Sherry accuses PTI of seeking private firm’s help to promote party image in US

The Nation  |  Mar 24, 2023

ISLAMABAD    -   Pakistan People’s Party yesterday claimed that Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf had signed an agreement with a pri­vate US consulting firm, Praia Consul­tant, for using their services to pro­mote party’s image and restoring its lost credibility.

PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman, who is also the Federal Minister for Climate Change, slammed the pur­ported ‘U-turn’ made by the PTI by “signing a six-month agreement” with Praia Consultant. In a series of tweets, the minister held the signing of the agreement exposing the PTI’s “double standards and hypocrisy”. 

She said that many countries ap­point lobbyists, and so do political parties, but this case was particularly bizarre because it came from a party that attempted to pose itself as a po­litical martyr of the “US meddling.” 

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“If that was the case, why are they now locked in a desperate attempt to buy the influence of the US decision-makers after the failure of the ‘Cipher Conspiracy’ narrative and earlier lob­bying efforts? PTI’s double standards and U-turns have been exposed many times,” she added. Sherry Rehman fur­ther said: “Now, they are constantly taking the services of lobbying com­panies for their publicity in the US. His (PTI chief Imran Khan) concocted narrative has been exposed numer­ous times that show he was planning to ‘play’ with Pakistan’s interests for his own personal politics.” 

She said despite “previously blam­ing the US for their ouster from poli­tics, the PTI hired an American lobby­ing firm Fentone Arlook LLC in October of last year, only to quickly backtrack on their criticism of the US within a month. It’s now apparent that hiring of lobbyists is not with Pakistan’s inter­ests and integrity in mind, but rather as a means to influence the country’s domestic politics for their own gain. This brazen use of self-interest above national interest is a clear indication of PTI’s willingness to compromise Pakistan’s interests for the sake of their own political agenda.” According to the alleged agreement, the PTI al­lows the consulting firm to arrange meetings between the PTI leaders and US decision-makers, and to pro­vide guidance on the content of these meetings. The minister highlighted that normally political parties en­gage in lobbying for improving rela­tions between the two countries, but it’s the opposite case here.

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“What makes PTI different from others is the sheer hypocrisy of their actions. They (PTI) have actively campaigned against foreign influ­ence in the past, while engaging in it themselves. Imran Khan must an­swer for his false narrative of an American conspiracy against him, which he peddled for months before suddenly retracting.

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