Pakistani Officials Visit the San Francisco Bay Area
A Pakistan Link Report

On their way to an official visit to Sacramento, California’s Eid and Pakistan Independence Day celebrations, a group of officials from the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC headed by Deputy Chief of Mission Ms. Iffat Imran Gardezi and Consul/Head of Chancery from Los Angeles Dr. Muhammad Khalid Ejaz, made a stopover in Silicon Valley on September 2 nd to meet with close to 150 prominent members of the Pakistani-American community at the Mehran Restaurant in Newark. Hosted by Malik Yunus Awan, Shahab Siddiqui and Mian Shahbaz, the event took on a more interesting twist with the presence of eminent lawyer Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and musical entertainment by Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan.

Mr. Shahab Siddiqui welcomed everyone and invited Consul Khalid Ejaz to introduce DCM Gardezi. The articulate Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington spoke almost exclusively in Urdu and highlighted the role of her office in its quest to better serve the Pakistani community in the US. She also briefly touched upon US-Pakistan relations and the most recent challenges that are being addressed. Mr. S.M. Imran Gardezi, the Minister Press and Media Spokesman of the Embassy, also accompanied the group.

After a fine Mehran dinner the floor was opened up for questions for Ms. Gardezi from the gathering. Questions on increasing trade, especially in the area of IT, were asked by one representative of the OPEN organization.  The community discussed many other issues with the DCM and Consul Ejaz. Barrister Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan spoke very briefly on the need to strengthen democratic institutions and judiciary in Pakistan and the pressing need for Pakistan to emulate the rule of law as practiced in countries like the United States.  

The entertainment segment was nothing short of amazing. Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan started off with a national song and then presented a wonderful bouquet of Pakistani hits. We hope to see him back in the area to entertain larger audiences in the near future.  

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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