a month’s medication and a directive to avoid lifting heavy items for some time.

The doctors said that Muzaffar should get a medical examination after six months to be on the safe side, but that he was now perfectly healthy. It was like a miracle.

Barely a month later, Muzaffar and his father and uncle visited Aman ki Asha in Karachi on June 4, a day after they returned from India. If one had not been told, there were no signs that this smiling boy had so recently undergone a serious operation. He sat there beaming at us, shyly looking out from underneath long lashes that fringed his mischievous eyes. He would have pranced around the room like any other seven-year old, but was restrained by his father, who held him in his lap throughout the visit. Muzaffar was restless, and probably bored, but seemed to enjoy the attention.

Rozay Khan glowed with happiness at his son’s rapid recovery. A huge weight had been lifted off him, and his wife, who had been worried sick about their son, as his condition didn’t look too good before leaving for India. The first thing he did after Muzaffar’s successful operation was to call his wife over the phone. “It was an emotional time for all of us, but it has passed – all because of Aman ki Asha and Rotary Club.”

Rozay Khan was all praise for India. “I was given so much love and warmth in India that I didn’t even feel I was away from home,” he said.

“The Indians were very hospitable. They treated us just like brothers; they did so much for us that at times we were embarrassed. The hospital staff gave Muzaffar so much love and affection also. It was like we were still in Pakistan. Except for some of the people who didn’t speak Urdu or Hindi in Kolkata, I wouldn’t have known I wasn’t in Pakistan.”

Muzaffar’s uncle added that the Indians were amazed to hear them speaking Urdu – which they thought was Hindi. “They would ask us where we learnt to speak Hindi, and I would laugh and say we were not speaking Hindi we were speaking Urdu.”

He found the Indian people to be very interested in Pakistan. “They asked us so many questions and said they would love to come visit. However they lamented that they knew it would be impossible because of the visa issues. I told them that they should come, and be my family’s guests and see Pakistan.”

“So many people told us to convey their message through the media and Aman ki Asha to Pakistani authorities to ease travel to Pakistan,” said Rozay Khan. “They should do away with the obstacles that travellers have to face if they want to travel from India to Pakistan and vice versa.”

He said that in the nearly two months they spent in India they did not encounter any hostility – only got love and hospitability. “When people got to know that we had come for Muzaffar’s operation they were extra nice, even friendlier, more helpful and hospitable.”

Muzaffar gained health, love and friends across the border. His family wishes that the people of both countries were allowed to interact and visit each other more. They are grateful to Aman ki Asha and Rotary club for helping give Muzaffar a new life.

“We wish,” said Rozay Khan, “that the path of peace continues between the two countries through Aman ki Asha’s efforts. And we pray that we see peace between our two countries so we can visit our new friends again, and have them visit us.”

— Lubna J. Naqvi

Help Muzaffar’s dream come true

When total strangers from India and Pakistan joined hands to help Muzaffar, they did more than help save a life. They sparked off a determination in his family to get a good education for Muzaffar. They want him to be able to enter medical college and become a doctor himself. If anyone would like to contribute and help sponsor Muzaffar’s education to enable him to one day help others, please contact Aman ki Asha – amankiasha@ janggroup.com.pk

Pakistan, India Swap Nuclear Sites Lists

By Zhang Xiang for Xinhua News

Pakistan and India exchanged lists of nuclear installations and facilities on Saturday in spite of a tension over the 2008 Mumbai attacks that has disrupted the dialogue process between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said.

The two countries exchange the lists of nuclear sites on the first day of the new year under an agreement signed in 1988 and came into force in January 1991.

“The government of Pakistan and India today exchanged lists of their respective nuclear installations and facilities in accordance with Article-II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India of Dec. 31, 1988,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

The statement said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over the list of Pakistan’s nuclear installations and facilities to an officer of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad at the Foreign Office on Saturday morning.

The Indian side also handed over their list to an officer of the Pakistan High Commission at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, it said.

After the agreement was signed the first exchange took place Jan. 1, 1992.

Sources said it is the 20th consecutive list exchange between the two countries.

Pakistan and India conducted tit-for-tat nuclear tests in 1998. India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974, followed by five more in 1998. Pakistan conducted its six nuclear tests in 1998. Neither India nor Pakistan is a signatory to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

India considers the NPT discriminatory, while Pakistan has indicated that it won’t join the international agreement till its neighbor does so.

Neither of the two rival neighbors have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

In 2004 they launched a peace process, but that is now on hold following the Mumbai attacks, with New Delhi pressuring Islamabad to do more to punish those responsible for the carnage and to crack down on anti-India groups.

Meanwhile, both countries also exchanged Lists of Prisoners in the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said.

According to the Agreement on Consular Access signed between Pakistan and India on May 21, 2008, both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody on Jan. 1 and July 1 every year, the statement said.

“Consistent with the provisions of this Agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over the list of Indian prisoners in Pakistan to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad today,” it said.

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