By the early eighties Reading Pakistani Community was one of the largest ethnic minority communities in Reading. There had been a huge demand for a community centre and a meeting place for the Pakistani Community. This was in line with other communities enjoying similar facilities such as the Central Club given to the West Indian Community. At this time the Berkshire County Council resolved to make their old Teachers Centre in Norris Road into Asian Community Centre. However due to divisions within our Pakistani Community and lack of organization the Norris Road facility went to the Indian Community, which was led by the Indian Workers Association, who had been better organised. This happened even though the Pakistani Community was the largest ethnic minority of the time.
Soon after senior members including likes of Zulfikhar Ali Shah, Chaudhry Bashir, Mr Jaffri, Sufi Khan, Raja Majeed, Mr Abdulla, Altaf Khan, Raja Banaras and later on Ejaz Elahi made efforts to organize the community. Elections were held and even with divisions an organization was borne to strengthen the community as the Pakistani Community Welfare Association. Help was then sought from Reading Borough Council and with some lobbying of the local political parties and the serving MP’s. The Pakistani Community were to realize their aspirations some time later in the 90’s. This support to the Pakistani Community also paid off for the Labour Party. In the subsequent local elections the Labour group enjoyed the full support of the Pakistani Community and this support helped them to increase their majority in the Reading Borough Council elections. Martin Salter supported widely by the Pakistani Community went on to be a future MP for 3 terms. Read More….
An evening with our dear friends Ch Ramzan, Former Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council, Riaz Ch, Former Mayor, Gul Muwaz Khan,and other dignatories of Reading hosted by Mian Saleem, Senior Leader PPP, UK, chairman Pakistan community centre and Dr Khalid Bajwa.