American-Pakistani Group Urges Unity

Leaders of the American-Pakistani Public Affairs Committee at the advisory board meeting June 5. (Photo by Mohsin Zaheer for Voices of NY)

The American-Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC), a recently formed organization, has called upon community leaders and activists to unite and convert individual successes into the collective success of the community. APPAC held its advisory meeting June 5, followed by an iftar dinner at Chabba Restaurant in Brooklyn, which was attended by a large number of community activists representing different community-based organizations.

“APPAC will work to elevate the status of Pakistanis in the U.S. and to bring them into mainstream politics,” said Dr. Ijaz Ahmad, chairman of APPAC, in addressing the advisory meeting. He further said that “if ever there was a time for this community to speak with one voice, that time is now.”

Ijaz said APPAC does not just exist to speak up and take action when there is a crisis but that the organization’s goal is to have an ongoing influence. APPAC, he said, will use political organizing and education to improve the status of Pakistanis residing in America with an aim toward helping to create an America in which all citizens are treated equally.

“APPAC deserves your support because we live in a climate of fear, hate crimes against us are on the rise,” he said. “Misinformation is everywhere, many people are fanning the flames of ignorance and prejudice for their own gain. APPAC was created to fight these trends. We want to show the world that Pakistani Americans are successful and patriotic and make an important contribution to the fabric of American life.”

Dr. Parvez Iqbal, board member of APPAC, said that the Pakistani community is ready to take off but needs to be united. He further said that unity does not mean that community activists must disassociate themselves from their groups or organizations, but it does mean they should unite in common cause.

The advisory meeting was also addressed by Aslam Baig, Ali Akbar Mirza, Nusrat Suhail, pharmacist Sarwar Chaudhary, Iftikhar But, Raheela Firdous, Athar Tirmizi, Jawad Shabbir, Imtiaz Garalvi, Dr Shafique, Shahid Comreade and others community activists. They all appreciate the efforts being made by APPAC to unite the community on one platform and to move forward together. They further said that the U.S. is a land of opportunities, and that if Pakistanis here miss or ignore these opportunities, they will be left behind and no one wants that.

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