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In praise of UK diversity


EVERY sphere and sector of Britain is a success story for the British-Asian community, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon said in his keynote speech at the Asian Business Awards last Friday (23).

Lord Tariq Ahmad with his wife Siddiquea

Congratulating the winners at the ceremony in London, the minister of state for the Common­wealth and the UN at the Foreign and Common­wealth Office paid tribute to migrant communities and spoke of his “great honour” to address such an “illustrious” audience.

Ahead of the CHOGM meet in London next month, Lord Ahmad noted the UK’s links with the Common­wealth and how Asians had succeeded in all walks of life, from medicine to sport, law and politics.

He also paid tribute to his migrant father who had arrived in Glasgow from the subcontinent in the 1950s, overcoming challenges and persisting in establishing himself in the UK.

“Like many who settled, [my father] had that at­titude of rolling up his sleeves and getting on with it,” he said. “If we look at the history of our own country, [migrants] took on those roles, in trans­port, in the health service, and they very much be­came the backbone of our great country. I’m sure many of you can tell a similar story of those oppor­tunities your own families have had.”

(from left) Brent council leader Muhammed Butt says grace at the ceremony; Dinesh Patnaik; and Nihal Arthanayake

Praising the diversity in the UK, Lord Ahmad commented on the “rich tapestry” of the country, remarking on how it has “united us in so many ways”