White Star
White Star

LAHORE: Following the tradition of the government functionaries going to great lengths to ‘inspire’ people, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan underwent an elaborate ritual associated with the blood donation in the city on Saturday.

The incident that created some controversy took place at the Sundas Foundation Centre where she had gone to raise awareness about thalassaemia patients.

In an about three-minute ‘blood donation’ activity, a foundation official first registered her on the ‘Blood Donors Registration Card’ mentioning her age 46. (Her profile on Wikipedia shows her age 50). A doctor placed an infusion set without needle on her arm, showing as if she was donating the blood (which she wasn’t).

The staff present there said it needed the ‘footage and pictures’ of Dr Awan that would help the cause for thalassaemia (children) patients. The staff brought a bagful of blood showing that it was donated by the PM’s aide.

Speaking to Dawn, a member of Dr Awan’s personal staff said it was a “symbolic” donation drive for the thalassaemia patients. “She had asked the foundation for donation of blood but it insisted on a symbolic one,” he said and regretted that it was given a colour that she was faking it.

“I have donated blood to the Sundas Foundation 22 times in the past, in addition to today’s one,” APP quoted Dr Awan as having said. “It is nothing short of a reward if someone’s blood saves anyone’s life,” she said and added that Prime Minister Imran Khan appreciated social work a lot.

“Sundas Foundation was launching an awareness campaign for blood donation for children suffering from thalassaemia and the media coverage was a part of it. Presenting the footage and pictures of the event in a misleading way on certain sections of mainstream and social media is condemnable,” she later tweeted.

Ms Awan further said a law regarding thalassaemia had been enacted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and it would be introduced in the Centre and Punjab soon.

Later, at the Meet the Press programme, Dr Awan said an information centre would be set up at the Lahore Press Club for telling the people about government’s policies and declared that 2020 would be a year of good governance providing relief to the common man.

She said the PTI government would take the media along with it. She also assured journalists of redressing their grievances and congratulated the newly-elected body of the Press Club.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2020

Opinion

What a tangled web

What a tangled web

So poorly kept is this secret about the opposition’s real hopes and no plans that even the government has figured it out.
Climate threat over South Asia
Updated 26 Oct 2021

Climate threat over South Asia

Water shortages, drought, floods or landslides and tsunamis are not constrained by national boundaries.
Losing heritage
26 Oct 2021

Losing heritage

It’s not a good idea to turn Mohatta into a college.
The long impasse
Updated 25 Oct 2021

The long impasse

Management of Pakistan-India tensions is likely to remain the main focus of sporadic backchannel efforts.

Editorial

26 Oct 2021

Perfect in every way

GLORIOUS. Gratifying. Liberating. Pakistan’s thumping victory over India in their opening fixture of the T20 World...
26 Oct 2021

Balochistan CM’s exit

ON Sunday, Jam Kamal Khan Alyani’s name was added to the long list of chief ministers of Balochistan who ...
Minister’s odd logic
26 Oct 2021

Minister’s odd logic

THE government’s contradictions and confusion appear to have no end when it comes to dealing with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.
25 Oct 2021

Party to a vile campaign

THE PTI government’s hostility towards the media and its intolerance for dissent is well known. The target of ...
Financial crisis
Updated 25 Oct 2021

Financial crisis

DESPITE having progressed to ‘very good step’ and being ‘close to concluding the agreement’ a few days back,...
25 Oct 2021

Morals and Pemra

TIME and again, Pemra has come under fire for issuing arbitrary instructions to TV channels on matters ranging from...