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15th August 2008
Conservative Parliamentary Friends of Pakistan formed
The Conservative Party is delighted to announce the formation of the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of Pakistan. The Group will be launched officially at the Conservative Party Conference at a reception to be held by Wajid Shamsul Husan, the High Commissioner for Pakistan.
The Group will be chaired by Rob Wilson, MP for Reading, and Shadow Minister for Universities. The Vice Chairman (Lords) is Lord Sheikh; the Vice Chairman (Commons) is Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury; the Secretary is Stewart Jackson, MP for Peterborough and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pakistan.
Rob Wilson, Chair of the Group, said:
“I am delighted to have been elected by MPs and peers as the inaugural chairman of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan. Building strong bilateral relations with Pakistan is a priority both for the Conservative Party and this country. I have an ongoing interest in the region and have been vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pakistan (APPG) for the past two years.
“I have already met with the High Commissioner, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, and his Deputy, and we had a highly productive session. There is a great deal happening in Pakistan that is of importance to the entire world and Pakistan must be a priority for our Party’s foreign policy. In light of the fragile political situation there, it is important that we make efforts to strengthen democracy in the country and reinforce support for the ongoing conflicts against the Taliban and Al Qa’eda.”
His Excellency, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, said:
“It gives me great pleasure to learn that the Conservative Friends of Pakistan Group will be launched on the sidelines of the Conservative Annual Party Conference. The Government of Pakistan is proud of its longstanding relations with the Conservative party of the United Kingdom. We hope that through the auspices of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan we would be able to further strengthen these relations and make significant progress towards the achievement of our common objectives.
“I thank Lord Sheikh and other members of the Conservative party for this initiative and assure them of the complete support and cooperation of the High Commission. I wish the Conservative Friends of Pakistan Group all success in their noble endeavours.”
Lord Sheikh, Vice Chair of the Group said:
“I am very pleased that we have established the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of Pakistan. The Group has been welcomed by a number of people I have spoken to and we aim to be active in achieving our objectives. We propose to strengthen links between the government of Pakistan and the Conservative Party as well as people to people contacts.
Please find attached a photograph showing, from left to right: Abdul Basit (Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan), Rob Wilson (MP for Reading East and Chair of the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of Pakistan), His Excellency Wajid Shamsul Hasan (High Commissioner of Pakistan), Lord Sheikh (Vice-Chair of the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of Pakistan)
For more information, contact Amy Jackson on 020 7984 8097 or 07776 124660