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Expatriates vow to Build Pakistan's Image

Washington Mar 3, 2002 (NNI) All the major Pakistani-American organizations converged in U.S. Capitol  Thursday and Friday to press Pakistan's case. They met Congressmen all day in an extraordinary show of unity.
Grand gathering of Pakistani emigrants with U.S legislatures marked a wave of spirit , congresspersons attending the Pakistan Summit praised Pakistan Government’s uphill struggle in joining their hands in war against terrorism, and admired expatriates contribution in effecting the success in their respected placements.
Thirteen Congressman from 10  U.S States joined the session. Congressman David F Bonior MI State , Danny Davis IL, Congresswoman Jane Schawski IL, Dan Burtan IN,  Bob Filner CA ,  Major Ovens NY, Joe Barton (TX) Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (NV)   Steve Chabot (OH) Joe Knollenberg (MI) Jim Moran (VI)  Nick Rahall (WV)  and Nick Smith (MI).  In addition, 23 other congressional/senatorial officers were represented by staff members.
Pakistani-Americans had rediscovered their love of the home country. A rush of congressional lobby shot before is now riding a wave of community patriotism at its highest level since Sep. 11. Such moves has come up in because of negative headlines in past months linked to Terrorism with their home country.
Sponsored by Federation of Associations of Pakistani Americans (FAPA) the umbrella of Pakistani organizations and Pakistani American Association of North America (PAANA) Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA) Pakistan American Congress (PAC) Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA)  U.S. Pakistan Business Council , PAK_PAC  the daylong event featured lobby session, Legislators  meeting, briefing at White House old Executive building by officials of Justice Department,  Treasury Department, National Security Council  and by political office of the White House.
Adnan Zulfiqar personnel of Senator Max Cleland , Farhana Khera staff of Majority Council, Senate Judiciary Committee, and Saira Sufi legislative assistant to Congressman Steve Israel guided their natives how to lobby Congressman. Folders were distributed to hand over to elected representatives.
Prominent leaders including Shaukat Sindhu PAANA, Dr Nisar Chaudhry PAC, Fahim Butt FAPA , Raana Akbar APPNA,  Ahmad Ali COPPA, Pervaiz Shah PAK-PAC were present among the group of sixty Pakistani -Americans gathering. Asad Malik a devoted national was moderator for the summit.
Leaders insisted to develop their country’s commercial scenario,  help resolve regional matters and persisted  to develop the home country’s image. Questions pertaining to the debt right off , enhancement in quota, detention of Pakistanis by FBI/INS, Kashmir dispute, were the major subjects talked with U.S officials.
First session ran from 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hill followed by the 4 p.m to 6pm White House executives briefing. In the end a dinner was hosted at Afghan Restaurant.
On Friday after a two hour long State Department briefing by Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca, South Asia Desk and Consular Services  a reception was hosted by  Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi at the chancery The symposium  concluded with Jumma Prayers.
To follow up this event Pakistani American Association of North America PAANA is hosting a two days conference of all major Pakistani-American organizations in Chicago on April 20th and 21st. State Illinois Senator Richard Durbin , U.S House Foreign relation Committee Chairman Henery Hide, Congresswoman Jane Schawski , Congressman Dany Davis , Congressman David F Bonior MI State, Congressman Jassie Jackson Jr of IL , Illinois Lt Governor Corine Woods will be participating among some other major politicians from America and Pakistan.
Ambassador Maleha Lodhi will be the key note speaker and the  chief guest.  

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