An Amazing Pakistani sets an example for others

Dr-SaqibWith the vision of creating poverty free society built on the principles of
compassion and equity, Dr. Amjad Saqib, a development practitioner,
philanthropist, writer and a former public servant, got together with a
group of like-minded friends and formed Akhuwat. The rest, as they say, is
history.

Humble and soft-spoken, Dr. Amjad Saqib speaks with a quiet but deep
passion for his work. “I’m a firm believer in autonomy and independence.
Akhuwat helps people who are trust-worthy and credit-worthy. People who
want to build their lives and don’t believe in beggary. We mostly help
people who want to do something in their lives and want to stand on their
two feet.”


A graduate of American University, Washington D.C., Dr. Saqib was selected
for the topmost public institution, the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1985.

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Having stood out in public service, he resigned from service in 2003 and
dedicated himself to becoming a social entrepreneur and making a difference
through Akhuwat. When asked to elaborate on how his organization differs
from other microfinance programs, he shares, “We differ from traditional
microfinance programs in two major ways. One, we collect money or donations
from people who can afford to share their wealth and two we provide loans
to the needy and the deserving free of cost. The concept is borrowed from
the Islamic concept of brotherhood and the philosophy of sharing.”

But there is also another way that the organization differs from other
similar institutions. The committed and fiercely dedicated Dr. Saqib not
only advocates volunteerism, he espouses the virtue by himself volunteering
for a great number of causes. “Although Akhuwat is my real passion, I also
work with many other NGOs.” He is Vice Chairman Punjab Educational
Endowment Fund, Honorary Managing Director Punjab Welfare Trust for the
Disabled, Member Board of Director Punjab Education Foundation, Member
Syndicate Punjab University, Commissioner Punjab Health Care Commission,
Member Punjab Red Crescent Society. He was also recently appointed by the
Government as the Chairman Steering Committee for Prime Minister’s
Qarz-e-Hassan Programme.

In a world that stands widely divided and conflicts flicker at the smallest
of differences, Dr. Saqib speaks of unification, compassion and
integration. He shares that “Although we derive inspiration from religious
principles, our services are non-political and non-sectarian. Our goal is
the well-being of everybody and there is no discrimination on the basis of
religion, caste, creed, race, sect or language. Apart from assisting people
regaining full measure of their dignity and self-respect, I envision our
borrowers turning into lenders themselves. Can there be a better
achievement?”

The exceptional Dr. Saqib is a gleaming example of the spirit of
humanitarianism and one can only hope that extraordinary individuals like
him can inspire other Pakistanis to adapt the same principles and try and
put them into practice in their own lives.

Akhuwat is a renowned non-profit company which started in 2001 quickly
becoming world’s largest Islamic Microfinance Organization. Dr. Muhammad
Amjad Saqib, founder of Akhuwat says inequality in society is what fuelled
his desire to start something that could set things right. “There are more
than 2 billion people in the world who live in abject poverty. On the other
side of the society there are many who have more resources than they will
ever need.

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