Pakistan needed to curb terrorism and promote education for its economic development, said British politicians of Pakistani origin while addressing youth at the Government College University, Lahore. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman was also present.
“Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Terrorists are not serving it or Pakistan; rather their acts hurt image of our religion and the country,” said Lord Mayor of Manchester, United Kingdom Naeem ul Hassan. He laid a particular stress on participation of underprivileged people in politics, saying that political parties should provide equal opportunity to them.
“In Britain, political parties finance election campaign of their candidates which allows lower middle class people like him to participate in politics,” said British Lord Mayor, adding that Britain had very strict laws of spending in elections, as only 1,200 pounds were allowed to be spent in election campaign in his constituency.
Naeem ul Hassan said there were many millionaires in Pakistan and they should contribute towards promotion of education in the country. “It’s their country and they should realise that they have responsibly towards it,” he added.
The British Lord Mayor told the students how he began his professional life as a factory worker, before returning to further his education. He said he was proud of his diverse working background in many different vocations including driving taxis, security, hospitality management and a community liaison officer. He told youth about his keen interest in justice, which led him to be a Magistrate on the Manchester Bench.
Speaking on the occasion, former Lord Mayor of Manchester and candidate for European Parliament Mohammed Afzal Khan said that Pakistan had very quality human resource and government here needed create an economic ecosystem, in which this resource could be utilised and brain drain from Pakistan could be stopped.
In reply to a question about role of dual nationals in politics, the British politician said there was nothing illegal about it, and even many dual nationals had made very positive contributions in politics. In reply to another question, he said there was racism in every country of the world, but in Britain it was very limited. He cited own example, saying that he, despite being from minority community, had been elected Lord Mayor of Manchester and now he was Labour Party’s candidate for 2014 European Parliament elections.
Afzal Khan hoped that he would soon be a member of European Parliament and would also support Pakistan there besides severing his country, UK. “A man identity has different layers, and one layer of my identity is that I am a Pakistani and love my people,” he added.
He also called Pakistani media to play an active role in portraying positive image of the country at the international level.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman said that students’ interaction with the best individuals of the world was a vital part of academics at GCU. He said that the students not only get motivated by the hard work and success stories of these individuals, but also receive updated knowledge and information about various national and international issues.
The Vice Chancellor also paid tribute to Naeem ul Hassan and Afzal Khan for their special love and concern for Pakistan, despite being settled in Britain.
Later, Naeem ul Hassan Afzal Khan along with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman visited different departments of the university.
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