According to reports, Pakistan is set to present its case to the United States counting the country’s sacrifices in the ongoing war against terror. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will carry a record with him when he meets his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in the coming days.

We have done the dossier dance many times before. It does not work at the UN, it will not work with the US administration. The foreign policy machine needs a total overhaul- one that makes sure that Pakistan can develop a strong lobby in the US to influence legislators, and one that makes sure that our denials of sheltering the Haqqani network and actually having “safe havens” for militants are back by hard truth. If the US is too aggressive, the Pakistani leadership is also in denial about the presence of crooked characters on our soil. If the US has picked the wrong partner in India, we are not in good company either with the Haqqanis.

It is constantly claimed that we needed to project our achievements. However, a state official with a dossier in this arm will not project anything. Diplomacy is far more that official visits. We need to constantly have eyes on what goes on at Capitol Hill, which Senator or Representative can be approached and how Indian propaganda can be countered.

Two diplomatic disasters in 2016, the US refusal to subsidise an F-16 deal and the Obama administration’s campaign to induct India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) had forced Pakistan to look for a paid lobbyist in the US capital since 2013. US Justice Department records show that the last law firm to lobby for Pakistan in Washington was Locke Lord Strategies. Pakistan failed to renew its contract with the firm in July 2013, about a month after PML-N replaced PPP in the government in Islamabad. This fact itself is appalling and shows how unstrategic and lethargic our Foreign Affairs team is. Further, reports suggest that the law firm was ineffective in lobbying the US media for Pakistan as it was in lobbying Congress. We need not just a professional lobbyist, but actual Pakistani’s settled in the US to speak for us and make contact with US lawmakers.

In comparison, the India lobby is large, well funded, and organised. The Indian lobby is backed by private financial resources. The United States India Political Action Committee is a political action committee based in Washingdon DC. Since 2002 it has been working closely with Indian-American organisations to promote the India perspective on legal immigration, counter-terrorism, religious freedom, and trade. This is just important one Indian organisations in the US among many that have actually impacted US legislation. We only seem to have an embassy, and now Mr Khawaja Asif off to the US with a list.