Basharat Ali, lawyer by vocation and who provided the Club’s constitution, is a family man and a guiding force for the Club.
Basharat ensures that Club activities remain within the spirit of the Club’s constitution, that the Club lives up to its non-political and non-religious ethos and works tirelessly to create an environment within the Club to foster unity, cohesiveness and yet promote a dynamic discourse internally to keep the Club moving forward. It is under his leadership that the Club has established sound credentials’ as an entity that reflects the Pakistani heritage in its true spirit be it for charitable causes working with Human Appeal or now with the Dam building appeal in Pakistan. It is because of the credibility lent by Basharat that the Club has been able to attract support from people from the very highest echelons in different fields of endeavour with Pakistani heritage. People such as Amjad Hussain, former controller of British Navy, Dr. Shoaib Suddle, former Pakistan Ombudsman, Peer Sabir Shah, Senator and Senior Vice President PMLN, Peers, MEP’s, and MPs from the UK and entrepreneurs of significant commercial entities the world over. The work of the Club and therefore the President is a continuum and it will we remain confident continue in an upward carve.
Basharat was instrumental in procuring endorsement for the Club from PM Imran Khan, Lord Nazir Ahmed, former Lord Mayors, Adam Khan, formula driving ace, high profile sports and business personalities and local community elders.
The core of people who established Pakistan Club wanted a Chairman for the Club who was graceful, well respected in the community and someone who would galvanize dynamic community forces to come together for a worthy cause. This search led the group to Rajas Nisar Farooq, an International Accountant with a thriving practice base in Bradford and a person of huge integrity with diverse business and charity interests globally. In private life, Raja is a patriarch with grown up children and grandchildren who he dotes on. With other fellow Club Directors Raja always provides wise counsel with humility and warmth.
Practically speaking, since the formation of the Club, Raja has provided incisive leadership at the board level to ensure every activity and every event that the Club organised was done so professionally and all the decisions were democratically taken and implemented. It is his abiding integrity that has ensured that the Club has thus far been free from any financial or moral irregularity.
It has to be said that Raja has an astute management style that gets the best out of a dynamic and diverse group of people to work together to create synergies that are rare in a social entity, which the Club quintessentially is.
Cannon Yaqub was one of the founding members of the Club and since formation of it, he has demonstrated his ability to provide pivotal support in helping the Club to achieve its objectives at both tactical level as in attracting sponsorships and sale of tickets to strategic level in over-coming objections to this proud Club that celebrates its members heritage in difficult transitory times. On occasions when Cannon Chairs the board meetings, he is huge fun and epitome of good grace though of course business is transacted efficiently and effectively.
The good Cannon is an internationally recognized personality for undertaking large-scale charity initiatives under his own organisation called New Horizons through which Cannon Yaqub has raised significant amount of money for the poor people of Pakistan whenever there is an emergency through natural or man made disasters in Pakistan. His work in providing clean water to people in the poorest communities in Pakistan is lauded internationally. Furthermore, Cannon Yaqub provides the Club a strong bridge with different religions, political parties and the law enforcement agencies with which Cannon Yaqub has close relationships.
Recently, Canon was conferred a MBA title for his services to humanity. It augers’ well for the Club knowing such such people are at the helm of affairs in it.
In many ways AD, as he is fondly known to friends, is the mascot of Pakistan Club. A graceful mover and shaker, AD is the Club’s choice not only as its Treasure but also as Master of Ceremonies in all the events held by the Club save for when he is otherwise engaged. As a Treasurer working closely with the Chairman, AD has always kept the financial affaires of the Club in good order and because of his professional handling of the same; there has never been any untoward financial issue in the Club which has seen significant movement of money over the years. The Club maintains membership monies separate from the day-to-day Club account and both of these are most transparently managed.
AD has an accountancy firm, which is both significant and reputable and has many other property and business interests that he oversees not only for his personal benefit but also through which he benefits other social cum political groups that promote positive Pakistan. It is his love of Pakistan that persuaded him to not only accept responsibility as a treasurer but also to allow Pakistan Club to use his company boardroom, which he co-owns with Shirjeel Malik, General Secretary, for the Club meetings. Without this help, Pakistan Club would have found it difficult to function effectively. Pakistan Club owes a huge debt of gratitude to this gracious Director who epitomises the Club spirit.
For social, charitable and Pakistani heritage issues not much moves without positive involvement of AD in Bradford. Since student days, AD has been an avidly active charity worker, a calling that only became stronger when endowments of his own offices and money grew so did AD’s participation in such causes as fund raising for the Thar Baluchistan draught, for Jalazoi people and for internally displaced people of Kashmir because of the earthquake that destroyed everything in its wake. Alshifa Eye Hospital benefited profoundly through AD’s involvement and as did the Friends of Pakistan when the mother country was slapped with punitive sanctions by the US at a time when Pakistan tested its nuclear program.
The Confucius ethos of not asking what the country has done for me, rather to asking what can I do for the country is the motto AD lives his life by.
The stability as an organisation that Pakistan Club enjoys is because at the outset the founding members handpicked people of both calibre and integrity who loved their heritage whilst being pillars of the local community. Shirjeel, an accountant with a busy and demanding practice was seen as the right choice to be Club’s General Secretary, a difficult position to do justice to as it required attention to detail, record keeping, communications and also leadership in ensuring implementation of board decisions. Shirjeel has been equal to the task and not only that he has excelled in organising the 2018 annual dinner with aplomb. Shirjeel took lead to organise the Dam Fund raising event in November 2018. Central co-ordination of attracting 600 paying guests, sponsorships, securing a venue, organising entertainments and all other associated logistics lay in his domain.
Shirjeel is ever resourceful and a persuasive personality that excels in delivering identified KPI’s under stressful conditions and exacting deadlines. For his abilities and time investing in the Club causes, Shirjeel is held in high esteem in social, political and corporate milues and he is able to get support for the Club’s events and activities from diverse groups of people.
Whilst the Club is and always will remain non-political and non-religious, Shirkeel keeps his commitment to the Club ethos and his avid interest in the PTI movement both alive and separate, which is an eloquent testimony to his skill and integrity.
Shirjeel, a loving son, a doting father, an active political worker and a proud socialite is a credit and an asset to Pakistan Club.
The Club is heavily dependent on generosity of its directors for financial support, for their good standing in the community to give the Club credibility in pursuit of its aims; wise counsel when needed and inspiration at other times are also the necessary qualities a good Club thrives on. On all these fronts, Zaffar who is a very successful business tycoon under two high profile brands, Jinnah and United Foods has proved to be a reliable and a willing spirit whose many personal and financial endowments have benefited the Club over the years. Zaffar is a pillar of strength and quiet energy that provides the necessary will and direction for others to follow to shape the Clubs direction. Thus far, much of the success the Club has in becoming a strong brand is attributed to the support from Zaffar and other directors whose input is always available and always welcome.
Zaffar is a patriarch in a large family that has significant property, a restaurant chain and super-market businesses in its ever increasing investment portfolio. It is difficult to see the Club surviving without the crucial help provided by Zaffar and his ilk on the board.
Javed is one of the founding members of the Club and was instrumental in introducing Zaffar Iqbal to the Club and provided high profile efforts in getting the Club off the ground. Since those early days, Javed has always been a steady and consistent supporter of all Club activities. His good standing in the community often means the Club secures support from a wide network of people whose support means the difference between success or failure of a given program.
Javed provides telling and decisive counsel in the board meetings that often set the tone on any given issue. Directors like Javed provide the necessary glue that binds the group together.
Javed is a family man with a large extended family presence in Bradford which is a source of strength for the Club.
Rehan is a director with a difference as he is busy in building his burgeoning business interests in a wide array of financial services to augment his core business which is Kingsland Recovery, a highly rated and one of the largest companies of its type in the UK that specializes in company liquidations. Despite his taxing business schedule, Rehan makes time to attend to the Club’s needs and uses his business networks to gain valuable services and or support for the Club.
Rehan has volunteered many a times to spearhead club activities and his astute handling of projects and or providing input as to how to shape projects are valuable to the Club and as such Rehan has been a pride asset for the Club.
Rehan has a young family with two sons who light up the Club or Club Families’ events with their energy and enthusiasm.
Pakistan Club is gifted with intellectual power from many directors who have life experience, vocational success and academic achievements to underpin their societal profiles. In the case of Munir, the Club’s elder statesman, the board benefits from his counsel based on being a successful Chartered Accountant and a trained lawyer with strong background in spear-heading other social organisations in the past. Munir was also a Justice of Peace for long period of time in Bradford. The wealth of knowledge and experience Munir brings to the table is awesome.
Though retired Munir provides the Club significant level of support and guidance when he is in the UK as he spends some time in Pakistan every year.
Munir has a mature family with grandchildren with whom Munir spend quality time and is enjoying life to the full.
Though young, Wajid is a rising star in the Club as he possesses sound business acumen and dedication in all that he puts his mind to. Recently he contested elections for the local council and though he stood as an Independent Candidate, he gave a very good account of himself. This was not surprising as Wajid is well respected in the community as a young entrepreneur of repute with many wide ranging business interests in diverse business sectors, generosity and bundle of good cheer. Wajid often volunteers to do things for the Club that require time, effort and money. For a young person such dedication is laudable.
A family man devoted to his young children, it is felt that the batten of the Club’s future leadership will rest easily on shoulders of directors like Wajid and Rehan. In the meantime, Wajid helps the Club through a variety of ways to make the Club a future destination for social activities amongst the young and upcoming groups of people.
Iftihar was part of the founding members’ team of Pakistan Club and served as its first President.
In 2014, Iftikhar set an example of probity by resigning his position when he was selected by his political party to fight in the General Election of 2015 to avoid any conflict of interest between his political interests and those of the Club. Since relinquishing his position, Iftikhar has been a pillar of strength to all the Club office holders in helping them as best he could to realise Club objectives. Iftikhar has always been keen to establish good practices at the Club that promote team ethos and sacrifice for the greater good. Iftikhar has a keen eye to see where there are challenges faced by the Club and moves decisively to meet those challenges by synchronising his efforts and resources with those of others’ to win through on a given set of objectives.
Iftikhar is a family man who has taken keen interest in his children’s development to higher education and is currently engaged in a number of commercial projects as a management consultant. On the political front, Iftikhar is an Approved Candidate for the Conservative Party for the 2022 General Election.