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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 3000

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell) (09:30): It was a shock this morning to find out that last night a very prominent constituent of mine, Minhas Zulfiqar, was the victim of a senseless crime in Karachi, where he was shot dead in front of his family. Mr Zulfiqar is a prominent member of our community because of his ownership of the Crowne Plaza Norwest hotel, a fantastic institution in our community. In fact, it would not be unfair to describe him as one of the pillars of the Mitchell community. Our community is reeling this morning on hearing of this shocking crime, and I want to extend our condolences to his immediate family and family here in Australia, as Mr Zulfiqar was a fantastic member of the community.

When you got to know him personally, he was a warm and peaceful person who was a standard-bearer for successful migration from Pakistan to Australia, founding a business and becoming an owner of some prominent hotels in Sydney, including the Crowne Plaza Norwest, which was the winner of the mid-sized accommodation hotel award in the last year. It was also an institution that he used to successfully fundraise for many charities and do much good for our community. Whether it was for the Inala Cherrybrook facility for the disabled community, flood relief or fundraisers for Pakistan, the Norwest Crowne Plaza hotel was always at the forefront of worthy fundraising and initiatives to do good for our community.

This is a shocking event, and I want to pay all of our condolences from the Mitchell community to his wife, Razia, his two brothers—one of whom, Freddie Zulfiqar, a prominent Sydney restaurateur, is here in Australia—his three sons and one grandchild. Of course, we reject the senseless nature of this crime and reject the violence that is involved in it as an interaction between human beings. Minhas was a very warm, generous man, devoted to the care of his family and of his community, and our heart goes out to all of the family in their hour of need.

In concluding, I really want to say that I could not have thought of a more prominent figure in our community who has done so much for so many charity groups. Personally, I was privileged to attend many of the fundraisers and charity events that Minhas ran, and his door was always open to any member of the community in need. So, in this shocking time, I want to simply say on behalf of all of the Mitchell community that we are very sad to learn of this tragic event and offer all of our prayers and thoughts for the family of this wonderful man.