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Pakistani opposition leader, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad MP, greeted with civic reception in Watford
A prominent Pakistani MP and television personality was greeted with a civic reception at Watford Town Hall when he visited to address residents.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmad gave a speech and held a question and answer session at Watford Borough Council on Thursday.
The politician currently heads up the opposition Awami Muslim league (AML) party and has served as a minister in an earlier government of current Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Mr Ahmad was also a minister in the military-backed government of General Musharraf, who was deposed in 2008.
The AML leader was invited to Watford by UK members of the party to update residents from the town’s sizable Pakistani community about the situation in their home country.
Haji M Munir, AML member and a member of the Liberal Democrats, said Mr Ahmad came with a positive message for listeners saying he felt Pakistan was becoming more democratic.
He said: "(Mr Ahmad) said this was the first democratic elections after five years and he thought the government would make a difference.
"He said he felt Pakistan was moving in the right direction, with more education for women and becoming more democratic and less extremist."
Around 40 people packed into the council chamber at Watford Town Hall to hear Mr Ahmad speak.
Rabi Martins, a Liberal Democrat councillor for central Watford, said Mr Ahmad was given a civic welcome as the council was keen to highlight the role the Pakistani and ethnic minority communities made to the town.
He added: "Watford has got a significant Pakistani community and we felt it was right we should give (Mr Ahmad) a platform to talk to the community.
"We recognise the contribution the Muslim community and the ethnic minority community make to the town and that’s why we gave a civic reception."
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