Culture can help create soft image of Pakistan: Prime Minister
By: Shoaib A Raja
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said on Tuesday that present Government of Pakistan People’s Party is determined to take every possible step to promote and project the culture of Pakistan not only at home but also abroad because we understand that culture is a tool which can be used for creating a soft image of the nation.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Cultural Week at PNCA building at Islamabad, PM said that we are living in an age of globalisation where nations are exploring innovative ways and employing creative approaches to expand their influence. “The last fifty years impart an important lesson that hard power has its limits. You can conquer a nation physically but you cannot conquer hearts and minds. This brings in the narrative of soft power in the equation; the power of culture, ideas, ideology, and civilization,” he maintained.
He said that a nation’s global status is determined among other things by the creative potential of its people, the loftiness of their ideals, and strength of their vision and power of their dreams. He said that globalisation has afforded a unique opportunity for interaction of ideas. “Only those nations would be able to take on the challenges imposed by globalisation that have unwavering faith in their institutions, culture, values and way of life,” he added. He said that Pakistan has a rich and diverse culture. “The people of Pakistan are the proud custodians of a cultural legacy transferred to them from generation-to-generation,” he observed.
He said that Pakistan’s heritage and culture can be traced back to the ancient Mehargarh civilization that flourished from the Balochistan province, Indus valley civilization of Moenjodaro and Harrapa and the flourishing Gandhara period. “Our culture is deeply rooted in our civilisation, moral ethos and extends over many centuries. We are inheritors of great Sufi traditions, which espouse the message of love, compassion, tolerance, moderation and human brotherhood without any discrimination. We are followers of a religion, which advocates respect for humanity, inclusiveness, peace, integration and human welfare. This is our heritage which we need to safeguard, as if family silver to be passed on to future generations to maintain our distinctive identity,” he added.
“Pakistan came into being through a democratic and constitutional struggle, which is a testimony of how ingrained democracy is in ethos and character of our people. It is a tribute to their love for democracy that despite military interruptions, they have always put their faith in democratic and political leaderships to steer them out of tumultuous and challenging times. Democracy is a part of our culture,” he asserted.
PM Raja said that our youth on whose shoulders lies the responsibility of serving this great nation are talented. “They have always risen to the challenge and brought laurels to their motherland. I have great faith in their capabilities. I am confident they are aware of challenges lying ahead of them and are determined to overcome them,” he added.
He said that it is not only political and diplomatic strategies that will create a better image for our country, but equally the propagation of our cultural agenda that is likely to pay dividends.
He congratulated Federal Minister for National Heritage & Integration and her team for conceptualizing, planning and presenting Pakistan Week. He said that he learnt that such an event was also organized in 2012 which greatly served to create unity and harmony among all federating units besides promoting the culture of Pakistan. He said, “I am confident that you would continue to build up on your gains and stay committed to project a soft image of Pakistan,” the PM concluded.