Los Angeles, CA February 24, 2007: The Pakistani
American Leadership Center (PAL-C), organized its second “Community
Outreach” event in the city of Los Angeles on February
23, 2007. The well-organized 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 of 2006 with the inaugural event held in Houston,
Texas. The aim of the series is to strengthen PAL-C's ties
to the nation-wide community in USA, forge relationships
with other organizations and to formally invite Pakistani
American leaders to join PAL-C's ranks.
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
the Board 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.
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,
D.C. 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.
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, D.C. and this
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 County 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.
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). Mr. Tidwell was appreciative of his introduction
to PAL-C vowed to work with the PAL-C leadership. He also
asked the community to encourage the Pakistani American youth
to work for the FB 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 similar
those of Pakistani Americans. She spoke of the importance
of the US-Pakistan relationship and the visible activism
in the community. She also urged the community youth
to apply for internships with Members of Congress and to
in every 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.
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 to the stage.
His Excellency 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 U.S. 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.
Finally, PAL-C leadership took to the stage again to deliver
closing remarks. Dr. Maqsood Chaudhry of Virginia spoke of
his personal experiences as a student in USA and 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 that exist for the community and
said that only by working together can we overcome these
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. Our activities include facilitating the Congresiional
Pakistan Caucus, liaisoning Pakistani officials and
the community with Members of Congress and mobilizing all
Pakistani-Americans at the grassroots level. If you wish
to learn more about
PAL-C, please visit our website www.pal-c.org or
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.