Second Councillors Convention-2015 at Bradford

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Success of the community celebrated, challenges discussed
Narrative about Pakistan is changing: Syed Ibne Abbas

The High Commission for Pakistan in London organized the “Second Councillors Convention-2015” at Bradford Consulate of Pakistan on 12 December 2015. This was in continuation of series of “Councillors Convention”—an initiative of the High Commission to reach out and connect with British Pakistani community. The first Convention of this series was held in London in September this year.

 A large number of British Pakistani Councillors/Mayors attended the Convention. Several MPs, MEPs, community leaders, business leaders, professionals, academicians, students and media persons were among the 200 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 effectively address the challenges and work for common causes related to the Pakistani community.

The Convention was divided into two main sessions and thematic discussions, relevant to the Pakistani community, took place along the following lines:

  1. Role of family as an institution for pro-active and positive participation in socio-economic life in UK; and
  2. Role of community leadership in helping youth identify and avail opportunities to excel professionally and to meet societal challenges

While appreciating the contribution of the British Pakistanis in the social and economic life of Britain, panellists emphasized on the enhanced focus on education for children and pro-active role of parents as well as extended family in providing guidance to them; active role of women in various walks of life; and respect for plurality and diversity while retaining one’s own cultural identity and heritage. It was noted that there were great opportunities on offer for the Pakistani community, particularly young generation, which must be benefitted from, to better integrate into the mainstream British society.

The High Commissioner, 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 and evolve strategy to address the challenges faced by the community.

The High Commissioner said:

“Narrative about Pakistan is changing. Pakistan is on the move on all fronts including economy and security. Let’s be confident and celebrate our successes.” The key message to the community given by the High Commissioner on the occasion was to “move forward with optimism as there was a lot to celebrate about British Pakistanis as well as Pakistan.”

The guests highly commended the initiative of holding the Convention by the High Commission in Bradford, which is the home for hundreds of thousands of British Pakistanis. They expressed a genuine desire for more such events in order to discuss and debate on issues of common interest.

The panellists included Naz Shah MP; Imran Hussain MP; Amjad Bashir MEP; Richard Corbett MEP; Councillor Kaneez Akhtar; Dr Mohammad Khursheed Khan from University of Bradford; Val Slater, Deputy Leader Bradford Council; Councillor Abid Hussain; Councillor Nusrat Muhammad; Jawaid Akhtar, Deputy Chief Constable ®; Nadira Mirza from University of Bradford; Ghazanfar Khaliq and Councillor Khadim Hussain.

Ms Syima Aslam and Ms Itrat Ali moderated the sessions.

The High Commissioner commended Mr Khalil Ahmed Bajwa, Consul of Pakistan at Bradford, for his hard work in successfully holding the Convention.

The guests were served with traditional Pakistani cuisine at the end of the event.

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