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Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) rejects the story aired on 24th November 2015, during a program on one channel of electronic media casting aspersions on its charitable activities.

The allegations leveled against PFOWA, it’s Patron, and spouses of the officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are totally baseless and unfounded.

As part of their representational responsibilities, the spouses of Pakistani diplomats posted around the world actively participate in charitable activities in their host countries. In the same spirit, PFOWA works with members of the Diplomatic Corps based in Islamabad. Diplomats the world over engage in charitable activities, individually and collectively.

It is unfortunate that the media anchors chose to ignore the exhaustive list of welfare activities which PFOWA has carried out over the years.

PFOWA is a registered charity organization working on a non profit basis. Its focus is on the welfare of the low paid employees of the Ministry. It has provided scholarships to the children of these staff members as well as providing financial assistance for medical and other needs. It also provides monthly subsistence assistance to widows and orphans of Foreign Office employees.

The scope of PFOWA’s welfare activities extends beyond the Foreign Ministry. It has contributed relief assistance to flood and drought affected areas of the country. PFOWA mobilized resources and established a Girls School in Chinari following the October 2005 earthquake. It also donates to other charity organizations and has institutional partnerships with several philanthropic entities.

PFOWA generates funds primarily through voluntary contributions made by the officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Owing to its growing reputation as a credible charity institution, various diplomatic missions in Islamabad as well as individual donors voluntarily contribute to PFOWA’s charity activities.

The most significant fundraising activity, however, is the PFOWA Annual Bazaar held each year. The high attendance (around 10-12,000) witnessed at this year’s Annual Bazaar, held on November 15, 2015 is a clear manifestation of the wide public acknowledgment and support for PFOWA’s noble causes.

PFOWA’s accounts are maintained with utmost transparency and its accounts are published annually in the PFOWA Magazine.

It is truly sad and disappointing that an organization that has received nation-wide recognition and acclaim ever since its establishment, soon after Pakistan came into being, should be targeted with such baseless and malicious propaganda.

At the very least, the organizers of this programme should have given some thought to the damage such unfounded claims may cause to the thousands of widows and orphans whose lives have changed on account of PFOWA’s help and assistance to them.

25 November 2015

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