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Musharraf hires US lobbyist for $25,000 a month

Published Oct 08, 2011 03:04am

Former president Pervez Musharraf speaks to the press in Hong Kong on September 15, 2010.—AFP

WASHINGTON: Former chief of the army staff Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, currently visiting North America, has hired a firm for $25,000 a month to lobby for him in the US capital.

A copy of the contract obtained by Dawn shows that a formal agreement between Mr Musharraf and the Advantage Associates International Ltd. was signed on Sept 1.

The contract letter identifies the firm as a specialist in “helping clients with governmental, political and international matters.” Raza Bokhari, a prominent member of Mr Musharraf’s party in the US, will work as “point of contact”.

“For purposes of this agreement, Mr Bokhari and the office of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf shall retain joint rights,” the letter says.

The Advantage Ltd will work with Mr Bokhari to “develop a strategy to represent the interest of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf in the US” and the firm will assist Mr Bokhari “in any other area that would be of benefit to Gen (retd) Musharraf”.

The agreement, which began on Sept 1, 2011, ends on March 30, 2012.

The parties “acknowledge awareness and stated preference that this is an agreement for services as an independent contractor. The parties will exert all manner of good faith and take all reasonable efforts to ensure performance and prevent repudiation by other parties connected with its activities which could affect its performance under this agreement”.

The total fee for the services to be provided to by Advantage is $175,000.00. A monthly payment in the amount of $25,000.00 will be made to Advantage for a period of seven months beginning on Sept 1, 2011. All monthly payments must be made on the first of each month. However, for the last two months and the first month, $75,000.00 was paid upon the signing of this agreement.

Mr Bokhari also agreed to reimburse Advantage for all reasonable expenses arising out of this agreement, with any expenses over $250.00 approved in advance.

Meanwhile, Mr Musharraf’s office in the US issued a statement on Friday, noting that the relationship between Pakistan and the US was on a declining trend due to many reasons.

To explain Pakistan’s position, Mr Musharraf met a number of senior US lawmakers in Washington, the statement said.

“As a member of diaspora community, we all feel compelled to play our roles in improving the bilateral relationship between the two countries,” the statement said.

He was scheduled to meet the former speaker, and a senior member of the US Congress, Nancy Pelosi, on Friday.