California Legislature Honors Contributions of the Pakistani American Community

SR 15 by Senator Tony Mendoza Declares March 23rd Pakistani American Day 2015

Sacramento-For the first time in California history, the State Senate today recognized the contributions of California’s Pakistani American community by adopting Senate Resolution 15 by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) declaring March 23rd, 2015 as “Pakistani American Day”. A special ceremony held on the Senate floor following the vote featured the Consul General of Pakistan Hamid Asghar Khan, Deputy Consul General of Pakistan Malik Qamar, Pakistani American and Artesia City Councilmember Ali Sajjad Taj, and Pakistani American dignitaries from throughout the state. Find attached photos and audio clips from today’s event.

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“Today, the California State Senate paid tribute to the contributions of the Pakistani American community to the diverse fabric of California. SR 15 declares March 23, 2015 as “Pakistani American Day” and provides the people of our state an opportunity to recognize the achievements, contributions, and history of this vibrant community,” said Senator Tony Mendoza.

“It’s a great privilege and pleasure to be in Sacramento to witness the passing of this historic senate resolution. It is a fitting tribute to the patriotism, contributions and achievements of the Pakistani American diaspora in California. We at the Consulate General are proud of our community and express our gratitude to the Honorable Tony Mendoza for spearheading this meaningful and befitting resolution,” said Consul General of Pakistan, Hamid Asghar Khan.

“It is truly a historic moment for the Pakistani American community here in California. I know people have traveled from San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento to witness this momentous occasion. I am excited to be a part of this day and I extend my sincere thanks to Senator Mendoza for making,” said Artesia Councilmember Ali Sajjad Taj.

In Pakistan, March 23 is a national holiday known as Pakistani Resolution Day commemorating the signing of the Lahore Resolution and the adoption of the first Pakistani constitution. The 1940 Lahore Resolution called for the creation of a sovereign Muslim state called Pakistan. In 1973, a constitution was adopted that established Pakistan as a parliamentary democracy with three branches of government and a Prime Minister. Today Pakistan is considered a parliamentary republic, with the head of state elected by parliament and the state legislators.

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Added Senator Mendoza, “In California, Pakistani Americans are an integral part of our state, having made great contributions in the fields of finance, technology, law, medicine, education, sports, media, the arts, the military and government. It seems fitting that March 23, 2015 be celebrated as Pakistani American Day.”

Currently, there are nearly 47,000 people of Pakistani heritage residing in California and approximately 10% of all exports from the United States to Pakistan come from California. It is important to provide awareness and appreciation of the contributions, historical and ongoing, of many Pakistani Americans to our rich ethnic and cultural diversity and to our economic prosperity.

Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. For more information about Senator Mendoza visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.