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British Pakistanis leaving Conservative Party after secretary’s ‘racist’ attack

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LONDON: A group of Pakistani doctors associated with the Conservative Party has claimed that it has lost over 200 members after UK Home Secretary and Member of Parliament Suella Braverman made bigoted and racist comment about Pakistani men linking them with sex grooming gangs.

Braverman’s comments that British Pakistani men “hold cultural values at odds with British values” and that they are linked with the grooming scandal have drawn wide criticism and senior Conservative leaders have accused her of peddling racist and Islamophobic lies to gain the support of right-wing sections.

In a letter to the home secretary, Dr Ashraf Chohan, Chairman and Founder of Conservative Friends of National Health Service (NHS), has told the home secretary that his organisation has lost over 200 members who are all doctors.

Dr Chohan has told the secretary that he fears more doctors will leave the group as they no longer associate themselves with a party whose secretary holds such racist views. Conservative Friends of NHS has been raising funds and gathering support for the Tory party for several years.

Dr Chohan wrote: “Since a statement from you as home secretary I have lost 200 members who are all doctors, Therefore, only Sadiq Khan would be delighted on the statement you gave last week about British Pakistanis and can a clarification be issued that you only meant offenders and criminals but not each Pakistani man please, as we, Conservatives can’t afford losing any more votes.”

The letter to the secretary presents a fact sheet to Braverman on the contribution of Britons of Pakistani heritage. It says over 1.2 million in Britain are of Pakistani heritage with a large number of them working in the NHS; there are 10 Labour and five Conservative MPs, the London mayor and the first minister of Scotland are of Pakistani descent; boxers and cricketers of Pakistani heritage are far higher than any other ethnic community.

It further added that the majority of British Pakistanis are considered to be working or middle class; 50% are employed; 25% self-employed; 20% of Pakistanis are in managerial or professional occupations; 20% in intermediate occupations;  25% are in routine or manual occupations; and 45% of British Pakistanis living in both inner and outer London are middle class.

The letter informs the secretary that her false narrative has hurt the sentiments of millions of ethnic minorities and she must apologise to Pakistanis and withdraw her comments.

Faith leaders, community groups, professional forums, and activists have come together to issue an unprecedented condemnation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s “racist, Islamophobic, irresponsible and divisive” rhetoric linking child sexual exploitation with Pakistanis.

The home secretary’s “racist and inflammatory comments” from a series of interviews labelled as “inflammatory and divisive rhetoric that is sensationalist and contradicts her own department’s evidence”.

Pakistani organisations have been joined by British Nigerian, British Indian, British Bengali, and others in mounting condemnation of the Home Secretary, arguing that the secretary’s rhetoric overlooks the impact “cuts in public sector and community services under the current government have had on young people increasing their vulnerability”.

British Pakistan Foundation (BPF) has called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to distance himself from Braverman’s extremist rhetoric and issue an apology to British Pakistanis.

The Muslim Women’s Network and others who have evidenced and worked with Asian victims of grooming have commented: “The Home Secretary’s approach of demonising an entire community and lending credibility to far-right narratives undermine the need to ensure all victims of CSE are protected and all perpetrators are brought to justice.”

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Train hits dumper at Gojra level crossing

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At an unmanned level crossing in Gojra late on Sunday night, a train carrying two Rehman Baba Express drivers was injured when it struck a dumper.

Rehman Baba Express struck a dumper at Gojra level crossing No. 99 while traveling from Peshawar to Karachi, according to details. Two train drivers were stranded inside the debris, and the train’s engine sustained significant damage in the crash.

When rescue personnel arrived, they broke the engine’s body to free the drivers who were still in critical condition. All of the passengers were safe throughout the collision, according to railway authorities.

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Elections

PTI to abstain from voting in Senate chairman and deputy elections

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The election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman is going to be boycotted by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The PTI’s political and core committee declares that it is unlawful to elect the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman. The party has chosen to file a legal challenge to the election.

The sources from the core committee claimed that the election of the chairman and deputy chairman was unlawful and that the House of Federation was incomplete.

The constitutional plan was also violated by the Senate election that took place without Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senators being elected. According to sources, the Senate was not operating without a chairman.

The Senate Secretariat was only able to make administrative decisions. The source stated that the Senate secretary was not authorized to interpret the Constitution on his own while under duress and that the Upper House was only able to function as one department in the absence of the Senate chairman.

They said that this was the first time in a democratic regime that the Senate had stopped operating.

The PTI claimed that individuals responsible for the upper house’s non-functioning should face consequences for trampling on the constitutional structure.

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There won’t be a total solar eclipse today in Pakistan.

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This Wednesday will be the first full solar eclipse of the year. But it won’t be visible in Asia.

Around 11:07 am PDT, or 9:07 pm local time in Pakistan, the eclipse will initially be visible near the Pacific Coast of Mexico. After that, the eclipse will pass through a large region of the United States, from Texas to Maine, and into Canada.

The total eclipse will last for four minutes, and the eclipse will continue for five hours and ten minutes.

The eclipse will proceed into Texas, passing through over a dozen states before reaching southern Ontario in Canada, according to NASA. At around 5:16 p.m. NDT, the eclipse will leave mainland North America and go out of Newfoundland, Canada.

According to NASA, there is a path where the eclipse will be visible in its entirety, and outside of this area, spectators may notice a partial eclipse, in which the moon covers part of the sun but not all of it.

In the ensuing two decades, there won’t be another full solar eclipse. On October 2, South America will witness the second solar eclipse of the year. Yet it will just be a portion of it.

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