“We are proud of Pakistan, 1.2m Pak diaspora playing pivotal role for Britain”; Sajid Javid
Dedicated efforts of Pakistanis to bring both countries closer are admirable; Syed Ibne Abbas
“Our aim is to boost the brilliant youths so they can deliver responsibilities in future”; Syed Qamar Raza
Nation special report
LONDON:World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis (WCOP) hosted 3rd Annual Leaders of Tomorrow Congress, a laudable initiative to encourage and boost Pakistani youths to play pivotal role in various sections of practical life.
The first Secretary of State of the British Pakistani origin Sajid Javid attended the prestigious event as chief guest and spoke eloquently on issues and challenges being confronted by Pakistani diaspora in Britain. Highlighting the significance of creation of Pakistan, he said the existence of our homeland is a milestone in the historic struggle of Muslims of sub-continent to achieve an independent and sovereign state. “Pakistan is our pride and great satisfaction for all Pakistanis throughout the world including 1.2 million British Pakistanis who take strong pride in their heritage and proudly playing an important role in making Britain more prosper and stable.
He said that 23rd March remind us of “celebration of march towards independence, this milestone means a lot to our families and friends, it means a lot to Pakistani Diaspora acrossthe world including British Pakistanis who form one of the largest communities outside of Pakistan”.
Sajid Javid stressed that empowering and educating women could make a big difference in the lives of the entire family. The communities and local government secretary promised to expand the teaching of English for immigrants as he warned that up to 70% of those unable to speak the language were women, and most of them were from Pakistani or Bangladeshi communities. He shared that 770,000 people living in England speak no English or hardly any English. He was delivering his keynote address at the 3rd annual ‘Leaders of Tomorrow Congress’ organised by World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis. Javid said he was proud of speaking as the “British Secretary of State of Pakistani origin” because British Pakistanis had done an excellent job in areas of public services, private sector and transforming lives.
Sajid Javid said he was proud of being the son of a bus driver and felt proud of seeing fellow British Pakistani in British parliament. It is pertinent to mention here that Sajid Javid is son of a migrant, Muslim, Pakistani bus driver, born in Rochdale, raised in Bristol,state educated and a successful international banker in his 20s.
His dad, Abdul, came to Britain from Pakistan in 1961 with just £1 in his pocket and settled in Rochdale, where Javid, one of five brothers, was born. Without any hesitation and reluctance, Sajid Javid was proud to tell the audience about his family.
Abdul’s readiness to work all hours as a bus driver earned him the nickname ‘Mr Night and Day’. When Sajid was four, his dad took over a ladies wear shop in inner-city Bristol and the family moved into a two-bedroom flat above it. Stressing on importance of integration, Sajid Javid said that his mother’s decision to learn English 15 years after arriving in the country “transformed her life and the life of the entire family”.
He said it enabled her to work for the family clothing business, build a new network of friends, and – years later – meant she could speak freely with his wife, Laura, and her grandchildren. While speaking on inculcating the British values, Sajid Javid said the government wanted to use the consultation document to tackle segregation by also: acting against cultural practices “not compatible with the British way of life” such as polygamy; tackling disproportionately low take-up rates of free childcare by Asian women; and using the roll-out of universal credit to help target ethnic minorities and help them to integrate better.
Pakistan High Commissioner Syed Ibne Abbas paid rich tribute to the hardworking and inspirationalBritish Pakistanis who are making ‘Pakistan proud’. He said it is essential recognising the success stories to continue with the tradition of excellence. Co-Chairman of Conservative Friends of Pakistan and Chairman of WCOP Syed Qamar Raza paid resounding tribute to high achiever British Pakistanis. ‘We have doctors from NHS, policemen and women from the Met and City of London Police, professionals from the Home Office, solicitors and barristers from the top firms and institutions, teachers, academics, fashion designers and artists, students, sportspersons, homemakers, influencers, leaders, mentors, authors, community builders and young leaders. We all are indebted to you.
We are so proud of you of what you are doing and accomplishing for the United Kingdom.’ Syed Qamar Raza appreciated Secretary of State’s initiative and expressed the full support of the community. ‘Our Secretary of State for Communities clearly understands the vital need of social integration, social cohesion and promotion of British values, on helping people learn English, encouraging more women to find work and promoting “meaningful discussion” between young people. I am happy to announce our full support of this initiative and let me also share that we are already taking lead on all these abovementioned items.’
Sajid Javid presented a shield to Syed Qamar Raza, Chairman of WCOP, in appreciation of WCOP’s work in promoting integration and building bridges across the communities. Arif Anis Mlik, WCOP’s co-founder and Executive Director shared the background of the annual congress and stressed that it is imperative to have positive role models in life as they aspire us to become bigger than the challenges and crises at hands. He said WCOP would continue recognizing and acknowledging the high achievers and champions of excellence from diverse walks of life.
Women World delegates were led by Suniya Qureshi and Faiza Rizvi along with Saima Khan,Aliya Afzal Khan, Naheed Ejaz, MaryWohab, Barrister Rubab Rizvi, Esther Das, Ayesha Makhdoom and Heena Malik. Suniya Qureshi introduced the audience to WCOP’s Women World initiative and asked them to collaborate in regards to upcoming Women Achievers Congress in October.
Faiza Rizvi shared how WCOP was working with other ethnicities and diasporas for the larger good. She announced that WCOP would fully backup the Integrated Communities Strategy green paper through designing specific programmes and projects.
The Pakistani Foundation delegates from various British universities were led by Awais Malik along with Iffat Sheikh, Javeria Sheikh, Sameyia Syed, Hira Tahseen and Mehak Taiq. Empowering Women through politics initiative was led by Aliya Afzal Khan who introduced Conservative Women Organisation head Julie Iles who encouraged women to participate in the British politics to serve public and communities at large. Champions League was led by Barrister Rubab Rizvi where nominees from diverse backgrounds were acknowledged.
The nominees included Michel Kazi, Hayyan Ayaz, Major Fasiel Iqbal, Muneebah Suleman, Hamza Ahmed, Saba and Noor Haider. Rizvi announced that nominations would be open round the year for the next Leaders of Tomorrow Congress. Omar Haque, President Muslim Police Officers Association from City of London Police spoke on behalf of the association and appreciated the WCOP endeavour to celebrate success and achievement in diverse fields.
WCOPE du Nation Project was introduced where top educationists from the British Pakistani origin would be training state school teachers in Pakistan led by Tariq Suleman, a SOAS faculty member and member of board of governors of WCOP.
Baela Raza Jamil , a leading educationist from Pakistan shared ethos and background of the project and hoped it to be a gam changer in inculcating creativity and innovation among the school students in Pakistan. Esther Das, WCOP’s led integration team mainly constituted of the British citizens who sang Dill Dil Pakistan.
The presentation included Steffi Sutters, Trevor Sutters, Andrew Zwain, Suzanne Moezzi , Sara Mcdermott , Deputy Mayor of Wands worth Ian Lewer, Peter Graham, Phil Marry, Fran Morris in, Ed butler, Charles Siduha , Peter Soden , Nabi Toktas, Mrs Samia Ali and Amber Aijaz. Vote of thanks was offered by Dr Suhail Chughtai, President of WCOP-UK who acknowledged and appreciated support of the collaborating organisations in identifying the high achievers from the British Pakistani Diaspora.
He acknowledged collaborative organisations APPS, TPF, BPF, PPC, APWA, AMP and other organisation and institutions involved in mentoring and leadership development. WCOP’s 3rd Annual Leaders of Tomorrow Congress was attended by high achievers from diverse fields of life along with distinguished guests from 35 other nationalities.
Shabir Anwar, CEO, Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC) acquainted the audience about aims and goals of his institution based in Islamabad. He said that main purpose of this institution to boost the image of Pakistan and refute the misperceptions.
“Pakistan is a peaceful country and believes in cohesion and tranquillity. It is our prime duty to let the world know that whatever it had stocked the perception in its mind is absolutely misperception”, Shabir Anwar stated. He said that his organization’s effective safer charity campaigns like “Haq Haqdaar Taak and “Pur Azam Pakistan” launched through print and electronic media had created awareness among the public, besides increasing resilience against the menace of extremism and terrorism from the society in the country.
Shabbir Anwar said that Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC) was a project of the Government of Pakistan which had helped to increase public support and bolstered resilience against extremism and violence in Pakistan. The event was opened with the recitation of Holy Qura’n and its English translation rendered by Barrister Gulnawaz Khan.