Islamabad-On the directions of Minister of State, Capital Administration & Development Division Dr Tariq Fazal Ch, an awareness seminar in connection with celebration of International Senior Citizens Day titled “The Senior Citizens of Pakistan – their Social Problems & Rights” was organised by National Council of Social Welfare.

Dr Nadeem Shafiq Malik, Chairman National Council of Social Welfare (NCSW) chaired the seminar while Dr Haider Zaman, President Pakistan National Centre on Ageing, was the chief guest. Representatives of civil society, NGOs, students and other stakeholders attended the seminar. Prominent activists for Senior Citizens rights and intellectuals presented their lectures on the rights of the senior citizens in light of UNO principles and their implementation.

In his presidential address, Dr Nadeem Shafiq Malik said that the senior citizens are very important part of Pakistani society. “We in Pakistan have many blessings to be grateful for a homeland, a benevolent religion to follow and our constitution protects the rights of the all people including senior citizens. It is our religious obligation to look after our parents and not to reply back to them harshly and bound to love respect and look after the elderly. However, it is fact that Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world with a large number of senior citizens of population. Due to this our senior citizens are being faced many social problems. The present government is fully committed to facilitate our senior citizens and resolve their issues.”

He said it is decided to bring a policy framework for the well being of this precious segment of the society. The main thrust of this policy framework is not only to address the vulnerability issues but to reintegrate senior citizens into mainstream life to make them both economically productive and socially jelled.

Dr Malik further said that the NCSW is playing a important role to facilitate the senior citizens through setting up facilitation desk, helpline, pension cell, reading room/library for senior citizens, including free of cost facilities of telephone, internet and computer. It is our collective responsibility to resolve the social issues of the Senior Citizens, he added.