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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pak-American diasporas: Love & Respect for Imran Khan & Bold Struggle for a Better Pakistan

Najma Minhas, Editor GVS, talks with Atif Khan, a leading Member of Pakistani American Community in Houston.

Najma Minhas, Editor GVS, talks with Atif Khan, a leading Member of Pakistani American Community in Houston, Texas who explains why Pakistani Diasporas stand with Imran Khan, what kind of struggle they have waged for democracy in Pakistan, what have they achieved and what follows next?

A Brief Snapshot of the Interview is given below. To watch full interview, Please visit GVS.

Najam Minhas: Could you share with us how you and other Pakistanis  initially got involved in all this? 

Atif Khan: After Imran Khan’s rise to power, I worked closely with his team in Pakistan, particularly focusing on the Ministry of Overseas Pakistani Affairs. It became apparent to me and others, especially Pakistani Americans, that there was a need for advocacy work in the United States regarding the situation in Pakistan. The catalyst for our involvement was the realization that Pakistani Americans could play a significant role in raising awareness about human rights violations and civil rights abuses in Pakistan.

Najam Minhas:  Could you elaborate on how Pakistani Americans united in advocating for these issues?

Atif Khan: Pakistani Americans, including organizations like the Pakistani American Physicians group, played a critical role. We saw over 2,000 physicians coming together under the banner of Friends of Imran Khan Pakistani American Physicians (P-Pack). This unity allowed us to effectively engage with US legislators and garner bipartisan support for this cause.

Najam Minhas: Can you shed some light on the specific actions taken to engage with US policymakers?

Atif Khan: Certainly. Pakistani Americans worked tirelessly to communicate the realities of Pakistan to US policymakers. This involved organizing meetings, sending letters signed by legislators, and even arranging virtual sessions on election rigging and human rights abuses in Pakistan. These efforts led to over 40 strong statements from US legislators, highlighting the bipartisan concern over the situation in Pakistan.

More to read:Pakistan Eyes IMF Loan Amidst Debt Crisis

Najam Minhas:  Moving forward, what are the key demands of the Pakistani diaspora regarding the situation in Pakistan?

Atif Khan: Our primary demand is for an independent international inquiry into the election rigging that occurred in Pakistan. We believe that such an inquiry is crucial to ensuring fair democratic processes in the country. Additionally, we urge US policymakers to refrain from engaging with any illegitimate government that emerges from such rigged elections.

Najam Minhas: It’s clear that the Pakistani diaspora is deeply invested in the democratic future of Pakistan. How do you plan to continue your advocacy efforts?

Atif Khan: We are committed to maintaining pressure on both Pakistani and US governments to uphold democratic principles. This includes continued engagement with US policymakers, as well as raising awareness within the Pakistani American community about the importance of democracy in Pakistan. We will not rest until fair and transparent democratic processes are established in Pakistan.