A spectacular event, attended by boxer Amir Khan, raised £2.3 million in donations and pledges towards funding two crucial dam projects in Pakistan after being inspired by a speech by Imam Qasim, Founder and Chairman of Al-Khair – the UK’s fastest growing Muslim charity.
The evening, held and hosted at the Sheridan Suite in Manchester, generated a wave of generosity for the huge schemes aimed at addressing water scarcity and power supply.
Boxer Amir Khan and BBC Asian Network’s presenter Noreen Khan were among the celebrity guests supporting the fundraising event hosted by Naeem Raza and attended by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar and Al-Khair Foundation’s Chairman and Founder Imran Qasim.
1300 attendees heard how Al-Khair Foundation and the UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UKPCCI) are instrumental to the dams’ fund-raising efforts in the UK.
Imam Qasim, told the audience that the charity is providing its platform and resources to fund raise for the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam projects.
Al-Khair, which has experience running water projects in Pakistan and in disaster zones across the world, also has plans to build smaller dams across the nation and to mobilise water trucks to deliver clean water to areas in need.
Aslam Atcha, Bolton Branch Manager at Al-Khair Foundation said: ‘The evening was fantastic and everyone was very generous. We raised more money than anticipated. The response from the whole community was great.’
‘Al-Khair staff from offices in Bolton, Blackburn, Oldham, Bradford, Birmingham and London supported the evening in their own time. The support was overwhelming.”
The Diamer-Bhasha dam, on the River Indus at Gilgit-Baltistan, and the Mohmand dam, on the River Swat, north of Peshawar, will cost more than £8 billion between them to construct with work expected to start early in 2019.
Pakistan ranks third in the world among countries facing acute water shortage, it is feared large parts of the country with an abundant flow of fresh water will run dry by 2025.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has deemed the construction imperative for the country’s prosperity and existence to overcome the looming water crisis.
The honourable Chief justice, Saqib Nisar praised the support, love and compassion shown by the Pakistani diaspora towards the project and also stressed that pressures from global meant that the role of dams and reservoirs are becoming increasingly vital.
He also emphasized the importance of the qualities of “justice, education and the honest leadership” for society to operate smoothly.
Al-Khair Foundation supported the London based fundraising event for the dam projects hosted by Naeem Raza. The total sum raised during the two events, for the Dams Fundraising project in Pakistan, was £3.5 million.