Cornered Pakistan looks to hire lobbyists in US to mend ties
Islamabad/Washington, June 15: Cornered by the recent developments in international politics, Pakistan is looking to hire lobbying firms in Washington after almost a decade in a bid to refurbish its image in the US, the Reuters reported.
The country is making the move at a time when the relation between the two old allies reached a low, two officials in Islamabad told Reuters on Tuesday (June 14). [US cartoon compares Pakistan with donkey]
Ties between Islamabad and Washington have particularly been strained after an unmanned US aircraft killed top Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in western Punjab in May, fuelling strong reaction from Pakistan which called it a violation of its sovereignty.
The time-tested relationship also saw a bitter phase over Washington's refusal to approve the sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. The US Congress said no to the authorisation of use of US funds to pay for the aircraft under the Foreign Military Financing programme. Pakistan is now cosidering buying of used F-16 jets from Jordan.
A government official, on the condition of anonymity, said Pakistan used to maintain lobbyists in the US but stopped the practice during the rule of General Pervez Musharraf in 1999-2008. He said the government has now decided to restart the process to rebuild its image.
The official also acknowledged that India and other countries were having "aggressive public relations", something which his country seemed to lack.
The officials, however, did not name the lobbying firms the Pakistani authorities were aiming to rope in.