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Dr. Raza Bokhari Delivers Speech at PAKPAC Annual Dinner with Pakistan President, General Pervez Musharraf

Dr. Raza Bokhari delivered the following speech at the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee annual dinner, December 21, 2006, at which General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, was in attendance.Mr. PresidentIt is a privilege for me to take this podium as the President of this important forum of Pakistani Americans, which has seen remarkable leadership for nearly two decades by past presidents like Dr. Pervaiz Shah, Dr. Hassan Bokhari, and Dr. Arif Muslim, and of course Dr. Nasim Ashraf, Chairman, NCHD.Mr. President, with your permission, I want to take a moment and ask these distinguished leaders to stand up and be recognized...Ladies & gentlemen please give them a round of applause.I want to especially thank Dr. Nasim Ashraf and members of his team at NCHD for their role in assisting us in putting this evening together.Dr. Ashraf, your role as the founding President of PAKPAC, HDF and APPNA Sehat deserve special recognition. I also want to thank Dr. Paracha, the President of APPNA for joining us this evening and describing the very important role APPNA is playing in uplifting the social services and basic health services in Pakistan, especially in assisting the 2005 earthquake victims to repopulate, rehabilitate and revitalize in society. APPNA indeed represents the overwhelming commitment of the entire Pakistani American community in strengthening and supporting Pakistan and Pakistani cause in the United States. Dr. Nadeem Kazi, President-elect, we are counting on you to take APPNA to yet another level.Mr. President, your presence here tonight has brought into congregation several delegates from United States, citizens from various walks of life, senior members of your government, distinguished members of parliament, and honorable members of the diplomatic core, including our own US Ambassador to Pakistan, His Excellency, Ryan Crocker.Mr. Ambassador, thank you for being here tonight. You are a scholar and a statesman. We are proud to see you represent our adopted homeland in our motherland. We are eager to assist you in strengthening US-Pakistan relations; we are particularly keen to help in promoting the greatness of America that has given many of us an opportunity to realize the "American Dream" of living in peace and prosperity without fear of persecution. There are prevailing apprehensions within the Pakistani American community of becoming a victim of hate crime on account of ongoing terrorist threats, but we are engaged with local and federal law enforcement and surveillance agencies to address our concerns and minimize such threats.Mr. Ambassador, you are quite the household name in Pakistan and very popular indeed, I must add if you ever plan to run for public office, think about running in Pakistan, you will clearly win by a landslide. Unlike back home in the States, where we stand so evenly divided on issues of global significance, it could come down to a flip of dime, whether you win or lose.Indeed, the 2006 mid-term elections were such a roller-coaster ride and I am proud to report that the membership of PAKPAC was actively involved in the election process in a bi-partisan manner. While I am disappointed to admit that few of our close republican friends like Senator Rick Santorum, Senator George Allen, Congressmen Simmons, and Curt Weldon were dislodged by the democrats, I am pleased to share that democrats have elected some very honorable and intelligent people, who understand the special role of Pakistan in world affairs today, and the important leadership that Mr. President you provide in leading the way in fighting terrorism, building global consensus, and creating regional peace.The membership of PAKPAC continues to enjoy close affiliation with both the republican and democratic leadership, whether that be republican senator(s) McCain, Brownback, or Arlen Spector, or Democrats like Senator(s) Harry Reid, Tom Harkin, Bob Casey, Bob Menendez or Tim Johnson...Senator Johnson is critically ill, and thanks to the great effort of Dr. Nasim Ashraf and others for so many years, he has been a great friend of Pakistan. Let us all pray for his speedy and complete recovery so that he can continue to do his good work in the US Senate.Mr. President, these mid-terms elections not only transferred control of the house and senate to the democrats, but also created history by electing the first woman Speaker of the house, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, CA, who is a friend of Pakistan and a friend of Pakistani Americans.Mr. President, with your unprecedented support and the support of equitable members of parliament, Women in Pakistan are also making history and succeeding with the passage of the protection of women rights bill in the parliament. This is a gigantic step forward in conforming to the vision of democratic Pakistan described by Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah in his broadcast to the people of the United States of America recorded in February, 1948. In his broadcast, Quaid-e-Azam said and I quote "Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission."Mr. President major milestones that you are achieving in erasing the gender gap, eliminating child labor and elevating the status of the institutions of democracy is clearly enhancing the softer and responsible image of Pakistan on the global stage.Your book "In the line of Fire" is yet another example of how diligently you are working to demystify and clarify the outlook of Pakistan before the world, particularly the west where Pakistan and Pakistani are sometimes widely misunderstood at the grass-root level.Your book clearly signifies that there is nothing wrong with Pakistan that cannot be cured with what is right in Pakistan.Mr. President, your several prime time appearances in the media outlets in the United States earlier in the fall has tremendously improved the image of Pakistan and you did well in winning over of the hearts and minds of several million Americans instantly.Actually I think you were quite the "Rock Star" especially on the Jon Stewart show. On your next visit to the United States don't be surprised if you are chased by paparatizis for a photo opportunity!Mr. President, your recent efforts to revitalize and fast track the peace process with India is very vital in strengthening the economic, social and political outlook of Pakistan.President Eisenhower said and I quote "Every gun that is made. Every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed".....Mr. President, your courageous efforts to bringing about lasting peace in South Asia captures the essence of your compassion for the poor and needy people of Pakistan who have a thirst to rely on dependable opportunities to secure shelter, food and clothing for themselves and their loved ones. Permanent peace with India will indeed further strengthen economic stability and prosperity in Pakistan.As the Chinese would wish "may you live in interesting times". I think we are not only living in interesting time but also very challenging times with infinite complexities that it sometimes becomes difficult to remain on track and we can begin to question the wisdom of our leaders and decision makers.Mr. President, it is important that you remain resolved to stand by your admirable conviction that terrorism threatens to destabilize all modern societies and it cannot be condoned for any reason or cause.Some may not be able to identify with your vision today, but history will show that in time your name will resonant with larger than life global leaders like Thomas Jefferson, who stood for religious freedom and separation of church and State, Abraham Lincoln, who stood for emancipation of slaves, Winston Churchill, who stood firm against fascism, Ronald Reagan, who stood tall over the tumbling Berlin wall, you Mr. President have a momentous task to spread enlightened moderation in global Islamic societies and eliminate obscurantism in the region.Mr. President, I thank you for your legendary leadership and welcome you to PAKPAC 17th annual banquet and request you to deliver your keynote speech.Thank you.

Raza Bokhari discusses Musharraf Treason Charges on Voice of America
June 28th, 2013
Dr. Raza Bokhari joined experts from Pakistan and United States to discuss the implications of treason allegations against Former President Musharraf

Click here to see the video.
Political Landscape in Pakistan - The Musharraf Option
June 1, 2010
Dr. Raza Bokhari wrote the folowing op-ed which was recently in the news.
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