LAHORE: Pakistan’s economic problems can be resolved if taxpayers and tax officers prefer larger national interests over their personal and limited interests.
This was the upshot of an exclusive interview of Customs Health Care Society (CHCS) President and Additional Collector Asif Mehmood Jah with Customs Today.
Asif Mehmood Jah, a qualified MBBS doctor and CSP officer, hails from Sargodaha. He established foundation of Customs Health Care Society in 1998. Since then, the society has been fulfilling the needs of deserving people. About 16 full-fledged projects and institutions are working throughout the country under this society for the public welfare projects including health, education, rehabilitation of earthquake-hit people, free residence for homeless, blood transfusion and liver transplantation.
“I had a dream to help the poor and needy people who cannot afford even fee of hospital slip through an excellent institution equipped with all facilities under one roof,” Dr Jah said.
He said that he never faced any problem while simultaneously running the society successfully and doing full justice to his job as Additional Collector of Customs.
“I feel no problem in discharging my duties as a physician and an Additional Collector of Customs as I spend all my energies from 9am to 5pm on my official assignments. However after 5pm, I become a physician and never allowed anyone to talk about Customs and official matters during my times at Customs Health Care Society,” the additional Customs Collector said.
Dr Jah got degree in MBBS from King Edward Medical University and preferred to join Customs Department after qualifying CSS examination in 1992. He was posted in Multan as Assistant Customs Collector in 1994 following completion of his training.
Replying to a query about the financial needs of the society, Dr Jah said that most of his friends in abroad have been fulfilling the financial needs of the society while several philanthropists in the country also provide financial support.
He, however, said: “I take special care while accepting donation from anyone. If I feel doubt about any donor’s hidden motives, I refuse to accept such donations”.
Dr Jah has also been working for the rehabilitation of earthquake and flood victims in all the provinces. He said that on October 8, 2005 when the massive earthquake wiped out millions of the houses of the poor and the rich alike, his society was there to help the unfortunate people. He said that the society members along with a team of doctors supplied life-saving drugs, treated the wounded people without any interval from morning to night and even built homes for the homeless in order to rehabilitate them.
The CHCS president stated that the society played its active role in restoration of flood and quake victims.
Recently, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Shraif has posted an appreciation letter to Dr Jah, commending social welfare service of his society under his leadership.
“The commendation expressed by the CM has further encouraged me to do due diligence to make the society more result-oriented,” Dr Jah asserted.
Answering to a question, Dr Jah said that so many difficulties can be avoided if taxpayers, tax evaders and tax collectors prefer larger national interests over personal and limited interests.
Dr Jah has also written a number of books on various subjects including Family Health, Health Care, Teenage Guide, Zalzla Zakham and Zindgi, Swat Hijrat and Khidmat.
“Recently I have the honour to write the wonderful book ‘Allah Kaba Aur Banda’ about my journey to sacred places of Makkah and Madina,” Dr Jah concluded.