Homeland visit joy for outgoing mayor

A DEWSBURY councillor marked the end of his year as Mayor of Kirklees with a visit to his homeland of Kashmir.

Coun Karam Hussain (Lib Dem, Dewsbury West) received three awards from dignitaries on his special trip.

Coun Hussain (Lib Dem, Dewsbury West) travelled to Muzaffarabad at his own expense last month.

Though an unofficial visit, he received awards from the Pakistanadministered regions civic society, press club and a charity which builds schools across the territory.

Coun Hussain was born in that part Kashmir and was greeted at the airport by Government religious affairs minister Abdul Rashid Choudhray.

He toured the region to promote Kirklees as an area which Kashmir can develop trade and cultural links with.

Coun Hussain said: Some of the people I met out there had heard of places like Birmingham but didnt know where or what Kirklees is.

They were very impressed when I told them and there are opportunities which can be of economic and cultural benefit to both areas.

He added that just one of several projects is a possible student exchange scheme between Kashmir University and the University of Huddersfield.

That would leave a lasting legacy for Coun Hussain, who was succeeded as the councils ceremonial figurehead last week by Coun Julie StewartTurner.

During his term of office Coun Hussain attended armed forces events and went to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Dewsbury District Hospitals Diabetes Centre and the Laura Crane Trust in Huddersfield were Coun Hussains chosen charities for the year.

He said: I arrived with a smile on my face as I never expected to be given such an honour as being mayor and I leave with a smile on face too. I really enjoyed it and would like to thank all the people in Kirklees for supporting my chosen charities despite the economic situation.

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