The PTI government seems keen in promoting a softer image of Pakistan around the world; a task that comes with its set of challenges and dichotomy given certain bans and acts of censorship propagated by the very same government. Nonetheless, a meeting — headed by Shehryar Afridi, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir — took place at the Sindh Governor House this past week which is certainly an encouraging development.
Afridi had invited media and sports personalities of whom Humayun Saeed, Fahad Mustafa, Adnan Siddiqui, Ali Rehman Khan, Bilal Ashraf, Sarwat Gilani, ARY Digital CEO Jerjees Seja, Shehzad Roy and Jehangir Khan were present. The three-hour discussion revolved around how TV and films can be used to enlighten the world about the plight of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters as well as present Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.
“Our state’s Kashmir policy is straightforward and all of the state’s institutions are on the same page regarding that. We believe that neither India nor Pakistan should decide what happens in Kashmir. It is only the right of Kashmiris to determine the fate of Kashmir and its people,” Afridi said.
He also assured the participants that the government is willing and ready to invest money along with any other resources required by producers to promote this narrative. “We are prepared to invest billions of rupees to facilitate you all not just millions,” he added.
There was also discussion on censorship, the need for a local OTT platform, engaging overseas Pakistanis and Pakistan’s diplomatic missions and making content for the youth. Needless to say, it will take time for something concrete to come out of this but willingness and good intentions are all there. Here’s Aamna and I discussing the meeting and what to expect of it, along with Shehryar Afridi’s comment (sorry, ignore the thumbnail!):