Exclusive: Pakistan hires Republican lobbyist for US ties

As the world prepares for a new order post Covid-19, Pakistan — China’s all-weather ally — has roped in a controversial political lobbyist to improve its ties with the United States, documents reviewed by India Today show.

The Imran Khan government, papers reveal, has entered into an agreement with a Republican lobbyist, Stephen Payne, to provide “strategic consulting services in support of Pakistan’s diplomatic goals” in the US.

The move is seen in the context of a possible weakening of China’s influence in the post-pandemic world. The agreement was signed by the Houston-based lobbyist, Payne, and Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan, on April 15.

Activities like “planning and meeting with government and non-government representatives and public relations services” are listed as part of the contract, the document accessed by India Today show.

The lobby group’s activities on the US soil have been identified as “political” in nature. The term of the signed contract lasts six months, from April 16 to October 16 this year.

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