Britain: Conservative leaders for helping Pakistan


London : A Muslim Conservative Party member of House of Lords has appealed to the international community to help Pakistan overcome its economic and extremism challenges.

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Speaking at a dinner here last evening organised to mark the launch of Conservative Parliamentary Friends of Pakistan by the Conservative Muslim Forum and Conservative Muslim Forum Councillors at the House of Lords, Lord Altaf Sheikh said that Pakistan is passing through a crucial period after the restoration of democracy as a result of February 18 elections and is now striving hard to overcome the problems posed by its ailing economy exacerbated by extremism and terrorism.

He spoke of the objectives of Conservative Muslim Forum and Conservative Parliamentary Friends of Pakistan and said these are to enhance the cohesion, mutual understanding and respect between Pakistani community and other communities in Britain.

One of the motives of CPFP is to secure support for Pakistani community and Pakistan itself within the both houses of British Parliament and these efforts would undoubtedly boost the relationship between Pakistan and Britain, he pointed out.

“Pakistan is fighting against militancy, terrorism and extremism and the world must support it for the establishment of regional and global peace,” said the British peer.

Another Conservative Party leader and member of European Parliament Sajjad Karim expressed his earnest hope that these three forums would extend full support to Pakistan in overcoming its problems as well as further strengthening relations between the two countries.

Karim noted that both British and NATO forces were against cross-border incursion into Pakistan and he also emphasised that bombs and bullets cannot resolve this problem which require dialogue and a political settlement.

Appreciating the formation of Conservative Friends of Pakistan Group, the acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, Manzoorul-Haq, said his country enjoy cordial relations with the all the three major British political parties.

“Both the countries shared common vision for global peace. Pakistan and Britain enjoy warm friendly relations,” he said.

Haq said over one million British Asian of Pakistani origin people live in Britain and their positive and important role was acknowledged in joint statement issued after the talks between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London last month.

Referring to the issue of terrorism and extremism, he said that Pakistan is playing a pivotal role. “We are determined to work together to make this world peaceful, prosper and progressive.”

Councillor Arif Hussein, Chairman, Conservative Muslim Forum Councillors (CMFM) said the strategic relations between the two countries reflects in various fields and the objectives of CMFM and Conservative Friends of Pakistan are to boost the trust and better understanding between the two.

He called on the Pakistan Diaspora to actively participate in national and local politics to make themselves more visible in the mainstream British politics and to enable their voices to be heard more effectively.