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September 19, 2018

British Pakistani parliamentarians delighted at Zulfi’s appointment


Wed, Sep 19, 2018

LONDON: Several British Parliamentarians of Pakistani origin both from the ruling Conservative and opposition Labour party have welcomed Zulfi Bukhari’s appointment as special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.

As the special assistant to the prime minister, Zulfi Bukhari will have the status of a state minister.

Former cabinet minister Conservative Party’s Baroness Sayeeda Warsi along with Member of Parliament Rehman Chishti and Labour’s members of Parliament Afzal Khan and Naz Shah posted welcoming remarks on Twitter saying the appointment of Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari (known as Zulfi Bukhari) a good omen for overseas Pakistanis, especially those living in the UK.

Rehman Chishti, the conservative party’s Member of Parliament from Gillingham was the first to congratulate Zulfi. Rehman Chishti, who has just recently concluded a four day visit to Pakistan, not only welcomed Zulfi’s appointment but also termed it as a great news for overseas Pakistanis.

He hoped that in his role as the special assistant for overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development as well as being a British Pakistani himself, Zulfi will have a better understanding of the issues faced by diaspora community in the UK.

In her massage Lady Warsi said: “The Pakistani diaspora is a powerhouse of untapped potential. Delighted to see Zulfi Bukhari appointed as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistant to unlock this valuable resource to build an exciting Naya Pakistan.”

Labour’s Member of Parliament from Bradford Naz Shah expressed her good wishes on Zulfi’s appointment on Twitter. Naz Shah expressed her desire to work with him to solve the issues faced by British Pakistanis.

“I look forward to work with him on issues relating to overseas Pakistanis here in the UK,” said Naz Shah. She also shared a pic with Zulfi Bukhari, along with Imran Khan and his other two close friends Manchester based businessman Aneel Musarrat and Sahibzada Jahangir which was taken during Imran Khan’s visit to the British Parliament earlier this year.

Labour’s Member of Parliament from Manchester Afzal Khan told Geo News that he’s absolutely delighted.

Mr Khan said: “I think he is a good choice and has a pod track record. I’m looking forward to work with him to develop good strong relationships between Britain and Pakistan.”

“There’re so many areas of interest in the long history at both Pakistan & Britain share. I will also play my part helping both sides,” added Azfal Khan who’s also Ex Lord Mayor of Manchester and former member of European Parliament and a good friend of Zulfi Bukhari.

Labour parliamentarian Yasmin Qureshi said Zulfi’s new role was much needed.

“Delighted to hear Zulfi Bukhari has been appointed as special assistant to PM Imran Khan for overseas Pakistanis, a much needed role. I look forward to meeting and working with you,” she said in a message.

Zulfi Bukhari is known as a successful businessman and philanthropist in the UK. He has raised money for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital & Namal University. Once he helped raise funds of £150,000 in a single night for Namal University.

He made headlines across the country when he was initially refused to board a chartered plane which was due to fly to Saudi Arabia to offer Umrah along with Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Maneka. He was allowed to travel after a special notification was issued by Interior ministry to grant him one time permission.

His appointment has been criticised by many but the PTI government said that Zulfi Bukhari is British Pakistani origin and a dual national can become special assistant to prime minister and will have no role in legislation.