LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Malala Yousafzai is an “extraordinary” case and her courage was a beacon of light to those who believe in human rights, education for all and decency.
David Cameron told The News: “She is an extraordinary case. She is a very courageous young woman. I am proud of the fact that we have been able to treat her in Britain. It shows how serious we are about our supporting education for young people, Malala’s presence in the UK is a demonstration of that.”
Cameron said that Britainwas a “strong supporter of a free and democratic Pakistan” and his government wanted to help educate Pakistani children.
Speaking at the Eidul Azha reception he hosted at Number 10 Downing Street for leading British Muslims, Cameron said that Britain gave Pakistan aid to “make sure that young Pakistanis had a better chance in life” and that this aid was used o put children through education.
He said Britain was looking forward for general elections early next year and “wanted to see a prosperous Pakistan”.
Premier Cameron said Daily Jang newspaper had played a major role in making the British Pakistanis a dynamic community. “This newspaper not only carries Pakistani news but also highlights what’s going on in Britain. I have known about the role of Daily Jang for several years and appreciate its role.”
Cameron lauded the role of Muslims in Britain and the “extraordinary diversity of our country”. He said Muslims played a leading role in Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, Olympics and Paralympics and the highlights of the Olympics for him were going on two Saturday’s to the Olympics stadium and watching Mo Farah win medals for Britain. He said the moment reminded him that “you can be a proud Muslim and a proud Briton.”
Cameron said Muslims were prominent in sports, arts and culture, business and politics. “There are now more British Muslims involved in all political parties than before. I am particularly proud that I am the first person to make the first British woman (Sayeeda Warsi) into the cabinet.”
Cameron said the situation in Syria was “incredibly depressing” and his country will go on “fighting as hard as we can for people in Syria”.
After his speech, Cameron held talks with a delegation of British Muslim Forum, led by Pir Alauddin Siddiqui. The delegation representing 1.8 million of the mainstream majority Sunni Muslims in the UK included Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, former Chief Adviser at the Cabinet Office, Maulana Shahid Raza OBE, World Islamic Mission, Maulana Nisar Ahmed Beg, Allama Masood Alam Khan, British Muslim Forum and Maulana Khalil Haqqani.
Pir Alauddin Siddiqui told the PM about the issues faced by the British Pakistanis and Muslims. He told him that the offensive film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ is breeding hatred and “we ask you to show public leadership to help create a cohesive and respectful society for all.”
He told the PM: “We hope that we can work with you and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi both at home and abroad.” The prime minister replied: “This is a great honour to meet this important delegation and I agree to take this critical issue forward. I also very much look forward to working together.”