Islamabad, September 21, 2015 (PPI-OT):The High Commission for Pakistan in London organized the first ever “Councillors Convention-2015” on 19 September 2015. More than 100 British Pakistani Councillors/Mayors attended the Convention. Several MPs, MEPs, community leaders, professionals, academicians, students and media persons were among the 300 guests of the event.
The purpose of the Convention was to celebrate the success of the British Pakistanis in various fields like politics, business, academia, social work, and other professions. The event also aimed to provide a platform to the elected representatives of the British Pakistanis to get together and work for common causes related to the Pakistani community in the UK.
The day-long Convention was divided into four sessions and discussions took place along the following carefully chosen themes relevant to the Pakistani community: Active participation by diaspora in social and political spheres; Identifying the commonalities between the two cultures for promoting better understanding and integration; Celebrating success stories of British Pakistani women – an inspiration for others; and, Transforming potential of the diaspora into strength through education and entrepreneurship.
While appreciating the contribution of the British Pakistanis in the social and economic life of the Britain, panellists emphasized on the enhanced focus on education for children, higher education for youth, active role of women in various walks of life, and respect for plurality and diversity while retaining one’s own culture, identity and heritage. It was noted that there were great opportunities on offer for the Pakistani community, which must be benefitted from to better integrate into the mainstream British society.
H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, addressing at the Convention, thanked the guests for their overwhelming participation in the event, which he termed as a part of High Commission’s efforts to connect with the community and forge better understanding on issues of common interest as desired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The High Commissioner said Pakistan was on the move on all fronts including positive economic outlook as well as improved security situation. He appreciated Pakistani community’s productive role in British national life as well as their contribution towards development and progress of Pakistan. The key message to the community given by the High Commissioner on the occasion was to “get united on national causes”.
The guests highly commended the initiative of holding the Convention by the High Commission and termed it a timely step towards uniting the community and giving them a message of hope. They expressed a genuine desire for more such events in order to hold candid and open discussion on wider community issues. At the end, a vote of thanks to the High Commissioner was also offered by the community.
The panellists included Rehman Chishti MP, Steve Baker MP, Seb Dance MEP, Stephen Pound MP, Ruth Cadbury MP, Professor Iftekhar H Malik from Bath Spa University, Cllr Muhammad Asghar Butt, Cllr Obaid Khan, Cllr Sabia Hussain, Asif Rangoonwala, Reverend Rana Yuab Khan, Syed Qamar Raza, Cllr Liaquat Ali MBE JP, Dr Shadaba Ahmed, Cllr Saima Ashraf, Cllr Laila Butt, Rabia Bhatti, Cllr Natasha Shaikh, Cllr Shahid Younis, Cllr Dr Aysha Raza and Mayor Nisar Malik.
Huma Yusuf, Suniya Qureshi, Mudassar Malik and Asyia Kazmi moderated one session each. The event was held at a local restaurant in London and the guests were served with traditional Pakistani cuisine.
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