Pakistani becomes UK MP by spending two million rupees

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by Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: British Pakistani Labour MP Faisal Rashid has revealed that he had spent only about £13,000 (around 20 lakh Pakistani Rupees) to become the member of British Parliament during the last general election.

In an interview with The News/Geo, the MP said that he spent around £13,000 on his election campaign in total and that money was raised by the local party members for his election campaign.

“It would be unthinkable for anyone to become a parliamentarian in Pakistan with this kind of amount raised through small donations and contributions by the local party members. I think it’s hugely important for Pakistan to reform its electoral process for better governance and genuine representation,” said the MP, adding that every political party in Pakistan relied on rich people to fund its expenses.

He said without reforming the system, no change will occur in Pakistan and long-term future of the democratic system will remain in peril. It is also important that Pakistan reform its local government system which is the key to vibrant and successful communities, he said.

The MP said being a member of the Commons’ committees on the International Trade, he has seen that while many foreign governments are doing their best to improve trade relations with Britain, there has been no such effort on part of the Pakistani government to improve or extend trade and commerce relations with Britain since he was elected in June 2017.

“Brexit offers huge opportunities for Pakistan. I have seen governments of India, Bangladesh and many other countries pushing trade with the UK at the government level. I have seen this happening as member of International Trade select committee which oversees the Department for International Trade. The Pakistani government needs to engage with the British government for the post-Brexit scenario as well as generally to avail opportunities to increase trade and commerce.

Faisal Rasheed MP launched the All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) on CPEC and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Two months ago, he chaired the first event of the group in the House of Commons where the Chinese ambassador to Britain attended as chief guest and spoke about the BRI and Pakistan-China relations.

Faisal Rasheed MP told this correspondent that he will be opening up an inquiry into the CPEC and BRI at the parliamentary level and will be inviting the government of Pakistan to take part in it and present its case before it. He said this initiative will help Pakistan attract more foreign investment. He told that investors in Britain –and at the western level–are keen to avail opportunities that the CPEC offers. There is a lot of interest by British investors in the CPEC, he said.

The former Mayor of Warrington said that Prime Minister Theresa May has plunged Britain into crisis and she has no plan to steer Britain safely out of chartered waters. He said that Theresa May doesn’t enjoy confidence of his own party or the country because she has trapped herself as a result of a very bad deal, she has pursued.

He called on the PM to resign and let Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to take over as the minority government prime minister. “The Labour Party has the manifesto of way forward and that’s the only progressive solution to take Britain out of the EU safely. He said the deal that Theresa May has put to parliament is a monumental and damaging failure for Britain and this is not something which the British people want.courtesy The News

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