At present, there is no strong voice at the Hill to even convince US lawmakers that a rag-tag Army of Afghanistan has started attacking Frontier Corps posts of Pakistan at Torkham without any provocation.
“Pakistan used to have lobbyists in Washington … Now we want to relaunch the effort,” said a senior government official, who asked not to be identified, as he was not authorised to speak to media on record.
Islamabad dropped its official lobbying efforts during the 1999-2008 military rule of General Pervez Musharraf, the official said, adding that the government had now decided it needed help to successfully sell its image.
“Look at India and other countries, and how aggressive their public relation teams are,” the official added.
In the United States, Indians initiate their work from county levels. Affluent Indian families start sending regular charities to local churches and other charitable organizations.
They normally cultivate bishops and participate in county-level social welfare programmes. Indian business community in the United States regularly gives donations to state governors.
Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora in the US, therefore, can draw a lesson or two from world’s top-rated public relations and marketing books
Whereas attitude of Pakistan Embassy official remained only official. They take it for granted that the US Administration will continue to render its support to Pakistan.
I remember during the second stint of Benazir Bhutto we had a smart Ambassador Dr.Maleeha Lodhi at Washington D.C. She was re-appointed Pakistan’s envoy to DC by General Musharraf.
During the same period infamous Pressler Amendment was replaced by ‘Brown Law’, enabling US Administrations to lift sanctions against Pakistan.
Benazir Bhutto kept one Mark Seigal as her permanent lobbyist in the United States.
Waking up from a deep slumber PM’s foreign Office Advisor Sartaj Aziz ,the other day told local journalists,” Pakistan was shortlisting prospective lobbying firms, foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz on told a Senate meeting on defence and foreign affairs.
Some jets in Pakistan’s fleet of F-16s are due to be decommissioned in the next few years and the government says it needs the aircraft to fight terrorist militants in remote mountains near neighbouring Afghanistan. –Business Recorder