Saturday, February 11, 2012

ICV Hosts Meet and Greet Event with Dr. Paul Bhatti and Pakistani MPAs‏

Press Release - Revised

Feb 10, 2012

ICV Hosts Meet and Greet Event with Dr. Paul Bhatti and Pakistani MPAs‏

International Christian Voice Canada is pleased to report the success of their Meet and Greet event held on February 4th, 2012 for the visiting delegation of MPAs and Leaders of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) led by Dr. Paul Bhatti, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The event was held at 7pm at the Canadian Coptic’s Center in Mississauga, and was well attended by approximately 350 members of the Pakistani Christian community from both Canada and the United States; including pastors and church leaders, leaders of various community organizations such as the CCA, CCASA Toronto Chapter, and representatives from both ICV Buffalo and the newly created ICV Winnipeg chapters. Other people of importance attending the event included MP Wladyslaw Lizon; representatives from MP John Carmichael’s office; Mark Dotzert, National Councilor Conservative Party of Canada; and Lesley-Anne Leighton an NGO working in Pakistan with Diadem International and the Shahbaz Bhatti Trust.

The APMA delegation led by Dr. Paul Bhatti, Chairman; included: APMA Coordinator for Punjab Mr. Khalid Gill, Punjab MPA Mr. Tahir Naveed Chaudhary, Balochistan MPA and Minister Mr. Jaffer George, Sindh MPA Mr. Saleem Khokhar and APMA Coordinator for Islamabad-Rawalpindi Region Mr. Manzoor Khan Ghori.

From the United States, attendees included Mrs. Alfreda Gill (Vice President Pakistani American Christian Coalition); Ernest Gulab (President Pakistani American Christian Coalition); Mazoor Alam (Chairman Pakistani American Christian Coalition); Samson Johnson, Anwar Sadique (Executive Member Pakistani American Christian Coalition); Waseem Sohail, Justin Pervez and Victor Gill (Phidelephia). Rana Umar Hayat President and Imdad Khan represented ICV Winnipeg Chapter. A large group from the ICV Buffalo Chapter delegation led by Mrs. Samuel Siraj also attended the event.

The evening was brilliantly hosted by Mr. Vincent Samuel, who moved things along with ease; beginning with an opening prayer by Mr. Khalid Gill, and the singing of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti’s favourite Psalm #9 “Daim Yahova Ya Rabb”; led by Mr. Khalid Gill, Mr. Vincent Samuel, Mr. Nadeem Akhtar & Mrs. Phoebe Samuel. Pervez Masih President ICV started the evenings speeches with a welcoming opening address. He spoke about his relationship with Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti and the cause for which the event was being held.

Mr. Manzoor Khan Ghori introduced the gathered audience to APMA and revealed some of their vision and strategies. Mr Khalid Gill next took to the stage in the night’s most memorable speech: he led the audience in cheers for the APMA’s “Quaid-e-Tehreeq” Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti – and inspired everyone with his ache for the persecuted. APMA delegates Mr. Tahir Naveed, Mr. Jaffer George, and Mr. Saleem Khokhar all spoke about rallying together behind their elected leader, Dr. Paul Bhatti; and pleaded with the audience to unite as one Christian community. APMA Chairman Dr. Paul Bhatti, in an eloquent and succinct address, highlighted the issues facing the Christian minority in Pakistan and urged the Canadian Pakistani Christian Community to work together for the development of the persecuted minorities in Pakistan by supporting APMA in their efforts. Dr. Bhatti thanked the community for being wonderful hosts to their delegation.

MP Wladslaw Lizon spoke wonderfully about his own experiences with persecution, and how they affected his own life and faith. On behalf of ICV Buffalo Chapter, Mr. Atique Khokhar addressed the audience and moved the crowd with his faith, he cited the evidence of success in Christian nations as one that the Pakistani Christian community could use as a model not only for the successful eradication of the blasphemy law, but also to assist in Pakistan’s economic development.

Other speakers for the evening included Mark Dotzert, Alfrida Gill, Ernest Gulab, Manzoor Alam and Rana Umar Hayat; who all spoke about their relationship with ICV and pledged to work as a united community for the benefit of our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ. Poets Mr. Javed Iqbal (Toronto) and Waseem Shohail (Philedelphia) entertained the audience with their ardent renditions of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti’s life and achievements. Special thanks to Aamra Yamin (President CCASA Toronto Chapter) who expressed her support for ICV and APMA from the stage; as well as to Ch. Shadab Khokhar (Chairman AWAAZ International) and John Gill (President CCA) for joining ICV in this event.

Mr. Peter Bhatti (Chairman ICV) ended by thanking Dr. Paul Bhatti and APMA, dignitaries, visitors from United States, ICV Buffalo, ICV Winnipeg, community leaders, church leaders, and the audience for their participation and tremendous response. He too stressed the need to work together in supporting APMA and the persecuted Christian and other religious minorities in Pakistan. Mr. Bhatti reiterated the ICV mission and vision to see Pakistan as a home for Christians and other minorities where they could flourish without fear of oppression, and assured the audience of ICV commitment in this regard.

Members of the APMA delegation were awarded plaques by ICV Canada. The pastoral community led by Pastor Sarwar Din, alongside the attending community leaders presented a special plaque to honor Dr. Paul Bhatti for his work with the persecuted Christians and other religious minority groups in Pakistan. Pastor Din also led the audience in a closing prayer for the persecuted church and the unification of the community at large.

As the event rounded into its conclusion dinner was served and the audience given the opportunity to mingle with the delegation to ask questions.

ICV would like to give their sincere appreciation to the following individuals for their time, effort and financial support: Eliza and Reuben Charles; Qamar Andreas; Sebastian Gill; Ashleigh Francis; Asifa and Asher Khokhar; David Bhatti; Nitasha Bhatti; Lazar Bagh; Obeid Newton; Peter Bhatti; Phoebe and Vincent Samuel; Naseem and Naeem Akhthar; and Bosco Martyers. Also thanks to Idrees Masih for excellent catering and to the Canadian Coptic’s Centre for their fabulous facilities and assistance in the success of this event.

- Serena Samuel, on behalf of ICV Canada.

(Pictures coming soon.)

No comments:

Post a Comment