By News Desk
ISLAMABAD—The United Nations Representative in Pakistan and the Federal Government joined Pakistani activists in celebrating International Volunteer Day 2018, which the UN marks every year.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir joined dozens of activists and volunteers in an event organized by Youth Forum for Kashmir (YFK) in Islamabad, bringing together volunteers working on social issues like women and children rights, poverty alleviation, environment and refugees, in addition to activists working on peace and conflict resolution in Kashmir and South Asia.
Mr. Vlastimil Samek, Director of UN Information Center in Pakistan, read out a message on International Volunteer Day from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “There are approximately one billion volunteers across the globe, who dedicate their time, skills and passion to make the world a better place,” Mr. Guterres said in his statement. “I thank the volunteers for their efforts to leave no one behind.”
The UN Representative in Pakistan thanked Pakistani volunteers for working on social issues to make Pakistan and the world a better place. The UN official made a short stop at the event during a busy day where the UN officials in Pakistan participated in multiple events marking the occasion.
Minister Wazir left an important event at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, attended by the Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Prime Minister, to be with volunteers on their day.
Minister Wazir said she won the election and defeated entrenched politicians thanks to volunteers, and that she did this without spending huge amounts of money, and that committed volunteers were the reason she was able to run an election campaign.
I belong to a Pashtun family but I speak good Urdu and English. I am the first lady from FATA and Waziristan who joined Insaf Students Federation ISF as a president of that area. I started my struggle as an Insafian volunteer at Shaukat Khanam Memorial Hospital (SKMH) and it unveiled a new strength in my personality and it became the only inspiration for me to continue my journey as a volunteer.
Doctors used to give us 47 rupees to get a meal. At that time, I thought that if I get a chance to become a leader or politician then I will surely join PTI because, in my view, Imran Khan is the only honest leader in Pakistan.
She said that the Pashtuns are very resilient and always defended Pakistan. They are a line of defense for Pakistan. What PTM is doing does not represent us. I always say that we the Pashtun have light eyes and hair and if we’re educated we can do wonders for Pakistan in the world. We were forced to pick arms but we can pick the pen and we are very open and progressive and moderate when educated.
People of my area always discouraged my father about me. They said she is a woman and so how can she be a politician. But my father supported and encouraged me and helped me get higher education. I am not a daughter of any politician or leader but I belong to a middle class family.
The State Minister said that during her volunteer work days most of the cancer patients brought to SKMH hailed from interior Sindh and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from very poor backgrounds. We are now surveying these two parts of Pakistan to find out why the high rate of cancer patients in Sindh and FATA.
She remarked that the death penalty for 3,000 deaths in 9/11 attacks in New York was paid by 70,000 innocent martyrs of Pakistan, including the tribal areas, with billions of dollars loss in terms of infrastructure damage in the war against terror. But our people stood side by side with Pakistan Army, we are their voluntary soldiers. These are the biggest sacrifices in war since Second World War, she added.
The sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiris for freedom are huge and it is quite motivating to know that every Kashmiri martyr desires to be buried in Pakistani flag. Kashmir belongs to us and with the firm resolve and brave leadership we will succeed in our aim to give Kashmir the right to self-determination, she said.
I don’t want to do politics but the Kashmir cause was damaged by the Kashmir Committee. Your organization, the YFK–International Kashmir Lobby Group, and Mushaal Hussein Mullick and some journalists & anchors are raising the issue of Kashmir cause, she added.
Zartaj Gul said that a volunteer merely gets a meal in reward for his or her service as an unpaid helper but its only the volunteers who build every society after every conflict either its war or any natural and man-made disasters. Being the best of all creations as human beings we also have to pay back to society and becoming a volunteer serves this cause, she said.
I used to encourage all volunteers who worked for me and for my election campaign. I made many volunteers in my ten-year struggle, they paid me off and I won the seat from my area but they never asked me even for a single penny, she said.
A volunteer serves without any discrimination and personal bias for the cause of humanity, holding a feeble child’s hand to support him makes a person strong as volunteer to build a resilient society, she added.
The theme this year is “Volunteers Build Resilient Communities”.
The YFK, installed a selfie stand here in the Federal Capital of Islamabad. YFK Volunteers take selfies and pictures next to the special selfie stand. Volunteers said that, we will use these selfies on social media to highlight persons working for peace & conflict resolution in South Asia. We will highlight Kashmiris, Pakistanis, Indians and international personalities working for Kashmir, and thank them.
YFK–International Kashmir Lobby Group (Youth Forum For Kashmir) is a non-partisan, international non-governmental organization, working for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir Conflict in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.