Friends of Pakistan Makes
A Pakistan Link Report
: Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas, FOP President Sarfaraz
Khan and office bearers of Friends of Pakistan.
Bellflower, CA: The newly founded
Friends of Pakistan (FOP) appears poised to cement closer
links between various Pakistani-American community groups
at the grassroots level. Thanks to several well-meaning initiatives
taken by the FOP since its inception in January 2006, the
organization’s strivings to forge closer bonds between
Pakistanis living in the United States are beginning to crystallize
and gathering steam by the day.
This was the consensus at a function hosted by FOP at the
Bristol Civic Auditorium on December 2. Prominent community
members belonging to various walks of life turned up in large
numbers to grace the occasion. They were pleasantly surprised
to learn of FOP’s well-meaning objectives and the workable
strategy chalked out by its founders to achieve them.
Dr. Feroz Alam served as the emcee and introduced the founder
and President of Friends of Pakistan, Mr. Sarfaraz Khan, to
the audience. He also lauded Mr Khan’s sincere efforts
in bringing the Pakistani American community together is a
short span of time.
Speaking on the occasion, FOP President Sarfaraz Khan made
a convincing presentation and elaborated on the administrative
structure of the organization. He also introduced the office
bearers of the Southern California Chapter of the organization.
“FOP will be a national organization. We will strengthen
the base in California” first and then quickly move
over to the other states. By November 2008, FOP aims to set
up 100 chapters in different US cities. By 2012, the organization
plans to enlist the support of 50,000 active members.
The FOP objective was spelled out thus: In the absence of
a vibrant organization at the grassroots level, the average
Pakistani-American often found himself helplessly perched:
he could not air his views on subjects that directly impacted
his life or overcome vexing problems. The community’s
voice on pressing issues went unheard. Friends of Pakistan
would strive to timely fill up this disconcerting void. It
seeks to serve as the voice of the community in the US. Besides,
FOP would act as a bridge between Pakistanis and various groups,
cement closer ethnic ties, strengthen interfaith bonds, and
make Pakistanis useful members of the American society.
The FOP President emphasized
the need of forging unity in the Pakistani-American community
and made many interesting observations: We live in the United
States. We love this country. We will be misfits if we return
to Pakistan. We must unite and integrate with the system…
In the post-9/11 period we need friends more than ever before…Mainstream
media has smeared our image and we must take expeditious measures
to ensure that this does not happen again.
Mr. Khan also spotlighted the organizational structure of
the FOP: It will comprise a Board of Trustees(a group of people
who will stay in the organization for life or until they resign,
and who will elect the Board of Directors and oversee its
activities), Board of Directors (FOP members who will run
the organization’s day-to-day business, define its policy
and implement it. The board will consist of three officers:
President, Secretary & Treasurer), Advisory Council (every
state shall have a group of people who will advise the betterment
of the organization and act as advisors), County/State Coordinators(every
county will have its representative to represent him/her in
the Board of Directors, and their responsibilities to conduct
or coordinate FOP’s events and promote FOP’s objectives
and mission at county level), City Coordinators (every incorporated
city will have a city coordinator to conduct FOP’s day-to-day
business. The city coordinator will be responsible for enlisting
new members and help the Board of Directors in achieving FOP’s
objectives. Their responsibilities and duties will be described
in a forthcoming manual of duties and responsibilities).
The FOP’s short- term goals will be: To set up one hundred
chapters and have 5,000 members by November 2008. The long-term
goals call for enlisting 50,000 members, and run a newspaper,
a TV channel, a community center, and a senior retirement
Mr. Sarfaraz Khan also introduced the board of trustees, directors,
and state and city coordinators to the audience. They are:
Board of Trustees: Abu Bakr Vakil, Ihsan Majeed, Dr. Naseem
Malik, Mrs Asia Khan, Mohammad Hanif, Sarfaraz Khan, Rehana
Qamar, and Saghir Aslam.
Board of Directors: Sarfaraz Khan (President), Tariq Altaf
(Seceretary), Mohamamd Hanif (Tresurer)
Members Board of Directors: Aqeel Ahmed, Isamil Ebrahim, Mohammad
Afzal, Sofia Altaf, Yasmin Sajan, Raja Adil, Chaudry Maqsood,
Yousuf Ebrahim and Fawad Khan.
Advisory Council: Zubair Rawda, Syed Hasan, MD Khalid, Salim
Hai, Chaudry Imtaiz Ahmed, Faisal Khan and Shahina Paracha.
City Coordinators: (Southern California): Aqeel Ahmed, Bilal
Qamar, Chaudry Maqsood, Faizan Hanif Bakali, Kamran Lateef,
Martha, Mohammad Afzal, Mohammad Hanif, Mohammad Wasim, Muzafar
Anwar, Nahid Ihsan Majeed, Rafat Khan, Raheel Kirmani, Raja
Adil, Rehana Qamar, Sheikh Iftikhar, Shan Qadeer, Sofia Altaf,
Sohail Khan, Nadeem Syed, Yasmin Sajan and Zahid Hussain.
City Coordinators (Northern California): Shahb Siddiqi, Samina
Khan, Zahid Saif, Nasir Bashir, Asma Hamdani, Zeeshan Ansari,
Malik Younus Awan.
Speaking on the occasion, Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas hoped
the FOP efforts to unite the community would be crowned with
success. “Individually you are all doing well. You will
make a difference when you act collectively… You are
our pride. Your response to the earthquake catastrophe has
humbled us. You have to do networking. You are Pakistani-Americans
but you must consider yourselves as Americans now. Be inclusive.
This is your home.”
He asked the gathering to have a closer rapport with State
Assembly members as well as members of the Congress and the
Senate for ushering a wholesome change.
The Consul General hoped that FOP’s rising leaders would
accomplish the much-needed task of networking and make the
Pakistani-Americans a closely knit community. He also asked
community to shun their differences and avoid leg pulling.
The Consul General also exhorted the community members to
support the fledgling Pakistani-American media which is working
with a missionary zeal and is in need of community support.
The entertainment program featuring well-known Pakistan singer
Tarannum Naz and local artists was thoroughly enjoyed by the