Voice of the Peo­ple

Pub­lic diplo­macy & Pak­istan

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

SU­MAN ZEHRA

In the realm of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, the pub­lic diplo­macy or peo­ple’s diplo­macy, broadly speak­ing, refers to a well thought-out way of in­ter­ac­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with for­eign publics to es­tab­lish a di­a­logue de­signed to in­form and in­flu­ence. The world is global vil­lage where, with the spread of democ­racy, has been cre­ated a new en­vi­ron­ment in the in­ter­na­tional sys­tem to win hearts and minds of peo­ple by gov­ern­ments. This is what pub­lic diplo­macy does by try­ing to in­flu­ence for­eign na­tion­als and the pub­lic with val­ues, poli­cies and ac­tions of their gov­ern­ments to be sup­ported. Pub­lic diplo­macy can be de­fined as the ef­forts of one na­tion to in­flu­ence pub­lic or elites of the next na­tion for the pur­pose of us­ing for­eign pol­icy to achieve its tar­gets and cher­ished goals. Gov­ern­ments al­ways at­tempt to com­mu­ni­cate with for­eign pub­lic to ex­port their ideas, its in­sti­tu­tions and cul­ture, as well as na­tional goals and cur­rent poli­cies. Like other coun­tries, Pak­istan should also take ba­sic steps to­wards pub­lic diplo­macy, as in the cur­rent geopo­lit­i­cal sce­nario, now it’s im­por­tant part for devel­op­ment of any coun­try. Pak­istan needs the im­prove­ment of pub­lic diplo­macy for var­i­ous rea­sons, the fore­most be­ing the im­prove­ment in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. Pub­lic diplo­macy helps states to im­prove their bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. For im­prove­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions it is im­por­tant that the pub­lic should be pos­i­tive, ac­com­mo­dat­ing, tol­er­ant, ed­u­cated and have a clear per­cep­tion about the prin­ci­ples of peace­ful co­ex­is­tence. More­over, Pak­istan needs to im­prove its soft power to get the at­ten­tion of world to­wards it­self be­cause nowa­days, soft power is as im­por­tant as hard power. As John Nye des­ig­nates a new con­cept in diplo­macy, soft power, which, ac­cord­ing to his def­i­ni­tion, is ‘the abil­ity to achieve the ex­pected goals based on vol­un­tary par­tic­i­pa­tion by al­lies, not by con­straint’. Se­duc­tion is al­ways more ef­fec­tive than co­er­cion, and many val­ues like democ­racy, hu­man rights and in­di­vid­ual op­por­tu­ni­ties are deeply at­trac­tive. Soft power of a coun­try is cre­ated by mul­ti­ple ac­tors and or­ga­ni­za­tions im­pact­ing on for­eign pub­lic - artists, art gal­leries also broad­cast­ers, NGOs, po­lit­i­cal par­ties, writ­ers, musicians and cre­ative as­so­ci­a­tions, jour­nal­ists and me­dia groups, re­searchers and teach­ers, en­trepreneurs and re­li­gious lead­ers. Pak­istan needs to in­tro­duce its pub­lic diplo­macy for sev­eral rea­sons in­clud­ing above all. Pub­lic diplo­macy leads a na­tion to­wards devel­op­ment. Pak­istan be­ing a neigh­bour of In­dia, needs more ef­forts to im­prove its soft power be­cause In­dia in the re­gion, has stronger hard and soft power ca­pa­bil­i­ties as com­pared to Pak­istan. —Via email

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