The Pakistani Professionals’ Forum held their fourth Forum meeting on 11th June ’06 at Pakistan High Commission (PHC). Dr Aziz Shaikh – the newly elected Chairman welcomed everybody. He thanked Mr Asif Saleem – First Secretary Pakistan High Commission and Mr Manzoor-ul-Haque – Head of Chancery for honouring us with their attendance. He also thanked the outgoing Chairman – Dr Amanat Hussain for all his efforts. Mr Arshad Ali – our treasurer reported the financial situation and requested all to promptly pay their yearly membership fee which will be due next month as no organisation can run without a healthy bank account. Rizwan Maniar – Secretary announced the launch of PPF website and our first Newsletter “Sareer” – the copies of which were distributed to the audience
The key presentation was delivered by Dr Tahir Abbas - the Director and Senior Lecturer in Department of Sociology, Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture at University of Birmingham on The future of Muslims in Britain. He discussed the current economic, social and political experiences of Muslims (half of whom are Pakistanis) in Britain, highlighting the instances of deprivation, disadvantage, the need for capacity building and issues of youth and gender. Dr Abbas is the author of many books, articles and research papers and has particular interest in Ethno-Religious Identities of British Muslims and Islam in Britain - see our Download section for full presentation
Dr. Zarrin Shaikh – our active Executive Committee member presented an eye opener on Heart Diseases in Asian Community. She highlighted the fact that heart diseases are a great problem with a much higher death rate than the national average especially in the Pakistani community. She stressed the need for changing lifestyle, importance of diet and physical exercise - click on to our Download section for full presentation
Mr Asif Saleem briefly told the audience how hard the visa section was working and had achieved 2 hours turnaround time for all visa requests which was better than most of the other embassies. He commended the efforts of all staff and said that the target is achieved in spite of all the problems and issues faced by them. He invited members of the community especially youngsters to come forward and work as volunteers at PHC. He said that the High Commission is also providing work experience in the various areas and departments. He personally took the responsibility of ensuring that volunteers and students get the best of the deal.
The afternoon provided an excellent opportunity for networking. The home cooked food arranged by one of our member was appreciated by all. The evening ended with thanks to all and the announcement for the next meeting in September.