Washington: Former PM Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) US chapter has hired a public relations firm to improve its image in the United States.
According to reports, the party has been facing a tarnished image as anti-America since April when party chairman and former premier Imran Khan accused Washington of backing efforts to overthrow his government through a no-confidence motion.
Imran Khan was ousted from power earlier this year when a no-confidence motion was passed against him.
Following his ouster in April, Khan and his party have been running a systematic campaign on the narrative that the US backed “local abettors” to topple his government through a conspiracy, and install an administration of its choice, reports Dawn News.
However, this latest move suggests that the party is looking to carry out damage control following its leader’s campaign, vilifying the US to win over popular support in Pakistan.
“This is an agreement between a PR firm, not a lobbyist, and a group of US citizens,” Sajjad Burki, the PTI chairman’s focal person for the US, told Dawn. “We are not lobbying for PTI Pakistan, and certainly not within the US administration.”
The agreement, signed on Aug 1 between David Fenton of Fenton/Arlook and attorney for PTI USA Salman Ravala became effective on Aug 9. It points out that PTI USA “is not supervised, owned, or controlled by any foreign political party, but will in certain instances be directed by a foreign political party in Pakistan”.
The PTI USA will pay the firm $25,000 per month, “collected from PTI supporters who are legal US residents”, Atif Khan, another PTI official, in Dallas, Texas, told Dawn.