San Antonio PTI Chapter Holds First Public Rally
By Nazli Siddiqui
The visit of Mrs. Fauzia Kasuri, President, Women’s Wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party earlier this month, energized a growing Pakistani-American community of the Alamo City into holding its first ever rally-style political meeting at the Al-Bustan Mediterranean Restaurant earlier this month.
The venue was tastefully decorated with American, Pakistani and PTI flags. Dr. Anas Athar the founder of PTI Chapter of San Antoni,o welcomed the guest of honor amidst thunderous applause, bugles, drum roll, and the chants: “Who will save Pakistan? Imran Khan, Imran Khan.” The event was emceed by Mariam Mohsin Baber.
Mrs. Fauzia Kasuri addressed this jalsa of about 250 participants, a large number of whom were women, to explain the vision of PTI that calls for major social, economic, and political reforms in Pakistan, an ideology that stems from the widespread unrest and dissatisfaction of the nation.
In her keynote address, Mrs. Kasuri highlighted the political situation in Pakistan, where the current government, along with other ruling parties, has caused the society to slide into the depth of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and lack of development opportunities. She said PTI believed that uprooting corruption and major economic, social and political reforms were the answer to these problems. These reforms would not only offer relief to the under-privileged masses of Pakistan, but also pave the way for creating a positive image of the country in the world.
Mrs. Kasuri praised the PTI founder Imran Khan as an outstanding human being, who has excelled in all his public roles — best as a cricketer, best as a philanthropist, and now best as a politician. She said Mr. Khan believed in national self-reliance, curbing sectarianism, accountability and bringing about peace and security in society. She outlined Imran Khan’s proposed plan that appeals for a $10.00 a month donation from overseas PTI membership, which would alleviate the country’s reliance on foreign aid, a factor which tends to become a deterrent for the nation’s free-willed foreign policy, or at times, even the national policies and interests. She encouraged all present to enroll as members at isaaf.pk.
Other plans brought to light were the Pakistan Ministry of Labor’s National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis Act (NICOP), which would allow the holders of these cards to participate in the Pakistani national elections process; as well as the proposed reserved seats in the Pakistani parliament for overseas Pakistanis.
Dr. Anas Athar encouraged the local community to obtain membership of PTI, explaining that the party has been registered under the t he Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and all funds collected in the US would go through a designated account in Bank of America. FARA is a United States law requiring that agents representing foreign interests be properly identified to the United States Department of Justice.
Dr. Athar described the founder of PTI, Imran Khan as an honest patriot who was the only hope for Pakistan at this crucial time. The response of the nation to Mr. Khan’s mandate, he said, was evident from the massively successful rallies in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan. He encouraged the audience to take active part in PTI and announced a PTI San Antonio Chapter’s future plan of a fundraising event.
Also invited to address the rally were Larry Ricketts, candidate for Bexar County Sheriff’s Election 2012, Tariq Majeed, PTI Austin Chapter and Mrs. Nayyara, Founder, Women’s Wing of PTI in Dallas.
In the end Mrs. Samia Anas fielded questions from the audience. Answering a question about how PTI would maintain its policy integrity when politicians from other parties are infiltrating its ranks, Mrs. Kasuri reiterated that PTI goes through a vetting process and would allow only those to join who would fulfill the requirements of public service and transparency. She hoped PTI would benefit from their experience.
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