Pakistan’s ‘soft power’ can enhance its image abroad: Sartaj Aziz


Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Friday said in international relations, Pakistan needs to use the persuasive approach of ‘soft power’ to promote its image in the world community. Addressing at a seminar on ‘Pakistan’s soft power’ organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), Aziz said instead of ‘hard power’ based on coercion, the soft power associated with culture and economy was more effective to attain the preferred results.
Sartaj Aziz said throughout the world, use of hard power gave rise to terrorism and insurgency and took million of innocent lives. He termed it a shared responsibility of the government and civil society to ensure implementation of soft power.
He said in this era of globalization, Pakistan needed to use its ‘soft power’ to end its problems particularly pertaining to militancy. He stressed the need for getting rid of false propaganda and narrative to make progress towards development by promoting values, culture, music and other traditions.
The Advisor said the real foundation of soft power was the rule of law and democratic institutions. He said promotion of culture and shared values, and strengthening of human rights was more effective as compared to attaining military prowess. He said electronic media could play an important role in pursuing the ‘soft power’ approach to get the message across and bring positive changes in the society.
Sartaj Aziz said the government was making effective measures to promote soft power and mentioned that a special division was working at the Foreign Ministry on public diplomacy. He said Pakistan’s missions abroad were in practice of frequently organizing programmes including cultural festivals and Sufi music events to highlight soft activities.
He mentioned that for the promotion of Islamic calligraphy, the Foreign Ministry had launched a book titled ‘Al’Ama Bil Qalam’ having compilation of calligraphic work of renowned artists. Director General ISSI Ambassador Masood Khan said soft power was being used in the contemporary international politics to restructure the manner and approach in terms of resolving issues.
He said a country’s soft power depended on three resources including culture, political values and foreign policies.
He said it was important for Pakistan to balance hard power capabilities with soft power in order to achieve preferred results. Ambassador Masood Khan stressed for taking more steady approach by sufficiently equipping and training the civilian instruments to project its soft power. The seminar was attended by experts on culture, education and economy and visual media.

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