The Pakistani government is continuing to hire lobby firms in an attempt to improve its political image in the US, DNA India reports, referring to Islamabad’s “declining credibility around the world”.
The news outlet cited a recent report published by the website Politico as saying that the Pakistani Embassy in Washington had turned to the services of Linden Government Solutions in order to ensure effective representation of Pakistan’s interests in the US.
Linden Government Solutions is a subsidiary of the Houston-based Linden Strategies, a government relations and business development firm that provides strategic analysis and advice to domestic and international clients.
“Pakistan’s government has hired Stephen Payne and Brian Ettinger of Linden Government Solutions to lobby on its behalf, according to a disclosure filing. The duo previously lobbied for Pakistan during President George W. Bush’s administration”, according to a copy of the contract filed with the US Justice Department and obtained by Politico.
The contract reportedly stipulates that Islamabad “isn’t footing the bill for the work itself” and that the Linden Government Solutions firm will be paid by “Pakistani-American Diaspora organizations for the purpose of supporting this agreement”.
"The names of any such organizations and the amounts paid will be disclosed as part of Consultant’s Foreign Agents Registration Act filings with the U.S. Department of Justice”, the contract reads.
The document was clinched after Pakistan’s Ambassador to Washington Asad Mohammad Khan signed a deal with the lobbyist firm Holland & Knight in 2019 to assist the Pakistani Embassy in promoting the ties between the two countries, which have been uneasy since President Donald Trump entered office in 2017.
Trump has repeatedly berated Pakistan for failing to tackling extremists and being an unreliable partner in the fight against terrorism.
The US administration even blamed Islamabad for cooperating with Islamist radicals, including the Taliban*, allegation that were rejected by the Pakistani government as “counterproductive”.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia