Ottawa, Canada: High Commissioner of Pakistan, Raza Bashir Tarar held a virtual meeting with community leaders and officials of Canada-Pakistan affiliated Chamber of Trade (CPACT), to discuss issues related to Pakistani diaspora in Canada and how to help Pakistanis affected by the global pandemic COVID-19.
According to a Press Statement released by the Pakistan High Commission, the High Commissioner briefed the participants about the Government of Pakistan’s efforts related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic as well as mitigating its effects on the people of Pakistan. He informed that in response to appeal by Pakistan, the Government of Canada has been gracious enough to contribute CAD$ 850,000 to the World Health Organization, assistance to fight COVID-19 and CAD$ 01 million to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Pakistan Humanitarian Pooled Fund.
High Commissioner said that it is a challenging environment and it is our moral and religious responsibility to help those people who are shy to seek help. “We must extend our helping hand not only to Pakistani diaspora but also to ordinary Canadians who are in need of help”, he urged.
High Commissioner expressed his gratitude to the community organizations which are making efforts to contribute to the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund – 2020. “Your contributions will ameliorate the sufferings of Pakistanis affected by this pandemic. Our community in Canada is extremely helpful and forthcoming when it comes to national causes”, he said. He expressed the hope that Pakistani-Canadians will rise to the occasion with their traditional spirit of philanthropy to reach out to the needy in these testing times.
He also briefed them on the High Commission’s effort to arrange special PIA flights to repatriate stranded Pakistanis including international students. He said that so far we have been able to repatriate 698 stranded Pakistanis through four special PIA flights. He requested all those Pakistanis who need to travel to Pakistan to register with the Consulate General in Toronto and the High Commission will assist them in this regard.
Earlier Ms. Uzma Khan, President CPACT – National Capital Region, briefed the High Commissioner on their contribution to reach out to the Pakistanis diaspora including businessmen on a strategy to implement social distancing and provide practical benefits to its members in an economic downturn.