WASHINGTON, Oct 21 2009: Ambassador to the United States Mr. Husain Haqqani expressed his views in a gathering at the Capitol Hill that Pakistani-Americans can play a key role in promoting understanding and trust between Pakistan and the US by influencing Washington?s policy-making process.
Speaking at an advocacy day event organized by the Pakistani-American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC), the ambassador urged a structured efforts towards strengthening the important relationship between the two countries. Mr. Haqqani particularly cited the need for increased interaction between members of the Pakistani community and American lawmakers at both grassroots level and in the legislative process in The Washington.
?Pakistani-Americans can help bridge the trust gap between the two countries, who both now desire to foster a long-term partnership,? he stated at the day-long event, which explored the role of the community in enhancing Pakistan-U.S. partnership.
Haqqani applauded the Pakistani-Americans for their distinguished services in some highly competitive fields in the United States like medicine and information technology.
However, he drew the attention of the Pakistani community to the importance of having a larger presence in thinking professions and in the process becoming part of the mainstream academia, media, research-intensive institutions and think tanks and various sectors of economy. Availing opportunities in these fields will help amplify voice of the community and forge a better understanding of Pakistan and challenges facing the Pakistani nation, he added.
The envoy underscored that Pakistan ?will never compromise its sovereignty and has some genuine security concerns? in the region.
Haqqani informed members of the community about how as ambassador of Pakistan he is striving to secure the country?s interests in Washington.
He also spoke about diplomatic efforts the embassy made to get toned down language and strict conditions as proposed in the original draft of the House of Representatives version of the Kerry-Lugar Act.
A host of American lawmakers spoke at the invitation of PAKPAC leaders and members. These included Senator Bob Casey(D-PA), Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Maryland), Senator Ron Wyden( D-OR), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, co-chair of the Pakistani-American caucus, Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN), Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), Congressman Gary Peters (D-MI), Congrssman John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Besides, U.S. officials from the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, USAID, and staffers of lawmakers attended the event.
The Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC) is a nationwide, membership based, non-profit lobbying organization registered with the United States Federal Government. PAKPAC?s mission includes advancement and strengthening of U.S.-Pakistan relations. It is organized to be a unified voice on issues and concerns common to the Pakistani American community. PAKPAC?s focus includes an active environment to foster greater political and civic engagement amongst the Pakistani Americans. PAKPAC is also focused on collaborating with other regional and national Pakistani American organizations to ensue increased efficacy and reduced duplication of the stated goals.
Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee
7350 Vandusen Road
Laurel, MD 20707