Sunday, July 14, 2013

Public Diplomacy as a Global Phenomenon -- Pakistan

"Of prime importance is the External Publicity (EP) Wing [of Pakistan's Ministry of Information], which carries out the function of public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is regarded as the framework of activities by which a government seeks to influence the public (especially foreign) attitudes in a manner that they become supportive of its foreign policy and national interests. It differs from traditional diplomacy in that public diplomacy goes beyond governments and interfaces primarily with non-governmental individuals and organisations, like businessmen, think-tanks, tourists, sport institutions, etc. Successful public diplomacy, thus, involves an active engagement with the public in a manner that builds over a period of time, a relationship of trust and credibility. The EP Wing strives to foster a greater understanding of Pakistan and its foreign policy concerns. It is an age of ideas marked by the battle for hearts and minds. The wing goes all-out to partner with major domestic and international universities, think-tanks and research organisations to organise seminars and conferences on subjects that are relevant to Pakistan’s concerns. Promotion of music and food constitute important elements of Pakistan’s soft power. In addition, a series of documentaries on contributions made by the government, NGOs, media and various individuals in their own fields of work or in improving socio-economic conditions go a long way towards promoting the soft image of Pakistan."

--Khawaja Maaz Tariq, "Revamping the information service,"

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