FAISALABAD-The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) stressed a need for saving the billions of rupees money falling in the hands of terrorists or undeserving persons through collection of Zakat and sacrificial animals’ hides on Eidul Azha.

Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) will launch a series of awareness seminars to educate the people about the importance of “safe giving and safe living” project.

Addressing a seminar jointly organised by FCCI and the Initiative for Peace and Development. FCCI Senior Vice President Rana Sikandar-e-Azam said the business community of Faisalabad is acknowledged throughout Pakistan for its proactive philanthropist acts. They are always extending maximum help to the poor and needy people.

“Many of them pay more than the mandatory Zakat of 2.5 percent” he said and quoted two leading businessmen who are running two full-fledged hospitals in addition to managing a large number of schools and colleges where poor patients and students are treated free of cost. Similarly, dozens of FCCI members are independently running free dispensaries particularly in the poor localities of the city, he said and told that Mian Muhammad Idrees has recently announced to bear the entire educational expenses of one thousand students under the System Foundation that has introduced a special program to educate drop out students to pass their matriculation examination within two years. Similarly, Vice President FCCI Engineer Ahmad Hasan will also bear the educational expenses of 25 students under this programme. He said that it is very unlucky fact that Zakat which is a mandatory religious obligation for every Muslim is being abused by the terrorists. Similarly, in Karachi a political party had also introduced a system of forced collection of hides of sacrificial animals for their own ulterior motives. He said that it is the duty of every Muslim to identify the really deserving persons before handing over his Zakat to anybody.

FCCI VP Engineer Ahmad Hasan said that he was surprised to know that a huge amount is being donated by the Muslims every year and said that if it is permitted religiously, we could retire our entire foreign loans just within a few years by diverting Zakat towards this purpose. He said that Pakistan is a unique and blessed country. “We only need honest leadership that could steer Pakistan out of the current political and economic turmoil”, he added. He said that the main focus of this seminar is to sensitize the Executive committee members, Trade associations, Businessmen, Industrialist, Philanthropists and local influential’s that they should give their charities to the needy and should get the information that where their charity would be spend.

Muqarab Mukhtar, Director Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, said that no doubt Zakat is a mandatory religious obligation but we are also bound to pay it to the really deserving persons. He said that under the clause of 11-H, each and every Pakistani is bound to give Zakat and hides of sacrificial animals to the institutions allowed by the NECTA.

IPAD Executive Director added, “I am glad we had such a receptive and supportive audience which not only understood the actual message but also volunteered to spread the awareness in their respective communities. As responsible citizen we should play our role and verify the individual or institution before giving our Zakat or hides of sacrificial animals to anybody. We must report to NACTA helpline 1717 if come across any suspicious activity, individual or institution.”

She said, “Let us act as eyes and ears to the government for our safe future and peaceful Pakistan.” The seminar was comprised of detailed presentation and open discussion. These types of seminars are aimed to engage stakeholders by sensitizing them on the issues of combating terrorism in Pakistan and their contribution towards reducing extremism, poverty and promoting a healthy Pakistan through careful donations.