Mr. Ghulam Rasul Shahzad is indeed a versatile person. He is shouldering quite a number of responsibilities in his different roles and capacities. He is sociable, friendly and a committed person who goes all the way to extend his help and assistance to individuals and wider community alike.
His personal achievements
On 6 December 2004, Mr.Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to a reception, invited him where he met him personally. The Prime Minister commended his voluntary contribution.
On 23 June 2004, at a National Conference of UNISON, Britain's biggest trade union, held at Bournmouth he was awarded the National Bob Cotton Award -2004, for Good Citizenship. He is the International Relations Officer of the Rochdale UNISON Branch. UNISON established the Award in honour of Bob Cotton who died in the Paddington Train Crash. Bob Cotton was a member of UNISON'S National Executive and was travelling from his home in Gloucestershire to a UNISON Meeting when the disaster happened. Attached with the Award were £5000 which Mr. Shahzad donated to the three local charities in Rochdale i.e.: 1) Springhill Hospice 2) Family Service Unit and 3) Gem Appeal.
He was awarded the Community Service Award 2002, by the Asian Businesses Support Agency for setting up the Agency and organising the Asian businesses in Rochdale and neighbouring towns/cities.
In 2001, he was nominated for the Asian Jewels Award supported by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This was the First National Award supported by Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This award was in recognition of the contribution Asians made in the United Kingdom to improve the quality of life of people. The Award went to the Mayor of Oldham - Councillor Riaz Ahmed but Mr.Shahzad's contribution was recognized on the national level.
He was awarded the Human Rights Award in 2001 by the Humlawan Rights Committee of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, Lahore, Pakistan, for his various projects in Pakistan.
In 1999, he received the Graduate of the Year and the Community Service Award by the Association of Pakistani Graduates, International, of which he is the founder member, to get the recognition of Pakistani degrees in the United Kingdom, overseas tours to Germany, France and Pakistan, to establish a network of Pakistani community in Europe.
He was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award in 1997, by the Council for Voluntary Service, Rochdale, for his twenty years service to the local community irrespective of their colour, creed, gender and religion.
A certificate in appreciation of his services to the local community, singed by two Member of European Parliaments, Member of Parliament, Mayor of Rochdale, High Commissioner of Pakistan, Vice Consul in Manchester, Councillors and Community Organisations, was presented to him by the Mayor in August, 1996.
Many certificates, shields, trophies presented to him both in the United Kingdom and in Pakistan two of which are from a Federal Minister of Pakistan and the Governor of the Punjab.
He is one of the founder members of the twinning between Sahiwal, Pakistan, and Rochdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom. The twinning took place in December 1989. The purpose of he twinning was to share knowledge, skills, experiences from people of the both towns to improve quality of life in Sahiwal by developing projects on various aspects of life. He developed a Training Project for Councillors, Officers and members of the community in Sahiwal.
Mr.Ghulam Rasul Shahzad passed his MA in Islamic Studies in 1971, from the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
He passed his LLB in 1974 from the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
He passed his Intermediate Examination from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Lahore, in 1967, and his Matriculation Examination from the same Board in 1964. He studied at Islamia High School, Lahore Cantt, Pakistan, which he recently twinned with Matthew Moss High School, Rochdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom. The idea is to share knowledge, skills and resources particularly the technology for the benefits of the students in both countries. Currently, he is the Vice-Chairman of the Governing Body of the Matthew Moss High School. He has been with the Governing Body for the last about 14 / 15 years.
He has passed his Diploma in Training Management in 1991 from TRACE (UK), Diploma in Business Excellence from Newcastle College in 2001, Diploma in Coaching Performance in 2004 and Diploma in Life Coaching in 2005 from the Newcastle College.
He has also achieved his D32/33 Award (Assessor’s) in Customer Services from Oldham College and is now the Assessor of the National Vocational Qualification Customer Service upto Level 3 and Business Administration Level 3 for employees of the Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council which is the Local Government in Rochdale. This is the qualification under which you can assess the performance, knowledge and understanding of people in various jobs according to the national standards developed by the National Lead Body.
He received his qualification in 2001, as Appraiser of Magistrates and assesses their performances, knowledge and understanding under the standards designed by the National Magistrates Association, London.
He passed his Certificate in Life Coaching in November 2004, and now working to achieve the Diploma in Life Coaching.
He is still a student and is involved in many academic courses. He believes that the whole life is a learning curve and you learn new things every day. For learning you must have a positive attitude.
Mr.Shahzad passed his LLB in 1974 and was admitted to the Lahore District Bar Association in 1975. He came to the United Kingdom in August 1976. In 1984, he returned to Pakistan and started practice as an Advocate. He was later admitted as member of the Lahore High Court Bar Association. After four and a half-year, he returned to Rochdale in 1989. During this time he was admitted as member of the High Court Bar Association, Lahore, of which he is the life member. People who face legal problems in Pakistan, he helps them by contacting Advocates in towns and cities of Pakistan.
In 1986, Mr.Shahzad was elected as Secretary of the Young Lawyer’s Forum and set up a Free Legal Sub Committee of the Forum helping people who could not pay their pay their legal fees. He used to visit prisons to see if there was anyone who needed legal help and advice.
The Lord Chancellor’s Department appointed Mr. Shahzad a Magistrate in 1993. Now he is the Chairman of the Bench and also the Appraiser. As Appraiser, he assesses the performance of Magistrates according to the standards prescribed by the Magistrates Association, London,
On the invitation of the Government of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, he led a delegation of British Magistrates in 1996, had meetings with Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan President of the Azad Kashmir, Federal Law Secretary, Law Minister Punjab, Chief Justices, Judges, Barristers and Advocates and visited Rawla Kot, Kotli, Dudhiyal, Mirpur, Jhelum, Gujrat, Lahore and Sahiwal. He discussed his projects with them regarding training and exchange visits by members of the judiciary to learn and improve services in respective countries. The tour was very successful.
Contribution as Training Officer to the employees of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, other local authorities, organisations and the community
The Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council has employed Mr.Shahzad as a Training Officer since 1989. He was the Co-ordinator of the Positive Action Training Scheme for Asians, which proved to be very successful.
As a Training Officer for the Rochdale Council, he has designed a large number of training courses and particularly, using his own experience and knowledge, has designed the Cultural Awareness of the Asian Communities which includes Islam,
Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism, cultural aspects of the lives of Asian communities. He has also designed and delivered a Spoken Urdu course which has been very popular amongst Council employees, housing associations, voluntary sector and private sector. Many Councillors have also attended these courses.
He has delivered training courses for the Management Committee and staff of the Red Crescent Maternity Hospital in Sahiwal, Pakistan.
As an author
Mr.Shahzad has written books on: -
“ The Cultural Awareness of the Asian Communities “ ,
“ Training Needs of the Asian Communities”
“ Rochdale – Sahiwal- A unique example of friendship!”
These have raised awareness of the local community and there is more understanding and co-operation between the Asian and local communities. Currently he is writing a book on the “ Achievements of the Twinning between Rochdale – Sahiwal.” And hopes that this will be published in the near future..
Voluntary service to the local communities in Rochdale
He has lived in Rochdale since August 1976, and is respected for his contribution to the local community. He is very active member of the local community and is well known for his positive attitude and help to any member of the community irrespective of his/her colour , creed, gender, nationality or religion. He has received many awards, shields, trophies, but he says,” My real award is in the hearts of the communities I serve. We have mutual respect, trust and confidence. Whenever, they need me or there is any issue in which I can help. Solving problem is a challenge. By helping the community you enhance your own knowledge and understanding of the system and procedure. If there is any vacuum, then you try to remove the barriers. Sometimes, you are successful and sometimes you are not. But you keep it pursuing until it is solved. It takes a lot of time, commitment and patience but it is worth. By putting your efforts and time in to solve problems, you have the satisfaction of making other peoples’ lives easier. This is your award.”
In order to solve the problems facing graduates from Pakistan and the misconception in the indigenous population, he set up the Association of Pakistani Graduates, International, in 1990. In order to develop understanding amongst the local community and future generation about Pakistan, he started the celebration of the independence of Pakistan every year on 14 August every year. It has become an annual function in which all local communities take part. Every year outside the Town Hall, Rochdale, Pakistani flag is raised. On every road leading to Rochdale, there is Pakistani Flag showing the link between Rochdale and Sahiwal.
In 1991, he set up the Milkstone Action Group to deal with the issues and problems facing the local community. By providing this platform, he brought all the local communities together where people feel confident to attend and raise issues. He takes these issues to the appropriate agencies, organisations and individual to get addressed. He has been the Chairman for the last 12 years and has organised many campaigns in the area e.g. to get Close Circuit Television Cameras, Cleaning the Area and Kerb Crawlers’
In 2001, the Rochdale Township developed the idea of setting up Area Forums in which people from wider area can raise their issues and problems. In the first meeting, he was elected as Chairman of the Milkstone and Deeplish Area Forum , in which like Milkstone Action Group, he has contributed a lot to the people of both areas. Through this Forum he has been able to raise and solve most of the problems e.g. drugs, safety, security, playing facilities for youths.
There was no Association for the Asian business community in Rochdale.There were issues of Health & Safety, Food Hygiene, Training and development of staff etc. which could only be solved by having an association. He set up the Rochdale Asian Businesses Support Agency and was elected as Secretary to support the business community. The Agency has gone from strength to strength and now has the recognition throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. He has organised functions to promote Asian businesses, arrange competition, courses, meetings, and seminars for better relationship with the local, regional and national business community. He has a very clear vision of the importance of promotion and development of Asian businesses in the United Kingdom and the European Union. He believes there is an opportunity to develop business skills, which, in the future, may bring prosperity for Pakistani community as it, will create employment opportunities for them.
Mr.Shahzad is the Chairman of Rochdale Area Watch Association for the last three years. He works very closely with the community and the Police to improve safety and security for all residents particularly the elders, women and children in the Borough of Rochdale. The Association works very hard to eradicate crime and setting up Home Watch Schemes in all townships in Rochdale and involve those people who are concerned with the increased crimes and anti social behaviour in their areas.
Mr.Shahzad is the Chairman of the Law Centre, which employs solicitors to deal with Immigration, Employment and Housing issues and represent clients in the Courts and Industrial Tribunals. Recently, after his visit with a Health delegation to Pakistan from 10 October, 2003, to 24 October, 2003, he met with the members of the Sahiwal Bar Association and Cantt Lawyer’s Forum and has established Friendship Link of these organisations with the Law Centre.This Friendship Link will help thousands of people both in Pakistan and in the United Kingdom and raise their awareness about the immigration law, requirements and rules.
He is the Director of Rochdale Federation of Tenants and Residents Association (ROFTRA) which looks after the rights and interests of tenants in the Borough of Rochdale. He deals with issues e.g. racism, harassment etc. affecting the tenants and particularly the Asian tenants.
He is the chairman of the Excellence in Education for All Project which he set up 7 years ago sharing his knowledge and skills with the children and young people. He calls this project as “ Investing in our Future “. He has been teaching 60/70 children in English, Math, Science and providing them with social skills. Other volunteers have also joined him. He has taught Urdu to many English men and women for the last 10 / 11 years.
He has recently been elected as the Chairman of the Multi Asian Arts; Rochdale.This provides arts and entertainment to the local, national and international level. He has established link with the leading Arts Council in Pakistan. A delegation of British Artists will be visiting Punjab Arts Council, Lahore, Pakistan, from 13 February 2004, to 26 February 2004, to visit Pakistan and see the development in Arts in Pakistan.
He is the founder member and the Chairman of the Reward International – a charitable organisation set up in Rochdale, which aims to help promote health and education to people in need. A delegation visited Pakistan and donated money to a hospital in Pattoki to improve the quality of service they provide to the local community. Its charity shows, Manchester and Liverpool, which raised £6000, which is being, spent on various health projects in Pakistan.
In addition, he is member of many organisations helping people to get their problems solved and initiates projects, which benefits the people.
His contribution as a Magistrate to the Judiciary in the United Kingdom and Pakistan
Mr.Shahzad was appointed as a Magistrate in 1993. Now he is the Chairman in his rota and also the Appraiser. He assesses the performance of the Magistrates in accordance with the National Standards. This helps them to identify their strengths and weaknesses which, they can improve by attending relevant training courses.
Mr.Shahzad has used his knowledge and skills and has delivered training courses to the local and magistrates in the neighbouring towns.
In 1996, on the invitation of the Federal and the Punjab Government of Pakistan, Government of Azad Kashmir, Mr.Shahzad organised a Magistrates’ Study Tour to Pakistan. This was the first study tour since the independence of Pakistan. The British Magistrates had the opportunity to meet with the President of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, Minister, Law Secretary, Judges, Chief Justices, Advocates and Barristers and members of the Bar Councils. They visited Lahore, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawla Kot, Kotli, Duddyal, Mirpur and discussed the legal systems in both countries. They also visited Police Stations, Prisons and various courts and had meetings with the Bar Councils.
One of the founder members of the twinning between Sahiwal, Punjab, Pakistan and Rochdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom.
The twinning took place in 1989.Mr.Shahzad was elected as Joint Secretary of the Sahiwal Working Party set up by the Rochdale Council in 1989. He has visited Sahiwal many times and particularly in 1992, when he visited Lahore, Sahiwal and Gujranwala as a member of the delegation comprising Member of European Parliament, Vice Consul of Pakistan based in Manchester, Mayor of Rochdale, Chief Superintendent of Police based in Rochdale, Leader of the Council, Councillors and Chief Executive of Rochdale Council. They met the Federal and Provincial Ministers, Governor of the Punjab and discussed various projects for Sahiwal.
He has delivered training courses on Management, Fair Recruitment and Selection, Customer Care, Managing Meetings and Building Team, to the Management Committee and the staff of Red Crescent Maternity Hospital, Sahiwal, Pakistan.
On 10 October 2003, Gateshead Council in Newcastle sent a Delegation to Sahiwal, Okara and Lahore. Mr.Shahzad, because of his involvement in the twinning and his relationship with the authorities in Sahiwal, Lahore and Okara and his skills of training and multi lingualism, The Leader of the Gateshead Council, requested the Leader and the Chief Executive of Rochdale Council to release him to deliver Training Courses on Management Skills to the Senior Management and help and assist the members of the delegation while they were Pakistan. Now the Gateshead Council is planning to send another delegation and Mr.Shahzad has been asked to be a part of it. Feedback from the participants of training courses in Sahiwal and members of the delegation has been very positive.
He has taken active part and organised sponsored walks, dinners to raise funds to buy ambulances, equipment and send people with special knowledge and experience to Sahiwal for various projects. Through UNISON union, he has contributed to build a school in Harappa, a hospital in Burewala and a Rehabilitation Centre for women and children in Lahore Cantt.
As International Relations Officer of Rochdale UNISON Branch
UNISON is a national union and has its head office in London with regional offices and local branches all over the country. Mr.Shahzad is a member of the Rochdale UNISON Branch and has been elected uncontested five times as the International Relations Officer. His work is much appreciated by the members of the UNISON and the local communities.
Raised funds to build a primary school in Harappa, Sahiwal.
As International Relations Officer, he has raised funds to build a primary school in a remote village in Harappa, Sahiwal. Now there is boundary wall, two toilets, drinking water and three decent classrooms with proper furniture. He is raising more funds to build more classrooms for girls so that they can have this facility locally and they do not have to travel to the city for further education.
Mr.Shahzad has also raised 3 computers for the school. Although it is a small number but the children will have the opportunity to learn about computers. He will be looking for latest technology and computers to benefit the community and the children in Sahiwal and Pakistan.
Building a hospital in Chak No.453 E.B. Burewala, Vehari, Multan
He has laid the foundation stone of UNISON (UK), Hospital in a remote Village (Chak) No.453 E.B. Burewala, District Vehari, Multan, Pakistan, on 25 December, 2002. He has raised funds from various branches of the UNISON all over the United Kingdom. The residents of the village have donated the land for the hospital. This hospital will provide health facilities in and around the village. He is negotiating with the Health Authorities, doctors and universities in the United Kingdom to be involved in projects like these to benefit the people of Pakistan.
He has also raised a computer for the hospital to keep record of all patients. This will be according to the practice in the United Kingdom.
Rehabilitation Centre for women and children, Lahore Cantt
He has set up a Rehabilitation Centre for Women and Children in Lahore Cantt: The purpose of the Centre is to provide help, support and accommodation to those women and children who need medical, educational, social and moral support. The Centre will be built in Lahore Cantt and will work very closely with the Prison authorities, Judiciary, Bar Council, Darul Aman , Women’s Associations, Local and Central Government officers and other agencies to improve the quality of life for women and children.
A Sewing School for poor women in Lahore, Pakistan
His family has donated the family house in Lahore, Pakistan, to convert it into a Sewing School for poor women. The will enable these women to learn, make dresses and sell these garments, clothes to look after their families. The Sewing Machines will be purchased with the funds raised here. Mr.Shahzad hopes that this will make them independent and they will be in a position to look after their children, older parents and other women in need.
Twinning between the Rochdale UNISON Branch and the Hydro-Electric Labour Union and World Asian Workers Organisation, Lahore, Pakistan
Mr.Shahzad was a Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) ‘s employee from 1964 to 1976 and was actively involved in the activities of the local and national hydroelectric Labour union. Because of his good working relationship and long term friendship with the office bearers of the union in Pakistan, he discussed the idea of twinning with the Executive Committee of the hydroelectric Labour Union. In January 2000, the twinning took place and now the unions share the information and progress each other.
The second twinning was with the World Asian Workers Organisation (WAWO) which has its branches all over the world including the United Kingdom.
These Unions have millions members and by sharing information, knowledge and experience and developing various projects in their own areas, there will be better understanding of the issues affecting people in other parts of the world.
Raised funds for:
A) The earthquake victims in Kashmir and Ahmed Abad, India
Mr.Shahzad has raised funds for people who were affected by the earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan and Ahmed Abad, India, and sent these through the High Commissioners of Pakistan and India in the United Kingdom. The Government of Pakistan and India acknowledged his contribution.
B) The famine affected people in Baluchistan, Ethiopia and people in other countries.
Mr. Shahzad has raised funds for famine affected people in Baluchistan, Pakistan and Ethiopia and helped people in building school in Africa, Bosnia and other countries. He says,” The commitment to serve the human beings knows no boundaries.”
Flood affected people in Bangladesh
Mr.Shahzad and his family raised money for people affected by flood in Bangla Desh. The other members of the local community joined the fund raising event. A cheque was presented to the Vice Consul of Bangladesh based in Manchester. By his involvement in the fund raising and helping the Bengali community in the area, he has brought more understanding and better working relationship with each other.
Founder of the twinning between Government Islamic High School, Lahore Cantt, and Matthew Moss High School, Rochdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom
Mr.Shahzad passed his Matriculation Examination from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Lahore, Pakistan, in 1964. He was a student at the Government Islamia High School, Lahore Cantt, Pakistan. On a number of occasions, he visited the school and found that there was need to improve the building, resources, procedures and standards. He discussed the idea with the Headteacher, teachers, students and the Governing Body and Management Committee of the both schools and finally the twinning was approved.
He intends to improve the education standard, environment, building, facilities, and science equipment
Ambulances for hospitals in Pakistan
As a member of the Sahiwal Working Party, he has raised funds, organised sponsored walks, dinners etc. to purchase ambulances, fire engines wheelchairs etc. for Sahiwal and other cities and towns. About two years ago , he raised funds to purchase 16 ambulances for various projects in Pakistan and India.
He has been offered ten more ambulances for which he has found sponsors. Two of these have already been shipped and have arrived in Pakistan. One is for the Al-Mustafa Trust in Rawalpindi and the other is for Pattoki Hospital. The remaining ambulances will be shipped in the next couple of weeks to Bangla Desh , India and Pakistan.
Computers & Books
Rochdale Council and Ashfield Valley Primary School have donated computers which have already been sent to Pakistan.. Books have been donated by Matthew Moss High School and the NHS has donated shoes for disabled person in Pakistan. These will be shipped very shortly.