PAKPAC Lobbies on the Hill for Human Rights in Pakistan

By A Correspondent
Dr. Shahbaz Gill addressing PAKPAC in Washington DC on April 25. (Photo courtesy Dr Jalil Khan’s tweet @drjalil247)
[responsivevoice_button] The Pakistani American Political Action Committee organized ‘PAKPAC Day on the Hill for Human Rights in Pakistan’, a day of bipartisan advocacy on Capitol Hill, on April 25. Even though the organization did not post a formal announcement regarding the event, its leaders took to Twitter to give sketchy details.

A sizeable number of PAKPAC members and supporters attended the event filled with outreach and lobbying to draw US elected officials’ attention to the massive human rights violations in Pakistan, a rare occurrence in the US Capitol. Prominent among the attendees included former special assistants to the ousted prime minister Imran Khan Dr. Shahbaz Gill and Atif Khan, senior journalist Dr. Moeed Pirzada who lives in self-exile in the US escaping state repression, Asad Malik, Dr. Rao Kamran Ali and many others. Several members of the US Congress also showed up at the event.

“Right now there is a group of us both Democrats and Republicans sending are working on a letter that will go to Secretary of State Atony Blinkin to make the point that the United States should be pushing Pakistan to respect the same democratic values that we believe in here… the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of expression, inclusion, all those things…,” said Congresswoman Elissa Blair Slotkin (D) from Detroit, Michigan while addressing the participants. “It is not hard for the United Stated to be pushing for those things,” she added.

Dr. Shahbaz Gill, who himself endured the worst state repression not very long ago, spoke of the human rights situation and applauded PAKPAC’s endeavors to work for the promotion of democracy in Pakistan. Dr. Moeed Pirzada also highlighted numerous challenges democrats, free thinkers and independent journalists are facing in Pakistan.

PAKPAC described the event as “very successful”, saying it reached out to 92 congressional offices as part of its lobbying effort to press the Biden administration to demand of Islamabad respect human rights in the country.

“PAKPAC had a very successful day on the Hill and reached out to 92 congressional offices for the democratic principles and fundamental rights in Pakistan,” wrote Dr Jalil Khan, a former PAKPAC Board president and a noted cardiologist, in a Tweet.

PAKPAC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that aims to promote the interests of Pakistani Americans in the US political arena. It was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Washington D.C.

The organization’s primary objective is to increase the political participation and representation of Pakistani Americans in the American political system. It seeks to accomplish this by providing a platform for Pakistani Americans to engage with elected officials, political candidates, and policymakers, and by supporting political candidates who share their values and interests.

PAKPAC also advocates for policies that benefit the Pakistani American community, such as increased funding for education and healthcare, and support for small businesses and entrepreneurship. Additionally, it works to combat discrimination and promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of American society.

It engages in various activities to achieve its goals, including voter registration drives, lobbying efforts, and hosting events featuring elected officials and political candidates. The organization also provides information and resources to help Pakistani Americans better understand the American political system and how to participate in it.



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