Princess Anne hails Pak efforts against acid violence

LONDON - HRH Princess Royal Princess Anne has commended the courage of government of Pakistan for acknowledging the need to support victims of acid violence - a difficult subject to deal socially. Addressing a charity reception at the Pakistan High Commission to mark the fifth year of partnership between Acid Survivors Foundation in Pakistan( ASFP) and Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) the Princess Royal who is also patron of ASTI said that the High Commissioner of Pakistan had demonstrated the support of his country for acid survivors, by holding the event at the High Commission. Indicating worldwide lack of social response towards issue of acid violence and support to the victims, Princess Anne said that the very step of speaking about it could be termed as matter of great courage and Pakistan has very well demonstrated it. The Princess Royal shared her experiences of ASTI in various countries pointing out that not everybody recognizes that acid violence is a global issue. we need cooperation from every country, the social response is not that good as people dont speak much about it she added. This was for the first time that a member of Royal family attended an event at the Pakistan High Commission. The event succeeded in drawing attention of those who could contribute in promoting the cause as prominent personalities and business entrepreneurs including Sir Anwer Parvez, James Caan, Lord Qurban Hussain, doctors, nurses along with members and Chairman of ASTI Dr John Morrison attended the occasion. Chairperson Acid Survivors Foundation in Pakistan Valerie Khan Yousafzai threw light in developments on the direction of preventing acid violence and steps being taken by the government of Pakistan for developing a legislative framework. She informed that an acid attack case was successfully taken to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2009 by ASF. Subsequently, the Chief Justice of Pakistan gave the first Pakistani court decision publicly and officially requesting the Government of Pakistan to formulate a relevant legal framework to deal with the issue of acid violence in Pakistan. A national consultation process in now taking place for Acid Control & Acid Crime Prevention Bills to be tabled in the national and provincial assemblies with the support of Ministries of Women Development , Health, Interior, Industries and Production ,National Commission on Status of Women as well as a range of UN agencies, and the civil society. About the achievements of ASFP Ms Khan informed that the Foundation has established the only nursing care and rehabilitation unit (NCRU) for burn survivors in Pakistan as well as the only child protection program for burn survivors. 386 surgeries were performed and, 66 legal cases followed up by ASF legal unit.

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