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Who looks after the Shuhada families when you and I have forgotten them?

The AWT provides financial contributions in times of crisis such as floods, earthquakes and relief for the internally displaced persons (IDPs). It also facilitates the government with creation of employment opportunities for civilians and retired army personnel

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September 6 – Defense day – provides us an opportunity to remember the Shuhada – the thousands of soldiers who have given their lives for the safety and security of Pakistan since 1947. In the recent past alone – between January 2009 and December 2018, over 70,000 personnel of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies have been martyred in the line of duty.

Read more: Our Shuhada our pride: Shahid Afridi pays homage to martyrs

According to one study by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, the period witnessed 3678 terrorist attacks by nationalist insurgents, 8118 terrorist attacks by militants, 288 attacks on the Pak-Afghan border, and 534 attacks on the Pak-India border amongst other security emergencies. Pakistan’s war against terrorism has caused grave loses, including human casualties and socio-economic losses. The sacrifices of the families are clearly understood and felt by the nation across the political spectrum.

 

Many of these martyred young soldiers leave behind young wives, children, and dependent parents – whose loss continues after the martyr of their child. They are often financially dependent on their son and left in dire economic straits. It was to take care of these families and for soldiers welfare, that the Army Welfare Trust (AWT), was established in 1971.

The institution was set up with the vision of undertaking profitable and risk-measured investments that could be invested and could be used to benefit the families of the martyrs and retired army officers, over the long term.

The main purpose of the AWT is to maximize profitability and ensure that the welfare agenda of the army, to provide relief to the families of martyrs, injured personnel, distressed regions, and the general public, are achieved through sustainable growth.

Its risk-geared investment practices and sustainable projects have garnered respect from public and private sector organizations, allowing the Army Welfare Trust (AWT) to cement its image as a respected market leader in the fields it operates in.

During the 47 years of its existence, the Army Welfare Trust has amassed impressive success, and today, it stands as a conglomerate worth rupees 30 billion, generating 28,000 opportunities for direct and indirect employment through its 21 companies. The Army Welfare Trust also contributes over rupees 1 Billion to the national exchequer.

read more; NISHAN-E-HAIDER – Gallantry Award of its Own Kind

Over the years, the Army Welfare Trust has emerged as a collaborative organization that has fostered partnerships and collaborative ventures with governments, private and public sector firm, customers, and communities across the country.

It has created employment opportunities for civilians and retired army personnel, as well as playing an active role in contributing to national efforts for relief and development. The AWT employs over fifteen thousand retired personnel of the Army on a rotation basis. It has provided significant financial contributions in times of crisis such as the 2010 floods, 2005 earthquake and post-2009 relief for the internally displaced persons (IDPs).