LONDON: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) hired a lobbying firm in Washington for one month in February this year and paid $100,000 fees for setting up meetings and media interviews for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Papers available with the scriber– and filed with the US Department of Justice under Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938 - show that the payment was made by the PPP to lobbyist Jonathan Stember’s firm “Gunster Strategies Worldwide” just before the start of Bilawal Bhutto’s visit of Washington on 2nd February 2018. Jonathan P. Stember is President at Gunster Strategies Worldwide and describes himself as a political and strategic fixer.
A spokesman of the lobbying firm as well as a PPP senior leader, requesting anonymity, confirmed to that the Gunster was hired from 2nd February 2018 till 2nd March 2018.
Papers filed by the Gunster Strategies Worldwide (“registrant”) with the National Security Division (NSD) and US Department of Justice under Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938 as registrant note the name of Pakistan People’s Party (“client”) as the “foreign political party, registered at Parliament Lodges, Islamabad, Pakistan”.
The Gunster Strategies Worldwide confirmed that it had been signed up to act on behalf of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the PPP.
The lobbying firm said that the PPP was dedicated to “promoting democracy while supporting public ownership, egalitarianism, equality and a strong national defence”.
The contract between the PPP and the Gunster outlined that that the registrant will assist “the foreign principal with regard to an upcoming visit by the chairman of the PPP, Mr Bilawal Butto Zardari, registrant promises to arrange interaction between the chairman and various members of the congressional and executive branches. Registrant will also arrange media interview of the chairman with various media outlets”.