Soft image comes with self-belief, says PM

Published June 27, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the Nat­i­o­nal Amateur Short Film Fes­­tival Awards ceremony on Saturday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the Nat­i­o­nal Amateur Short Film Fes­­tival Awards ceremony on Saturday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Min­ister Imran Khan on Sat­urday said that soft ima­ge of the country came with self-esteem and self-belief as the world respected those who had faith in themselves.

He told the youth that they did not need to copy what the others had done in the world. “We don’t need to look like others to improve our image.”

Addressing the first Nat­i­o­nal Amateur Short Film Fes­­tival (NASFF) Awards ceremony here at the Pak-China Friendship Centre, the pri­me minister said: “You cannot achieve anything if you have fear of failure.”

Expressing confidence in the innate potential of the country’s youth, he urged the young short film makers to present true and real image of Pakistan, a country gifted with huge variety and diversity.

He advised the young filmmakers to concentrate on production of original stuff as the world always bought the content based upon reality.

The prime minister asked the youth to explore new avenues in different fields of life and try something new, instead of following the trodden path. He said the new starters in filmmaking must explore the vast variety and rich diversity of climate, culture and civilisation of the motherland.

The event was held under the aegis of the Ministry of Information and Broadcas­ting in association with the Inter- Services Public Rela­tions (ISPR) to give awards to three winners each in different categories of short films. The jury consisted of famous artists and international experts who had made nominations for the best films. Fifteen winners would get scholarships for studying in advance media techniques in the University of California, US.

The prime minister obse­r­ved that over 60 per cent of the country’s population com­prised talented youth who could achieve marvels in different fields.

He noted that during 70s, the country was producing quality films but then it star­ted copying Indian films whi­ch resulted in the downfall of the industry. Through this copy and adoption of alien culture the film industry lost originality, he regretted.

Sharing his experiences in the cricket career, Mr Khan said they (Pakistani players) had introduced to the world the technique of reverse swing and opening of bowling with the spinners, the ideas which were later copied by the whole world.

Previously, due to impact of colonialism there was a mindset which believed that the Pakistanis could not win against UK cricket team and they were content with their defeat, he said. Things started changing when they started new playing techniques with self-belief.

The prime minister said that tourism industry of the country possessed huge potential which remained unexplored in the past and cited the mountains and religious tourism which were being explored.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the country’s first media technology university would be launched on Aug 14 at the building of Pak-China Friendship Centre.

He said in today’s world, there was a contest over opinion making and perceptions in which the media was playing an important role. The media as a tool was being used effectively for building narratives across the world, he added.

The minister said the information ministry was transforming the Associated Press of Pakistan, Radio Pakistan and PTV into digital platforms in line with modern requirements of the day.

He said they were trying to bring in modern media techniques for effectively building the country’s narrative abroad.

About the production of short films, he said social media contents had multiplied worldwide and focus had shifted from long duration films to the shortest form for which popular social media platforms were being effectively used.

The minister expressed the confidence that new film policy and latest initiatives, including availability of human resources and modern equipment, would help the film industry to rise again.

ISPR Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said time had come to project the country’s good and beautiful image on the world stage.

He observed that in the world, perception was often regarded as reality and stressed on aligning perception with reality.

He said Pakistan had been blessed with myriad gifts and talents but it underwent threat of terrorism in the past decade, which had impacted the country’s image at the international level.

The ISPR chief said they had won “war against terrorism” but still some enemies of the motherland were trying to harm it.

He said the youth had been provided with a platform through the NASFF to demonstrate their talent and effectively project the real image of Pakistan.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said the participants of the short film contest came from 72 universities of the country with submission of 2,300 quality short films.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2021

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