In February the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) hired BKSH & Associates, Burson-Marsteller and the polling company Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, to promote the need for "free, open and transparent elections in Pakistan in 2007." The contract, which runs to June 2007, could be worth as much as $250,000. Pakistan's current Prime Minister, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, came to power in 1999 by a military coup while the leader of the PPP, Benazir Bhutto, is living in exile. Kevin Bogardus reports that the first stage of the campaign involves the development of op-eds and white papers. This is to be followed by a "broad public affairs campaign" which includes enlisting "third-party supporters," including former U.S. government officials and think tanks. In the final stage, the campaign hopes to organize meetings for Bhutto with the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post and also "target top journalists" such as the Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
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