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An Exclusive for VOA Urdu

Urdu service chief Faiz Rehman (Left) interviews Dr. Abdul Rashid Piracha (Right), who served as President of APPNA in 2008.

One of the largest and best-known Pakistani diaspora organizations met in the Washington area last week, and VOA’s Urdu Service had exclusive access to all that went on. From August 13 to 17, the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) met at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, just outside the District of Columbia. The Gaylord Center is a big place, and it had to be to accommodate the 10,000 people who attended the convention, including Pakistani-born physicians, members of Pakistani diaspora organizations, U.S. politicians, as well as media personalities and political leaders who made the trip from Pakistan for the occasion.

To say that VOA’s Urdu Service had exclusive access is a bit of an understatement.The service was able to set up its own studio and booth in the most prominent spot at the convention. From this prime location, members of the service, including the hosts of such popular Urdu Service programs as Kahani Pakistani, Zindagi 360, Independence Avenue, Café DC, and Washington Bureau, kept their audiences in Pakistan and around the world up-to-date on all the convention activities through interviews, tweets, and photos on the VOA Urdu website.

Speaking of VOA Urdu’s extensive coverage of the meeting, Chief Faiz Rehman said it highlighted the service’s “special relationship and connection with the audiences in Pakistan.”

Irfan Malik, president of the USPAK Foundation, a leading Pakistani diaspora organization in the United States, was also impressed by the performance of the Urdu Service. “The APPNA convention,” he said, “was taken over by VOA.”