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Pakistan hires lobbying firm in Washington

Pakistan hires lobbying firm in Washington

WASHINGTON: The Pakistani embassy in Washington has hired the services of a leading lobbying firm, Holland & Knight, to ensure effective representation of Islamabad’s interests in the United States.

A contract was signed by embassy representatives and Tom Reynolds, a former Republican congressman from New York who represented the top lobbying firm.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi witnessed the contract signing and held discussion with Reynolds and his team members.

FM Qureshi said he was confident that Holland & Knight would be able to work efficiently with the Pakistani embassy to advance Pakistan’s interests in the US.

Reynolds thanked the foreign minister for reposing confidence in Holland & Knight and assured him of their full support in efforts to forge stronger Pakistan-US bilateral relations based on mutual respect and interests.

The lobbying team will comprise of Reynolds and other former members of congress, former senior administration officials, Capitol Hill veterans and other professional experts.

The move is being seen as a positive one for Pakistan. Despite the pressing requirements of the increasingly unique political realities of the US, the Pakistani embassy had no lobbyist in Washington DC for the past six years.

The agreement coincides with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden visit to the United States since assuming office. The premier left for Washington on Saturday on the invitation of US President Donald Trump.

The premier is accompanied by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, ISI Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood and Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari.