PAKPAC President Meets Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Dr Bokhari with Attorney General Gonzales

Washington, DC: Twelve (12) representatives of Muslim, Sikh, Arab American, South Asian and Pakistani American organizations met with the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at an hour long roundtable discussion on wide-ranging issues such as domestic surveillance, The Patriot Act, immigrant registration, hate crimes, racial profiling, global American image, and general relations between law enforcement and grassroots communities. Dr. Raza Bokhari, President, Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC), represented the Pakistani American community.
Remarks made by Dr. Raza Bokhari during this discussion are transcribed below:
“I understand that Mr. George Salem and Jim Zogby of American Arab Institute have played an important role in putting this meeting together and I must take this opportunity to acknowledge him and thank him for his leadership.
“I want to add my voice to the issues already raised by the various leaders present here today; some members of the Pakistani-American community, which is approaching 700,000 in number, face hardship on account of these challenges… I am however proud to report that a great many of us are living “the American dream” in peace and prosperity in our adopted homeland. We strongly feel committed and duty bound in sharing this with anyone that we can, as we feel that this can in some small way help in enhancing the American image around the world, particularly in Pakistan; Pakistan is a vital ally of America in this war against terror, and it is important that we win over the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan. In this respect we look forward to your guidance, the guidance of the President, and the guidance of our law makers in describing how we can best serve our great country.
“The $510 million generous donation of America in response to the recent earthquake in Pakistan, and the deployment of US armed forces to help Pakistan in the rescue and relief mission, have recently won a lot of goodwill for America; it is our desire to help further strengthen this goodwill by becoming the voice of America.
“The Pakistani American community is also very committed to work with local and federal law enforcement and surveillance agencies to ensure that our nation is not attacked again by terrorists of any sort; we hold our adopted homeland very sacred and cannot tolerate any acts of violence against America at home or abroad.
“I would be remiss if I do not mention that we as a community remain very apprehensive of becoming a target of hate crime on account of the ongoing terrorist threats to America. We seek your assurance that our government is doing everything possible to minimize such acts.
“I thank you again for inviting me and want to take this opportunity to invite you to deliver a keynote speech at our upcoming 17th Annual summer meeting on July 8th 2006 in Chicago. This meeting is held in conjunction with the five-day annual summer meeting of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA), which will attract more than 5000 Pakistani Americans from across the United States. I am leaving a formal letter of invitation with your office today.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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