Pak diaspora playing vital role in British society: Nafees Zakaria


LONDON: Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria has welcomed the newly and re-elected members of the British Parliament of Pakistani origin and other participating guests.

The High Commissioner on behalf of the Government and people of Pakistan and Pakistani community in the UK felicitated the newly and re-elected members of the British Parliament for their brilliant victory in the UK general elections.

“Government and people of Pakistan take great pride in our diaspora across the globe particularly in the UK.A large number of them have excelled in various professions and fields”, he remarked.

He expressed these views at a reception hosted at his official residence ‘Pakistan House’ here on Tuesday evening to celebrate the victory of the newly elected British MPs with Pakistani heritage in December 2019 election. The event was held at his official residence ‘Pakistan House’.

Besides newly elected MPs and Lords, a large number of guests comprising Senior British Government Officials, Diplomats, Business People, Doctors, Engineers, Academics, Scientists, Lawyers, IT Professionals, British friends of Pakistan, Members of the Pakistani Diaspora and media representatives attended the reception.

Law and Justice Minister, Barrister Farogh Naseem and Attorney General of Pakistan, Anwar Mansoor Khan, who are currently on an official visit to the UK, attended the reception as special guests.

Felicitating the newly elected MPs, the High Commissioner said it is a moment of great pride and happiness to celebrate the achievements of the distinguished Pakistanis in the political life of the UK. The number of British Pakistani MPs has increased to 15, which is a testimony of the constructive political engagement of our community in the UK, he added. Mr Zakaria said it is a matter of great satisfaction that Pakistani community is contributing significantly in the political, social, and economic life of the British society. Government and people of Pakistan take great pride in the important role of Pakistani Diaspora across the globe, he added.

The High Commissioner particularly mentioned the growing confidence of the international community in Pakistan’s economic and tourism potential. In this regard, he mentioned Royal Couple’s successful visit to Pakistan last October, VVIP visits from Gulf States, Central Asia, Europe and Americas, revised positive travel advisory by the UK, rating of Pakistan as the choicest tourist destination by international publications like Conde Nast Traveler and Forbes as the manifestations of that confidence.

Mr Zakaria highlighted that Pakistan economy is on upward trajectory. He said Pakistan enjoys unique geo-strategic position with enormous economic and trade opportunities on offer for international investors. He quoted international financial institutions’ recent reports regarding improved ease of doing business, Pakistan Stock Market out-performing several established markets of the world and Pakistan economy being stable. Mr Zakaria informed the audience about FDI inflows from China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Qatar and several other countries. FDIs in Pakistan have increased by 200% during 2019, he updated.   

The High Commissioner hoped that the relations between UK and Pakistan would be strengthened substantively when the two countries come together to avail the opportunities offered by the significant developments in their two respective regions. He particularly identified Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and tourism related infrastructure and hospitality industry as areas for the British investors and Pakistani Diaspora to pay attention to.

Speaking about Kashmir, the High Commissioner thanked the British Parliamentarians, members of Diaspora, civil society and international media for expressing concern over the human rights abuses being committed by Indian occupation forces in Jammu & Kashmir.

Farogh Naseem

In his brief remarks on the occasion, Minister Farogh Naseem congratulated the newly elected MPs on their election victory. He also appreciated the role of Pakistani Diaspora in building bridges of understanding and cooperation between the UK and Pakistan. He briefly reflected on the Government’s people centric policies aimed at lifting the country’s economy and socio-economic betterment of the people.

He said that PTI government was committed to eradicating corruption and ensuring rule of law for socio-economic prosperity and wellbeing of the people in
the country. He said that the government was making efforts to eradicate the menace of corruption from the society besides focusing on improving and strengthening the national economy which was inherited in bad shape to the present government from previous government.

He warmly congratulated fifteen newly and re-elected members of British Parliament of Pakistani origin. Naseem said that a large number of British-Pakistanis in the United Kingdom excel in their respective fields. “We hold our diaspora in high esteem and proud of them”, he remarked.