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March 18, 2015
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Tories appeal for Pakistani votes, want stronger bond

National

March 18, 2015

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LONDON: Senior figures of the ruling Conservative party have said that their party values its historical relationship with Pakistan and will strengthen it further if its returned in the government after general elections in May this year.
They were addressing a grand fundraiser event organised by Zameeer Chaudhry, Conservative Friends of Pakistan (CFOP) co-chairman and Chief Executive of the Bestway Group. Communities and Local Government Minister Erick Pickles MP, Lord Feldman of Elstree, cabinet minister Francis Maude, nearly a dozen MPs, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas and senior Pakistani community figures attended the event.
Speaking to The News, Zameer Chaudhry said that Pakistanis and Tory party had many things in common and they shared values of hard work and entrepreneurship.
He said that over one million Pakistanis were valued at all levels of the party and he was a witness to the fact that the Conservatives are serious in promoting Pakistanis in all walks of life.
Zameer Chaudhry accepted that just over 10 percent Pakistanis have previously voted for the Conservatives while the rest voted overwhelmingly for the Labour. He hoped that this trend will change in the elections this year in May. “Pakistanis and Conservatives share a great deal of values between them, they believe in family system, hard work and entrepreneurship.
Its under various Tory governments that Pakistanis and other small business holding ethnic minorities have prospered. We have been able to make progress because we were afforded these opportunities by the Tory governments who are very conscious about the devastating effects of high taxes.
We have to vote in the way that increases our say and influence and I honestly believe thatTories are our natural home.” Nawaal Ali, the CFOP coordinator, told The News: This election will provide Pakistanis with an opportunity to show that they take their issues in Britain seriously and want their

resolution through engagement and activism. It is a great platform for British Pakistanis to come forward and show their support and contribution to the Conservative Party. Our next goal is for youth to actively engage and show their passion for politics by representing Pakistani British Community by raising awareness.” Communities minister Erick Pickles said that he grew up within Pakistani communities in Bradford and he was influenced by how the community members were hard working and ambitious. He said that many people locally who were previously with the Labour were now campaigning with the Conservatives and trying their best to mobilise the local voters.
Syed Qamar Raza said that the CFoP was working with the British Pakistani community to build stronger and deeper relations with the Conservative Party. “The aim of the fundraiser lunch event was to fundraise in order to support various prospective parliamentary candidates. We have to engage with all parties and it will be damaging if this impression about Pakistanis persists that they only vote for one party, it doesn’t help our cause, we need to go on various platforms.” Lord Feldman said that his party had worked hard in the last five years to engage with the British Pakistani communities and the participation of key figures of Tories in the event showed how much value the Conservatives attached to Pakistani communities in Britain.

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