MP for Reading East MATT RODDA met with many dignitaries and VIPs at the 70th anniversary celebration of independence for Pakistan, which took place at the Rivermead Leisure Complex at the weekend.

The event, arranged by Executive Member from Reading Pakistan Community Centre Mr Mian Saleem attracted over 2,000 British Pakistani people from Reading and the surrounding area and was also attended by local dignitaries. Amongst those in attendance were The Worshipful Mayor of Reading Councillor Rose Williams, Leader of Reading Borough Council Councillor Jo Lovelock, Councillor Sarah Hacker and Councillor Rachel Eden; and the UK Co-Ordinator of the UK Pakistani Kashmiri Councillors’ Forum The Hon. Alderman Mushtaq Lasharie CBE.

Matt was also delighted to meet with Zarah Khan, the current Chair of the Reading Youth Cabinet, who collected an award earlier in the evening for “Achievement In Reading”.

Giving the main speech of the evening was His Excellency The High Commissioner of Pakistan Mr Syed Ibne Abbas who, in addition to making many references to the cultural commonality between Britain and Pakistan, and more markedly referred to the current social and political climate saying that “terrorism is a global issue and therefore needs a global solution”.

After the event, Matt said:

It was a pleasure to be invited to attend Reading’s celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of independence in Pakistan. We are extremely fortunate to live in such a multi-cultural and diverse town such as Reading. Reading is a place which welcomes all who choose to live and settle here, and make this town their home. The Pakistani community of Reading are a huge asset to all of us and whose example illustrates that we really do have considerably more in common than that which seeks to divide us. I’m proud to be the Reading East MP, and proud to serve the needs of our town’s Pakistani community.”

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