Former Bangladesh governing party plans US outreach

SAN FRANCISCO: The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has hired law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to manage a range communications intended to promote democratic elections and a democratic government in Bangladesh.

SAN FRANCISCO: The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has hired law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to manage a range communications intended to promote democratic elections and a democratic government in Bangladesh.

Under a 12-month, $400,000 contract that began on May 30, Pillsbury or companies under its direction may, among other things, lobby members of Congress and their staffs, international institutions, the media and other "concerned persons" in the US or elsewhere, according to a recent filing with the Justice Department.

Work may entail preparation and dissemination or publication of "informational materials"; setting up press conferences, lectures, and speeches; conducting media and advertising campaigns; and more.

Bangladesh's current military-backed government, which took power in January, has placed BNP leader Kaleda Zia and other former political leaders under house arrest on corruption charges and has said it plans to hold elections by the end of 2008.

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