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Government funds would have been a burden on my conscience, says Nayla Jaffri

TV actor Nayla Jaffri, whose battle against cancer has been widely publicised, has declined funds from the federal government for her treatment.

“I’d like to thank President Mamnoon Hussain for facilitating funds for my treatment, but I don’t agree with our government’s policies and my conscience is more important than my life,” she told Images.

The Thori Si Khushiyan star cited the example of Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal’s recent visit to Pakistan, whose ‘secret’ meeting with the PM last week caused a stir on this side of the border.

“Even if Jindal had to come, we shouldn’t have given him a free-access pass to Pakistan, protocols should have been followed,” said Nayla.

“Bomb blasts are taking place on Pakistani soil, children are dying and people are protesting about Indian involvement. But all our government does is issue two lines of condolences. That’s not how you express your pain – you do it by your actions.”

The actor felt her life was insignificant compared to other Pakistanis who have lost their lives to violence and terrorism.

“Given that our country is plagued by bomb blasts and killings, what is the significance of my one life when so many others are being snuffed out?,” she questioned. “The government funds would have been a burden on my conscience. With much gratitude for the effort, I’d like to now decline funds from the federal government, even though I initiated the application for funds.”

Speaking about the progress of her treatment, she said, “I am returning to health with my fans’ prayers and am becoming capable of speaking and thinking for myself. I can’t believe the way the elderly, children, young people reached out to me; women from Korangi, who would find it difficult to afford the Rs 50 bus ride to the hospital, packed their kids onto a bus and were at my hospital to donate blood to me. I’ve received so much love from people that if I die now, I will have no complaints.”

Nayla, however, has accepted ‘a small amount’ from the Sindh Government Cultural Department, which she intends to pass forward as a donation to the Edhi Foundation once she returns to health and is able to resume work.

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