Abdul Malik, who hoped two years ago to become Bristol’s first Muslim Lord Mayor, is quitting the city council. But the 35-year-old Easton ward councillor, who will stand down at the local elections in June, is not about to shirk his municipal duties. He will continue having a say in what goes on. Only this time it won’t be in Easton. His new beat will be a little village right out in the countryside – in Pakistan’s Kashmir province.
Mr. Malik, his wife Saeeda and three children – son Haroon, 16, and daughters Tanzeela, 13, and Nabeela, nine – are moving to the village of Jatlan so Mr. Malik can look after his parents. The businessman is also giving up the chain of five butcher’s shops he owns around Bristol. Other relations will move into the family’s home in Colston Road, Easton. Mr. Malik’s father, also called Abdul, 67, came to Britain as a teenager from Kashmir, and has moved back to Jatlan with Mr Malik’s mother, Sakima, 65. “They want us to join them. In Asian culture it’s our duty to look after them when they get old,” said Mr Malik. “So we’re going to settle with them.” He already knows the area, having visited since an earthquake struck there several years ago, and in Jatlan he has already earned a reputation for getting things done.