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Use `soft power` to promote Pakistan`s identity, says author

By A Reporter 2016-08-15
ISLAMABAD: After the downfall of Taliban in the post-9/11 Nato attack, Hamid Karzai got power in Afghanistan. The Indian government, instead of announcing any military aid, sent a delegation to Mr Karzai which handed him over a gift of Indian movies and songs tospread the soft power of the country there.

This has been written in a book, The Pakish Identity, by design thinker and strategist, Danish Rahi, who utilises intelligent designs to address the emerging challenges of the 21st century. The book was launched in the US in 2012.

Mr Danish was born and raised in a family of artists in Pakistan and moved to the US in 1997 for higher education. He earned his bachelor`s degree in computer graphics from the Troy University, Alabama, and a master`s degree in design management from Pratt Institute, New York.

Speaking at a ceremony held at the National Press Club to launch the book in Pakistan, Mr Danish said he considered The Pakish Identity as the ñrstbook on thetopicofidentity,because alot already written on history and culture were just the touch points of the identity.

`The tools which are required to highlight the identity of the country are never discussed. The soft image is not a proper word to use for countries. There is a soft power which is opposite to hard power. Movies, songs and many other things are considered as the soft power. Military, intelligence etc., are considered as the hard power.

He said currently Pakistan was using the hard power to address the issues without giving any attention to the soft power. In other words, the plane of Pakistan has been flying with one engine and we have not even identified and using the sof t power and its tools.

`We should focus and use our movies, dramas and literature to achieve our targets,` he said.

France annually spends one billion dollars tospread its soft power through seminars, shows and events.

In Pakistan, the soft power should be included in the curriculum and taught by the academia, he said.

`Whenever a business company is set up, its design is also prepared. However, there is no design of a community and the country in Pakistan. Moreover, we should have the symbol of our currency which does not exist even 70 years after independence,` he said.

Mr Danish said there was confusion about the leader-ship. A leader cannot be a boss; he has to serve the nation.

Former minister Muzaffar Mahmood Quraishi agreed that `soft power` was the proper word and should be used to promote the image of Pakistan. He said the book can play an important role in policy making for the future.

Artist Mansoor Rahi said there was an identity crisis in the country due to which even artists faced the criticism that their work had been westernised and there should be an eastern touch to it.