Pak appears to step up lobbying efforts in the US amid withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan

 Pak appears to step up lobbying efforts in the US amid withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan

Pak appears to step up lobbying efforts in US amid

WASHINGTON, 2 July: As the Biden administration accelerates the pace of complete withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, Pakistan seems to have stepped up its lobbying and public relations efforts here to redefine its ties with the US.

A former congressional liaison for former president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign who later lobbied the administration on behalf of then-Congolese President Joseph Kabila is now representing Pakistani interests in the US.

Adnan Jalil has registered his firm Alpha Strategies as a lobbyist for the Council on Pakistan Relations, a nonprofit started by Michigan-based Pakistani-American healthcare entrepreneurs Mohammad Ashraf Qazi, Adil Jamal Akhtar and Iqbal Abdul Nasir.

Jalil is lobbying for the passage of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Economic Development Act, a bipartisan bill from Senators Chris Van Hollen, Todd Young and Maria Cantwell.

The bill calls for the establishment of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border regions to allow textile and apparel goods from these areas to enter the United States duty-free.

Van Hollen said in a statement, “As American troops leave Afghanistan, we have a strong interest in encouraging all parties to achieve a peaceful settlement and political reconciliation that can bring stability to this war-torn and war-weary area,”.

The US and the Taliban have signed a landmark deal in Doha on 29 February 2020 following multiple rounds of negotiations to bring lasting peace in Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home, effectively drawing curtains on America’s longest war.

As a member of the House of Representatives, Hollen authored similar legislation that passed in 2009.

Earlier this month, Washington-based public relations firm Fenton/Arlook registered for the council under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to “inform American and international media about the council’s desire for productive diplomatic and economic relations between Pakistan and the United States.”

Web Desk

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