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Cohesion Minister Sadiq Khan visits Pakistan

Published 6 April 2009

The Government's Cohesion Minister Sadiq Khan is visiting Pakistan this week, meeting senior members of the Pakistan Government, to build on work to prevent violent extremism in the UK and Pakistan.

Sadiq Khan meeting the Mayor of KarachiSadiq Khan meeting the Mayor of Karachi
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When elected, Sadiq Khan was the first ever London MP of Muslim faith and he is now the first British Minister of Pakistani heritage to visit Pakistan - his parents are from Pakistan. He will meet a range of civic leaders and local government representatives, as well as visiting a variety of projects and Mosques. He will share experience of the British Government's work in tackling violent extremism, through community projects and national and local government initiatives. He will also explore the potential for developing closer cooperation with Pakistan.

He will use the trip to build a deeper understanding of the links between Pakistan and the Diaspora community here in the UK with the aim of identifying opportunities for even more effective working with Muslim communities.

The Minister plans to meet with the All Pakistan Women's Group where he will hear about how Muslim women are contributing to the preventing violent extremism agenda, and he will raise the work of the National Muslim Women's Advisory Group in the UK.

He will also visit the tomb of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, officially known as. Mazar-e-Quaid and will lay a wreath at the mausoleum.

A visit to a University is also on the agenda where he will meet with professors and students to discuss a number of issues, including how they confront violent extremism on University Campuses. The Minister will share details on the British Government's approach to this challenging subject.

Speaking on the first day of the visit Sadiq Khan said:

"This is a great opportunity to explore some really important issues around the preventing violent extremism agenda. I look forward to sharing knowledge and looking into how the British and Pakistan Government can work even closer together to help prevent violent extremism and isolate those that push hate and target vulnerable individuals."

After meeting with the All Pakistan Women's association he said:

"It is inspiring to meet women who are beginning to challenge some of the cultural practices taking place which are doing so much harm to ordinary citizens. The energy and optimism from the women's groups is extremely encouraging."

And after visiting the Commonwealth war graves in Karachi, which commemorates more than 25,000 servicemen of the forces of the former India who died during the Second World War, the Minister said:

"It was humbling to be able to pay my respects at the Karachi war grave. It is important that we remember that millions of people from the sub continent fought with the British, side by side, and many thousands paid the ultimate price. These heroes are from all religions and backgrounds. Not enough people know of their huge contribution in first and second world war."

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