Pakistan Image Repair Team Lands in US

Washington, DC: A three-member image repair team led by cricket chief Dr Nasim Ashraf has landed in the US to explain to ‘US policy-makers and opinion leaders’ why General (r) Pervez Musharraf declared an emergency in Pakistan on November 3 and why his subsequent actions should be seen as justified. The team includes federal minister Mohammad Ali Saif and Kashmala Tariq, a former member of the National Assembly. The three visitors from Pakistan are taking the same route that every such delegation or important figure sent to the US routinely takes. Without exception, in New York the local mission arranges for a speaking engagement at Asia Society, which normally attracts an audience of 50 or more people, unless the speaker advertised is someone well known. Dr Ashraf and his two-member team may not be much of a draw. The local mission also manages to arrange for visitors from home to call on newspaper editorial boards or some members of these boards and has been known to manage a TV interview or two as well. Meetings in the US: Dr Ashraf and his team arrive in Washington on December 2 and will be here for the next four days. An embassy official when asked about the team’s plans, replied that it would be making calls on Capitol Hill and also meet leaders of the Pakistan Caucus in Congress. This is familiar ground because every officially sent visitor or delegation from Pakistan is almost always taken to meet the same congressional figures, who, without exception, are favorably inclined towards the sitting government in Islamabad. Rarely if ever have such official visitors tried to meet those who have a different and not necessarily friendly view of Pakistan and the events there.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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