Getting attention: Musharraf hires firm to ‘represent his interests’ in US

Published: October 8, 2011
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Former President Pervez Musharraf speaks at the Newseum in Washington. PHOTO: FILE

Former President Pervez Musharraf speaks at the Newseum in Washington. PHOTO: FILE

WASHINGTON: 

As former military ruler Pervez Musharraf begins his tour of the United States and Canada, documents have come to light revealing that the general, who is now heading his own political party, has hired a lobbying firm in the US to represent his “interests” in the country.

According to a form submitted by the Advantage Associates under the Foreign Agents Registration Act to the US Department of Justice, Dr Raza Bokhari, cited as a representative of the former president, has hired the lobbying firm to “Work with client to develop strategy to represent the interest of General Pervez Musharraf in the United States.” The total fee for the contract that began in September 2011 and will end in March 2012 is $175,000.

Bill Sarpalius, CEO and President of Advantage Associates, told The Express Tribune, “We’re doing everything we can do to help him. We’re trying to help him deliver the message that he has – the positive image of the people of Pakistan – to Congress.” Sarpalius said that their goal is to get Musharraf’s message across to members of the US Congress and the administration.

Raza Bokhari, who claims to be part of the North American office of General Pervez Musharraf, said that the lobbying firm would serve as their links to Congress and the United States. He added that he was not a member of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), but General Musharraf’s office acted as a liaison between his charitable foundation, political party and personal affairs, with offices in London, Dubai and the US.

Musharraf arrived in Washington, DC on Wednesday. Over the past two days, he was scheduled to meet Senator Carl Levin, head of the Armed Services Committee, Senators Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain and former speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Sarpalius said that his firm had helped arrange some of those meetings.

According to documents available with the US Senate, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have also hired lobbying firms in the US. Several foreign governments, including that of Pakistan, and foreign corporations, use lobbying firms to further their cause and present their viewpoints in front of members of the US Congress.

On a related note, the Pakistani Embassy, which has Locke Lord Strategies as its lobbying firm, paid $230,000 to the firm in the second quarter of 2011. According to the documents, the causes that the firm lobbied for included “Foreign Operations appropriations, Afghanistan-Pakistan security and Prosperity Enhancement Act; Afghanistan and Pakistan Reconstruction Opportunity Zones Act of 2009 and the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2009.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Oct 8, 2011 - 10:33AM

    Actually if you go through his activities and statements he is giving on issues related to WOT it is more of Pakistani interests he is representing.

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  • Kramat
    Oct 8, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Very good this will help since he is fighting alone for Pakistan.

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  • rizwan
    Oct 8, 2011 - 10:58AM

    he has lost hope from People of pakistan; thus only hope to come in power through US.

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  • Malik
    Oct 8, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Great leader always thinks for Pakistan…. Pakistan First…..

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  • Malik Tabeer
    Oct 8, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Only Man Fighting For Pakistan God Bless you

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  • Oct 8, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Vienna,08-10-2011
    Thank you for helping ease unemployment in the United States.
    But how could it help non resident Pakistani dual citizens or for
    that matter those who lobby for American withdrawal all together
    from Pakistan? As I said disengagement process also is an
    engagement to be handled by an agent or agents.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • khan
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:05PM

    What a fall! The man who until recently had no time for people is asking for time from US senators.

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  • Raza
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:30PM

    Hmmm, so the mention of Tehreek-i-Insaf and the MQM hiring similar firms is little more than a footnote and Musharraf doing the same is headline news. Makes one wonder…

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:50PM

    Rich General. Wonder where he got all this money from.

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  • RP
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:58PM

    That if more than 15 million Pak rupees.
    Source of Income? Checque issued from a Swiss bank?

    Trying to impose himself on Pakistan external help?

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  • Yasir Mehmood
    Oct 8, 2011 - 1:12PM

    The guy has some serious amount of cash!Recommend

  • Salman
    Oct 8, 2011 - 2:54PM

    Everyone does and when ever he is in western media, he defends Pakistani point of view vigilantlyRecommend

  • Parvez
    Oct 8, 2011 - 3:28PM

    Advice for Bill Starpalius – you can’t make a silk purse out of a sous ear.

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  • Saleem
    Oct 8, 2011 - 3:49PM

    Bill Sarpalius, CEO and President of
    Advantage Associates, told The Express
    Tribune, “We’re doing everything we
    can do to help him. We’re trying to
    help him deliver the message that he
    has – the positive image of the people
    of Pakistan – to Congress.”

    A great person and leader. Recommend

  • Zaka
    Oct 8, 2011 - 4:13PM

    @RizwanTKhan
    Musharraf is not insane. He speaks and world listens to him. He earns rupee 3 crores per lecture. Moreover overseas Pakistanis are concerend about Pakistan, so they contribute to AMPL for Pakistan cause. The people like you are good with corrupt, hypocrite, incapable, and incompetent politicians. Recommend

  • Adeel759
    Oct 8, 2011 - 4:28PM

    You are all missing the most important thing to note, that he hired ths firm from september to March, March; the month he has been promising to return to the homeland.Did you get it? On other hand, even he fails to comeback to power he will be able to keep the leaders like Mian Sahib on toes. Fear of him coming back will make them do the right things for the nation. So General keep it up.

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  • Saleem
    Oct 8, 2011 - 4:44PM

    At least he is not trying to defame Pakistan by using lobbying firms as some earlier political heads in self exile had done .

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  • danish
    Oct 8, 2011 - 5:04PM

    ask those who have black money and are sitting in country looting you. you are helping them and accusing the great leader for being corrupt? he is the only leader who has took initiatives to improve and build a positive image of Pakistan across the globe.Recommend

  • abid mohiuddin
    Oct 8, 2011 - 8:30PM

    @rizwan:
    You dont understand the International politics .You have to be friend to the top #1 super power. Actually he is doing it for Pakistan and for himself

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  • abid mohiuddin
    Oct 8, 2011 - 8:32PM

    Actually we should pay for this because he is alone doing it for Pakistan
    Thanks Mr Musharraf . Pakistan First

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  • Mirza
    Oct 9, 2011 - 6:11AM

    It is the same gen Mush who in the US told the media that there is a culture in Pakistan that the women arrange for their rapes to get green cards. He needs all the paid support in the US to get into Pakistan via backdoor. He has no constituency in Pakistan and is totally dependent upon other parties. Mush has been a mercenary of US and has lots of contacts here. But they are not going to do it free and charge him just like he did. Everybody knows a well known politician if he were popular in Pakistan he would not need to run away and hire help in the USA. Money talks!

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  • Linda M
    Oct 9, 2011 - 8:06AM

    I saw him in Bass Pro Sports at Vaughn Mills near Toronto with his guards today…dont know what he bought, but he left with a large bag

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  • Dr Kamran
    Oct 9, 2011 - 10:36AM

    He is doing it for himself and Pakistan. This “and Pakistan” is currently not done by anyone else. So my vote goes to Musharraf.

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  • Dr Kamran
    Oct 9, 2011 - 10:38AM

    @ people who wonder where all the money is coming from, they will be soon wondering, how did he become President again…. InshAllah!

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Oct 9, 2011 - 1:39PM

    Self image building is every one’s right & Gen:Pervez Musharraf is no exception.Keep it up old chap.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 9, 2011 - 2:40PM

    Musharraf would do well to get some honest, straight talkers around him. At present it looks like he has a bunch of sycophants who tell him only what he wants to hear.
    This has been the problem with all our leaders and Musharraf was and is no exception.
    He must first start by admitting that he made many, many mistakes and exercised bad judgement on more than one occasion and then proceed from there. Otherwise its will all turn out to be exercise in waste – but then he’s rich enough and as he said in one of his interviews ‘ I’ll give it a try and if it does not work out, well I’m comfortable’. – not much hope ?

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Oct 9, 2011 - 11:04PM

    Let me put Mr.Parvez wise that President Gen:Pervez Musharraf might have made mistakes,we all do,but,he did not pocket tax payers money & ran away from Pakistan.He certainly is an honest man.He left behind 7-8% economic growth on the average & what is the situation today.let us all pray that we get out of this quagmire as soon as possible.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Oct 9, 2011 - 11:40PM

    Dr.Kamran,you said it.I fully agree with you.

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  • hamza khan
    Oct 10, 2011 - 6:00PM

    jiye musharraf! patriot to the core!

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  • Oct 10, 2011 - 8:12PM

    PTI, Musharraf and others must go through America’s congress and present ideas for Pakistan?

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Oct 12, 2011 - 5:09PM

    Compare the mess today with what it was during Gen M`s tenure…corruption ( not proved ) with good goverance is acceptable but corruption with bad goverance ( which is continuing for the past 3.5 years )is not acceptable….any taker…??….is free media today not his gift to us….Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Oct 12, 2011 - 9:56PM

    Musharraf darling you are just wasting your money and time with the American they are of no body.

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