PFOWA working to project Pakistan’s soft image: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD, April 12 (APP): Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday informed the Senate that Pakistan Foreign Office Working Women (PFOWA) was making efforts to project the soft image of the country and execute other public diplomacy events within Pakistan and abroad.
Replying to a question in the Upper House of Parliament, the minister said that internationally the wives of foreign office officials played a role in helping develop a positive image of their country at home and abroad.
He said that PFOWA had been working for the last many years with good reputation. “I personally observe the activities of PFOWA.”
He said that PFOWA arranged useful cultural activities and stalls. All the activities were managed by the wives of Foreign Office officials, he added.
In the written reply, he said the PFOWA was a non-profit organization, registered with Joint Stock Companies Islamabad Capital Territory Islamabad under the Act XXI of 1860 vide No. RS/ICT/63/1987 dated 11 January 1987 and amended in 1995.
He said the Commissioner Inland Revenue (Zone-III) approved its status as NPO in terms of clause (36) of Section 2 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, which was extended on yearly basis.
He said that the regular source of income for PFOWA was the voluntary personal contributions made by officers posted in Pakistan and in missions abroad. In addition, the other significant source of funds was the Charity Bazaar that was held every year in Islamabad, he added.
He said the foreign embassies in Islamabad were invited to participate in the cultural activities and to establish stalls in the annual Charity Bazaar to generate funds for PFOWA causes.
He said a number of embassies actively participated in PFOWA’s charitable endeavours.
Sartaj said that PFOWA was a non-political, social and charitable
organization with the aims and objectives included to look after the
welfare of the deserving employees among grade 1-15 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to assist them in the fields of education, health care and widow welfare etc.
He said the PFOWA was working to play an effective role in social
welfare activities and to raise funds for charitable purposes and to
promote a better understanding of the social, cultural and economic life
of Pakistan besides arranging different programs including exhibition, cultural shows and social meetings.
He said it was a common practice that foreign offices encouraged such
organizations to lend a hand to introduce their culture to the resident diplomats and to develop a positive opinion about the country.
He said the Pakistani diplomats abroad also participated in events
organized by their host governments and local organizations and
contribute to charitable causes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended support to PFOWA for the accomplishment of those tasks, he added.