On the occasion of Pakistan Day March 23rd, 2011, a delegation of Houstonian community members of Muslim and Pakistani origin, visited the Consulate-General of Japan, and met with Hon. Takahiko Watabe, Deputy Consul-General Japan. At present, there is no Consul General of Japan in Houston. As such Hon. Watabe is the acting Consul-General of Japan. Members of delegation offered their heartiest commiserations, and wrote their remarks on the special Condolences Book.
Organizations present included the Helping Hand (USA) For Relief & Development (representing the Muslim Community), the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce â€“ USA, and the Houston-Karachi Sister City Association. Also present on the occasion were Consul General in Houston of Austria The Hon. Otmar Kolber, Consul General in Houston of Mexico The Hon. Luis Malpica de Lamadrid.
On behalf of all Americans, in particular the Muslim Community of Houston and USA, U. S. South Central Region Coordinator for the Helping Hand (USA) For Relief & Development (HHRD), ILyas Hasan Choudry, expressed deep sympathies; towards the people of Japan.
He informed Hon. Takahiko Watabe, how Executive Director of Helping Hand Irfan Khurshid is presently coordinating activities on ground in Japan; that HHRD has already sent $20,000 to Japan for Irfan Khurshid to buy necessary items locally in Japan; and then to take them to those affected by the earthquake and Tsunami in Yamagata, Japan. Hon. Takahiko Watabe was extremely appreciative of all the efforts of HHRD.
Executive Director of International Programs for HHRD Irfan Khurshid after establishing HHRDâ€™s work on the border of Tunisia-Libya is now in Japan, coordinating and establishing the relief work in a shelter in Yamagata, Japan, where there are about 1,000 persons (70 children under 5+ years, 120 elderly 65+ years, and around 825 persons of other ages).
What HHRD is supplying them include: Undergarments, Socks, Toothbrushes, Hangers (for drying washed clothes), Kairo (to keep them warm in the cold weather; snowing now-a-days), Furikake (Japanese condiments for their staple food rice), Misoshiro (Soup), winter items, and many other things.
Regular updates on HHRD Japanâ€™s efforts can be seen at www.MuslimsForJapan.Org â€“ All the generous contributions to make a positive change in the lives of thousands among the humanity, who are in dire straits, are awaited at www.HHRD.Org
On behalf of the Pakistani Community, President of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce (PCC-USA) Parvez Jamil Khan Swati; Senior Vice President Pervaiz Iqbal; General Secretary Abdur Rauf Khan; Vice President Media Mumtaz Khan; Awards and Publications Committee Chair & former President Gul Faraz Khan; Annual Banquet 2011 Committee Chair and former President Muhammad Saeed Sheikh; and Membership and Marketing Chair Zaki Mirza; handed a Letter of Condolences duly signed by all the office bearers of PCC-USA. They expressed heartiest condolences and conveyed the best wishes for speedy recovery for Japan and the people of Japan from this big disaster. More information on PCC-USA can be seen at www.pcc-usa.org
Recently elected President of the Houston-Karachi Sister City Association (HKSCA) Saeed Sheikh; and Publications Committee Chair Amir Maqsood Khan (of Exclusive Printers); were present and communicated their concerns and sympathies towards the Japanese people to the Consul-General of Japan in Houston.
In the end, Hon. Takahiko Watabe personally thanked all the persons, who had come. For more information on the Houston Japanese Consulate, one can visit http://www.houston.us.emb-japan.go.jp/