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September 23, 2018

My parents came from Pakistan with only £1: Sajid


September 23, 2018

LONDON: The Conservative Friends of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh came together for the first time to celebrate the appointment of first ever Asian Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP in Her Majesty’s Government.

At the Sheraton Grand Hotel here in Central London, around 350 Pakistani, Indians and other South Asians ate, sang and clapped together to congratulate Sajid Javid MP who attended the event with his English wife, his Pakistani mother and three brothers. Chairman of the Conservative Party Brandon Lewis MP, Sir Mick Davis, Lord Howard Leigh, Lord Diljit Rana, Vice Chair of the Conservative Party Helen Grant MP, Minister at the Department of Business Richard Harrington MP, Nusrat Ghani MP, Alan Mak MP, Anne Main MP, Wendy Morton MP and Dr Sajjad Haider MEP graced the occasion along with several other distinguished guests from various walks of life.

Zameer Choudrey CBE, Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan and Bestway Group, paid tribute to the Javid family and congratulated the parents and family on this milestone achievement and expressed the importance of Conservative Party for the Asian community. He told this correspondent that the post of Home Secretary is amongst the three most important positions in Britain and it was a big deal that Sajid Javid was appointed the Home Secretary on merit. Zameer Choudrey said that Pakistanis and Asians in Britain took pride at Javid’s rise through sheer hard work and talent.

Dr Rami Ranger CBE, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Friends of India, said he was delighted that South Asians had come together to celebrate the success of an Asian politician. He said the appointment of Sajid Javid was indeed the success of diversity in Great Britain where it’s accepted, respected and protected by law. Rami Ranger called on Asians to join the Conservative Party as Asians share the same values as Conservatives. Bajloor Rashid MBE, Vice Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh emphasised the success of the Asian community and diversity and harmony within Great Britain.

Conservative Friends of Pakistan’s Ahmareen Raza said that Sajid Javid’s appointment was a proof that Britain valued merit and talent. “He’s the son of a Pakistani bus driver from a deprived background who defines the struggle and contribution of Asians in this country. He excelled in his previous roles in the government and has reached to this level of leadership. We all are proud of him and celebrate his rise.”

Speaking to the audience, Sajid Javid said he was overwhelmed with the event. The Home Secretary paid tribute to Britain’s Asian communities and their success and how they owed this to their parents and grandparents who through sheer hard work and sacrifice built a better life for their children. He likened this to “standing on the shoulders of giants” and attributed all of his success to his parents. He said: “I am the son of Pakistani immigrants who arrived at a cold, dark Heathrow airport in 1961 with nothing save £1 and a determination to build a better life for themselves and a future generation of Javids. My father began his story working in the copper mills in Rochdale and then as a bus driver in Manchester. He was nicknamed “Mr Night and Day” because of all the hours that he worked. “He scraped together enough to open his own market store and started selling clothes that my mum made at the kitchen table.”

“When I turned four, our family fortunes started to change a little. We moved to Bristol to a road called Stapleton Road which the Daily Mirror went on to dub Britain’s “most dangerous street” – not because we moved in, by the way. It was here that my father set up his first shop which he called Kaiser Fashions. And it is through graft and striving and no small amount of elbow grease that Kaiser Fashions went on to become a platform from which my brothers and I could aspire to any career that caught our imagination.” He went on: “I understood from a very young age from my parents that Asian values were all about passing on something better to the next generation. It wasn’t until I grew older that I realised this doesn’t just mean money or wealth or family business.”

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