AL lashes BNP for appointing lobbyist firm

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 16:16, Sep 14, 2018 | Updated : 16:18, Sep 14, 2018

Obaidul Quader. FILE PHOTORuling party Awami League has come down heavily on BNP for appointing a US firm to lobby the Trump administration and enhance the party’s international outreach during the polls.
“Why there is a need to appoint a lobbyist firm,” questioned party General Secretary Obaidul Quader Friday.
The firm was appointed to put pressure on the government, he said while speaking at a programme at Anwar Khan Modern Hospital in the city.
“Our root is not weak that we will bow down to foreign pressure,” he said.
One UK-based Abdul Sattar signed an agreement with a Washington-based firm Blue Star Strategies to “support outreach, education and communications to US officials and organisations about the Bangladesh National Party regarding the upcoming elections in Bangladesh”.
Mr Sattar, the principal signatory to the agreement, is based out of the United Kingdom and the political party’s address on the document is “Bangladesh National Party, 28, 1 VIP Rd, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh.”
The lobbying firm is to be paid $20,000 for the first month (August, 2018) and then $35,000 for each subsequent month (September-December 2018).
The current Bangladesh government, too, had hired a Washington-based lobbying group, BGR Public Relations, from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. The scope of work as mentioned in the contract was “to provide strategic public relations and government affairs counsel for the government of Bangladesh”.
The firm was paid $25,000 USD for its services, as per the Department of Justice document.