‘Quantum Change’ in Working of Pakistan Embassy
A Paistan Link Report

Los Angeles: Charge d’Affaires Mohammad Sadiq had an interesting round of talks with a group of prominent community members at the Bismillah Restaurant on October 15, 2004. The occasion was an Iftar party hosted by COPAA President Hamid Malik in honor of Mr Sadiq who had come on a ‘surprise’ visit to Los Angeles.

Charge d’Affaires Mohammad Sadiq
The Charge d’Affaires was unusually warm and forthright in his comments on several issues raised by the community members. His plain talking seemed to impress everyone. A prominent entrepreneur unhesitatingly remarked that he had never met a diplomat who spoke with such candor.

Mr. Sadiq mentioned the infighting between different groups in the community but described the squabbles as a healthy trend: “Such communities are also dynamic and deliver. We don’t have to stop fighting but on core issues we must unite,” he made the edifying remark.

Mr. Sadiq was visibly in an upbeat mood and informed the gathering of a “quantum change” in the working of the Embassy in Washington. “Ninety percent of consular work is now done through mail and people don’t have to come to us,” he said. The Embassy also maintains a regular rapport with the community across the length and breadth of the United States through its mass email system. Its website is the second most visited website after Dawn and receives 8000 hits everyday. Not surprisingly, the Embassy has been approached by Dell and other advertisers to post their ads on the website.

The Charge d’Affaires also referred to the Embassy’s successes following the formation of the Pakistan Congressional Caucus in Washington. In a short span of two-and-a-half months the Caucus enjoys the support of 56 Congressmen. Normally, it takes years to reach this figure. “Still, Congressmen are signing up. Hope to have 100 Caucus members soon,” he informed.

He also mentioned several initiatives taken by the Embassy to testify to the ‘quantum’ change mentioned by him earlier. An ‘Internship Program’ has been launched. The interns are groomed as prospective leaders as they accompany Embassy officials to various meetings held at the Hill with Congressmen. They draft minutes, undertake research, and study important issues relating to US-Pakistan ties.

Following the Internship Program, the Embassy has launched PSA - a national organization of Pakistan students associations. The first PSA meeting in Washington was attended by 29 chapters of the organization.

Suave and blend, Mr. Sadiq impressed the gathering with his off-the-cuff remarks. Rightly, he was described as “a resource that would produce positive results” by Ledtronics CEO Pervaiz Lodhie. We are now in the process of seeing a new breed of Foreign Service Officers. Consul General Jadmani seemed to provide a hint when he made his debut in Los Angeles. Mr Sadiq furnishes fresh proof of the wholesome trend.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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