Zahid Quraishi, the first Pakistani-American to be appointed as a US Federal Judge, Monday told a largely-attended reception, organized in his honour by the Consulate General of Pakistan in New York, that this was a “humbling moment” for him. “It’s also a proud moment when you are recognized by your own community,” he said amid loud applause. Consul-General Ayesha Ali, who presided over the event, warmly welcomed Judge Quraishi to the Pakistan House, saying his elevation to the federal bench marks a “historic moment” for the Pakistani-American community which is coming into its own. Present at the reception was a visiting high-level Pakistani judicial delegation, which included among others, Justices — Ali Baqar Najafi, Shahid Bilal Hassan and Shahbaz Ali Rizvi. Also present in the audience was Ms. Shama Haider, who recently won the Democratic primary for New Jersey State Assembly and will be the party’s official candidate in the November elections. Ms. Haider was a secretary to Pakistan’s former First Lady Begum Nusrat Bhutto. She also assisted the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The Consul General also welcomed at Monday’s event the chief guests’ mother, Shahida Quraishi. Born to Pakistani immigrants in New York City and raised in Fanwood, New Jersey, the 46-year-old Quraishi was among a diverse slate of 11 judicial nominees put forward by President Joe Biden in March. His confirmation on June 10 by the U.S. Senate was warmly welcomed by members of the Pakistani community, especially by leaders of the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC) — Dr. Ijaz Ahmad, Assad Chaudhry and Dr. Mahbood Alam — who lobbied hard for his nomination to the U.S. District Court in New Jersey that also makes him the first Muslim federal judge in U.S. history. The 83-to-16 Senate vote in favour of Quraishi was bipartisan, with 34 Republicans crossing party lines to join all Democrats present in voting to confirm him. Profusely thanking Ms. Ayesha Ali for honouring him at the reception, Judge Quraishi urged the Pakistani community to push for appointment of qualified candidates for other posts in the administration. In her remarks, the consul general said, “Judge Zahid Quraishi, alongside several other appointments of Pakistani-Americans by the Biden Administration, including Lina Khan, as the head of the Federal Trade Commission; Salman Ahmed, as Director of Policy Planning; Ali Zaidi, as the Deputy White House National Climate Advisor; and Dilawar Syed, as the Deputy Administrator for the Small Business Administration, is indeed a testament to their hard work and their service. “It is indeed a moment of pride for Pakistan because our diaspora is a bridge between our two great nations — Pakistan and the United States. The stronger and visible the Pakistani-American community, the stronger the relationship between both the countries.” She said Prime Minister Imran Khan considers overseas Pakistanis and the Pakistani diaspora as assets to Pakistan, prioritizing efficient public service delivery to them through the consulates general and embassies worldwide. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s recent visit to New York and his interactions with the community in several formats including with the professionals and youth also bears testament to the policy of the government to ensure that the diaspora’s opinions are heard and acted upon, she added. In his concluding remarks, Justice Ali Baqar Najafi of Lahore High court congratulated Judge Quraishi and wished him success.