Both the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan have ‘instructed’ government agencies to ‘soften’ Pakistan’s image. If only it was that easy. As an editorial in The Daily Times (June 11) pointed out, the real need is to confront our reality, not our image.
President Pervez Musharraf on Friday directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and other relevant departments to highlight the “soft image”? of Pakistan in the country and abroad. As he spoke, the National Assembly was busy doing just the opposite. The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) demanded that the house offer fateha for the soul of Abu Musa Al Zarqawi. MMA legislators Maulana Ghafoor Haideri and Dr Farid Paracha wanted to call down blessings on Al Zarqawi. The speaker prevented the embarrassing situation from getting out of hand by quoting the rules, which say the house could offer fateha only on the demise of a present or former member of parliament or his relatives…. The truth is that our “hard image” is not projected falsely by “Western media”. Our image is what we are, as proved by the Al Zarqawi incident above. No one is clear about what Pakistan should be – not even President Musharraf, who talks of a “soft image” but doesn’t show the will or ability to roll back the hard image and its manifestations.
Read full editorial here.