Edinburgh Pakistani conference on UK immigration policy

“Immigration is one topic that concerns everybody in the UK.” Mohammed Akram

Here is an organisation that is clearly not afraid to tackle a difficult topic. To celebrate 20 years of working for racial equality, the  Council of British Pakistanis (Scotland) has chosen the thorny subject of UK immigration control for their conference on Tuesday 9th February. Speakers include representatives of the UK Border Agency in Scotland, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Places still avsilable!

It sounds as if this is nothing new for the CBPS. As Mohammed Akram, CBPS President, points out in a covering letter, they have tackled many other difficult subjects since they were formed in 1990. Not least the issue of forced and incompatible marriages (as distinct from the tradition of arranged marriages).

Now working closely with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in Scotland, the CBPS is a representative on the Stakeholders Managed Migration Forum.  With thousands of  students waiting to hear whether they will be allowed to attend British universities, this could hardly be a more topical time to discuss migration and immigration.

Speakers at the conference in Surgeons Hall will give a comprehensive picture of the work of UK Border Agency from Britain to Pakistan and Afghanistan, with a  keynote speech by Barbara Woodward, UKBA International Director.  Speeches end with time for open discussion.

The conference is in the Symposium Hall at the Royal College of Surgeons, Hill Square, Edinburgh from 2pm to 4.30pm.

There are still a few places available. If you would like to book or know more contact Huma Awan, the Racial Equality Officer for CBPS by email:


Here is an extract from  Mohammed Akram’s letter:

We have particularly worked closely with  the police, financial institutions, especially Bank of Scotland, utilities such as ScottishPower and have had input into many civil service departments including HM Revenues and Customs on race awareness and their dual role as employers and service provides.  In education, it is worth noting that we played a pivotal role in implementing Urdu as a modern language at exam level in Scottish schools.

With the world in turmoil and sadly increasing threat of home grown terrorists, which we totally and unreservedly condemn, we embarked upon a project with the support of the Scottish Government to tackle radicalisation and extremism in Scotland.  This is a huge educational task for all the communities and the media and extensive work is required before we can see real results.  Otherwise we are in danger of alienating our youth and ending up helping the followers of a twisted ideology whom we have all been striving so hard to eradicate.

In the last 20 years this Council has dealt with many sensitive and often challenging issues of the day and in future, with even wider support, we will pursue policies and practices which enhance Scotland as a peaceful multiracial society.

M. Akram


January 2010

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