Pakistan Association of Australia and Pakistan Australia Business Council jointly hosted Farewell for Pak Diplomat Shifaat Ahmad Kaleem
Mr. Iftikhar Rana speaking at Iftar dinner
Transcript Speech of the President PABC and PAC Mr. Iftikhar Rana
(Thursday, 02 July 2015 - Spice of Life Function Centre, Harris Park Sydney)
Her Excellency Madam Naela Chohan,
High Commissioner of Pakistan Australia
The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC,
Abdul Aziz Uqaili, Consul General of Sydney
Shifaat Kaleem Consul Sydney (Special Farewell Guest)
Bushra Salam New Consul appointed in Sydney,
Mr. Azam Mohammad Chief Adviser of PABC,
Trustees of PAA, Office Bearers of PAC, PABC and PAA
Respected Elders and fellow Community Brothers and Sisters
On behalf of the Australian Pakistani Community, Pakistan Australia Council, Pakistan Australia Business Council & Pakistan Association of Australia, I would like to welcome you all, particularly our special guest Her Excellency Naela Chohan and Shifaat Kaleem for accepting our invitation, despite their busy schedule. Thank you very much Madam and Shifaat Kaleem!
Also I would like to Welcome Mrs Bushra Salam who is the new Consul in Sydney!
It is a tradition of our association to hold events that allow members of the community to meet respected names in the Australian Pakistani community. As you can see from the gathering and by interacting with many, the Pakistan Australia community in Sydney is well placed in this society and has contributed widely to multiculturalism in Australia.
Today, there is a good representation of our community encompassing all walks of life. Representing various professions, I am happy to notice that each and every segment of our community is represented here today.
As Australian Pakistani’s we have upheld our cultural and religious values while integrating with the Australian multicultural society. Over the years the Pakistani community in Australia has grown and with over 60,000 Pakistani origin Australians in Australia.
Our contribution to the Australian economy and society is widely recognized by the authorities. Our contribution is well acknowledged particularly in the professional fields of medicine, law, education, finance and IT.
In the business sector Pakistanis are well established in importing, retail and service sector. As well as that, our contribution is widely in providing security and public transport.
Our Community is passionate not only about our adopted country but equally so with our country of origin. We always like to stay in touch with our roots. Thus, whenever we get the opportunity to meet an important delegations or dignities, we always endeavor to inter-act.
We work in total harmony with the Australian community and keep close and cordially establish rapport with the local community and the parliamentarians. The relationship between the association and parliamentarians of NSW and Australian Parliament is evident through numerous events such, as the Eid Milan Party that is hosted in NSW parliament every year.
Whenever Pakistan is in need of help the Australian Pakistani community always endeavour to assist as best as we can. The Earthquake in 2008, or the flood in 2010 are examples of two events we stepped in and arranged 14 containers of goods and over 2.4 Million dollars were raised through different channels to support our home country.
The Consult office is providing a great service to the Community under Mr. Abdul Aziz Uqaili leadership. However there are some improvements required.
Madam, I would like to highlight the following points that you may improve or the present problems that are facing our community:
• In the Consulate office when people call, it’s very hard to attend their calls. We had discussed this a few time with the consult office and the answer is very genuine that there is less staff and that only one person is taking phone calls and dealing with customers. At times when there is a long queue for instance, one person cannot juggle taking phone calls and dealing with clients face to face at the same time. The Australian Pakistani community requests you to please arrange more staff in the Sydney office or make some arrangements or divert calls to Canberra so at least community members are able to gain information by phone.
• As well as that, when individuals personally go to Canberra to lodge there application, the Canberra mission does not issue a receipt. Please arrange some sort of tracking system that will be highly appreciated.
Today is also a very special night as we have to say farewell to our good friend Mr. Shifaat Kaleem:
Dear Shifaat Sahib, during your tenure of service as Consul, your response to your community has always been positive and friendly.
Your dedicated services, efficiency coupled with hard work and unique intelligence has placed you very high in the eyes of those you meet, especially Pakistanis who have come in contact with you often. Your responsibility and positive attitude toward the Australian Pakistani community has earned you an admirable name and great respect.
Dear Friends, Now that Shifaat Kaleem is departing from us, we hope that he shall remain in touch and visit us sometime in the future. He will always be welcomed here.
Please join me in congratulating him for his distinguished services, benevolent patronage and friendly gestures shown towards all of us in the Australian Pakistani Community.
With a heavy heart in the honour of Mr. Shifaat I would like to recite this Urdu couplet.
“Khuch loog kisi baat pay Attai Nahinee Yadd
Khutch loog kisi tore Bhulai Nahinee Jaty”
This is what Mr. Shifaat Kaleem is
(Big hand for Mr. Shifaat) Thank you.
I would like to acknowledge the support and great contribution of Sada-e- Watan Sydney and Paklink Australia. Most individuals in media work hard for business purposes. The only person that does not have a business purpose rather is a man who helps the community whenever they are in need is my good friend Mr. Syed Zafar Hussain Shah.
Once again on behalf of PAC, PABC, PAA and the Australian Pakistani Community I sincerely thank you and pray that May Allah’s blessings be with you and your family.
In the end, although this is a simple party it will always be remembered as a historic send off.
All the best, Allah Hafiz.
Email Sada-e-Watan to a friend!