GOP Consultant Working With Pakistan Since Sept. 1

Gary Polland, who heads the "well-connected" Houston-based firm Polland & Cook and chairs the Harris County Republican Party, has been smoothing out some of the "knotty issues" facing Pakistan since even before September 11th. According to PR trade publication O'Dwyer's PR Daily, Polland is "37.5 percent owner of a joint-venture known as 'Team Barakat' that is registered as lobbyist for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan." Team Barakat has a $180,000 contract, signed August 1 and effective Sept. 1, 2001, to advise the country and set up meetings with key U.S. policymakers. Some of the issues Team Barakat will deal with include "nuclear testing, Afghan refugees, Kashmir dispute with India, terrorism, human rights, economic debt restructure, child labor and Pakistan's transition to a civilian government." The firm reports to Pakistan ruler General Pervez Musharraf. Polland is a conservative Jew strongly supported by the Christian Coalition. He organized the Texas Inaugural Breakfast in Washington, D.C., last January to honor George Bush, which was attended by Majority Whip Rep. Tom Delay and Texas Senators Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison.