Common Questions regarding PAKPAC
What is a PAC and why is it effective?
PAC stands for Public Affairs Committee. After the passage of campaign
finance reform laws, PACs have become more powerful in influencing
and communicating the views of the membership. Changes in election
campaign finance legislation have reduced the influence of unregulated
‘soft’ money by a few large donors in election campaigns
through strict contribution limits, sifting the power to small, individual
donations. These changes have resulted in the formation of literally
thousands of PACs advocating a whole range of causes in Washington,
including anti-Pakistani, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigration issues.
The Pakistani-American community is on the forefront of American Muslim
issues and is the leading force of American Muslim advocacy groups.
Yet, there has been no significant emphasis on specific issues effecting
Pakistan and there is not enough “political recognition”
for the contributions of the Pakistani-American community. We want
to reverse this situation and make the Pakistani-American community
an important “political force” such as the Hispanic and
African American communities. We are asking Pakistani-Americans to
make collective contribution through one vehicle. This will ensure
that our voice is heard. We want to change things and make the Pakistani
American community as an important "political force" on
Capitol Hill like some other minority communities, including Hispanic
or African American communities. We are asking the Pakistani American
to make collective contributions through one vehicle; we will ensure
that our voice is heard. The usefulness of a PAC has been recognized
by a large number of groups seeking greater influence, including other
communities, US diplomats and many politicians.
Why should one contribute to PAKPAC rather
than ones favorite party and candidate?
When an individual contribution is made it is diluted to a great extent
by being mixed in with several other campaign issues. As the contributions
are not made to a candidate, but to a committee, the donor has little
or no leverage over candidates who receive those funds. At PAKPAC,
we are not only focused on issues that affect the Pakistani American
community, but we make direct contributions to candidates, and follow-up
with them once they are elected through a series of activities to
ensure that our issues remain on top of their agenda. We will seek
that our members are invited to these meetings in follow-up sessions.
We will continue to frequently seek the opinion of our members to
ensure that we stay in touch with their issues and concerns.
When was PAKPAC founded?
PAKPAC was founded in 1989
Do I have to be a Physician to join PAKPAC?
No, one does not need to be a physician to be a member of PAKPAC.
Even though PAKPAC came into existence through a group of APPNA members
the by-laws state that PAKPAC is open to other Pakistani Americans
including professionals and businessmen.
What is different about PAKPAC? Why should
I join PAKPAC?
Although there are already numerous Pakistani organizations PAKPAC
is the only Pakistani-American political action committee that has
successfully passed through the Federal Election Commission's registration.
We do and are willing to work with all groups and other organizations
to support them and collaborate with them with the goal of reducing
duplication and increasing efficacy. We feel that our combined strength
and power lies in our abilities to work together and become stronger.
We ask other organizations to become our affiliate partners. Organizations
interested in becoming affiliates may contact PAKPAC.
PAKPAC's mission is to ensure that we impact US government policy
on issues of concern to the Pakistani American community in a bipartisan
manner. We are achieving this by establishing an organized, strong
grassroots network with a powerful voice in public affairs for the
large and fast growing Pakistani Americans.
The Pakistani American Community serves as the largest section of
the American Muslim Community and serves as the largest and most
organized group of American Muslims from a single country. We are
building bridges between the Pakistani American community and the
Federal, state and local governments by mobilizing Pakistani Americans
for active participation in the political system. We are a grassroots
organization and seek support from a broad spectrum of the Pakistani
American community. We believe that by building an organized strong
network, we are in much better position to make our opinions count.
Please join us to let your voice be heard.
What kind of issues does PAKPAC advocate?
We advocate issues that are important to the Pakistani American
community, and our agenda is driven by the opinion and the needs
of the community. We conduct traditional surveys to better understand
which issues to advocate. Some current issues include:
• Strengthening of United States and Pakistan Relationship
• Civil Liberties and Equal Opportunities for Pakistani Americans
• Improving and protecting regional balance of defense power
• Peaceful Resolution of Kashmir Crises according to the will
of the people of Kashmir
• Support the building of education and health infrastructure
help to Pakistan by increasing budgets and support through USAID
and other programs
• Immigration reform
• Small business and entrepreneurship
• Advocacy of appointment of Pakistani Americans in the US
What is our strategy?
We coordinate campaign contributions through one brand for Pakistani
Americans, and depend heavily upon volunteers to grow our organization
We can assist Pakistani Americans who make individual contributions
to a candidate by adding our own funds. In return, we ask that the
check be signed by PAKPAC. The local donor still gets to present
the check to the candidate and maintain their local relationship,
but by pooling our resources under a single name, we increase the
negotiating clout of our community.
We use our memberships contributions to ensure that our and the
communities issues of concern remain a priority with the candidates
and representatives even after the elections. This provides an incentive
to local organizations and donors to work with us. It helps our
community by ensuring that political leaders recognize us as a community
rather than a collection of individuals.
In the recent elections the Pakistani American Community has come
out as one of the primary leaders of the American Muslim community
in our ability to mobilize vote and help with fund raising activity
and have contributed millions of dollars to various candidates.
Yet, there are few or no results to show any gains from those contributions,
since most of these individuals contributions were made to a national
party committee and went unrecognized by the candidates. Most donors
have to be content with a photo opportunity with a candidate. This
is because they have contributed as individuals in the past, and
not as a community. There is no follow-up with the candidate after
the elections. PAKPAC stays engaged with elected officials after
the election to ensure that our community's needs are addressed.
Is PAKPAC affiliated with any of the major political parties?
No, we are bipartisan. We have and are willing to work across party
lines with both Democrats and Republicans. We support candidates
based on their support to the issues of our concern. This bipartisan
approach is also reflected in our candidate endorsements. PAKPAC
support the best candidates regardless of their party affiliation.
We are not affiliated with any political party in Pakistan either.
I have an established relationship with my
Congressman. Why should I join PAKPAC?
If you have a relationship with a congress representative, we do
need you to join and become a part of PAKPAC. We want you to preserve
and improve your existing relationship. We can help you in the following
i. We, when applicable will contribute in your fund-raiser by making
our own contribution. You still present the check to the Congressman,
and maintain and increase your existing relationship. The check
will go out from PAKPAC, and help build brand recognition for the
Pakistani American community
ii. By joining our organization and by registering and voting with
us, you can help us in establishing our agenda.
What are PAKPACs criteria for candidate endorsement?
Our criterion is relatively simple: the candidate must support the
Pakistani American community and issues dear to us. We support candidates
who have and are willing to provide support to the community, and
those who have taken strong positions on the issues of our concern.
Contribution Allocation Process
The PAKPAC Board of Directors with guidance from the members makes
all decisions on how to spend PAKPAC funds.
Contributions are allocated to screened candidates that support
We will support most candidates that have been endorsed by the Pakistani
We use our funds, and track candidates whom we would like to support
and those in closely contested races.
We follow close races where contributions are likely to make a larger
difference than in situations where a candidate's prospects are
certain, and our contribution would make little difference.
Our goal is to operate on a low overheard. All our financial transactions
(receipts and disbursements) are in accordance with Federal laws.
What are PAKPACs criteria’s for candidate
We help the candidate in several ways- education and outreach to
the Pakistani-American community on the behalf of the candidate.
Additionally, we provide fun-raising support for campaigns and building
grassroots support for the candidate. Ffund-raising support for
campaigns, and by building grassroots support for the candidate.
We believe that our first task is to educate Congressional, state
and local leaders on the issues that affect us. We do this by actively
engaging the candidates throughout the year. We raise funds for
the candidates, and by making contributions to their campaigns as
a single group of Pakistani Americans. This collected effort leads
to a far greater influence..
PAKPAC and volunteerism
We believe that volunteerism is our key to success. The PAKPAC leadership
team is comprised of volunteers who believe passionately in grassroots
organization. We recognize that without a critical state and nation
wide mass of volunteers, we will not succeed. Our beliefs have been
validated by our growing and committed list of
who are willing to volunteer their time
and energy. Many of
our volunteers work from their home and do not need to travel. Click
here to volunteer.
Communicating with PAKPAC?
to join our mailing list. We will keep you posted of the latest
developments through e-mail newsletter. Also, bookmark our website
and visit it as often as possible.
group list for discussion is available only for the paid members.
Joining the PAKPAC team? Membership fees?
You can join PAKPAC now - by either volunteering your time and services,
or making a contribution. PAKPAC will greatly appreciate if you
can volunteer your time as well as contribute. Click here to join
PAKPAC and make a difference and help securing our and your future.
Membership forms and contribution links are on the website Membership
for an adult is $100/year. The maximum annual contribution limit
is $5,000/year per individual or $10,000/year for a married couple