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ISLAMABAD, Jun 17 (APP):Foreign Minister (FM) Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in line with his vision to enhance and upgrade the communication toolkit of the Foreign Office, chaired the inaugural meeting of Consultative Group on Public Diplomacy, here on Wednesday.
The dedicated group set up by the foreign minister comprises eminent scholars, field specialists and former ambassadors and aims at bringing focused attention to various aspects of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ public diplomacy initiatives including projecting Pakistan’s real image abroad, and more effectively highlighting the country’s rich artistic, cultural, literary and sports heritage.
Federal Minister for National History and Literary Heritage and also Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood, former Senator Javed Jabbar, Ambassador Zamir Akram, Ambassador Tasnim Aslam, Ambassador Shahid Kamal along with Emran Akhtar, Selina Rashid and senior officials of the Ministry attended the meeting.
The deliberations focused on concrete steps needed to more purposefully engage foreign media, academia, think-tanks as well as public at large.
The proposals to harness public-private synergies and more effectively utilizing modern platforms of communication and outreach including virtual space, came under discussion.
To spearhead initiatives in priority domains, the Working Groups on Digital Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy and Sports Diplomacy have been established.
The operationalization of Consultative Group marks the launch of another key institutional reform premised on forging closer linkages between the Foreign Office and other stakeholders, and inducting fresh thinking and new ideas into the policy formulation process.
This builds upon earlier initiatives launched pursuant to ‘Vision Foreign Office’ including upgradation of ministry’s website, the ‘FM Direct App’ and the ‘FM Connect’ series of meetings and interactions with thought leaders from various walks of life.
Among other reform initiatives, the Advisory Council of Foreign Affairs deliberates and conducts research on core foreign policy issues, while a Strategic Communication Division is in the process of being set up.
The reforms are in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of further enhancing, modernizing and expanding efficacy of Pakistani diplomatic apparatus to meet the demands and challenges of twenty-first century diplomacy.