Pakistan no longer sellable in Washington
* Former US envoy links withdrawal of lobbying firm Cassidy and Associates to recent developments in Pakistan
WASHINGTON: Another sign of how unpopular and difficult it has become to defend or sell Pakistan’s case in Washington after the declaration of an emergency by President Gen Pervez Musharraf came this week when Cassidy & Associates, a lobbying firm that had won a $1.2 million annual contract from the Pakistan government only last month, threw in the towel, saying it could no longer “effectively fulfil” its mission.
In a terse statement on Wednesday, Cassidy, a large and well-known company, said, “Recent developments in Pakistan have made it difficult to effectively fulfill our mission on behalf of the Embassy of Pakistan. These dramatic changes have forced us to most respectfully withdraw our representation of the embassy effective today.”
US envoy: Former US ambassador Robin Raphel told this correspondent, “Developments have regrettably made it necessary to withdraw because under the circumstances we cannot do what we agreed to do. I do hope things will take a turn for the better in Pakistan soon.”
Last month, Raphel told Daily Times, “Cassidy & Associates has been retained to help the Pakistan Embassy ensure that the facts about the complexities of the challenges Pakistan faces in the crucial months ahead are better understood by the Congress, agencies in Washington, and the American public. One of those facts is that there is indeed common ground between the PPP and the current government in Pakistan.” The Pakistan embassy had no comment.
Last month, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, fist secretary at the Pakistan embassy, told The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress and its activities, “We thought we had some challenging issues and we thought we should add another lobbying firm.” khalid hasan