US Congress raises eyebrows on Musharraf's new lobbying contract

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Washington, Jan 10 : A large section of US Congressmen are learnt to have raised eyebrows on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's regime signing a 45,000-dollar-per-month contract with the Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide to "polish Pakistan's image" in Washington.

According to the Daily Times, the move is likely to draw criticism from the US Congress by the implied Islamabad perception that all that ails the Musharraf regime in Washington is solely a public relations problem.

The US Congressmen, particularly the Democrats, are bewildered on how to deal with Pakistan, whose image suffered a beating particularly after Benazir Bhutto's assassination. They are of the view of imposing tougher restriction on aid to Musharraf's regime.

"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," the Daily Times quoted The Hill, a weekly devoted to Congressional affairs, as saying.

It added: "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."

ANI

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