H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK met with the Pakistani community at a reception dinner in Manchester on 12 April 2018. This interaction was part of the High Commission’s community outreach efforts.
Afzal Khan MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Wajid Khan MEP, Sajjad Karim MEP, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Dr Robina Shah, Barrister Amjad Malik, Chairman OPF Board of Governors and Aamar Aftab Qureshi, Consul General attended the event. Besides, a number of Mayors/Councillors, professionals, entrepreneurs, youth and media representatives were also in attendance.
Speaking on the occasion, the High Commissioner commended the achievements of the Pakistani diaspora in various walks of life. He, however, laid special emphasis on education for youth and a proactive role for women to further add to these achievements. The High Commissioner said that 2018 would be year of youth engagement and to strengthen their ties with their origins, the High Commission would send five British Pakistani youth to Pakistan under the “Explore Pakistan Programme”.
Giving an overview of High Commission’s community outreach efforts, he said: “We are holding our next Councillors Convention in Manchester in June this year, which aims at having a dialogue with your elected representatives on social, economic and political issues and on the ways to strengthen the ties between UK and Pakistan through the diaspora.”
The High Commissioner urged the community to fully participate in the upcoming local elections in the UK and be part of the mainstream British society.
The High Commissioner said the US move to put Pakistan on Grey List of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is politically motivated. He said it is disappointing that the UK, despite our friendly relations, also sponsored this move. He called upon the community to lobby with their local MPs in a unified way to put across Pakistan’s stance on such important international issues.
On this occasion, the High Commissioner condemned the ongoing human rights abuses in Kashmir and called upon the international community to play its role to end the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. He reiterated Pakistan’s political, diplomatic and moral support to the legitimate cause of Kashmir.
The High Commissioner also invited the British Pakistanis to take advantage of the business and investment opportunities in Pakistan, especially in the wake of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He added that there would be great potential for bilateral trade between Pakistan and the UK post-Brexit and the British Pakistanis could play an effective role in enhancing the business ties between the two countries.
The attendees also put forward useful suggestions relating to community matters and promotion of bilateral relations between the two countries.