London: Newly-elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Saturday gave an effusive thank you to supporters on Twitter after his emphatic win, as British Pakistanis erupted in joy at a fellow Pakistani-origin national winning the top post.
Welcome messages also poured in from prominent Pakistanis as #SadiqKhan trended on twitter.
Thanking supporters after his historic win, Khan tweeted: “A huge thank you to everyone who voted Labour, volunteered today or campaigned with us.”
“Thank you. Today was an amazing victory for hope over fear and for unity over division,” he posted (@SadiqKhan).
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was quick to recall, on twitter, his interaction with Khan. He called him a role model for British Pakistanis.
“Congratulations @SadiqKhan for being elected mayor of London. I remember he and I spoke at Salmaan Taseer’s memorial. British Pakistanis need a positive role model,” tweeted Bilawal (@BbhuttoZardari).
Mushahid Hussain (@Mushahid), a Pakistani journalist and politician tweeted: “Pakistan takes pride Sadiq Khan shines on global stage.”
“Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London, bus driver’s son beats billionaire scion: Great victory for multiculturalism as race/religion bigotry rejected,” Hussain tweeted.
Sadiq Khan, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, was on Saturday declared the mayor of London, becoming the first Muslim mayor of the UK capital.
His election as the mayor of the biggest and most dynamic city in western Europe assumes significance in the backdrop of growing Islamophobia in the continent.
Many Londoners, including from the Muslim community, have welcomed his win.
“The United States has had Obama, and this is our moment. It’s amazing that London is about to get its first Muslim mayor,” Aisha, a Londoner, told to the Guardian in Tooting, south London, the constituency that sent Khan to parliament.
“This vote is a reflection of London’s epic diversity. This is a city of tolerance, the best city in the world to be a Muslim. It’s terrible that for the past eight years we’ve had a mayor who doesn’t reflect the great, diverse, wonderful melting pot of London,” she added.
“Congrats Mr Khan! Proud to be a Londoner today,” said GP VTS at Watford General Hospital in a Facebook post.
Khan’s father came to Britain from Pakistan and for 25 years drove London buses. He lived in a small council house with his parents, six brothers and sister — another aspect of Khan’s life people admire him for.
“So pleased to see a man from simple humble background succeeding and taking over one of the most prestigious position in London,” posted Zulfiqar Minhas, Doctor at National Health Service, on Facebook.
Former cricketer Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) took to twitter to praise Khan’s win.
“The superb win of @SadiqKhan raises him instantly to major political figure – good news for the EU referendum campaign too,” he tweeted.
Bina Shah (@BinaShah), a Pakistani writer and a columnist in NYT, tweeted: “Everyone who’s even just flown over London is going to claim a part in Sadiq Khan’s victory.”
Pakistani journalist Omar R Quraishi posted a poser on twitter: “A Muslim is elected mayor of a major European capital – will we see a Christian elected mayor of a major city in a Muslim state?” (@omar_quraishi).