Anti-Indian US diplomat hired to lobby for Islamabad in Washington

November 14th, 2007 - 3:00 am ICT by admin  
Former US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robin Raphael retired from the foreign services few years ago, and is Vice President of the firm called Cassidy and Associates, which has signed a 1.2 million-dollar-contract with Islamabad for putting forward Pakistan’s interests at Capitol Hill.

“Cassidy’s work will involve lobbying and public relations campaigns promoting Pakistan’s status as an ‘important strategic partner’ of the US”, the Daily Times quoted The Hill, a small publication devoted to congressional coverage.

Raphael, who has taken up the new responsibility at a crucial time when Pakistan is facing an internal political turmoil and its international image has taken a severe beating with the rise of Taliban, said, “We need to recognise it is not easy what Pakistan is trying to do here in assisting us in the fight against the terrorism in the region.”

“I think it’s clear there is a less than perfect understanding of Pakistan here,” she added.

However, Raphael is more known for her anti-India and pro-Pakistan views on Kashmir.

On October 23, 1993 she in her capacity as Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, questioned Kashmir’s accession to India by saying, “We (USA) do not recognise the legal validity of Kashmir’s accession as meaning that Kashmir is for ever an integral part of India… The people of Kashmir have got to be consulted in any kind of final settlement of the Kashmir dispute.”

Her statement had created a storm in New Delhi and the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had asked the US Administration to stop her from repeating such statements.

By signing one -year contract, Cassidy and Associates has become Pakistan’s one of the two official lobbyists for Islamabad there. The other lobbyist being Van Scoyoc Associates, which is paid 55,000 dollars a month by the Pakistan government. (ANI)

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