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Posts tagged ‘Pakistan’

Sayeeda Warsi: Baroness of the Punjab

Published in The Daily Telegraph, Monday 16th January

By Peter Oborne

As the traumatic events of the weekend show all too vividly, Pakistan is one of the most turbulent and unstable countries in the world, and a diplomatic nightmare.

But Britain has a secret weapon – Sayeeda Warsi. With her Punjabi heritage, local languages and easy manner, the Conservative Party chairman can reach parts of the Pakistan political system that other government ministers cannot.

As I witnessed at first hand last week, David Cameron has licensed Baroness Warsi to operate as Britain’s unofficial envoy. The Tory chairman flew into a first-rate crisis set off by the potentially deadly stand-off between government and military. The defence secretary had just been fired.

Within hours she was at the Pakistan foreign office for a meeting lasting well over an hour with Pakistan’s newly promoted – and extremely beautiful – foreign secretary, Hinna Rabbani Khar. Just 34 years old, the University of Massachusetts-educated Khar is the latest star phenomenon to hit the Islamabad scene and is suddenly being tipped as a potential successor to Asif Ali Zardari, should the government fall this week.

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Sayeeda Warsi: Britain must be a country where people can be proud of their religion

Published in the Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 28th October 2011

Earlier this year, people across the world were shocked and appalled when Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the Pakistani cabinet, was assassinated. I met him a week before he was murdered; last week, I saw his brother, Dr Paul Bhatti – a trained surgeon who has now become minorities adviser to the Pakistani prime minister, and helped set up a new Ministry of Harmony – and spoke to him about the plans Shahbaz and I had been discussing.

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Sayeeda Warsi: Britain must be a country where people can be proud of their religion

Published in the Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 28th October 2011

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Sayeeda Warsi: OIC Speech

The Rt Hon Baroness Warsi, Thursday 30th June 2011

Speaking at the OIC Foreign Minister’s Conference as the first British Government Minister

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The ‘Naya Aghaz’ is for long-term Pak-UK friendship

Op-ed by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

This week, the prime minister and I visited Pakistan to mark a new chapter in the relationship between our governments and our peoples.

As Prime Minister Cameron said, this was a “Naya Aghaz”, forming an unbreakable bond of friendship between our two countries. As David Cameron explained, we want a strong relationship with a secure, prosperous, open and flourishing Pakistan. We want to strengthen that relationship, both now and in the long-term. As a British Cabinet Minister whose parents came from Pakistan, this was a very special moment for me – and something I’ve been waiting to hear for many years.

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Sayeeda Warsi in Pakistan: Floods six months on “we must not be complacent”.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi returned to Pakistan six months on from the devastating floods to learn how the country is recovering, to learn what more needs to be done, and to see how more than £200million (27.7 billion rupees) from British people is supporting Pakistani people affected by the floods.

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Andrew Mitchell and Baroness Warsi visit Pakistan

Speaking during his visit International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell made clear the UK was standing by Pakistan and announced a further allocation of UK support which will help fight the spread of disease; shelter displaced families; and provide more support – including food and medical supplies – to provinces in the south of Pakistan. This means that UK aid will now benefit up to three million people affected by the floods. (August 18th 2010)

Sayeeda Warsi: Speech at the Fatima Jinnah Women’s University

Speaking at the Fatima Jinnah Women’s University, July 20th 2010 Sayeeda Warsi said;

I’ve had a fantastic few days in Pakistan. Everywhere I’ve been, people have given me an amazingly warm welcome. And I want to say a special thank you to the Ministry for Women’s Development and to Fatima Jinnah University for hosting me this evening and for giving me a chance to talk some of the things I’ve been thinking about over the last few days.

As I’ve travelled round, people keep saying how amazing it is that I’m the first Muslim woman in the British Cabinet. They say it’s exceptional, remarkable, an unique achievement – and that’s made me think .

Of course, it is great that a woman, a Muslim, whose family originated in Pakistan can get into the British Cabinet. And ladies and gentlemen, of course I’m incredibly proud – and also actually quite humbled.

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Baroness Warsi met political leaders in Pakistan

On Monday, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi met with some of the political leaders of Pakistan.  She met with the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raza Yousaf Gilani, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Women’s Development Yasmeen Rehman and the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif.

On Monday evening, Baroness Warsi was hosted by Prime Minister Gilani for a dinner at Prime Minister’s House. (July 19th 2010)

Baroness Warsi visits Bewal

In July, Sayeeda visited the home village of her family in Bewal, Punjab.  She was welcomed to the village at a rally of around 2,000 members of the community of Bewal.

Addressing the rally, Baroness Warsi said: “I stand in front of you today as a British Cabinet Minister, from a country where whatever your faith, gender or background, it is no longer a barrier to your success.”