Troubled by its declining credibility around the world, the Pakistani government has been hiring lobbying firms to improve its image in the US and European countries.
In addition, it is also adopting a new strategy to push anti-India stories in US and British media to discredit India at the international level.
As per reports, the Pakistani embassy in Washington has taken the services of Stephen Payne and Brian Ettinger of Linden Government Solutions to ensure effective representation of its interest in America.
“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,” a report published in ‘Politico’ said.
A copy of the contract filed with US Department of Justice in Washington has the signature of Stephen Payne of Linden Government Solution and Asad Majeed Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. The copy has been accessed by Zee News.
The country has been spending huge amounts of money to push anti-India stories in US and British media. A new strategy being adopted by Pakistan is to use Indians to write articles in prominent newspapers and arrange for invited tours to universities for lectures and webinars.
A report by United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has said that despite the horrendous treatment of Ahmadiyas who were not even allowed to be enumerated as minorities and even excluded from Pakistan Minorities Commission, through these lobbyists, the country managed to prevent any critical references to itself but managed to include India as a country of particular concern.
Hiring a lobbying firm is not new for Pakistan. Last year, the Pakistani embassy in Washington had hired lobbyist firm Holland & Knight to ensure effective representation of Islamabad’s interests in the US.
Relations between Pakistan and the US have been turbulent since Donald Trump took charge of the office in 2017. Trump has been repeatedly singling out Islamabad for failing to rein in extremists and being an unfaithful partner in the fight against terrorism.