Community Leaders Organize Fundraiser for Congresswoman Jane Harman
A Pakistan Link Report
Pictures by YKKB, Anwar Khawaja and Faiz Ahmed

Pictures above were taken at the fundraiser organized by prominent community members for Congresswoman Jane Harman

Anaheim, CA: Congresswoman Jane Harman, a well-known Congressional supporter of Pakistan, called upon a select group of Pakistani Americans at the Il Fornaio Restaurant in Manhattan Beach on January 16 to be "politically active" to get  "your voice heard louder in Washington."

She made this well-meaning exhortation at a fundraiser arranged by community stalwarts, including Pervaiz Lodhie, Shoaib Kothawala, Najeeb Ghauri, Salim Adaya, Jamal Khawaja and Arif Z. Mansuri, to support her forthcoming election. In attendance were leading lights of the community.

Congresswoman Harman represents California's 36th Congressional District and is Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelliegence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment. She also figures prominently on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. She is a strong supporter of Pakistan and the Pakistani-American community and has visited the country several times, even during the present troubled times.  Recently, she visited Islamabad, Swat and Peshawar and met President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, General Pasha, and other political leaders.

Harman has favorable impressions of her visit and regards Muslims and  Pakistanis as moderates and forward-looking.  She carries vivid recollections of girls of Swat "dreaming of becoming national leaders," and shared her resolve with the gathering, "we are working to enable Pakistan to build good schools, one thing that will be well received by all."

Congresswoman Harman complimented the Pakistani-American community for its contributions in various fields. She was profuse in her appreciation of Pervaiz Lodhie in giving a sustained fillip to LED technology in the United States.

Pictures above were taken at the fundraiser organized by prominent community members for Congresswoman Jane Harman

The organizers of the fundraiser also made brief observations on issues impacting Pakistan-American ties in various fields.  Mr. Shoaib Kothawala stressed the need of boosting Pakistan textile exports to the United States, Mr. Salim Adaya highlighted the importance of education and what the US could do to promote literacy in Pakistan, Mr. Najeeb Ghauri spotlighted Pakistan's IT successes "surpassing India and China”, and Mr. Arif Mansuri identified the power sector which should enjoy primacy in US aid programs to win the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan.

Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie observed the Pakistani-American community formed the "strongest group" in Southern California and now comprised three generations. Its success stories are many but lamentably it has "done nothing for our children" and consequently has "no voice in Washington."  The community was lucky to have supporters like Congresswoman Jane Harman who was highly respected in Washington. Pakistani Americans must support her election campaign and should consistently strive to have a more pronounced say in mainstream politics.

Congresswoman Harman's remarks at the fundraiser seemed to furnish fresh proof that the US and Congressional leaders like her are sincere in their strivings to boost Pakistan-US ties and strengthen Pakistan - politically, militarily, economically, and socially.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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