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

These are such historic times in Pakistan where sustainable democracy is beginning to blossom, and we at PAKPAC feel very special Mr. President that you and the first lady have chosen to be amongst us this evening.The Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC) is a nationwide, membership based advocacy forum. Our mission is to advance and strengthen U.S.-Pakistan relations, while working tirelessly to preserve, protect and promote ideals of civil liberties commonly cherished by all Americans. We are organized to give voice to issues and concerns common to Americans of Pakistani descent, and play an important role in fostering greater political and civic engagement not just within the Pakistani American community, but also have successfully build bridges with other communities, particularly the Indian, Sikh, Arab and Jewish American communities.It 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, Dr. Arif Toor, and Dr. Nasim Ashraf who are amongst us today. From our Board members, we also have Dr. Ijaz Mahmood from the great state of Kentucky in attendance.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 warm round of applause.I also want to pause and also acknowledge the kindness and meticulous efforts of Dr. Nasim Ashraf's team members in helping us organize this evening. Thank you indeed for all your help.Dr. Ashraf, as founding President of PAKPAC you continue to make us proud. Besides being the cricket czar, and a committed philanthropist bringing basic health and education at the grass roots level in rural Pakistan, you did a fine job on your recent visit to United States as a special envoy of the President to clarify and demystify the rationale of recent extra-constitutional steps taken in Pakistan to curb unwarranted judicial activism, rapidly deteriorating law and order situation and resurrection of Taliban and al-Qaeda forces alongside Pakistan-Afghanistan border. You responded convincingly to some very tough questions from U.S. Congressional members, media outlets, think tanks, human rights organizations and Pakistani American community members. I think Dr. Ashraf you embraced well what President Garfield, the 20th President of United States would describe as the love of agitation and investigation and glory in defending an unpopular truth against popular error.Mr. President, please allow me to request the audience to give a special round of applause to Dr. Nasim Ashraf.I am proud that PAKPAC actively collaborated with Pakistani American Leadership council and the Congressional Pakistan Caucus to serve as a conduit to organize a day on the hill earlier in December and actively participated in securing meetings with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to engage, exchange and educate them on ground realities in these defining times in Pakistan. Mr. President, PAKPAC remains committed to continue to regularly organize congressional days on the hill to wholeheartedly speak in support of Pakistan, as we have done for past so many years, especially in getting the infamous Pressler amendment repealed and securing more than $500 million in USAID to help 2005 Earthquake victims repopulate, rehabilitate and revitalize in society.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 politicians, and honorable members of the diplomatic core, including our own U.S. Ambassador HE Anne Patterson, who had to leave early due to parallel engagements, and Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, His Excellency, Peter Bodde.Ambassador Bodde, thank you for being with us tonight. This is a crucial time in history where US-Pakistan relations require special nurturing and we as Americans must seize this opportunity to support the events unfolding in Pakistan which are indelibly paving the way for irrevocable democracy in this great nation.We also have in the audience tonight, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, your charismatic high Commissioner to the United Kingdom. On behalf of PAKPAC I want to extend our special appreciation to her for working with PAKPAC during her years as your ambassador in Washington DC. Days following the tragic events of September 11th 2001, Ambassador Lodhi did a magnificent job in educating the American people about Pakistan and challenges we continue to face that stem from accepting more than 3 million Afghan refugees during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Dr. Lodhi, thank you for joining us this evening.In this new world order post September 11th, Pakistan, with its vibrant emerging economy, and impressive nuclear arsenal is a pivotal nation for forces of freedom to prevail and evil to dissipate. It is the citadel of hope for many around the world for a better tomorrow, and you Mr. President have an essential role on the center stage to be the vanguard of this hope. We as the citizens of free world have a thirst to learn that you remain committed to serve as an anchor for various stakeholders in Pakistan, such as the armed forces, judiciary, intelligence agencies, secular and religious political parties, and global allies toward building a secure, stable and a democratic Pakistan leading the way in fighting terrorism; Terrorism is not just a Pakistani problem, or an Afghani problem, or an American problem, it is a global problem that Mr. President you have described in your own words, threatens to destabilize all modern societies and it cannot be condoned for any reason or cause.I recently wrote an Op-ed on emergency rule in Pakistan that was picked by more than a few media outlets globally and I received much feedback from mainstream Americans, such as John Hogan, a lawyer from Pennsylvania, Mike Pellini, a corporate executive from California, Pervaiz Mahmood, a physician from New Jersey, Moshe Porat, Dean of Business School at Temple University, Aaron Starr a successful entrepreneur from Delaware and Claudia Mcbride, President of World Affairs Council in Philadelphia, all of whom conveyed a common theme that they feel at ease going about living their lives with you at the helms of affairs in Pakistan as we advance forward in eliminating terrorism and promoting tolerance and co-existence.I had said this last year and I am proud to repeat it again, that 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, and Ronald Reagan, who stood tall over the tumbling Berlin wall. You Mr. President will be exalted as the architect of true democracy in Pakistan. If media was a true measure of political outcome, then Harry Truman would not have been elected President, Bill Clinton would not have been the come back kid, and George W. Bush would not be in office today.President Theodore Roosevelt in his almost seven years of Presidency had developed a very definite philosophy about the Presidency. He stated and I quote "I think the Presidency should be a powerful office, and I think the President should be a very strong man who uses without hesitation every power that the position yields, but he should be sharply watched by the people and held to a strict accountability by them."Mr. President you are discharging your responsibilities with strength and courage and making tough decisions in the interest of national security in order to preserve and protect the nation and the Pakistani people, and you deserve special recognition for promoting enlightened moderation, empowering women, catalyzing economic growth, fostering permanent peace in the sub-continent, encouraging consensus in the Middle East and recently synchronizing the three pillars of government. The seven point agenda that you had announced in 1999 has begun to produce results and Pakistan is embarking on a path of democracy where agreement is not essential but participation definitely is…. You have steadfastly delivered on all your promises to return Pakistan to constitutional rule and the free, fair and impartial election expected on January 8th 2008 would be a pinnacle event under your leadership. Mr. President, Sabina and I and our six-year-old daughter, SANA, thank you for your leadership and welcome you to PAKPAC 18th annual banquet. I hope on your next visit to United States you will give us an opportunity to welcome you to our hometown of Philadelphia from where I bring you invitation from the World Affairs Council, where I serve as a Director and the prestigious Franklin Institute where I serve as a trustee. Mr. President, thank you once again for joining us tonight. I request you to kindly come and 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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