Happy Holidays! 
November/December 2016
Wishing you all a Very Happy Holiday! 
Dear Members, 

Are we already at the end of the year? My, time has flown by fast! It has been a whirlwind since November started and we have been keeping you up to date on our multitude of events – with a wide variety covering Lucy Choi's career journey in Mayfair to Focus on Finance Speed Mentoring in Canary Wharf and everything in between! We hope you have enjoyed yourselves as much as we have and continue to do so in the coming year. It really is a wonderful time of year and, arguably, the prettiest – with all the lights and decorations around the city!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you that have made our events so successful and fun to host. It has been a true pleasure meeting old faces and getting to know the new ones!  We are sure you have realised new faces in the members aren’t the only new faces to be a part of the British Pakistan Foundation community, we unfortunately had to say goodbye to some old team members and have welcomed new ones. We were sad to see old colleagues move on as they have been a part of our team for so long and worked hard to help us get to where we are. We wish them all the best and we are sure that they will keep up their good work and continue to contribute to our community. In growing our presence, we have joined Instagram (albeit a bit late) but nevertheless - do follow us for live updates of pictures and videos from our events!

We would also like to take a moment to thank our Chairman – Asif Rangoonwala. Without his belief and support for the British Pakistan Foundation, believe us when we say, we would not be able to provide you with high-calibre events, our extensive programme of mentoring, work experience and internships as well as our monthly newsletter. It is due to the generosity of the Rangoonwala Foundation that we are able to continue our valuable work for the community and I hope others will also come forward to support us in our endeavour to serve the community. We are grateful to the Rangoonwala Foundation for their support in being able to bring the British Pakistani community together under one platform and provide a space for networking, mentoring, peer to peer support, exchange of ideas and experience and socialising with like minded people. So in saying that, from all of us at BPF – thank you!  

It has been an exciting year for the British Pakistani community! You must all know Adil Ray aka dear Mr Khan (from the hit series Citizen Khan and our Outstanding British Pakistani of the Month) has been appointed an OBE for his services in broadcasting and has released his first book this year – Citizen Khan’s Guide to Britain! A very well deserved achievement and accomplishment - a big congratulations from us!

There has been a buzz in the political scope world-wide and has, yet, to come to a conclusion in our own back yard! With Gina Miller challenging the Brexit vote and, in consequence, the High Court ruling that the government does not have the power to trigger Article 50 without consulting Parliament - we await to see the result of the Brexit drama and whether the United Kingdom exits the EU after all. Across the pond towards the Western side, the political campaign that we followed with our eyes glued to the television and social media screens has finally come to a conclusion! We look forward to seeing what political, economic and governance changes are brought in with President Donald Trump’s cabinet in the coming years and its impact on our county and community.

On a more serious note, it has undoubtedly been a heavy year in terms of losses that have occurred from the legendary Abdul Sattar Eidhi to, the most recent, unfortunate demise of untimely singer Junaid Jamshed amongst approximately 40 others aboard PIA Flight 661. It is safe to say that these unfortunate and heavy losses have caused sorrow to our very hearts and we will keep them, and their loved ones, in our thoughts and prayers. 

All the best,
The BPF Team

In this issue:

  • BPF Past Events
  • Upcoming Events
  • News & Highlights
  • Outstanding British Pakistani of the Month
  • Jobs & Opportunities 

BPF Past Events
Lucy Choi Soiree, London, 10th Nov:
As the clock struck 6:30pm, we had a stream of women entering through the Lucy Choi doors in Mayfair. The atmosphere was one of excitement and warmth as we had a mix of professional women with their own inspiring stories to share. What better way to network than over shoes - a fantastically buzzing atmosphere which could not have been better attended. To top the night off, Lucy Choi shared with us her inspirational journey from the world of finance to the world of fashion and to becoming an internally acclaimed shoe designer. We would like to thank Lucy Choi for such a lovely evening!

View pictures Here
LSE Future of Pakistan Conference, London, 19th Nov:
We partnered with LSE Pakistan Society for the recent Future of Pakistan Conference at LSE. This was an insightful event with leading panellists (such as S Akbar Zaidi, Adeel Malik, Nabeel Goheer etc.) discussing the challenges facing the future of Pakistan from a Political, Developmental and Economic perspective. The conference also covered the impact of initiatives such as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Syed Ibne Abbas, the High Commissioner of Pakistan opened the conference and Ahsan Iqbal, the Minister for Planning and Development for Pakistan was present to answer questions.  We would like to thank all the panellists, attendees and the LSE Pakistan Society for making this such a thought-provoking and successful event. The key outputs from this conference in the form of detailed recommendations in a report will be available on the BPF website in due course.

View pictures Here
Peyam-e-Iqbal Qawwali Tour, London, 19th Nov:
In celebration of Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal's work being translated into English - we proudly sponsored Peyam-e-Iqbal's Qawwali Tour evening in London in partnership with LAFZ magazine and ISRA books. This was a riveting, soulful performance which left the audience absolutely enchanted. The Qawwali was performed by the Hussain Brothers - who are considered to be the 'Finest Group in the U.K'. It was an honour to be part of such a wonderful evening - celebrating the poetry of Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal. We would like to thank LAFZ Magazine and ISRA books for organising such a special evening.
If you wish to subscribe to LAFZ Magazine you can do so Here.

View pictures Here
Imperial College's Shaam, London, 25th Nov:
We partnered with Imperial College Pakistan Society for their annual cultural Shaam charity ball held in the swanky Hilton Kensington Hotel. It was lovely to see an inflow of so many beautiful people dressed in their traditional finery! An evening containing Gol Gappas, a Photo Booth  delicious Pakistani food and a performance by Signature - what's not to love? Did we mention we gave out a Google tablet to a lucky winner in the BPF raffle. We would like to commend the Pakistani Society at Imperial College for putting together such a wonderful evening!

View pictures Here
Focus on Finance, London, 30th Nov:
A Big thank you to Kashif Zafar (BPF Trustee) for hosting such a successful speed mentoring evening at Barclays Investment Bank! Our attendees and our team could not be happier with how smoothly this event went. From the key objectives and importance of mentoring within the field of Finance highlighted by Kashif, the intimate speed mentoring provided by our high profile finance mentors and - finally - ending the night with plenty of time to network over delicious canapés and drinks! The whole evening had an electric energy to it - befitting the location of Canary Wharf! 

View pictures Here

Upcoming Events
BPFSocial!, Las Iguanas Spitalfields, 26th Jan 2017:
It is almost time again for our regular BPFSocial! to take place! We will have an inspirational guest speaker and mentors from within the fields of Medicine and Finance at this event. Do not miss out on booking your ticket as there are only limited spaces available. Please follow the link to Eventbrite to confirm your place at our event for Thursday, 26th January 2017, 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Click Here to book tickets!
Mentoring Workshop - Self-Marketing and Social Media, 12th Dec 2016 
Taking place on Monday, 12th December 2016 - the Conservative Friends of Pakistan are hosting a self-marketing and social media workshop. The speaker for this event is Farzana Baduel - multi award-winning PR Entrepreneur and expert media commentator on PR (BBC, Al Jazeera etc.). More details can be found through the ConservativeFOP's Twitter page.

To book your space please email OR call: 07957 944319
Paintings from Pakistan by Daisy Perkins - Another Chance to View and Buy the Paintings from this Exhibition
If you missed Daisy's recent exhibition of her beautiful paintings from Pakistan, a selection of her paintings will be hanging in the Osbourne Gallery as part of their winter exhibition from now until the 31st of December 2016,
Also, you can visit Daisy's studio amongst a whole host of other art studios in this quirky quadrangle of creativity at the Clockwork Open Studios Weekend from the 9th until the 11th of December 2016. You will have the chance to buy original works from the makers in their studios. From pottery and paintings to ties and textiles - there's plenty to tempt!

The Clockwork Studios, 38 Southwell road, London SE5 9PG

Friday 9th December 6 - 9pm
Saturday 10th December 11-6pm
Sunday 11th December 11- 6pm (Daisy not there)

The Afghan Discovery of Buddha: Archaeology & Nationalism in Pre-Taliban Afghanistan, 14th Dec 2016
Professor Nile Green (UCLA) is giving a lecture about the Afghan Discovery of Buddha in Archaeology and Nationalism in Pre-Taliban Afghanistan. This event is free, open to all and is taking place on Wednesday, 14th December 2016 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. 

For more information click Here
Critically Acclaimed - 'Whose Sari Now?', until 17th Dec 2016
Written and performed by Rani Moorthy, do not miss out on this powerful and hilarious one-woman performance! Being shown at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until 17th December 2016. This production will have you going through 'a rollercoaster of emotions'  - truly an intelligently pieced work of theatre! Come and hear the tales of the Sari! 

For more information and to book tickets click Here
Islamic Art and Supernatural exhibition - Ashmolean, Oxford, Until 15th Jan 2017
This is the first major exhibition to explore the subject of supernatural art of the Islamic world and displays over a hundred objects from Morocco to China. Within Islamic societies, people engage in various practices and use various objects to accompany these practices as a source of guidance and protection. For more information, visit the link provided. 

For more information and to book tickets click Here
Aphra Shemza - Shangdi La Hotel: Sky Lounge, until end of Jan 2017
Do not miss out on Aphra Shemza's collaboration with the House of Louis Roederer at the Shard - entitled Heart Beats of Cristal! This was unveiled on October 12th 2016 and will be on display till January 2017. This "bespoke interactive" work of art takes its inspiration from Cristal - in celebration of launching their new vintage Cristal 2009. The way this work has been described is such to emulate a "dance in a glass".

More information Here
All our Single Members! 
It is no secret how hard it is to find a 'Mr. or Mrs. Right' in today's fast-paced society! Are you tired of being single but don't know how to start the quest for the one? Come and attend Wajeeha Amin's Masterclass and learn to find, connect and keep someone for you. 

For more information and to book tickets click Here

BPF News & Highlights
Adil Ray Receives an OBE
Better known as Citizen Khan - Adil Ray has been a proud recipient of an OBE! This British Pakistani star from Birmingham has not only caught our eye for his hilarious show Citizen Khan but also for his efforts in highlighting social issues amongst British Pakistanis. It was shocking and eye-opening to watch his award winning documentary 'Exposed: Groomed for Sex' (amongst other documentaries he has done) - well worth a watch for young adults and above. Congratulations Adil Ray! - He is also our outstanding British Pakistani of the month and read on for his interview below...

Welcome to the New Community Attache for Pakistan - Fizzah Niazi
We would like to welcome Fizzah Niazi in her new role based in Manchester and here is a statement from Fizzah in relation to her role, "It is a great privilege for me to represent Pakistan in the position of the Community Welfare Attache in UK. I am a representative of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development. My role in the UK encompasses undertaking measures to facilitate the Pakistani diaspora regarding their problems like land disputes in Pakistan. It is my responsibility to promote employment of the Pakistani human resource in the UK and to convey the opportunities available here to Pakistani students and workers. It is also my responsibility to ensure fair translation of such work employment. I regularly visit the prisons of the UK to meet Pakistani nationals, provide them with consular services and help them if they have any problems. It is also the responsibility of my office to build strong linkages with the community and help them initiate self help programmes and target areas where they require the most help. I hope to play a positive role in this position for the next three years. I can be reached on I look forward to receiving positive suggestions from the community."

Rahm: The Movie
A film co-produced by Ahmed Jamal. Rahm is a beautiful and hard-hitting adaptation of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure set it in Lahore, Pakistan. This film is due to be released in the United Kingdom in March 2017. For a detailed review of the film, please visit the following link. Click Here for a review.

To view the trailer of Rahm, please click Here 

BBC Partition Series
The BBC is making a documentary series about Partition in 1947 and would like to speak to people who lived in India / Pakistan during this period. The series will involve taking British-Asian families back to their ancestral homes to explore the impact of Partition on ordinary people. They are looking for families whose stories will represent the different groups caught up in the events of Partition: Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and British colonial. They will then follow the younger British-based generations of each family as they retrace journeys and relive experiences which their parents and grandparents faced during Partition, 70 years ago. If you interested in taking part then please email: or call 0207 241 9250.

A Troubling Culture War between India and Pakistan
It has been a troubling year seeing the cultural relations between India and Pakistan deteriorate. There have been outbursts by the general public in both countries stating their displeasure with them working in collaboration. The most recent consequence of this having hit the renowned director, Karan Johar and the Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. After the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, he had to beg the public to watch the film and has also vowed to not cast a Pakistani talent again. 
Read more Here

UKinPak - Second Annual Exhibition
UKinPak held its second exhibition in October 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The United Kingdom 'spends more money on education in Pakistan' than any other overseas country. This is the second annual exhibition which showcases the work that the Pakistanis are able to achieve due to the 'exceptional work' that the UK is putting into Pakistan in regards to education.

Read more Here

Foreign Secretary condemns Terrorist Attack in Pakistan
Following the horrendous terror attack on the Shah Noorani shrine (Balochistan, Pakistan) in November, Foreign Secretary - Boris Johnson - has given a statement conveying his thoughts to those affected by this tragedy. This terror attack killed atleast 52 and wounded more than a hundred more. 

Read more Here

'Arranged Marriages Happier' claims former High Court Family Judge
The culture of arranged marriages within the South Asian community is often frowned upon, sometimes within and outside of our community. Although, a new study has emerged which suggests that British Muslim women are 'more likely to be happily married' in comparison to those from other backgrounds. This conclusion was made by a research that explored the links between religion and relationship stability. 

Read more Here

Pakistan's Perception in the World and its Causes
This article has been researched and written by Nadir Cheema. Chema is an academic at both the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and UCL, University of London along with being a senior fellow at Bloomsbury Pakistan. His specializes in economics and studies Pakistani socio-political issues. In his article, he explores the perception the world has of Pakistan and the reasons for it. 

Read article Here

Funoon London
Funoon, the popular South Asian arts and culture website launched their events series  - 'The Funoon Salon'. A space for audiences and artists to engage more directly in a relaxed, intimate and beautiful setting. The Funoon Salon featured three Pakistani musicians from Coke Studio including Ali Hamza (from Noori), in his first solo and UK performance, Bilal Khan, Natasha Khan and, newcomer, Noorzadeh Raja. Ali Hamza told stories and sang from his diverse repertoire of pop, rock, Sufi soul and Punjabi folk songs. Bilal Khan and Natasha Khan were also sensational in their live solos and then joined Ali Hamza, for Pakistani and Indian hits - old and new. The evening featured a delicious street-food feast by celebrated supper-club chef Asthma Khan of Darjeeling Express. We can't wait for the next Funoon Salon in 2017!

To find out more please click Here 

Pakistani Inspired Feast
For a Pakistani inspired feast this holiday season, turn to Summaya Usmani's (an internationally acclaimed food writer, author and cookery teacher) mouth-watering Lamb Shank Kunna Gosht Recipe Here. A complete collection of her scintillating recipes can be found in her book: "Summers Under the Tamarind Tree: Recipes and Memories from Pakistan" available from Amazon. 

Click Here to buy book

Unity in Variety V1 Art Exhibition, Garbiel Fine Arts
Barikee held its inaugural art exhibition in collaboration with Gabriel Fine Arts showcasing specially commissioned pieces by 8 Pakistani artists including Bin Qulander, Muhammed Ali Haider, Wardah Naeem Bukhari, Fatima Javed Sheikh, and Sadaf Farasa alongside other artists based in the UK. The exhibition highlighted cultural diversity in the world and brought together artists from different backgrounds in one of the largest contemporary Islamic & Pakistani Art Exhibitions to be held in London. If you missed this exhibition, then you can view exclusive pieces from this exhibition in the following catalogue Here

BPF Members will recieve an exclusive discount code BPF10

For enquiries about the artwork in the catalogue, please contact Barikee via email: or telephone: 07912302524. 

Click Here for more information

BPF's Outstanding


Pakistani of the

Month - Adil Ray

"...I thought that can be my thing, I can be British and be Pakistani, I can be both of those things! It was a big lesson..."

BPF caught up with Adil Ray, a British-Pakistani born to a Kenyan mother and Pakistani father in Birmingham, where he was brought up in the late 70s. Appointed an OBE this year, Adil is probably most known and loved as Mr. Khan in the hit series Citizen Khan. Being a man of numerous talents, he started out hosting radio shows for various networks (Adil is the first full-time British South Asian presenter in the United Kingdom to host a commercial radio show), which later led to his numerous projects (relating to music, hosting, radio, documentaries, shows) with the BBC. Through his career Adil has appeared on all the major BBC Television and Radio Networks. Adil has been well recognised for his creative talents, obtaining an impressive variety of awards from the likes of the UK Asian Music Awards, Royal Television Society and the Asian Media Awards. Not to mention in July this year, Adil was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University. The latest addition to his creative talents can be found in his book, Citizen Khan’s Guide to Britain – which, yes, is available now (click Here to purchase)!


Growing up in Birmingham, did you face any hardships being British Pakistani and growing up in a mixed culture?
When I was born in the 70s - I don’t remember much but my parents tell me - where we lived was a very white, English area and that was a deliberate choice by my parents. My mother is from Kenya and her father was from Lahore (when Lahore was still part of India), my father is from Jhelum in Pakistan – they were introduced and met here. My parents chose to live in a white area at my mother’s suggestion. We are quite a big family, so we were able to learn about Asian culture from our family and English culture from our neighbourhood. It was tricky initially as we had bricks thrown through the window, our garden gates would go missing, we would get abused – but we stuck with it.

We did experience issues - though by the end we became friends with the neighbours. It was a great learning curve for me, that often people have their differences but its only that. It doesn’t always come from a place of prejudice but from fear and you can overcome that fear by being friends by the end of it.

Did this upbringing make you learn to be more empathetic towards people? Was it useful later on as an actor/writer?
I think as a writer you try to find some empathy in all characters, even those that are perhaps not very likeable. We can be quick to label people as racist or extremists so perhaps my upbringing did help.
I remember when we were in one house in Birmingham and our next door neighbours came and knocked on our door, they said to my father if we could we move the extractor fan from the kitchen because the smell of curry was going over to their back garden – my father walked him out into the back garden and said ‘Well we could do that but see your extractor fan is coming over into our back garden and we’re getting the smell of bacon and sausages’ and they both laughed! I just thought it was a brilliant way for my father to deal with it rather than being angry or just closing the door on him – iron fist in a velvet glove!

I’m not trying to paint a rosy picture with the world we’re living in today - with what’s happening with Trump and Brexit – it really has unearthed some prejudices amongst people who have been hard right extremists. Actually, what we find is that we can’t say that they’re all racists, many of them are just people with fears just worrying about their own lives and livelihoods.  Those on the left need to look hard at themselves and ask are they liberal really?

Growing up we had comedy programmes such as Goodness Gracious Me, Meet the Kumar’s - seeing the immense success of Citizen Khan, why do you think British television doesn’t have more of these shows anymore?
There probably is more but I think it’s more saturated. You will find some elements on different channels e.g. comedians online making a million plus hits on Youtube. In a way, what we have to remember is that the media landscape has changed a lot – back in the day we would look to BBC 1, ITV and Channel 4 for everything. Young people now aren’t watching the main channels – young people are watching Youtube and if you go on there – there are Asian comedians and there are people around the world making a name for themselves. Could there be more? – possible yes there could be but it’s a very difficult thing to do comedy – it’s not easy to put together a sitcom or a sketch show and to find the right team. I work with a couple of writers who also worked on Goodness Gracious Me and I don’t think that’s a complete coincidence. I think it’s because there are literally a handful of people that can understand how you can transform Asian culture to mainstream and have experience working in mainstream television and comedy.

There are questions to be answered within the industry to have them open doors more. It seems to be starting to happen slowly and the BBC is aware that they have to be more diverse, let’s hope that they are. The only thing I would say is that as a Pakistani Muslim community – if we are going to ask and demand more stories – we’ve got to be ready for those. What that means is we will get more stories but they may not be things that we will like – they may be things that we will be offended by but that’s okay! I think - yes let’s have more stories, more drama, but be prepared for those stories; they might not relate to us just because we’re Pakistani or they might be stories that are really challenging our visions on faith or culture and I think that’s okay. Yes – have more stories but let’s be prepared to be more challenged by them.

Leading on from that, there is a general perception that Asians find it hard to take a joke on their own culture…
There is an element of that – certainly with Citizen Khan in the early days we would (even now and again) hear people say I don’t like it because it’s mocking Pakistanis or its mocking the faith. When I ask them which comedies do they watch, they love Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Desmond’s or Eddie Murphy.. for example) – why is it okay for us to sit and laugh at an African American family laughing at themselves  and at stereotypical African American accents but it’s not okay for us to laugh at ourselves? Partly, I feel, there hasn’t been much of Muslim based comedy so people are quite averse to it. They need to watch more comedy generally – it makes you realise that the intention 9/10 times is to just make you laugh.

Initially people perhaps felt that Citizen Khan, or anything new that comes on, is part of some wider conspiracy to undermine Pakistanis and Muslims – it’s actually not! The point is if you like anything drama or comedy – quite often your main protagonist has to have negative sides to him – he absolutely has to! In a big sitcom like Citizen Khan, Mr. Khan has to be almost monstrous, he has to say the most ridiculous things. Similarly, if I have to do a drama tomorrow on a Pakistani family – there would be negative portrayals because there has to be, you have to have baddies in dramas. I think we just have to get used to that.

What makes me laugh is that my mum loves Pakistani dramas and they are shown having affairs etc. and somehow we accept that – that’s okay! The moment its put onto a Western screen, we suddenly feel that we don’t want everyone else knowing that about us. Pakistan is a young nation, a young community and we’re still rising - in this country there only being 1.5 million of us out of a population of 60 million. As a community we need to grow stronger, we can feel threatened when perhaps we shouldn’t and we should learn to overcome all of those things – I think that will happen over time, it’s part of the process. Being offended along the way is part of the process, people will be offended by Citizen Khan at the moment but in 5 years’ time something else will come on and they’ll go like Citizen Khan is okay!  I am afraid you can’t be liberal and be offended at the same time. I believe the greatest compliment you can pay to any group is that they can enjoy a laugh..

We love that Mr. Khan is so relatable and he helps people from other backgrounds get over the fear factor…
I agree, we knew we had a successful show when we heard stories of white, English families watching the show and relating to it. When Mr. Khan does something miserly or says something to his wife or favours one daughter over another and suddenly – the wife watching it with her husband on the sofa will nudge him and say he’s just like you! We get that a lot – from Catholic, Irish, English families who just love it! Young kids can relate to Mr. Khan – that is quite big because for a young child, you put the TV on and you see a Pakistani guy with a beard and you think he’s either a terrorist or related to terrorism or someone speaking about terrorism. Now they put the TV on and they think it’s the funny guy on BBC 1, so that’s quite nice! I hear from English parents that their children went up to men with beards in Asda and shout ‘oh twaadi’ to them – so that’s brilliant!

Seeing your documentary “Exposed: Groomed for Sex” – Could you tell us how this issue came about you to turn into a documentary? Why do you feel British Pakistani men make a substantial number of offenders in this social issue?
This documentary is not about the sexual exploitation of all young children - which in this country is done overwhelmingly by white men – what this particular crime was looking at was something that the police had identified as ‘on street grooming’. This occurs when men find vulnerable girls on the street (who perhaps live in care homes or are from broken families, wandering the streets) and they would invite them in their car to supply them with drugs and alcohols - later taking them to rooms to abuse.

These men were building relationships with these girls over months, in some cases years, and the girls would think they were in relationships or friendships – they’re not, they are being abused. Now this is a very specific form of exploitation and in this form – yes – there was a predominately large number of Pakistani men involved. The stories started to come out in The Times newspaper towards the end of 2011. I was reading these stories and noticed that the  far-right were jumping on it first - the BNP. Immediately, as a journalist and a documentary maker I thought we need to own this story – we can’t allow this abuse story to be abused by other journalists or by people from the far-right. We have to tell our own story.

When it comes to abuse, we should talk about it – that is really important. It is often the problem in all communities that it is not talked about. Wherever you have these close-knit communities where people feel perhaps that they can’t talk about it because its taboo or they’ll just be silenced, you’ll have that – it’s obviously happening within the Pakistani community, so I just felt that we needed to tell that story. It was a delicate process and we made sure we spoke to as many people as possible from a cross section. It gave a chance for people to talk and really open up that subject - a good start to what is an ongoing issue for the community.

We shouldn’t be ashamed about saying we have got problems in the Pakistani community – every single community has their issues, that does not mean we shouldn’t talk about it. If you talk about sexual abuse as a general issue across society, people in our Pakistani community just wouldn’t listen to that story - that this is not meant for us, they are talking about the wider community. Therefore, you have to focus on that community and speak to them and say we are talking about us, and your community too – there are issues amongst some Pakistani families. Let’s talk.

I think one of the root causes in the community is the role of women. There seems to be a real inconsistency with our relationships with women. We treat our mothers with the greatest respect, in some cases we don’t look for our wives to be the ones we love and we refuse to have any contact with or interaction with many other women. I think that can lead to an unhealthy attitude towards women and a dangerous attitude toward more ‘westernised’ women.
Integration of course is another issue, where communities are living in pockets and ghettoes. Britain has many Pakistanis who arrived here in the 60s from a rural background and arguably are more traditional that Pakistanis living in towns and cities back ‘home’.

It is not the community itself entirely to blame, there is an argument to suggest multi-culturalism has not worked and this idea of saying ‘well we’re going to allow communities to come in here and create their own cultures’. In the end, if you turn around and say the Pakistanis can have that part of town and a Muslim school, the African community can have that part of town, East Europeans you can have that part of town – what actually happens is that those people start behaving exactly how you want them to behave. You turn around and say ‘well you’re the Pakistani guy’, they will probably become more Pakistani than they intended to.

We’re in this world of identity politics and I think that is why we see the rise of the hijab – we say fine, if you’re labelling us as Pakistanis then that is what we are going to be. Unfortunately, out of that the most conservative voices get heard the most. If there is a news story, the media outlets will go and find the Mr. Khan of that community to talk on behalf of all Pakistanis because he/she looks the most authentic - with a beard and from the Pakistani area. Just because you live in a certain area does not mean you haven’t got as much of a Pakistani voice as anyone else. I think that is a real issue for society. Our starting point despite what our faith, views or background are must be to find a point of commonality not difference.  

Did you have any mentors/role models while growing up that inspired you to get into media in the first place?
I used to watch so much comedy - anything from Cheers to Fawlty Towers- and used to think to myself that I would love to do that! One of my greatest role models, generally, was Imran Khan and a lot of people say that but I’ll tell you why! I was living in Britain and there wasn’t much Pakistani representation on TV and we weren’t seen as necessarily being very cool, and suddenly this guy comes along, everyone loves him and he was from Pakistan! My dad would take me to watch cricket and I thought ‘wow, we have somebody as elegant as this guy leading his team and taking on the monster, that is England, at their own game!’ It gave us British Pakistanis a real sense of pride for being Pakistani – it was one of the first times where we were actually proud to be Pakistani and that gave me lots of encouragement – I thought that can be my thing, I can be British and be Pakistani, I can be both of those things! It was a big lesson.

Watching an England vs. Pakistan cricket match, are you confused on who to cheer for?
Yea! I do lean towards Pakistan more but now the England team has been changing over the years. When we were growing up it was very white - in terms of who played for the team, but also the culture around it. It was a very stuffy old boys network, now that has changed a lot. You have people like Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid playing for the team – I think it’s fantastic! I do support England most of the time but it does get hard when they’re playing Pakistan.

What are you planning to do next?
Well Citizen Khan is taking up so much of my time, hopefully we will get another series! We are looking at the possibility of a Citizen Khan film – which would be great! I would like to develop other comedy characters – nothing concrete at the moment though.

We see your book, The Citizen Khan Guide to Britain, is out now - we cannot wait to pick up a copy! In terms of more projects, can we look forward to any future documentaries?
The book is probably the most fun thing I have ever done. I chuckled my way through it. It’s a great go to guide for Pakistanis and Non-Pakistanis living in Britain. There’s a 2 page recipe on making the perfect Pakistani cup of tea!

I have meetings all the time with the BBC looking at issues on what we can do, I think there is very interesting times now with identity politics and the rise of the far-right and, it could be argued, the failure of liberalism – so I think there’s a real interesting documentary and story to be told.

However, I’m quite busy now with the book that’s just come out - The Citizen Khan Guide to Britain! Did I mention that?

How do you feel about receiving your latest award, an OBE? – being so young at that!

It was great, a fantastic honour and privilege to take my mother and father to Buckingham Palace! They had come over here in the 60s with the hopes of a roof over their head and a car to drive – little did they know that 40 years later they would be going to the palace. It really was dedicated to them.

This is hopefully a message to all immigrant families, British families, British immigrant families – whoever you are – that you can have a dream and you can achieve whatever you want. Good luck.

Jobs & Opportunities

NYLA - a new upcoming art and design gallery boutique in South Kensington, London, is looking to fill the following 4 positions: 
Head of Operations or Asst Manager/ operations, admin & book-keeping (Full-time)
Assistant manager/designer
Assistant PR, marketing & event
Grants/ Bids writer (PT)
To apply for the above positions, please email your CV and Cover Letter to 
Alezeh at

Den - Wapping, London
We are reinventing the light switch and plug sockets. Our mission is to totally replace the existing standard of switches, by creating a smartes for.
We are looking for:
An Office Manager / Assistant who will be a part of a team that will bring revolutionary technology to the masses in a fast-growing, fast-paced start-up with offices in Wapping, London
To apply please email your CV and Cover Letter to 
Alezeh at

Internships/Work Placements
Al Rayan Bank - Birmingham  
2 internships

Amanda Wakely
1 internship

1 internship

Quadreen Capital
1 internship

British Telecom
5 internships

Islamic Relief
1 internship 

Lucy Choi
1 internship 

Investment Firm

1 internship 

TKC Country Club
3 internships

Mundio Telecom
1 internship

Goldex Investments Group Ltd.  
1 internship

To apply for the above internships / work placements, please email your CV and Cover Letter to Alezeh at

Documentaries/TV Shows
BBC Life Swap documentary 
Be part of a BBC documentary and swap lives with someone from a different country for 7-10 days! For more information please refer to BBC Take Part website:
If you are interested in participating in this documentary then please contact Max Bulgheroni via email: or mobile: 07745951629 
Channel 4, Building the Dream - property series:
Fronted by architectural designer Charlie Luxton, it follows couples/individuals as they embark on a self-build journey to create their forever home. Each episode is one hour - features one project to completion. Further information is available on the following website: We are looking to start in the next few months and aim to be complete by Spring 2018.
candidates please contact Fiona Udahemuka via email:  or telephone: 0113 394 5490

Techwomen - a STEM initiative by U.S. Department of State
The  initiative brings women from Africa, the Middle East and South and Central Asia to San Francisco for a professional mentorship program. The mission of the program is to empower emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to reach their fullest potential, create social impact initiatives and inspire other girls and women in their communities.
The 2017 program will include 100 women from the following countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.
We are accepting
 applications for the 2017 program until January 17, 2017. We are looking for women who have demonstrated themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen profession, through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities and education. To apply, visit or email:

UK Department for International Development: Education Fund Opportunities - GEC
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) launched the £300m Girls’ Education Challenge fund in 2012, which is now the largest donor-funded programme in the world focused on girls' education. Examples of GEC funded projects with the private sector include Discovery Communications, The Coca Cola Company, Avanti Communication and Ericsson. A new funding window has now been launched called ‘Leave No Girl Behind’ which will support out-of-school adolescent girls into education, training and employment.  DFID is keen to attract private sector applications as part of this funding window, with the official call for Concept Notes closing on 20 December 2016. Further information about the funding window can be found on the DFID website:

UK Department for International Development: The Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR)
SPHEIR is a DFID fund which aims to transform Higher Education systems in target countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  It is designed to catalyse innovative ‘partnerships’ to improve the performance, governance and influence of higher education systems and institutions.
SPHEIR funding is given to partnerships –a formal collaboration among a group of organisations that address HE in ways, and at a scale, that a single organisation cannot. Partnerships can access grant funding of up to £5 million to conduct 2 to 4 year projects with universities which improve graduate employability. Projects could include companies working with faculty to update and improve the relevance of course curricula, offer internships and skills development training and overall support students to gain the technical and soft skills in-demand in the market, for example. Applications are currently open and will close on 20 February 2017. For more information, see here: and join our linkedin group for potential applicants here:

Work with BPF!

We need volunteers! We are currently looking for energetic and experienced volunteers. Ideal candidates will have experience in working at events or a nonprofit organisation, enjoy working with a diverse team and willing to travel. Please send your CV to

Write for BPF: We love to hear from our members and would like to feature articles, blog posts etc. by our members on areas that impact the British Pakistan community. If you would like to contribute an article, blog post etc. for our monthly newsletter or website and need to know more about the different monthly topics then please contact Zahra at

Speak at BPF Events: If you are interested in speaking at our regular professional networking events, then please contact Zahra at

Partner with BPF!
We need partners! If you are a business-owner, entrepreneur or city professional who would like to offer mentoring, work experience, internships, or access to job opportunities to our top Young Professionals Programme members please email

Support BPF!
We need support! 

Donating to BPF: please help us continue our valuable work for the community by making a donation to BPF (Charity registration for England and Wales No: 113770). If you would like to make either a regular or one-off donation to BPF then please contact Zahra at
Sponsoring BPF Events: if you would like to sponsor a BPF event then please contact Zahra at
Advertise: If you would like to advertise in our newsletter or website then please contact Zahra at
Discounts for BPF members!
A 10% discount is available to all our BPF members who dine at the flagship TKC restaurant in Southall when they mention BPF 
The material on this website is for general education and information. British Pakistan Foundation (BPF) is a secular, non-partisan and inclusive not-for-profit, community-building organization. BPF Brirtish Pakistan is dedicated to empowering the British Pakistani community and strengthening the ties between our community, the UK government and catalysing development in Pakistan. Please support our mission by making a tax deductible contribution by emailing our office at: If you have ideas for stories to feature in upcoming newsletters, please contact
The British Pakistan Foundation (BPF) is a not for profit platform founded in 2010 working towards engaging, uniting and empowering the over 1 million British Pakistani community in the UK, in particular the youth. Our vision is to develop the British Pakistani community professionally, socially, culturally and intellectually. We deliver professional development workshops, seminars and speaker series, mentorships and internships, networking and cultural events, thought-leadership as well as a monthly newsletter for our members under our three key programmes: Business and Professionals Programme, Women’s Programme and Young Professionals Programme

In pursuit of this end we shall examine a wide range of issues: economic, political, social, cultural, religious and philosophic. The views provided here are thus not the views of the organization, nor should they be construed to imply that British Pakistan Foundation supports or opposes any specific public policy, legislation, or political candidate.  Any reference on this website to any specific commercial product, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the organization or its employees or agents.
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British Pakistan Foundation (BPF) · Basement Floor · 87 Wimpole Street · London, London W1G 9RL · United Kingdom