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British Pakistanis leaving Conservative Party after secretary’s ‘racist’ attack

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LONDON: A group of Pakistani doctors associated with the Conservative Party has claimed that it has lost over 200 members after UK Home Secretary and Member of Parliament Suella Braverman made bigoted and racist comment about Pakistani men linking them with sex grooming gangs.

Braverman’s comments that British Pakistani men “hold cultural values at odds with British values” and that they are linked with the grooming scandal have drawn wide criticism and senior Conservative leaders have accused her of peddling racist and Islamophobic lies to gain the support of right-wing sections.

In a letter to the home secretary, Dr Ashraf Chohan, Chairman and Founder of Conservative Friends of National Health Service (NHS), has told the home secretary that his organisation has lost over 200 members who are all doctors.

Dr Chohan has told the secretary that he fears more doctors will leave the group as they no longer associate themselves with a party whose secretary holds such racist views. Conservative Friends of NHS has been raising funds and gathering support for the Tory party for several years.

Dr Chohan wrote: “Since a statement from you as home secretary I have lost 200 members who are all doctors, Therefore, only Sadiq Khan would be delighted on the statement you gave last week about British Pakistanis and can a clarification be issued that you only meant offenders and criminals but not each Pakistani man please, as we, Conservatives can’t afford losing any more votes.”

The letter to the secretary presents a fact sheet to Braverman on the contribution of Britons of Pakistani heritage. It says over 1.2 million in Britain are of Pakistani heritage with a large number of them working in the NHS; there are 10 Labour and five Conservative MPs, the London mayor and the first minister of Scotland are of Pakistani descent; boxers and cricketers of Pakistani heritage are far higher than any other ethnic community.

It further added that the majority of British Pakistanis are considered to be working or middle class; 50% are employed; 25% self-employed; 20% of Pakistanis are in managerial or professional occupations; 20% in intermediate occupations;  25% are in routine or manual occupations; and 45% of British Pakistanis living in both inner and outer London are middle class.

The letter informs the secretary that her false narrative has hurt the sentiments of millions of ethnic minorities and she must apologise to Pakistanis and withdraw her comments.

Faith leaders, community groups, professional forums, and activists have come together to issue an unprecedented condemnation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s “racist, Islamophobic, irresponsible and divisive” rhetoric linking child sexual exploitation with Pakistanis.

The home secretary’s “racist and inflammatory comments” from a series of interviews labelled as “inflammatory and divisive rhetoric that is sensationalist and contradicts her own department’s evidence”.

Pakistani organisations have been joined by British Nigerian, British Indian, British Bengali, and others in mounting condemnation of the Home Secretary, arguing that the secretary’s rhetoric overlooks the impact “cuts in public sector and community services under the current government have had on young people increasing their vulnerability”.

British Pakistan Foundation (BPF) has called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to distance himself from Braverman’s extremist rhetoric and issue an apology to British Pakistanis.

The Muslim Women’s Network and others who have evidenced and worked with Asian victims of grooming have commented: “The Home Secretary’s approach of demonising an entire community and lending credibility to far-right narratives undermine the need to ensure all victims of CSE are protected and all perpetrators are brought to justice.”

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Meeting with the President: The Need for Preventive Measures to Avoid Expensive Treatment

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According to President Dr. Arif Alvi, adopting preventative measures against various ailments is essential to avoiding costly treatment, and these practices would also lessen the strain on the healthcare system.

He was speaking with a Pakistan National Heart Association team when they paid him a visit at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The President received a report from the delegation detailing the organization’s successes and operations.

The President emphasised the need to raise public awareness of the need of taking preventative steps to ward off heart disease and non-communicable illnesses.

In addition, he emphasised the need of the media, the local populace, mosques, and non-governmental organisations in raising this kind of knowledge in addition to using the newest media outlets to disseminate awareness.

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Meeting with COAS: Gen Asim to Reach National Agreement on Reducing Intolerance, ASP Shehrbano

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Lady Police Officer Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi has received praise from Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir for calming a tense situation and defending a woman in Ichra Bazaar, Lahore, from a violent crowd.

When the Army Chief met with Assistant Superintendent of Police Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi in Rawalpindi, he emphasised the value of social cohesion and the necessity of national agreement on reducing bigotry.

He acknowledged the important role Pakistani women have played in all spheres of society since the country’s independence and stated that because of their skill, perseverance, and dedication, they have made a name for themselves both domestically and internationally.

According to the Army Chief, women play a crucial role in Pakistani culture and are respected in both our social and religious ethos.

He placed a strong emphasis on the rule of law and cautioned against enforcing laws on oneself when there are legal channels available to resolve issues and complaints.

Syed Asim Munir emphasised the enduring theme of love and generosity found in Islam, pointing out that arbitrary measures based on heresy damage society’s perspective.

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Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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