Lonely Evenings of Islamabad and Corona

Lonely Evenings of Islamabad and Corona

Whenever any natural calamity or man-made disaster took place in Pakistan, without wasting time, the Custom officer Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah along with his devoted teams of Customs Health Care Society reached the affected areas and helped the helpless people by providing them the basic necessities of life and medical assistance. He has also played a role in the rehabilitation of the homeless people and done relief works for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Bannu and Waziristan, including those from other regions. 

Dr. Asif Jah not only visited the affected areas, but also wrote 27 related-books and being a social worker, writer; author and philanthropist got major civil award Sitara-e-Imtiaz and

 Hilal-e-Imtiaz.

His book, Lonely Evenings of Islamabad and Corona consists of circumstances of those days which Dr. Asif Jah spent in Islamabad from February, 2019 to March, 2023. During the four years, he faced many ups and downs and all kind of matters relating to that situation. The book also describes his early days of government service and welfare activities and so on. 

On February 7, 2019, Dr. Asif Jah came to Islamabad from Lahore and held the responsibilities of the post of Chief Collector Customs North. He performed duties honestly and raised steps for increasing country’s revenue. 

As he writes in this book that “he had been transferred at Islamabad, but due to some unavoidable circumstances, could not go. He was worried that if he left Lahore what would be happened to his welfare works…who shall run the affairs of Hospital…I reduced my responsibilities to some extent. Yumna became doctor…held the command of Customs Healthcare Society (NGO) and Hospital”. However, he went to Islamabad and almost used to return Lahore for two days in a week. During this span of period, he contacted with patients, having mutual exchange with the concerned persons about the welfare activities. 

The author writes: “I find the way to engage myself usefully at Islamabad to pass its lonely evenings…Established two Dispensaries…In the month of November, 2019, Doctor Aftab and his sister Sarwat Sultana purchased a house at Bara Kahu and donated the same to us, where immediately Al-Meraj Habib Trust Hospital was established and since then, treatment of thousands of patients has been conducted till now”. 

As regards the Corona (COVID-19), Dr. Asif Jah pointed out that in 2020 and 2021, Corona Virus took the entire world in its clutches, took the lives of millions of persons, putting every human being in vexatious situation such as traveling restrictions, lock-downs and increased economic crisis, which disconnected the connections of people. So, this virus itself isolates the persons from each other. Corona Virus was continuing, while on June 18, 2020, Dr. Asif Jah met a fatal road accident—traveling from Islamabad to Lahore In this respect, he writes: “All Almighty bestowed me a new life thrice times (detail of incident and restoration of my health is given in my book: entitled, (“Accident, Mesiha and Life”).

As soon as COVID-19, started Dr. Asif Jah immediately prepared a resistance Herbal Syrup and distributed it among the infected people free of cost.

The book narrates that after the serious incident, the author spent two months in bed ridden condition. When he started to walk, he commenced his humanitarian activities with new zeal and zest.

Chairman and Member Customs, Tariq Huda told him many times for his transfer at Lahore. But, he paid his thank and humbly requested that “Insha’Allah, I intend to spend my remaining period of service at Islamabad”. 

Meanwhile, he was making post retirement plan, but, abruptly received phone call from Premier office and on September 29, 2021, he held the post of Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO). Since then Dr. Asif Jah made hectic efforts to make the FTO an active, operative and dynamic organization. Peoples’ access to FTO became easy. Number of complaints has become increased 110% as compared previously. Besides, he stopped the unfair practice and encouraged fair dealings. 

In the month of July 2022, destruction prevailed in the country owing to heavy rains and storm flood.

The author and his Customs Healthcare Society immediately reached the flood-affected areas, provided help to people on exigency basis and sent hundreds of trucks of food items. They established the tents localities in the flood-hit areas.

Construction of 1000 houses was made in different flood-affected areas of Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhawn and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces. Hundreds of families came out from tents and had been shifted in brick houses. Besides provision of food items, medical camps were set up as the author himself checked thousands of patients. Relief goods of billions of rupees (Rashan) and cash had been disturbed amongst the affected people.

Prior to this, digging the water wells and hand pumps in different regions of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces to provide clean water are notable.

Similarly, in relation to the earthquake of 2005 in Kashimir, Doctor Sahib established free medical camps, filling the colour in the column of Disaster Management, supplied necessary amenities of life to the helpless persons and performed welfare activities in different areas on a large scale. 

Contents of this book reveal that with the cooperation of Pakistani doctors’ organization APPNA, settled in America, so many important projects were executed by Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah. 

In the book, the author also points out that after he took “the portfolio of Federal Tax Ombudsman, Allah Almighty gave him opportunity to visit Turkey (Turkiye) on 10th January, 2023…after participation in International Conference of Ombudsmen in Ankara…with the assistance of local organizations; he rendered his services to the Syrian refugees settled in Turkey. He distributed food items and cash amongst more than 200 families”. The author mentioned that estimated 1.5 million people had been affected by the Syrian civil war and almost similar numbers of persons were compelled to leave the country. He indicated that his children Yumna, Hazaifa, Mahnoor and his wife Asma prepared relief packages and gifts like special dresses for the women for the Syrian refugees. 

Notably, teams of Customs Healthcare Society immediately reached the earthquake-affected areas of Turkiye and took part in the relief works.

Mentioning multiple engagements of Dr. Asif Jah, Dr. Inamul Haq Javeid, Advisor to the Federal Ombudsman, Islamabad wrote: “He is not only expert in making Disaster Management but also expert in Time Management. 24 hours in a day, out of which sleep of 6 to 8 hours is necessary, but Doctor Sahib is not like persons who come office with official pomp and show and complete their sleep. Doctor Sahib performs his duties like worship. He attends the office in right time and does not leave prior to the hours settled by the Government…during the pause of lunch checks the deserving patients and provides them medicines free of cost. Likewise, daily at evening time, he regularly sits in Charity Hospital situated in Bahara Kaho and spends particular time with patients…Later on, he gives time to literary activities…also gives time to his family…being a staunch Muslim…he performs all the religious services, including five times prayers and Tahajjud prayers”. 

Perusal of the contents of this book shows that Doctor Sahib established dispensaries at many places for the public at large.

Father of Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah was a teacher in Sargodha, while his mother recited the Holy Quran in a special manner. Simplicity, patience and endurance of Dr. Jah are inherited. 

Besides author’s one son is doctor (Hafz-e-Quran)-one daughter is also doctor and one daughter is teacher at Teach for Pakistan (NGO) in Islamabad.

The author has composed his unique experiences in this book. Earlier, he also visited various affected areas and narrated his experiences in the related books.

Although a number of international organizations reached the flood-stricken regions to help the helpless people, yet practical efforts made by the author in this context and published in the form of the book are unparalleled in the history of literature.

Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah pledged that Insha Allah, the journey of services of welfare works in the country and outside the country will continue till the last breach of his life.

Nevertheless this book has the status of milestone of a complete autobiography as its averments covered the complete personality of Dr. Jah and readers gets complete acquaintance about each and every segment of his life which shows as to how he attained the high place of education and literature, and achieved the goal of highest success.

Title: Lonely Evenings of Islamabad and Corona

Author: Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah

ISBN: 978-969-37-1409-8 

Code: GNU-842

Publisher: National Book Foundation Islamabad 2023  

Pages: 636

Price:  Rs. 1840/-