The Consulate of Pakistan Birmingham organized a Councillors Convention in its premises on 2 October 2016. A large number British Pakistani Councillors and Mayors from Midlands and Wales participated in the Convention and shared their experiences and thoughts on a wide range of issues pertaining to Pakistani community in the UK and enhancing their role in the British mainstream society.
The main objective of the Convention was to reach out to the wider Pakistani diaspora through the community leadership and enhance their participation in various walks of British life. Another purpose of the Convention was to apprise the community leadership about Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and volatile regional situation along the Line of Control (LOC). This was the third such event–the first two Councillors Conventions were held in London and Bradford in the recent past.
H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, in his address on the occasion, comprehensively briefed the Mayors and Councillors about current situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and ongoing human rights violations of the Kashmiri people by the Indian security forces. He also updated the attendees on the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian military on the LOC.
The High Commissioner said: “For about last three months, the
Kashmiri people are living under curfew. The Indian security forces are
involved in gross human rights violations. The world must apply the same
standards of human rights in Kashmir as anywhere else. By creating
tension on the LOC, India wants to divert world attention from Kashmir
where it has martyred more than one hundred people, brutally blinded
over a hundred by using pallet guns and injured several thousand.”
“Pakistan is committed to its policy of peaceful neighbourhood and wants to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue. In 21st century, no country should think of resolving disputes through war. However, our desire for peace should not be taken as a sign of weakness.”
Speaking about their leadership role, the High Commissioner commended the achievements of the British Pakistani Mayors and Councillors. He stated: “You are first tier of the Westminster democracy. It is encouraging to see about 300 Mayors/Councillors of Pakistani origin in the UK. You can provide best leadership and guidance to the community so that they can play a proactive role in all walks of life and become a more vibrant community in the UK.”
The High Commissioner urged the attendees to lobby with their local MPs for the cause of Kashmir and to ask them to raise their voice in the British Parliament on human rights violations being committed there. He also informed the attendees about excellent bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UK.
The attendees were informed that Pakistan economy has turned around under the economic reforms agenda of the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. The High Commissioner commended the role of armed forces of Pakistan and civil law enforcement agencies in restoring peace in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi. He also appealed to the attendees to set aside their differences and unite on national causes.
The High Commissioner briefly updated the audience about the improvement in Consular Services and listened to their suggestions positively.
The participants took keen interest in the interactive session and shared their views on issues relating to the community as well as on situation in Kashmir.
They expressed full support to Pakistan on all issues of national importance.
Syed Ahmed Maroof, Consul Birmingham moderated the events.