Grangemouth appeal wins support from First Minister

Farah Javed (23), niece of Grangemouth minister Rev. Aftab Gohar, was left paralysed after Peshawar bombing
Farah Javed (23), niece of Grangemouth minister Rev. Aftab Gohar, was left paralysed after Peshawar bombing
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Scotland’s First Minister has stepped in to help bring a Grangemouth minister’s injured niece to this country for vital treatment.

Farah Javed was paralysed from the waist down in a terrorist attack on a Pakistan church in September.

Seven weeks later she is still lying in a hospital bed with little hope of walking again if she remains there.

The Rev. Aftab Gohar, minister at Abbotsgrange Parish Church, is working tirelessly to bring his niece to Scotland in the hope she can be helped.

Farah (23), a beauty therapy student, was one of several members of his family injured in the bombing All Saints’ Church in Peshawar on September 22.

The minister’s mother, Iqbal (79) along with his niece, nephew and two uncles, perished in the blast which left 122 dead and around 170 injured.

After Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald highlighted Farah’s case to Alex Salmond, his staff contacted Mr Gohar.

They arranged for the minister to speak with neurosurgery expert Eric Ballantyne, who has subsequently advised the most appropriate course of action for Farah would be a referral to the national specialist spinal injuries service in Glasgow.

Mr MacDonald said; “The First Minister and the other ministers I contacted about this unfortunate incident have been most supportive to the Rev. Gohar and his family, and are keen to assist in whatever way they can.”

The Falkirk Herald has set up an appeal fund to help bring Farah and her mother to this country and the MSP added: “It is heartening to know there are many very caring people in Grangemouth and elsewhere who are actively raising funds to help bring Farah to Scotland. I hope arrangements can be progressed swiftly so Farah can be treated as quickly as possible.”

The Rev. Gohar is hopeful hurdles could be cleared to bring his injured niece to Scotland quickly.

He said: “She remains in the government hospital in Pakistan. Unfortunately, they are not allowed to refer patients to overseas hospitals, but we hope that this can be sorted out quickly.”