The WhatsApp message came an hour after I landed in Islamabad. Sardar Masood Khan, the president of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, wanted to know if I was available to meet. I had interviewed him for Foreign Policy during the February 2019 India-Pakistan military confrontation over Kashmir, and he was eager for another conversation.

His outreach was part of a carefully coordinated PR offensive by Pakistan to seize the global narrative over India’s early August annexation of the semi-autonomous territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It included an op-ed by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in The New York Times, interviews by Pakistani diplomats in Washington and New York, and a meeting with Pakistani-Americans by Raja Farooq Haider, the prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, as the Pakistani portion of the divided territory is officially known (“Azad” means “free”).

Read the full story at MEI.org

By Lawrence Pintak

Lawrence Pintak is an award-winning journalist and scholar. He is a former CBS News Middle East correspondent and was founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (2009-2016). He was named a Fellow of the Society by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for "outstanding service to the profession of journalism" around the world. Pintak is a contributor to ForeignPolicy.com, The Daily Beast, and other outlets. Read his articles at pintak.com. His books include Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & The War of Ideas; Islam for Journalists (co-editor); The New Arab Journalist; and Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David. Follow him on Twitter @LPintak.