Ambassador M. A. Durrani (left) and Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie (right)
Houston, TX: The Pakistani American Leadership
Center (PAL-C) held its inaugural community-outreach event
in the great city of Houston, Texas on December 5, 2006.
Members of PAL-C visited Houston for three days during
which they held meetings with several members of the vibrant
The visit included a luncheon with members of the Asia
Society and a reception at the Pakistani Consulate in Houston.
The highlight of the visit was a private dinner hosted
Regional Director (TX) Mrs. Mariam Issa in honor of the
Pakistani Ambassador Mr. Mahmud Ali Durrani.
This event was the first in a series to take place in 2007.
The second event is being held in Los Angeles, California
on the 23rd of February.
PAL-C was represented in Houston by Executive Director
Mr. Ali Chaudhry, Director of Communications Ms. Sasha
National Directors Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie and Mr. Mossadaq
Chughtai, and Regional Director Mrs. Mariam Issa.
The aim of the visit was to introduce PAL-C to the active
Pakistani-American community in Houston in order to
facilitate better communication and cooperation for the future.
In several meetings during the visit, PAL-C leadership
with various members of the community on issues such
as political participation, community activism, immigration
security, US-Pakistan relations, bilateral trade and
commerce, and educational exchanges.
Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani with PAL-C officials and supporters
Mr. Chughtai, Mr. Lodhie and Mr. Chaudhry recalled PAL-C's
humble beginnings when it was inaugurated on Capitol Hill
in the House International Relations Committee by President
Musharraf in September 2004. They described PAL-C's non-profit
status and briefed the community on the center’s internal
structure, including its financial, legal and organizational
Members of the Pakistani American Leadership Center informed
the community about its mission, its strengths, its future
goals and its efforts currently underway. PAL-C officials
also discussed their desire to place talented Pakistani-American
students as interns and young professionals in staff positions
in respected offices in the US Congress. PAL-C members updated
the Houston community on the efforts underway by members
of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus, and outlined PAL-C's
organizational and strategic plans for 2007. They encouraged
community members to work with PAL-C's office in Washington
DC to promote political participation amongst Pakistani Americans
and to help achieve mutually desirable objectives. The PAL-C
requested all community leaders, organizations and individuals
to supports its cause by providing intellectual and financial
PAL-C leadership attended a working luncheon with members
of Asia Society, Texas on December 5, 2006. The keynote
speaker for the event was His Excellency Mahmud Ali Durrani,
Ambassador to the United States of America. Ambassador
Durrani shed light on "Pakistan's contributions to counter-terrorism" and
elaborated on efforts to eradicate terrorism from within
Pakistan soil as well as neighboring Afghanistan.
Later, PAL-C National Directors Mr. Mossadaq Chughtai and
Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie attended a private reception at the
Houston Consulate of Pakistan, as guests of Consulate General
On December 5, PAL-C hosted a working dinner in honor of
His Excellency Mahmud Ali Durrani at The Houstonian Hotel
in downtown Houston. Fifty members of the influential Pakistani-American
business community were invited to the exclusive event.
Before dinner, PAL-C Executive Director Mr. Ali Chaudhry,
Directors Mr. Mossadaq Chughtai and Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie,
and Regional Director Mrs. Mariam Issa thanked the audience
their presence and explained PAL-C's mission and objectives.
Ambassador Durrani, the chief guest, encouraged community
activism and supported PAL-C's efforts in his speech.
The PAL-C tour was a huge success. Various influential
leaders from the political and business arena attended
and showed their support. Most of the audience members
also signed on to become members of PAL-C and pledged financial
support for PAL-C's noble cause. Some of the attendees
1. Mr. M.J. Khan, Houston City Council Members, District
2. Ms. Naila Qureshi, Interim Executive Director Asia Society
3. Ms. Sahar Wali, District Press Liaison, Congresswoman
4. Mr. Umair Shah, Deputy Director HCPHES
5. Mr. Sajjad I. Burki, President Pakistan-American Council
6. Mr. Zafar Tahir, State Delegate, Democratic Party
7. Mr. Faisal Amin, President Texas Trade Council
8. Mr. Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, Senior VP Pakistan Chamber
of Commerce - USA
9. Dr. Birjees Ashrad, Professor of Economics, Houston
10. Mr. Wajid A. Mirza, Partner, Arthur Lawrence Worldwide
The Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C) is the
only professional Pakistani-American advocacy organization
is located on Capitol Hill. It launched the Congressional
Pakistan Caucus in May 2004 and works to raise awareness
about Pakistani-American interests in Washington policy
circles. If you wish to learn more about PAL-C, please visit
its website www.pal-c.org or
email at email@example.com.