Friday 20 August 2010

UK fights for hearts and minds

I’m sure the Government is boosting aid to Pakistan and acting as its international advocate because it’s the right thing to do to help the flood hit nation.

The Government has doubled aid to effected areas of Pakistan, offering an extra £33 million on top of the £31.3 million already pledged to help cope with the crisis.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell also advocated a much broader aid effort from the international community at the UN this week.

But the pubic relations campaign that the Government is waging also makes the cynic in me suppose that the additional benefits to their course of action has not escaped our diplomats.

Firstly this is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to soften any hard feelings caused by his comments about Pakistan supporting terrorism.

Secondly, it’s a good chance to show to the UK’s Pakistani community that the Governemnt is on their side and on the side of the Pakistani people – as opposed to just being cosy with their politicians in the fight against terrorism.

Lobbydog is aware that the Department for International Development has gone to unusual efforts to make sure local news outlets in areas of the UK with large Pakistani communities are well aware of the UK’s efforts.

Mitchell told Lobbydog earlier today: “I want to assure [the UK Pakistani community] that Britain will be doing everything it can to help Pakistan in its hour of need. Britain and Pakistan are bound together by ties of friendship and history and we will not let them down.”

This is the war for hearts and minds being waged in the UK.

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