Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Zardari's Lobbyists

Just came across this in a Mother Jones piece about Afghanistan's (lack of) lobbying power in Afghanistan:

In his memo to Afghanistan's finance minister, Omar Zakhiwal, which is dated April 21 and marked "confidential," Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad surveys the competition. Pakistan, he writes, employs nine American lobbying firms, including two "that alone represent and promote President Asif Ali Zardari's interests in Washington." According to the ambassador's missive, these include Locke Lord Strategies-LP, which since May 2008 has been on retainer from the Pakistan government for more than $100,000 per month, and JWT Asiatic and Hill & Knowlton, which together collect a monthly payment exceeding $100,000. All told, according to Jawad's estimate, Islamabad spent at least $3 million on Washington lobbyists in 2008 alone.

Would Asif Zardari's "interests" happen to include sugar exports and property values in Dubai?


Anonymous said...

I know it sounds a lot but $3 mill/year is not a lot compared with what other countries spend on lobbying in Washington. In some cases, it is more like 15-20 million.

bubs said...

Anon747: I don't have a problem with the Pakistan government lobbying Congress (although nine firms seems like overkill). I do have a problem with Zardari hiring personal lobbyists, presumably at government expense.