LONDON: Pakistan High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria visited the historic Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking on Saturday (July 4) to mark the official re-opening of the Mosque after the easing of Covid-19 lockdown.
Member House of Commons Jonathan Lord, Councillor Melanie Whitehand, Councillor Rashid Muhammad and Councillor Saj Hussain were also present on the occasion. On arrival the High Commissioner was greeted by Imam M Saeed Hashmi, members of the Mosque management committee and notables of the area.
The Mosque was built in 1889 by Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner and was the first Mosque to be built in the UK and Northern Europe. The High Commissioner for Pakistan is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mosque. Nafees Zakaria along with members of the management committee offered Zuhr prayers while observing the social distancing guidelines.
Imam M Saeed Hashmi briefed on the services provided by the Mosque to the local community. He particularly mentioned the food bank run by the mosque during the COVID-19 lockdown which was visited by Prince Edward and his wife. Imam Saeed mentioned that the Mosque has historical relevance to the Pakistan Movement.
The High Commissioner in his remarks commended the administration of the Mosque for its services to the community and active contributions to the fields of education, health, communal harmony and other social domains. He acknowledged that the services provided by the Mosque have created tremendous admiration and respect for the Pakistani community in the area. He assured the Pakistan High Commission is committed to supporting the Mosque in its diverse endeavours and work for the welfare of Pakistani community.
Later the High Commissioner and MP Jonathan, along with other notables, visited the historic part of the Mosque and praised its exquisite architecture. Mr Zakaria also presented famous Pakistani mangoes to MP Jonathan Lord.