Bishop Samuel Azariah, along with Bishop Kaleem John of Hyderabad and Bishop Tony of Wakefield have been working with the Anglican Alliance on the submission to the UK’s International Development Select Committee.
The Church of Pakistan is well respected for its long history of poor-pro development work, including providing high quality low cost schooling and healthcare to people of all faiths. The leaders of the church will draw on this substantial experience to offer its advice as part of a UK enquiry into aid and development in Pakistan.
The enquiry had been called by the UK Parliament’s International Development Select Committee, a cross party group of MPs whose job it is to scrutinise the work of the Department for International Development. It seeks to establish whether the significant increase in UK aid to Pakistan is justified and how appropriate the development department’s programme is on the ground.
The church has responded to similar enquiries before, with the Alliance bringing together the church and international partners to respond to enquiries in Burundi and South Sudan. These efforts were very successful, winning recognition for the church’s role in providing basic services like education and health and in peacebuilding. Church leaders have been asked to come and speak to the Committee in person to provide more evidence and advice.
The Church of Pakistan’s written evidence will be submitted in the next few weeks and will be publically available soon after that.