WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (APP):Pakistanis are a resilient and strong people who continue to strive for their economic progress in the face of worst natural disasters and their positive attitude contradict commonly portrayed stereotypes in the Western media, an American humanitarian said.Todd Shea, whose volunteering spirit and dedication to welfare of suffering humanity has won hearts of millions of Pakistanis in earthquake and flood-hit areas, made a plea to his fellow Americans to understand that an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis is peace-loving.
“Pakistanis are the strongest
people, a resilient people ---- the Americans need to understand they
have nothing to do with terrorism, the young Pakistanis want economic
opportunity,” said Shea at a fund -raising event.
Eminent Attorney and member of U.S. Supreme Court Bar, Mowahid Hussain Shah, young Pakistani-American doctors, who rendered services in Pakistan, and community activists spoke at the event.
Todd Shea has worked as relief
volunteer in Sri Lanka, New Orleans, Pakistan after the October 2005
earthquake, in Swat after anti-militant operation in 2009 and 2010 epic
floods, in Haiti after 2010 temblor, and heads Shine Humanity, an
organization that runs Comprehensive Disaster Relief Services hospital
in the remote village of Chikar Azad Kashmir valley.
With the help of 100 Pakistani
employees, Pakistani-American doctors and local volunteers and
philanthropists, the hospital has provided emergency medical relief to
more than a hundred thousand men, women and children.
Relating his experience of working
with ordinary people in Azad Kashmir and militancy-hit Swat in the north
of Pakistan, the promising singer-turned-extraordinary disaster relief
worker, said he found the people there as friendly, warm and hospitable,
contrary to misrepresentations in most of the news stories that experts
say focus narrowly on Afghan war-related issues and tend to generalize
“I went there (in Swat after
millions were displaced) without any fanfare, just a driver and an
interpreter ---I told the local people (in Swat) I am an American and
want to listen to them as to how I could help them --- instead of
treating me with hate, the people there treated me like their brother.”
“I want to tell the stories of
these people,” Shea said, who over the past several years, has
interacted widely within the Pakistani society and also teamed up with
Pakistani rock star Atif Aslam and several other vocalists to raise
funds for the suffering humanity.
Mowahid Hussain Shah, who was the
keynote speaker at the event, said Todd Shea is an inspiring example for
selfless work, because he chose to travel to a distant unfamiliar land
and mingled with people of a different culture.
“What bound him with the people of Pakistan is the bond of human decency,bond of goodness, bond of caring
and the bond of service (to suffering humanity).Todd is a conqueror of
hearts by virtue of his deeds.”
Mowahid Shah cited the devotion of Sufi saints, who taught virtues of selfless welfare work, love, and care and some of them also made use of poetry and music to convey the Islamic message in South Asia and such work in service of humanity outlasts many other deeds.
Todd Shea’s work follows the
message of Christ who preached peace, love and brotherhood, Shah, an
expert on the Middle Eastern affairs, noted while refering to the need
for mutual understanding in the post-9/11 international scenario, often
marred by hate, division, conflict and misrepresentations.
He acknowledged the contribution of
young Pakistani-Americans, doctors, university students and the media
towards success of Todd Shea’s welfare cause. Shah encouraged young
Muslims to realize their full potential through modern skills and
enlightened learning and assist development of their communities, who
have a history of blossoming under pressure.