Pakistan Govt. Signs New Lobbying Contract

Washington, DC: The Musharraf government has signed a $45,000 per month contract with the Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide to “polish Pakistan’s image” in Washington, a move that is likely to draw criticism from Congress by the implied Islamabad perception that all that ails the Musharraf regime in Washington is solely a public relations problem.
Also stands renewed the Musharraf government’s $55,000 per month contract last summer with Van Scoyoc Associates, raised from its previous figure of $40,000. The firm has already received $240,000 for the first half of 2007, according to Justice Department records. “Pakistan has more than a public relations problem,” said a Congressional source. Ogilvy has been preparing an agreement with Pakistan’s Washington Embassy since November 2007.
According to The Hill, a weekly devoted to congressional affairs, “Democrats face a test over how to deal with Pakistan, an already thorny foreign policy issue further complicated by the controversy surrounding Benazir’s assassination. While some Democrats want to impose tougher restrictions on aid to Musharraf’s regime, Democrats also want to avoid tying the hands of a potential future Democratic administration by micromanaging foreign policy. This debate is expected to play out as Congress makes its decisions on the fiscal 2009 appropriations process. When they return from recess, lawmakers are expected to file resolutions condemning Benazir’s assassination, continue calls for an independent investigation and consider placing stronger restrictions on aid to Pakistan, according to several insiders.” -  Khalid Hasan



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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