Category: Events

Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2019

Lord Sheikh attended the Sri Lanka Investment Forum held at the London Stock Exchange as a Special Guest.

The keynote speaker at the Forum was the Hon. Dr Harsha de Silva, Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution.

He spoke about the multitude of investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and the government’s investment policy regime, incentives, tax concessions and regulations. The Investment Forum specifically targeted British companies interested in investing in Sri Lanka and considering joint venture partnerships with Sri Lankan companies.

Lord Sheikh is a friend of Sri Lanka and has visited the country three times. He does play whatever role he can in establishing a stronger relationship between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka and is actively involved in promoting links relating to trade, education, political and cultural ties.

He also attends a number of functions organised by the High Commission and the diaspora. In October, he was very pleased to receive the award for being an Outstanding Friend to the British Sri Lankan Community by the British Sri Lankan Association.


Lord Sheikh’s Visit to Tajikistan

Lord Sheikh visited Tajikistan between 16th to 21st September 2019 at the invitation of His Excellency Mr Masud Khalifazoda the Ambassador of Tajikistan to the United Kingdom. Lord Sheikh had the pleasure of staying at the residence of His Excellency Mr Matthew Lawson the British Ambassador to Tajikistan during his visit.

The purpose of the visit was to find out more about the current situation in Tajikistan and to strengthen political, trade, educational and cultural ties between the UK and Tajikistan. It was primarily a fact-finding mission and Lord Sheikh had the intention of observing and exploring the social and economic factors in the country. He wanted to meet and talk to people, ascertain the situation and make representations to government departments.

To read Lord Sheikh’s summary report from his visit to Tajikistan, please click on the following link: 2020-01-06 – Report – Lord Sheikh Tajikistan Visit 16-21 September. This report was sent to all the relevant persons in the UK, Tajikistan and other countries.

During his visit, Lord Sheikh had a full schedule of engagements. His engagements included the following:

Meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Muzaffar Huseynzoda.

Meeting with the Rector of Tajik Technical University Mr Haydar Odinazoda.


The Main Directorate of the State Fire Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan together with the British Embassy in Dushanbe, FireAid, Staffordshire Emergency Services Humanitarian Aid, Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport and the Young Generation of Tajikistan NGO hosted a joint ceremony to officially hand over two fire engines and fire appliances to Tajikistan’s State Fire Service.

Lord Sheikh attended and spoke at the ceremony alongside the Head of the State Fire Service of MIA Major-General Nozimjon Ibrohimzoda, British Ambassador His Excellency Matthew Lawson and the representatives of other partner organisations. During his speech, Lord Sheikh noted the importance of building up the resilience of Tajik firefighters and rescuers so that they could effectively respond to fire cases and traffic accidents in Tajikistan.

Since 2015, with the help of the Fire Aid project, the State Fire Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan have received 6 fire engines, 1 ambulance car and a specialized vehicle for carrying out road accident operations.


Lord Sheikh and His Excellency Matthew Lawson spoke at the plenary session of the International GCRF Conference “Tajikistan and Cultural Diplomacy in Central Asia and Eurasia”.  Lord Sheikh highlighted the importance of education for building prosperity in the country. Responding to the questions from the audience, His Excellency Matthew Lawson noted that helping Tajikistan build its resilience is the cornerstone of UK Government’s mission in Tajikistan.

Lord Sheikh’s meeting with Mr Numon Abdugafforzoda, the Chairman of The Committee for Tourism Development under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.


Lord Sheikh’s meeting with Mr Kozidavlat Koimdodov, AKDN Representative in Tajikistan.


Lord Sheikh’s meeting with the representatives of the Sughd Free Economic Zone (FEZ). Established in 2008 in a highly favorable location, the Sughd FEZ offers 320 hectares of land and a number of incentives for enterprises.


During his visit to the Sughd region, Lord Sheikh participated in the official opening of the 14th UNICEF Tajikistan’s Adolescent Innovation Lab.


Lord Sheikh was pleased to meet with active social entrepreneurs in Khujand to listen to their success stories.






LSE Executive LLM Alumni Islamic Finance Event

Lord Sheikh attended and spoke at the LSE Executive LLM Alumni Islamic Finance Event held on 4 September 2019. The title of the  Executive LLM Talks was: How did Islamic finance prosper under English Law?

Lord Sheikh made remarks on the UK being the European hub of Islamic Finance, development of Islamic Finance in last decade and consonance of Islamic Finance with UK system in light of approach in UK Parliament so far.

The event was attended by LSE Executive Master of Laws alumni and students, other executive groups in LSE and professional contacts of Executive LLM LSE alumni.


LMSE Sixth International Conference on Responsible Research and Innovations in Management and Human Sciences

Lord Sheikh was the Chief Guest at the London School of Management Education’s (LMSE) Sixth International Conference on Responsible Research and Innovations in Management and Human Sciences.

Through the three days of conferences, LSME offers a platform for presentations, discussions and interaction with international scholars and dissemination of research to local and international research communities. LSME interprets ‘management and human sciences’ broadly to mean not only the specific core areas, but also areas of other disciplines relevant to Management: Marketing, Finance, Human Resources and Operations and Human Sciences such as Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Health and Information Technology.

The overall theme of the Conference was designed to appeal particularly to academics and practitioners of management sciences at all levels of their career development.

In his capacity as Chief Guest, Lord Sheikh spoke which raised the profile of the event and inspired LSME’s delegates.



Life, Times and Writings of Baba Bulleh Shah

Lord Sheikh hosted an event to celebrate the life, times and writings of Baba Bulleh Shah at the Nehru Centre. Lord Sheikh does follow the philosophy of Baba Bulleh Shah who said that there should be no discrimination of race, colour, cast or creed.

There were recitals of his poems and also singing of his work. There was playing of harmonium and tabna and also speeches on the Baba. Participation at the event was by people who are Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.

Baba Bulleh Shah is also called ‘King of Sufi poetry’. He was a humanist, Sufi poet, philosopher and teacher and he is truly a legend. Bulleh Shah lived during the same period as of Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. His lifetime also extended with the Punjabi poet Waris Shah of Heer Ranjha fame, and the Sindhi Sufi poet Sachal Sarmast. His poetry has been admirably sung by every genre of singer like street- singers, to legends like Abida Parveen, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sain Zahoor, and Waddali Brothers, UK based Asian artists, and Pakistani rock band Junoon, has sung Bulleh Shah’s Kafi in a beautiful manner. Some of Bulleh Shah’s verses, including “Tere Ishq Nachaya”, have been adapted and used in Bollywood film songs including “Chaiyya Chaiyya” and “Thayya Thayya”.

Lord Sheikh spoke about his reason for hosting the meeting: more people should celebrate the Baba’s writings as there are more similarities between people than differences and we need to emphasise the similarities. Lord Sheikh has always been fascinated by Baba Bulleh shah and noted that his writings still speak to many different people and they are appreciated by all religions, including: Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians. Indeed, even people of no religious denomination have an affinity to the Baba. Lord Sheikh stated that he believes that everyone can take something from Baba Bulleh Shah’s writings and that his poetry can be used as guidance, as well as refuge in the world we live in today.





Centenary Commemoration of the end of First World War

Lord Sheikh was part of the commemorations at the Sri Guru Ravidass Bhawan and Community Centre Bedford.

Lord Sheikh spoke on the contributions of Indian servicemen in the First World War. He also mentioned the contributions of service men and service women from other parts of the Empire.

There were also speeches from Dr. Santanu Das (All Souls College University of Oxford, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Petransky and  Jaswinder Kumar, President of the Sri Guru Ravidass Sabha & Community Centre Bedford.

The speeches were followed by a wreath laying ceremony  and a langer.

Conservative Muslim Forum Eid Reception

Lord Sheikh spoke at a reception organised by the Conservative Muslim Forum which was attended by a number of politicians and members of various communities. Lord Sheikh explained that Eid is to celebrate mindfulness, self-control and purity.

It is written in the Holy Quran: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” Eid therefore has relevance amongst the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities.


The Gatehouse Bank Islamic Finance Consumer Report 2019

Lord Sheikh hosted the launch of Gatehouse Bank’s Islamic Finance Consumer Report 2019 in the House of Lords’ Archbishop’s Room. The report looks at Muslim awareness, usage and perceptions in Islamic Finance in the UK.

The event was very well attended with a number of All-Party Parliamentary Group members and stakeholders, as well as Islamic finance industry representatives and members of the Muslim community.