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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Pakistan is a majority Muslim country on the Indian Ocean, bordering Afghanistan on the west and India on the east. British colonial rule ended in 1947. In 1999, the elected government of Nawaz Sharif was overthrown by Pervez Musharraf in a military coup. Pakistan, along with its rival India, are both nuclear powers. [1]

In August 2001, Pakistan was described as having "failed to achieve political stability, sustained economic growth or a clear sense of national identity." [1]

Pakistan lobbying and public relations in the U.S.

  • In December 2007, Pakistan through its embassy in Washington, DC hired an American lobby firm, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, to improve Pakistan's image in the U.S. The contract runs initially for three months. Ogilvy's work is to do media training for members of the embassy, guidance, reporter outreach, and write press material. Ogilvy is to be paid US$45,000 per month.[2]
  • Pakistan has renewed its contract with Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc. lobby firm, initially signed in the summer of 2007. The fee runs $55,000 per month.[2]
  • In 2007, Pakistan had been getting criticism from the U.S. Congress and from the presidential candidates and in response has increased its lobbying and public relations activity in the U.S. The Hill reported:
Cassidy & Associates has inked a year-long $1.2 million contract with Pakistan’s embassy in Washington, according to records filed with the Justice Department. Cassidy’s work will involve an intense lobbying and public-relations campaign promoting Pakistan’s status as an “important strategic partner of the U.S.”
“We thought we had some challenging issues and we thought we should add another lobbying firm,” said Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, first secretary of political affairs at Pakistan’s Washington embassy.[3]

U.S. military in and near Pakistan

In January 2008, Pakistan President Musharraf turned down proposals from Mike McConnell, the director of U.S. national intelligence, and General Michael V. Hayden, the director of the CIA, to increase U.S. military presence in the country. Predator surveillance/attack aircraft are now used in the country against Al Qaeda, Taliban, and other militant groups and talks are underway to increase the use of these aircraft.

The New York Times reported, "The C.I.A. operatives in Afghanistan and the covert Special Operations forces there have made little secret of their desire to move into the tribal areas with or without Mr. Musharraf’s explicit approval. In the administration, there has been discussion of whether Mr. Bush should give orders to allow them more latitude. Mr. Musharraf has explicitly rejected that, and within days after Mr. McConnell and General Hayden’s departure, he told a Singapore newspaper that any unilateral action by the United States would be regarded as an invasion."

The U.S. is giving large sums of money to the Pakistani military. "At the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland last week, Mr. Musharraf said several times that the 100,000 Pakistani troops that he said were now along the border were hunting for Taliban extremists and “miscreants,” but he also said there was no particular effort being put into the search for Qaeda fighters. In Washington, however, the Bush administration has said that fighting terrorists, chiefly Al Qaeda, is the primary purpose of the $10 billion in American aid that has been sent to Pakistan, mostly for reimbursements for the cost of patrolling the tribal areas." [4]


The BBC says of the country's media:

President Pervez Musharraf's rule ushered in increased freedom for the print media and a liberalisation of broadcasting policies. However, media rules were tightened in 2007 in the midst of an opposition campaign against the president. The legislation gave the broadcasting regulator more power to shut down TV stations.
Many Pakistanis watch international satellite TV channels, via a dish or an often-unlicensed cable TV operator. Indian channels such as Zee TV and STAR TV are popular with those who can receive them. The channels circumvent censorship in Pakistan that is far more restrictive than in India.[5]

Pakistan and tobacco issues

A document from the Philip Morris collection shows that Pakistani smokers' fears and anxieties about health were considered a "market opportunity" for cigarette companies to market "light" cigarettes in that country.

In countries where information about the health effects of smoking is less advanced, cigarette makers anticipate an eventual increase in smokers' health anxieties and begin positioning their brands to cater to, and profit from those fears:

(Taken from Page 46 of the document, Bates No. 2504008518):

The evidence as a whole seems to indicate, in fact, that anxiety about the health/safety had not yet reached the level where avowedly very mild cigarettes like Rothman's Lights could expect an extensive franchise...Over time, anxiety levels would rise, as they have done in other markets, and when this happened mild/light brands like Rothman's Lights would begin to achieve respectable sales. The indications were, however, that such as development would take some time.[6]

<tdo>search_term=Pakistan confidential</tdo> Additional suggested search terms: "Pakistan market," "Pakistan health," "Pakistan transit" (refers to smuggled cigarettes)



Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Timeline: Pakistan, BBC, accessed January 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tariq Butt, "Pakistan hires new US lobbying firm for image building", International The News, January 11, 2008.
  3. Kevin Bogardus, "Pakistan builds up D.C. presence with Cassidy contract", The Hill, October 25, 2007.
  4. Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger, "Pakistan Shuns C.I.A. Buildup Sought by U.S.", New York Times, January 27, 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Country profile: Pakistan, BBC, accessed January 2008.
  6. Author unknown Report of a Qualitative New Brand Development Study in the A/B Price Sector in Pakistan Market Research Report. 49pp. Philip Morris Bates No. 2504008471/8519

External articles



  • Syed Ahmed Tariq Mir, "Pakistan, A Failed State," October 1, 2000: "Mir, Member of the Central Co-ordination Committee, MQM, said in the SAPRA conference, that the effects of partition are visible in Pakistan even after 53 years of independence. He said Pakistan is ruled by 46 families and that the Mohajir population of over 30 million is being kept hostage by the Punjabi dominated Pakistani establishment."




  • "Pakistan hires Bush's man as US lobbyist,", February 10, 2004: "Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has hired Frank Howard, Jr., the man who managed President George W. Bush's election campaign in 2001, as his key lobbyist in Washington. ... Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the acting parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, told the Dawn newspaper that Howard was running a public relations firm in Bethesda, Maryland, and had played an important role in the Bush-Cheney election campaign. ... When contacted at his hotel, Howard confirmed that he was running a public relations firm named 'Eagle' and was here on 'business'."
  • Leon Hadar, "Were We All Wrong About Pakistan, Too?," Cato Institute, March 1, 2004: "The revelation that a leading Pakistani scientist has been running a smuggling operation that provided nuclear military designs to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, has ignited 'Shocked! Shocked! Shocked!' outcries in Washington. After all, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the founder of Pakistan's nuclear military program is a national hero in a country that President Bush has described as a key 'ally' of the United States in the war against terrorism and the campaign to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). And Khan was a close associate of President Pervez Musharraf, the recipient of huge amounts of American military and economic aid."



External resources