Prime Minister Imran Khan has said if people wish to promote a soft image of Pakistan, they should advocate “Pakistaniat.”

The premier, speaking at the National Amateur Short Film Festival (NASFF) Awards Ceremony in Islamabad on Saturday, said: “During the war on terror Pakistanis were termed as extremists. To counter this, they were asked to promote a soft image of the country.”

People thought that by putting on Western clothes and speaking English, they would project a soft image of Pakistan.

“During this time I was termed as Taliban Khan,” he added.

Speaking English and wearing Western clothes does not project a soft image, it only speaks of an inferiority complex, he said, adding: “A soft image is projected through self-reliance […] so first respect yourself and the world will respect you in turn.”

Criticising Pakistan film industry for copying Bollywood, Prime Minister Imran said the world values original content and not imitation.

“I have seen the inception of Pakistan’s film industry [….] we started copying Indian films” after some years, he said.

“We began adopting foreign cultures instead of promoting our own through the films,” he said and urged the youth to “bring original ideas and don’t be afraid of failure.”

“The person who is afraid of failure will never become a good player,” he added.

He announced special allowances for young filmmakers who have tried to promote Pakistan’s culture.

He said when he would take Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with him when he would go abroad, the singers in the US would love his music, and not that of the Pakistani pop singers as they imitated the West.

“The world values original ideas,” he reiterated, adding that Pakistan’s television industry in the past used to produce quality content that was liked in India as well.

Prime Minister Imran also spoke about tourism and blamed past governments for not giving it status of an industry. They [past governments] did not pay attention to promote tourism for historical sites [….] Tourism in Pakistan has a lot of potential and “we are taking focused steps to promote tourism in the country.”

Earlier, ISPR Director-General Major General Babar Iftikhar said Allah has blessed Pakistan and by making films via the National Amateur Film Festival, a positive image of the country can be projected.

He expressed the hope that youngsters would use the platform and produce short films and help renew Pakistan’s image in the international community. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has boosted the spirits of the youth by participating in today’s event,” he added.

The DG ISPR said the film festival is a platform provided to young filmmakers, documentary producers, and directors to produce quality content.

“Thanks to the festival, Pakistani culture, and the true identity of Pakistan will now be highlighted across the world,” he added.

“We have almost won the war against terror […] the terrorists damaged Pakistan’s identity,” General Babar said.

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said the media played a crucial role in disseminating the state’s narrative.

He said the state was not able to fully convey the events of the wars that Pakistan had fought over the years.

He announced establishing a media technology university and film schools in Karachi.”

He said that short films would create awareness among the people.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here