LAHORE: Pakistan needs to curb terrorism and promote education for its economic development, said British politicians of Pakistani origin while addressing the youth at the Government College University (GCU), Lahore.
GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleequr Rahman was also present.
“Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Terrorists are not serving it or Pakistan; rather their acts hurt the image of our religion and the country,” said Lord Mayor of Manchester Naeemul Hassan.
He laid a particular stress on the 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 the people belonging to the lower and middle classes, like himself, to participate in politics,” said the 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 the election campaign in his constituency.
Naeemul 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 a responsibly towards it,” he added.
He 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 the European Parliament Mohammed Afzal Khan said that Pakistan had a quality human resource, and the government here needed to 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 to 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 his own example, saying that he, despite being from a minority community, had been elected the lord mayor of Manchester and now he was a Labour Party’s candidate for the 2014 European Parliament elections.
Afzal Khan hoped that he would soon be a member of the European Parliament and also support Pakistan from there, besides severing his country, the UK. “A man’s 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 on the Pakistani media to play an active role in portraying a positive image of the country at the international level.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Khaleequr Rahman said that students’ interaction with the best individuals of the world was a vital part of academics at the 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.
He also paid tribute to Naeemul Hassan and Afzal Khan for their special love and concern for Pakistan, despite being settled in Britain. Later, Naeemul Hassan and Afzal Khan visited different departments of the university.
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