Sydney (Report by Tribune International); In every ethnic community in the multicultural society of New South Wales, there are various registered community organisations who represent their communities respectively. These are registered by the NSW Government department of fair trade or ASIC. The main function of these community organisations is to be involved in the social and welfare affairs of their community, promote their culture, heritage, language, celebrate national days and as when needed represent their community members on various social, welfare and government platforms. As for as the status of these community organisations no one is superior or inferior or has a sole representation of their community. These organisations make their existence or importance in their communities as per their deliverable for their own community members.
In Pakistani Community, like in other communities, there are various community organisations. Among these many, Pakistan Association of Australia (PAA) is the one of the organisations and this is the legal and official status of PAA in New South Wales.
Well in principle, there is no direct link to this matter with the affairs of the Pakistani diplomats in Australia, yet and unfortunately, like in every other department in Pakistan, there is a corruption in the diplomatic court of ministry of foreign affairs. The latest case of Hussain Haqqani, getting place in the national headlines of Pakistani media, is an ideal example. Some common modus of operandi of these diplomats when working in different countries is to establish close relations with those members of the community who look for their own personal or business vested interest with the Pakistan government through diplomats or feel proud to be in the close circle of diplomats for their personal projections in the community. PAA is the perfect example of this kind of corruption and nepotism. Pakistani diplomats have played a vital role in making PAA a club of few community members who can feed them whatever they are looking for and serve their personal goals. These diplomats have created this perception that PAA is the only representative organisations in New South Wales and then they make sure that PAA should be controlled by those who can work with these diplomats on mutual affairs of interests. This has been going on for the last 20 years of or. Tribune International (Australia) has been reporting on this act of nepotism since its establishment in 1997 in the interest of the common Pakistanis in Australia.
The current situation of Pakistan Association of Australia (PAA) is that it is the pool of 15 to 20 people and their 150 or so family members. The people who are running the PAA maintain close social and entertaining relations with the High Commissioner of Pakistan Naela Chohan who doesn’t have any idea about her official status and loves to exchange messages of Facebook page, and then the consul general for Sydney who has been appointed by the corrupt government of Sindh. Currently, PAA is being controlled by few people who mysteriously hold the election and become the so-called elected body. Their output from the PAA platform is nothing except organise a Pakistan day event of their family members and friends of about 150 people. Last week, PAA organised a Pakistan Day function in a local hall of a Pakistani restaurant on Sunday 25th of March where the capacity of the hall was not more than 250 people and less than 200 people attended the event. The function was endorsed by the High Commissioner Naela Chohan and Consul General in Sydney Abdul Majid Yousfani, and it has been a shame that despite of all publicity and promotion by these diplomats the event could not attract more than 200 Pakistanis who are basically family and friends of organiser, diplomats and their sponsors.
In is to be noted that a day earlier (Saturday 24th of March), another community organisation running under the banner of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf held a Pakistan Day function where over 700 Pakistanis attended. In this function, the Pakistani diplomates refused to attend by reasoning that it was organised by Teehreek-e-Insaf. Are these diplomats the servant of the state of Pakistan or the ruling party of Nawaz Shareef? Anyway, in this event of PAA of less than 200 people some community awards were given to some Pakistanis, a report was sent to a prominent federal member of parliament. Hon Julie Owens to make a record in the federal parliament. Julie Owen were not present in this function, therefore, it was obvious that a report must have been sent by someone influential asking Julie Owens to highlight the event in her parliament speech. In this report a misleading figure of over 500 Pakistanis attendees, a national award like in Pakistan and was the official function of Pakistan Day were reported. Anyone can understand that this was done to hide the guilt of refusing to attend one event of Pakistan Day and attend another one. These are the common tools of diplomats and these group of people using PAA for their own interest and creating divisions in the Pakistani community in Sydney.
Nevertheless, now the demographic of Pakistani community has been changed prominently. The significant numbers of new Pakistani migrants in the last 10 years or so hate this culture of nepotism, favouritism and opportunism. And one can now see their voices in the Pakistani social media and common media.
In this regard, an open letter has published by the community members which is receiving a huge support on the social media. Following is the text of the letter.
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“An open letter to Pakistan Association of Australia (PAA)”
Respected President and General Secretary of PAA,
As Pakistani Association of Australia is a community organisation representing Pakistanis living in Australia and dealing with Australian and Pakistanis authorities on different matters of interest of common people.
I am writing this open letter as the information requested in this letter are not only important to me but to a wider Pakistani community and will request PAA to issue a public statement informing general public through websites, social media, community newspapers and Electronic Media.
The community members by large want PAA executive committee particularly the President and General Secretary to respond to the following:
- How membership drive is conducted?
- How Elections are conducted?
- How members contest and vote for elections?
- How voter’s lists are maintained?
- When is the Election?
- When is the deadline of the membership of PAA which will be eligible for the vote for the next executive committee election
- Is there panel debate between the contestants?
- Who Conduct Elections?
- Can you publish a copy of the constitution of PAA in the media and social media so that community members make sure that they know their rights and be active part of association?”
Member of Pakistani Community living in Sydney. Dated: 29th March 2017
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