FOP Opens Chapter in Greater London Area
Mr. Tariq Ramzan, Past President Pak UK Chamber of Commerce presents an award to FOP President Sarfaraz Khan. Also seen are Mayor London Borough Mr. Liaqat Ali and Mr. Asif Saleem Mitha
London, UK: Sarfaraz Khan, President, Friends of Pakistan, has demanded representation of overseas Pakistanis in the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan. He made this demand while addressing a press conference at the St. Mary’s Welcome Center in East London . The Mayor of London Borough of Waltham Forest Mr. Liaqat Ali, Councilor Mr. Mohammad Asghar and several prominent Pakistani community members and local media attended the event.
Mayor Liaqat Ali welcomed the opening of the Friends of Pakistan Chapter in London and expressed his wholehearted support for FOP’s efforts and campaign for the representation of expatriate Pakistanis in Pakistan’s Parliament.
In his address, Sarfaraz Khan defined the aims and objectives of the Friends of Pakistan (FOP), a California-based grassroots organization of Pakistani expatriates that has launched a global campaign “Meri Awaz Suno” for expatriate Pakistanis who live in different countries all over the world. “This is a voice of every expatriate who is in love with the motherland,” Sarfaraz stated.
Mr. Liaqat Ali, Mayor London Borough of Waltham Forest, presents a certificate of appreciation on behalf of his city. Mr. Moahmmad Ashar, councillor, Khalid Jamil and Iqbal Najib are also seen above
He said representation of overseas Pakistanis was a long -standing demand and “this is the right time to raise this voice because Pakistan is in a transitional period of democracy and we want an amendment in Pakistan’s Constitution and want our role to be described.”
Sarfaraz Khan claimed that millions of Pakistanis are living in different parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Far East. He said these expatriates are performing important tasks in their chosen countries and improving Pakistan’s image as well as helping Pakistan by remitting foreign exchange to the motherland.
Raising his voice he said, “More than 10 million overseas Pakistanis living abroad have no voice in the Pakistani Parliament or Senate, neither do they have any representation in the decision-making of Prime minister or the President’s cabinet.”
The FOP president observed, “We, overseas Pakistani left our motherland for a better life and to work hard to earn our living in every field of life. We have proved that Pakistanis are intelligent, honest and hardworking individuals and can be an asset for any business organization or corporate world.
· “We play a major part in enhancing foreign exchange reserves in Pakistan.
· “We are playing a vital role is straight lining our motherland economy.
· Many of us are already involved in corporate investment in Pakistan.
· Most of us have had bad experience in business venture but we are always very optimistic for the future of our motherland.
· Overseas Pakistanis are excellent ambassadors for the country and
· W are helping Pakistan by remitting over five and a half billion dollars ($ 5.5 billion) per year in remittances to our homeland.
· We have no role to play in the good governance of Pakistan government.
· We have no voice in Pakistani Parliament or in Senate.
· We have expertise, education, resources and on top of that love and affection for the motherland and
· We want to serve our motherland.
· Beside being devoted and dedicated citizens in different countries we feel lost and disappointed at the absence of our representation in our parliament at any level.
Living abroad, Sarfaraz Khan said, is difficult these days, especially after 9/11. The world has changed, especially for Pakistani expatriates. This is the time for unity for all of us to make our motherland a peaceful place where the common man could live with dignity and honor.
Pakistani expatriates are highly educated, motivated and experts in their respective fields and can provide assistance to the government of Pakistan and people of Pakistan in various fields.
1. Increase remittances from 5.5 billion dollars to a higher level.
2. Help to increase investment in private sectors.
3. Provide assistance to reduce illiteracy level.
4. Provide assistance to build schools, colleges and universities.
5. Provide assistance in IT industry.
We can improve Pakistan’s image in other countries.
To achieve these goals, we must have a representation in Pakistan National & Provincial Assemblies, Pakistan Senate and in Prime Minister or President’s cabinet, thus we demand the Right of Vote to elect our representatives overseas for the Pakistan Parliaments.
We humbly request the President of Pakistan Mr. Pervez Musharaff, the Prime Minister and the newly elected political parties leaders, especially Mr. Asif Zardari of the PPP, Mr. Nawaz Sharif of PML (N), Mr. Asfand Yar Wali of ANP, Mr. Altaf Hussain of MQM and leaders of PML (Q) and other parties to consider this request. This is the voice of 10 million overseas expatriate Pakistanis.
To carry our voice to higher echelons of the society, we are now going public in the nation; we request the media to support our cause and help our voice to be heard.
As this will be the benefit of Pakistan on the whole.
Sarfaraz Khan claimed that FOP had received tremendous support from the overseas Pakistani community and “we are opening chapters all over the world. We have chapters all over the United States, Canada, Pakistan and now we are in Europe.”
Sarfaraz Khan announced the opening of a chapter in Greater London and the name of Mr. Shaukat Ali as in-charge of the chapter.