Tell us about yourself.
I was born and brought up in Chawinda, Sialkot. I did my F.Sc rfom Murray College Sialkkot. Then I went to Germany where I started taking interest in politics. I contested without a party and right now I am the only ex-Pakistani who is sitting there as a minister. I am an executive member of Heidelberg Hotel Salvoes.
How is your life in Germany?
I have spent 28 years of my life here in Germany. People are very friendly here. They love to invite us to their programmes. I feel an overwhelming acceptance for Pakistani community here in Germany.
How do you relate yourself with Heidelberg?
Heidelberg is Allama Iqbal’s favourite city. I always relate myself to this city because of Allama. He lived in Heidelberg and so did I. He was a Kashmiri and so am I. In June, 2019, we are going to organise a programme on “Iqbal and Germany”. I feel pleased and proud while doing all these activities in a foreign environment.
Are other Pakistanis doing well in Germany?
Pakistanis are very successful in Germany. Our youth is brilliant. I am always available for my Pakistani brethren there in Germany.
How have you found Pakistan after so many years?
I am visiting Pakistan after almost 28 years. I am finding it altogether a different place. People are working here. They are exploring new dimensions. I am happy to see my people after such a long time.
How do you see COTHM playing its role for the betterment of Pakistanis in Germany?
I am not hesitant to say that COTHM is leading in making people earn in Germany. Currently, COTHM Pakistan & Dubai Founder & CEO Ahamd Shafiq has invited me and the President of a German NGO, Jobs for Your Future, Ursula Hummel to interact with the students. A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) has also been signed between the two organisations to join hands for the collaboration to create opportunities of internship, apprenticeship, jobs and study in Germany for the graduates of COTHM.
Would this programme be beneficial for Pakistani students?
It would definitely benefit the Pakistani students. It is the most transparent programme Germany could offer to the Pakistani students as governments of both the counties are directly involved in it.
What are you doing for the Pakistani community in Germany?
As I said earlier, I am always available for the Pakistani community in Germany. I have established a public office in Heidelberg where I listen to the issues of everybody. Pakistanis also come to me with their problems and I respond accordingly.
Are you bringing any changes in immigration laws for Pakistanis?
Yes! I am already into it. I am working on shortening the procedure of visa application for Pakistanis. Earlier, master degree was the requirement to study in Germany but now you can study in Germany if you have got skills.
Any message for HP readers?
When you are abroad, you need to be more responsible because you represent your country and its goodwill there. Pakistan is the best.