By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Friday called upon the press officers to perform with commitment and devotion to uphold the name of motherland in the comity of nations.
He said this while addressing an orientation and sendoff ceremony for information group officers who had been posted in information sections of various Pakistanâ€™s missions abroad.
The information minster said the countryâ€™s advancement in different fields, as a pre-requisite, required positive image building of Pakistan in international media.
Senator Shibli Faraz said the information ministry had an important role to play in terms of projection of governmentâ€™s initiatives and countryâ€™s image building.
He said it should also play its role in fully addressing the challenges of modern times and keeping abreast of the latest media trends.
He asked the officers to equip themselves with the requisite know how and relevant media tools to promote and project the soft image of Pakistan at the international level.
He said the officers should be well-informed about national narrative on the key areas like Kashmir issue, war on terror, socioeconomic uplift of the society, care for the poor and needy, protection of the rights of minorities, youth development, so on and so forth.
The minister also emphasized the need to learn the language of the host country as it would provide an advantage to the officers to better serve the cause of the country.
The minister said the press officers posted to different missions must focus on countering propaganda against Pakistan through proactive engagement with media, think tanks, media organizations, social media activists, intellectuals, prominent personalities as it would help build positive image of the country.
Information Secretary Akbar Durrani congratulated the officers posted abroad and hoped that they would perform according to their best of abilities.
He directed the officers to focus on issues of vital importance and get proper briefing from the quarters concerned.
He also urged the officers to project tourism potential of Pakistan, its rich and vibrant culture and national heritage by maintaining active liaison with the media of the host country.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said there was no greater honor to represent oneâ€™s country and its people abroad, adding it was a matter of greater privilege and at the same time even greater responsibility.
In todayâ€™s information driven era defined by modern and fast means of communication, the work of our press officers in missions abroad had become pivotal, she said.
She said a diplomat was never off duty and it was a 24/7 job as a representative of Pakistan. She said, â€œWe carry with us the torch of the freedom struggle and collective ideal of democracy, pluralism and egalitarianism. We hold within us individually and collectively the ability to fulfill the dream of our Quaid of a prosperous and progressive Pakistan, at peace within and at peace abroad,â€ she said.
She wished all the officers the best in their future assignments.
At the outset of orientation ceremony, External Publicity Wing director general briefed the participants in detail about the process of selection for press officers.
The heads of various attached departments of information ministry were also present on the occasion.