LONDON: Pakistan-born British citizen Wajid Khan on Wednesday took oath as the youngest member of the House of Lords. Born on October 15, 1979, in Burnley, Wajid Khan served as a British Labour Party councilor and Burnley Council cabinet member.
He says that he is proud of playing active role as member of European Parliament for North West England and for highlighting the Kashmir issue at these prestigious and other international platforms.
Wajid Khan was also honored with Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam by the government of Pakistan in 2019.
He believes that Kashmiri people and other deserving nations should be given their fundamental rights and their struggle for their rights should be recognized.
In a video message, the 41-year-old member has expressed happiness and thanked Allah Almighty and his parents for helping him in achieving this position. He also pledged to serve the community with honesty and determination.
Lord Khan said: “Never give up on your dreams. Life will always throw surprises at you, but if you remain focused and committed to causes that matter to you, you will succeed.
“I get a great satisfaction from my education, not only to achieve my own goals, but also that I can use it to help others. Education really is an important tool. No matter how challenging life is, please never lose hope, better days are coming.
“My father arrived in the UK in the mid1960s, not knowing the culture and language. My mother joined him in the early 1970s. Back then, they could never imagine that their son would one day become a member of the House of Lords. It’s honestly such a huge honour and privilege, especially with coming from a simple background.”
Lord Khan has emphasised he will finish his mayoral duties before immersing himself into his new role and his title has gone down well in the household.
He added: “My wife Anam is now Lady Khan of Burnley and my children Hassan, three, and Ameera, six, are ‘Honourables’.
Ameera is the princess in our home and she’s taking great pleasure in reminding us that she’s now an Honourable – she’s researched it and knows her stuff.”
The average age of the members of The House of Lords is 70, while the majority of members are also from the south east of England, east of England and London (56 per cent). Furthermore, there are just six per cent from a minority ethnic background.
Being aged 41, from the North and from a BAME background, Lord Khan’s entrance will mark an important step in the progression of the diversity of parliament’s second chamber.
He said: “It still feels really weird hearing people call me that – I’m used to just being Waj. But I wanted to keep Burnley in the title.
“I think I can add value to the House of Lords and not just because I’m not from the typical background. I’m a really modern and progressive thinker and I think the Lords needs to ensure it reflects the views of the people.”
Helping others is a huge passion for Lord Khan, who is Burnley born and bred. He attended Heasandford Primary School and Habergham High School and graduated in law from UCLan in 2002, before completing a Masters in European law in 2004.