The premier national Pakistani American organization,
the Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C), organized
its second “Community Outreach” event in the
city of Los Angeles on February 23, 2007.
L to R: Ambassador Durrani,
Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and Pervaiz Lodhie
event was held at the LAX Hilton with about 130 people
from the business and political community in attendance. The purpose
of the event was to emphasize the importance of political
participation, community activism, and the role of Pakistani-Americans
in today’s America.
The “Community Outreach” series was launched in
December 2006 with the inaugural event held in Houston, Texas.
The aim of the series is to strengthen PAL-C's ties to the
nationwide community in the USA, forge relationships with other
organizations, and to formally invite Pakistani-American leaders
to join PAL-C's ranks.
The Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C) is the
only professional Pakistani-American advocacy organization
is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. It launched
the Congressional Pakistan Caucus in May 2004 and works
awareness about Pakistani-American interests in Washington
The exclusive event was organized by Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie,
Founding Director of PAL-C. PAL-C was also represented
at the event
by two other Founding Directors - Dr. Rafiq Rahman and
Mr. Mossadaq Chughtai and the most recent addition to
of National Directors - Dr. Maqsood Chaudhry. Mr. Arif
Mansuri, a well-known figure in the Los Angeles community – was
introduced as the latest Regional Director of PAL-C.
L to R: Prof. Stanley Wolpert,
Sherrif Lee Baca and Stephen Tidwell
The PAL-C function started with a reception that allowed
community members to mingle with each other and with Congresswoman
Linda Sanchez and Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani. Also in
attendance were aides of Congressman Gary Miller and Congresswoman
Hilda Solis. PAL-C had also invited members of the Council
of Pakistan American Affairs, Friends of Pakistan, Council
of Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce, Urdu Writers’ Society,
FBI’s Multicultural Advisory Committee, Los Angeles
County Sheriff’s Pakistan Advisory Council, and the
Council of American-Islamic Relations.
Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie formally inaugurated the event and introduced
the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, PAL-C Executive
Director Mr. Ali Chaudhry who had flown into town from Washington,
DC. Mr. Chaudhry thanked the audience for its participation
in this important effort to unite the community and introduced
the PAL-C Directors. Mr. Chaudhry welcomed the speakers for
the evening and praised Congresswoman Linda Sanchez’s
efforts to work with the Pakistani community and her commitment
to the Congressional Pakistan Caucus.
---Hussam Ayloush ----------Ahmed
Mr. Mossadaq Chughtai, PAL-C National Director, made a comprehensive
presentation on the “Past, Present and Future” of
PAL-C. Mr. Chughtai pointed out that there was no national
presence of Pakistani-Americans in Washington, DC. and that
is why PAL-C was formed in 2004 – to galvanize the
community across the county and to represent our common interests
in the nation’s capital. Mr. Chughtai highlighted PAL-C’s
recent efforts to educate lawmakers about Pakistan as well
as its campaign to mobilize the community to oppose anti-Pakistan
legislation. Finally, he listed PAL-C’s future vision
and urged the community to support its efforts financially,
intellectually and morally.
Mr. Ahmed Ali, Director of the Council of Pakistan American
Affairs (COPAA), introduced Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy D.
Baca to the audience. Sheriff Baca gave a passionate and
heart-rending speech in which he described his love for Pakistan,
highlighted his recent trips to the beautiful country, and
praised the commitment of the Pakistani-American community.
Sheriff Baca also complimented PAL-C’s efforts and
urged the Los Angeles community to support PAL-C.
The next speaker was Mr. Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director
of the LA Chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
Mr. Ayloush described the many injustices minorities in this
country have suffered, from the Irish to the Japanese to
the Muslims, and stressed the importance of community activism
and unity to overcome such challenges. He also described
PAL-C’s efforts in working with Members of Congress
to impact legislation that was beneficial for Pakistan. He
urged the audience to become members of PAL-C. Lastly, Mr.
Ayloush resolved to work with PAL-C and the Pakistani-American
community to safeguard their common interests.
L to R: Arif Mansuri, Ali Chaudhry,
a guest, and M. Chughtai
Next, Assistant Director of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Mr. Stepehen J. Tidwell took
over the podium. Mr.
.Tidwell described the work his agency is doing with the
LA community and pointed out the members of the Multi-Cultural
Advisory Committee (MCAC). He also asked the community
to encourage the Pakistani American youth to work for the
FBI to keep the country safe and secure.
Professor Stanley Wolpert from the University of California
at Berkeley, author of “Jinnah of Pakistan”,
took the stage after Mr. Ayloush. He briefly praised the
speeches of Mr. Tidwell and Sheriff Baca. Prof. Wolpert described
his love for the community and his respect for the work PAL-C
After dinner, the keynote speakers took to the stage. First,
Congresswoman Linda Sanchez of the 39th District of California
delivered a powerful speech in which she spoke of her
experience as a member of a minority community that is
those of Pakistani Americans. She spoke of the importance
US-Pakistan relationship and the visible activism in
the community. She also urged the community youth to
for internships with Members of Congress and to vote
election from the city council up. Finally, the Congresswoman
spoke of her participation in the Pakistan Caucus and
promised to continue serving the Pakistani people.
Consul General Syed Ibn-e-Abbas
and his wife
Los Angeles Consul General Mr. Syed Ibne Abbas praised PAL-C
and said that it was very commendable that PAL-C is making
strides to unite the community and to work with others
to promote the Pakistani cause. He introduced the Ambassador
of Pakistan to the USA, Mr. Mahmud Ali Durrani. The Ambassador
credited PAL-C for mobilizing the community on the East
Coast and said that PAL-C was doing very important work.
He then advised the community to work together and be active
in communicating their concerns to the US Congress. He
also described Pakistan’s efforts to battle militants
along the Pak-Afghan border, to counter regional terrorists,
and to promote economic reforms at home.
Ambassador Durrani also credited the American efforts to
help the Pakistani people in their time of need, after the
earthquake of 2005.
L to R: Ambassador Durrani, Pervaiz
Lodhie and Rafiq Rahman
Finally, PAL-C leadership took to the stage again to deliver
the closing remarks. Dr. Maqsood Chaudhry of Virginia
spoke of his personal experiences as a student in the USA
said that PAL-C was unique in the sense that it has no
hierarchy among its members and is inclusive of all Pakistani
Americans. Dr. Rafiq Rehman of Kentucky spoke of Pakistan’s
importance as an ally to the United States and insisted
that this relationship deserves to be strengthened. Mr.
Arif Mansuri said he was very excited to join PAL-C as
a Regional Director and thanked the community for its
support. Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie listed the numerous challenges
exist for the community and said that only by working
together can we overcome these challenges.