Constitution - Pakistan American Congress


Article 1: Name and Status

1.1 The name of this organization shall be the Pakistani American Congress, hereinafter referred to as the Congress.

1.2 The Congress is formed exclusively for charitable, cultural and educational purposes as specified in section 501(c) of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and shall conduct activities allowed to a tax-exempt organization. The objectives of the Congress are all without pecuniary to any officer, director or member.

Article 2: Objectives

2.1 To present the interests of Pakistani culture residing in the United States.

2.2 To preserve and foster Pakistani culture and heritage.

2.3 To promote, coordinate and conduct various activities and programs for the advancement of interests of the Pakistani Americans.

2.4 To build a communications network among Pakistani Americans and their organizations nationwide, to coordinate their activities and to function as an information clearinghouse.

2.5 To develop a think-tank of talent and expertise in order to help in the overall development effort of Pakistan and the Pakistani communities.

2.6 To foster friendship, understanding and cooperation between Pakistanis and the American society at large and to promote and enhance the Pakistani image.

2.7 To organize conventions and conferences in order to further the above objectives.

2.8 To solicit, raise, receive, manage and disburse funds to carry out the above objectives either directly or in cooperation with other organizations.

Article 3: Membership

3.2 The two classes of membership are defined as follows:

3.2.1 Organizational Members: Organizations of Pakistani Americans shall be eligible to become members of the Congress. An organization shall have to satisfy the following criteria in order to be accepted as a member:

  1. It must be established and located in the USA.
  2. It must have adopted and should be functioning under a democratic constitution and/or by laws.
  3. It must be non-profit organization.
  4. It must subscribe to the objectives of the Pakistani American Congress.
  5. It must agree to pay upon acceptance the membership dues prescribed by the Board of Directors.
  6. It must have at least ten dues paying members.
  7. It must not be a subsidiary of any political party.

3.2.2 Individual Members: Individuals are not representing a constituent organization of the Congress may be nominated for membership for a period of two years by the President of the Congress on the basis of their commitment to the objectives of the Congress and upon approval by the Board of Directors shall become, voting members of the Board with full privileges.

Article 4: Admission and Revocation

4.1 An organization seeking membership of the Congress shall submit an application on the prescribed form along with copies of the following documents:

  1. Constitution and/or by laws.
  2. Current list of members and elected officers with their titles, addresses and telephone numbers.
  3. Copies of any published literature, newsletter or program.

4.2 The application for the membership shall be reviewed by the Executive Committee and submitted to the Board of Directors for action.

4.3 Upon approval by the Board of Directors, the applicant shall deposit with the Congress the membership dues.

4.4 The newly accepted member shall communicate to the President the names, addresses and telephone numbers of no more than three of its representatives who shall serve as voting members of the Board of Directors.

4.5 A member organization shall inform the Congress of any and all relevant changes.

4.6 Applicant for an individual membership shall submit his/her request on a prescribed form along with the membership dies.

4.7 Membership of an organization can be suspended or revoked if it has been proven to be in violation of the constitution of the Congress and a resolution to that effect is passed by two-thirds of the members present and voting in a meeting of the Board of Directors. A written notice of at least 30 days shall be given prior to any voting on such a resolution.

4.8 Any organizations or individuals whose membership gas been revoked shall be entitled to request a hearing by a special committee appointed by the Board of Directors.

Article 5: membership dues

5.1 A schedule of membership dues for all classes of membership shall be prescribed by the Board of Directors from time to time.

5.2 Annual dues are payable within the first thirty days of each calendar year provided that at least half of the annual dues shall be payable by members joining after June 30.

Article 6: Organizational Structure

6.1 Board of Directors: The Board of Directors shall be supreme body of the Congress and shall compromise of the following:

  1. Upto three delegates of each constituent organization who will be voting members of the Board of Directors.
  2. All individual members appointed vide article 3.2.2
  3. The chairman of the Advisory Council, and
  4. The immediate past president of the Congress

6.2 Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall be elected by the Board of Directors from among its members for a two year term giving due consideration to fair regional representation. It shall comprise of:

  1. President
  2. Senior Vice-President
  3. Three Vice-Presidents
  4. General Secretary
  5. Treasurer

6.2.1 The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer and principal spokesperson of the Congress. He/She shall have all powers and duties usually vested in the office of the President and shall see that the decisions and resolutions of the Board of Directors are carried out. The President shall be an ex-officio member of the Advisory Council and all committees of the Congress.

6.2.2 The Senior Vice-President shall perform duties as assigned by the Board of Directors and the President. He/She shall assume the duties of the President in case of his/her absence or inability to perform duties.

6.2.3 The the Vice-Presidents shall perform their duties as assigned by the Board of Directors and the President.

6.2.4 The General Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Board and the Executive Committee and record all votes. He/She shall record or supervise the recording of the minutes of all meetings within two weeks of such meetings failing which the President shall draft and circulate those minutes. He/She shall give notice of all meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The Secretary shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors and the President.

6.2.5 The Treasurer shall manage all funds of the Congress and see that complete and accurate records of the receipts and disbursements are maintained; and that all funds and assets of the Congress are deposited in such depositories as are designated by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall render an accurate account of the financial status of the Congress to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

6.2.6 Other Officers: The Board of Directors may appoint such other officers and agents as it shall deem necessary. They shall hold their offices for such terms and perform such duties as determined by the Board of Directors.

6.2.7 No elected officer shall receive any salary, fee or stipend from the Congress by virtue of such position.

6.2.8 Terms of Office: The Executive Committee members shall hold their offices for a term of two years or until such later time when the new Executive Committee takes the charge.

6.3 The Executive Director who may be a salaried employee shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of the Executive Committee and of the Board of Directors.

6.4 Removal of Officers and Delegates:

6.4.1 Any elected officer, director or delegate may be removed by the Board of Directors for gross misconduct, neglect of duties, actions against the objectives and interests of the Congress, or failure to attend, without sufficient reason, three consecutive meetings of the body of which he is an officer.

6.4.2 Such action for removal shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors in a duly convened meeting in which the officer shall be given a due hearing. The notice for such a meeting shall include the pertinent agenda and shall be given at least 21 days before the meeting.

6.4.3 Action and proceedings of the meetings in which such decisions are made shall be reported to the Advisory Council.

6.5 Succession and Filling of Vacancies

6.5.1 In the event the officer of the President becomes vacant, the Senior Vice-President shall complete the unexpired term of the President.

6.5.2 All other vacancies shall be filled by the Board of the Directors.

Article 7: Committees and Task

The President or the Executive Committee with the approval of the Board of Directors shall appoint as many sub-committees and task forces as needed to achieve the objectives of the Congress.

Article 8: Advisory Council

8.1 An Advisory Council of no more than 21 members shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. The President, Senior Vice-President and the immediate Past President shall be ex-officio non-voting members of the Advisory Council. No member of the Board of Directors may be a voting member of the Advisory Council. An effort shall be made to include in the Advisory Council individuals of exceptional merit and contribution to the objectives of the Congress.

8.2 The Advisory Council shall help the Board of Directors in fund-raising and all other planning and development efforts.

8.3 The Advisory Council shall act as an advisory committee to the Board of Directors and to the Executive Committee.

8.4 The President shall designate or redesignate for a term of one year a member of the Advisory Council as its chairperson who shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.

8.5 The term of membership of the Advisory Council shall be three years and each year seven members may be appointed by the Board of Directors.

Article 9: Meetings

9.1 The Board of Directors shall hold regular meetings at least twice a year in order to conduct the following business:

  1. Review activities since last meetings,
  2. Assess the financial status,
  3. Consider policies and future plans, and
  4. Transact any other business allowed by the presiding officer

9.2 The Advisory Council shall hold regular meetings at least twice a year. These meetings may coincide with other bodies of the Congress.

9.3 Action or Decision without the meeting: Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors or the Advisory Council or any committee may be taken without without the meeting if all members consent thereto in writing, and the written consent it filed with the minutes of the proceedings.

9.4 Notice of the Meetings:

9.4.1 For a meeting of the Board of Directors and of the Advisory Council, a notice of 15 days shall be required.

9.4.2 Waiver of Notice: Whenever any notice is required to be given under the provisions of this Constitution or any other statute, a waiver thereof in writing signed by the persons entitled to such notice, whether before or after the time stated therein, shall be equivalent to the giving of such notice.

9.5 Quorum:

9.5.1 In case of the Board of Directors, one fourth of the membership shall constitute the quorum.

9.5.2 In case of the Executive Committee, a majority of the members shall constitute the quorum.

9.5.3 In case of the Advisory Council, one third of the members shall constitute the quorum.

9.6 Electronic Communication: Members of the Executive Committee may participate in a meeting by means of conference telephone or similar communication equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meetings can hear each other and such participation shall constitute presence in person at such a meeting.

Article 10: Election Procedure

10.1 The chairperson in consultation with the Advisory Council members shall appoint an election Committee consisting of any three individuals of the Pakistani American community if outstanding merit who are not themselves candidates for any elective position in the Congress. These members shall elect the Chairperson from among themselves.

10.2 The Election Committee shall be responsible to conduct all elections through secret ballot at least thirty days before the annual meeting of the Congress in June.

10.3 The Election Committee shall invite nominations for the positions for which elections are to be held at least sixty days before the annual meeting of the Congress in June.

10.4 Nominations in the prescribed form, duly signed by the accredited official of the nominee, must be filed at least thirty days prior to the deadline indicated for nominations.

10.5 The person nominated shall be one of the official delegates eligible to participate and vote at the meeting of the Board of Directors.

10.6 If there are insufficient nominations, the Election Committee may call for additional nominations by mail.

10.7 The person receiving the largest number of votes for a designated position shall be declared elected.

10.8 The first election of the Congress shall be conducted by the assembly of Founder Delegates.