ISLAMABAD, Jan 29 (APP):National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser Tuesday underlined the need for rebranding Pakistan’s soft image.
A concerted effort should be made to project Pakistan’s soft image on international stage to attract investment, tourism and ideas, he said while talking to Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Ms Shandana Gulzar Khan, who called on him here at the Speaker House.
The Speaker highlighted that a sustained propaganda and tense regional situation equated Pakistan’s image with terrorism and violent extremism. It had distorted Pakistan’s truly diverse, vibrant and peaceful image, besides underestimating its diversity and market potential, he added.
He stressed the need for a new narrative to promote Pakistan’s cultural, economic and democratic credentials. The political leadership across the board should take the complete ownership of the new soft image building narrative of Pakistan, he added.
The Speaker assured complete cooperation and support to the government for Pakistan’s renewed branding and added that the parliament would take a lead role in that initiative.
The newly formed Parliamentary Friendship Groups, he said, would add a new impetus to Pakistan’s parliamentary diplomacy and endeavors for promoting international trade. The parliament would leave no stone unturned to assist the government in reducing Pakistan’s trade deficit, he added.
The Speaker reiterated that the National Assembly would conduct monthly progress review of the Friendship Groups and the high performing ones would be rewarded with incentives.
Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Shandana Gulzar seconded the Speaker, by saying a grossly misrepresented image had severely dented Pakistan’s exports and ability to attract investors. She highlighted that despite immense potential for products diversification and low cost, Pakistani exports could not find a truly deserving space in international market due to its image.
She said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was designing a coherent, comprehensive and multi-stakeholders long term strategy to rebuild Pakistan’s soft image. The role of the parliament was central to the new image building strategy, she added.