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Appraisal of Public Diplomacy Strategies of Major States: Lessons for Pakistan
The objective of diplomacy is to advance a country’s national interests; Public Diplomacy(PD) achieves this aim by communicating directly with the foreign publics and ultimately influencing their governments. Major global actors including the US, UK, China, South Korea, and India, utilize public diplomacy as a foreign policy instrument. All these countries have developed cohesive policies and strategies to conduct public diplomacy. Pakistan can also utilize public diplomacy to fulfil its foreign policy objectives. This research article analyzes the public diplomacy strategy of Pakistan along with the UK, US, China, South Korea and India in order to identify the various strategies and tools adopted by these states. This research only investigates public diplomacy policy and strategy; the outcome of these efforts are not discussed. Distinctive aspects and instruments of PD strategies of all six countries are recognized, along with drawing lessons for an effective PD strategy in Pakistan. This research concludes that Pakistan can adopt certain effective elements from public diplomacy practices of other states and develop a cohesive and sound PD strategy of its own.
Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Culture, Student Exchange Programs, Foreign Policy
The core objective of public diplomacy (PD) is to advance a country’s national interests. Public diplomacy achieves this goal indirectly by generating favorable opinions among the foreign public, who then influence their governments. As E. H. Carr talks about “power over opinion” and later described as soft power, the public opinion directly influences the government’s policies vis a vis the state conducting public diplomacy (Melissen 2005). Public diplomacy can be defined “as the conduct of international relations by governments through public communications media and through dealings with a wide range of nongovernmental entities (political parties, corporations, trade associations, labor unions, educational institutions, religious organizations, ethnic groups, and so on including influential individuals) to influence the politics and actions of other governments” Invalid source specified..
Public diplomacy is aimed at building long-term relationships between countries along with achieving short-term goals. For various states with varying government systems, the practice of public diplomacy differs significantly. PD policy designed by authoritarian and closed regimes is different from the policies adopted by democratic countries. States have varying objectives to employ public diplomacy ranging from “being seen” in the rest of the world to spreading their preferred values and norms. Economic competition and an effort to win new consumer markets are also major motivators. For countries besides the western world, public diplomacy is a great opportunity to develop their reputation and publicize their norms and values and favored political system as denoted by the “rising rest”. In underdeveloped countries, public diplomacy works in synergy with foreign aid (Melissen 2011).
This research provides an overview of the general public diplomacy strategies of various global actors and compares their PD strategies to that of Pakistan. The focus is solely on the practices designed and implemented by the respective practitioners; the outcome of the practices or the intended audience is not touched upon. USA, UK, China, South Korea, India is selected as case studies because in the existing PD literature, all these states are prominently featured. Pakistan’s PD is studied for the exact opposite reasons, as in the academic discourse, minimal work has been done on the PD practice or strategy of Pakistan. In the conclusion of the study, all strategies are analyzed, and recommendations are presented for Pakistani practitioners.
Public Diplomacy of the USA
Throughout the Cold War, literature and discourse related to public diplomacy were produced by academics and scholars. After the Cold War, a rigorous academic discourse on public diplomacy somewhat ceased. The events of 9/11 once again brought public diplomacy to the limelight as US policymakers considered it the most viable tool to win “hearts and minds” in the Islamic world. The US policymakers referred to the outdated Cold War knowledge of this practice and failed to comprehend the realities of the contemporary world and develop public diplomacy by careful consideration of historical use of this concept, its essence, and its potential to solve contemporary challenges. The public diplomacy policy designed was to focus more on the national security aspect of international relations (Melissen 2011).
During the Cold War, the USA was the pioneer of public diplomacy; its targeted publics were both the capitalist block and Soviet satellite states. The US Information Agency (USIA) played a highly significant role in the US’s Cold War Public Diplomacy. The main components of US PD were international broadcasting, cultural exchanges and educational exchange programs administered by the USIA. In 1999, USIA was dismantled, and the domain of public diplomacy was handed over to the State Department Loomis(Loomis, 2018).
The objectives of US Public Diplomacy are
· To improve the reputation of US among the foreign publics
· To enhance ties and increase influence among the foreign elites and decision-makers
· To enable a favorable environment for US businesses abroad (Loomis 2018).
The existing US policy is being carried out by both government agencies and nongovernmental agencies under the guidance of the US State Department. The State Department, in collaboration with these agencies, forms and implements the public diplomacy programs. These departments include the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Bureau of International Information Programs, the Digital Outreach, the US Agency for International Development (USIA), the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Public Diplomacy Bureaus and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency of the US Department of Defense. Non- Governmental Organizations such as Eurasia Foundation, Soros Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Ford Foundation also participate as non-state actors in the broad US public diplomacy efforts. To assess the effectiveness of the PD strategy, various expert groups within the State Department engage with U.S. Government-Sponsored International Exchanges and Training, the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, and various think tanks (RAND Corporation or Center for Strategic Studies) (Trofymenko 2014). The US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs is tasked with coordination and collaboration among all these stakeholders. The office of the Under Secretary oversees and formulates all policies related to PD and acts as a counsel to the State Secretary on Public Diplomacy. The bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs (IIP), the Global Engagement Center (GEC), and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Resources are directly under the control of the Under Secretary (Loomis 2018). Hence the US strategy for public diplomacy is a perfect combination of all elements of public diplomacy. Along with international broadcasting, the cultural and educational exchanges, and the development aid programs, the listening and political advocacy components of PD are also included in the strategy (Trofymenko 2014). The State Department is responsible for conducting the student exchange programs. The US educational exchange programs (particularly Fulbright scholarship) and the USIAD programs are perhaps the most notable components of US PD strategy in terms of visibility among the foreign public. Overall, around 75 exchange programs with the participation of 55,000 foreign and US citizens took place in 2017 (Loomis, 2018).
Public Diplomacy of UK
Much like the US, Cold War was the driving force behind the UK’s public diplomacy. During Cold War, international broadcasting and news management were the centerpieces of the UK’s public diplomacy policies. In the post-Cold War world, the focus was on rebranding the country, generating a tourist and investment influx along with building long-term bilateral ties within the European Union, UK’s allies, and the third world. The UK in the nineties was plagued with an extremely outdated image of being “stuffy, traditional, white, racists and imperialists” (Rose 2005). The image was inconsistent with the political as well as economic objectives. To remedy this, a rebranding campaign titled “cool Britannia” was initiated by the UK government. The campaign, though inspired unintended humor, was successful in accomplishing its short-term objectives (Foreign and Common Wealth Office 2006). In 2002 the Public Diplomacy Strategy board was created with the intent to synchronize all the public diplomacy activities carried out by various government departments. The Foreign Policy Centre, the British Council, the British Tourist Authority, and the British Trade and Investment; all these organizations decided upon developing a coherent and cohesive public diplomacy strategy. The strategy was centered around two major themes, “principles and professional” and “dynamic tradition” (Rose 2005). UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee defined public diplomacy as ‘work aiming to inform and engage individuals and organizations overseas, to improve understanding of and influence for the United Kingdom in a manner consistent with governmental medium and long term goals.’ (Ware 2007).
UK’s public diplomacy is easily dominated by the cultural relations aspect and international broadcasting. The current pillars of Britain’s public diplomacy are the British Council working in more than a hundred countries, the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC), and the Foreign Policy Centre. The British Council takes center stage in UK’s strategy -the organization focuses on the educational and cultural relations aspect contributing to relationship building. The British Council is well suited to meet the long-term objectives of enhancing cultural relations as it focuses on areas such as arts, language, education, governance and science. All these sectors possess the potential to enhance long-term relations without being affected by political issues (Rose 2005). The BBC World News is considered as the most authentic news provider globally along with being the most effective source of the UK’s soft power. It is available in more than two hundred countries. However, within the international broadcasting element, the real strength is the BBC radio service available in various languages operating in almost all sub-regions of the world (Abubakar 2014). The success of both the British Council and the BBC is attributed to the ambiguity associated with their status (whether they are governmental or non-governmental organizations). Both organizations retain the image of being independent of the government; however, the overarching strategy of both organizations is set by the government, i.e., safeguarding the British interests and projecting a favorable image (Ware 2007).
Public Diplomacy of China
China, after the economic liberalization of the ’80s, focused on public diplomacy and its role in advancing national interests. When compared to the western world, China’s strategy and general understanding of PD are different. There are four main instruments of China’s public diplomacy.
· Cultural Relations (Cultural events, cultural centers, Confucius Institutes, sports diplomacy and music and dance exhibitions)
· Exchange Diplomacy (exchange programs for students, professionals, political party leader, academics)
· Development diplomacy (investment in infrastructure, humanitarian relief programs and development aid)
· International Broadcasting (Custer 2018)
Beijing experienced explosive economic growth; however, the country’s socialist system of government poses a major challenge. To facilitate China’s “peaceful rise”, the policymakers have recognized the role of public diplomacy (Hooghe 2007). PD is an instrument “to facilitate China’s rise to soft power”. In 2004 China established the Division for Public Diplomacy in the Foreign Affairs Ministry. According to China’s Deputy Foreign Minister at that time, “The basic goal of public diplomacy is to enhance the exchanges and interaction with the public to guide and win the understanding and support of the public for foreign policies” (Wang 2008). The main objectives of China’s PD include
· Strong publicity of China’s official narrative the abroad
· Improving the country’s reputation abroad
· Making the international environment more conducive to China
· Influencing the policy decisions of foreign nations (Wang 2008).
Unlike the previous two examples, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not responsible for either formulating or developing China’s public diplomacy policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Public Diplomacy Division) only plays the role of collaborator and facilitator for various PD programs. The Office of Foreign Propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) and the State Council Information Office are tasked with developing and implementing the Public Diplomacy Strategy (Hooghe 2007) along with the CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference), the Bureau of External Cultural Relations of the Ministry of Culture (Wang 2008). Each aspect of the PD is handled by separate departments; the Culture Ministry focuses on all cultural programs, international broadcasting falls under the domain of the Information Office of the State Council and Foreign Affairs Department, the Office of Chinese Language Council International is responsible for the Confucius Institutes around the world (Wang 2008).
The equivalent term for public diplomacy in China is wai Xuan (translated as external propaganda in English). In China, the term propaganda does not carry a negative connotation as activities such as press releases and advertisements also fall under wai Xuan. International broadcasting, cultural and exchange programs make up an important component of the broad PD strategy however, unlike most of the first world countries, special emphasis is reserved for development aid as the instrument of Public Diplomacy. Development aid is one of the most viable instruments of China’s public diplomacy. The international broadcasting aspect of Chinese public diplomacy consists of the Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International (CRI), Chinese Central TV English Channel (CCTV-9), and China Daily (Custer 2018). “Party Diplomacy” conducted by the Communist Party of China is a practice unique to China’s public diplomacy efforts. The CPC invites political parties from neighboring states on official visits to China (Wang 2008).
Public Diplomacy of South Korea
South Korea practised a wide range of public diplomacy activities throughout its modern history; in the sixties and the seventies, the focus was on cultural relations, sports diplomacy in the eighties, and the exponential popularity of Korean dramas in Southeast Asia known as the Korean Wave in the nineties. The Korean Wave now incorporates Korean pop music as well and is the most successful instrument of South Korea’s public diplomacy. South Korean PD strategy mainly focuses on the Hallyu (Korean wave incorporating K dramas, K pop, and Korean food). The Hallyu was enabled and facilitated by the state patronage; the government of South Korea established the Ministry of Culture in the eighties to improve South Korea’s image among the neighborhood countries. To popularize Korean Dramas and Korean pop music, millions of dollars were and are continued to be poured into the Ministry. After the groundbreaking popularity of K Pop in the western markets, particularly the US, a Hallyu department was established in the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sport to further support the Korean music and drama industry. According to Euny Hong, author of “The Korean Cool”, the significance of the K-pop industry for the South Korean government is the same as the significance of the automobile sector for the US government (Miniano 2020). Four main PD objectives stated by the South Korean Foreign Ministry are
· To enhance South Korea’s prestige and image by using cultural assets
· To encourage Korean studies abroad along with Korean language courses
· To enhance the understanding of South Korea’s policies towards foreign opinion leaders and foreigners living in Korea.
· To expand the capabilities of PD practitioners in South Korea (Choi 2019)
The entertainment industry of South Korea has emerged as a major PD actor. This instrument is a mix of culture and some elements of media broadcasting in a sense. The government assists the entire process of K pop music creation and distribution. K-pop has emerged as a global phenomenon owing to its unique characteristics as well as the central role played by the government. The country's PD lays special emphasis on the public-private partnership; more than 750 NGOs associated with the Foreign Ministry advocate the Korean foreign policy worldwide. The Ministry also collaborates with the Lotte Cinema to distribute Korean movies. Korean multinational companies undertake various social responsibility projects –for instance, Samsung Electronics established engineering academies to assist locals in earning a better wage in various countries, POSCO’s homeless shelters and free clinics in Mongolia, Korean Life Insurance support to hospitals and orphanages in Vietnam, and Daewoo’s support for child education in Peru (Sam 2012).
The term public diplomacy was used officially for the first time in 2010. A PD strategy was developed along with the diversification of PD activities and their instruments. The Public Diplomacy and Culture Affairs Bureau is responsible for formulating and implementing South Korea’s PD. It consists of five divisions: Public Diplomacy, UNESCO, Cultural Cooperation, Regional Public Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy and Policy, and the People Diplomacy team. South Korea’s case is unique in the sense that in 2016 a legal framework (Public Diplomacy Act) was developed by the country’s legislature, the National Assembly. The objective was to facilitate the smooth implementation of South Korea’s PD strategy (Choi 2019).The Public Diplomacy Act outlines the general strategy and directions to implement the PD activities. Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for coordinating all the organizations carrying out PD, including the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Sports Culture and Tourism, Presidential Council on National Branding, Centre for Public Diplomacy, and Korea Foundation(an affiliate of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a PD practitioner) and Korea International Cooperation Agency( Korea’s development aid agency) (Hjalmarsson 2013). All concerned actors perform entirely following the PD five-year plan prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Choi 2019).
Public Diplomacy Strategy of India
India employs a dynamic public diplomacy strategy giving special focus to its immense soft power, cultural heritage and its budding diasporas. In 1948 the Ministry of External Affairs established External Publicity Division to share India’s rich culture, history and heritage with the world. The Division focused on cultural programs to promote the country’s image. The Non-Alignment Movement served as a significant source of soft power, but with PM Nehru’s demise in 1964, “the political clout of India’s soft power began to wane” (Ritambhara, 2013).
In 2006 a separate PD Division was established within the Ministry of External Affairs (Blarel, 2012). The structure of the Division took inspiration from the PD office in the US State Department. In October 2012, India initiated its digital diplomacy by launching India’s Public Diplomacy Website. All the web 2.0 tools were incorporated in the country’s broader Digital diplomacy, including the launch of social media handles of Indian embassies in various countries (Palit, 2018). In 2014 the External Publicity Division and the Public Diplomacy Division were merged into a single entity and became the External Publicity and Public Diplomacy Division (XPD). The Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Commerce undertake activities that fall under the broad definition of PD though XPD is the main actor involved in the formulation and implementation of India’s Public Diplomacy.
Activities of the External Publicity and the Public Diplomacy Division (XPD) include
· Outreach campaigns to generate a better understanding of India and its policies at home and abroad.
· Collaborate with Indian and foreign universities, chambers of commerce, and research organizations.
· Arrange delegations from foreign countries to give the influential foreign citizens the first-hand experience of the Indian culture.
· Publicize India’s development aid programs and economic initiatives in foreign countries.
· Produce audio and video material to be used by the foreign missions for presentation purposes and broadcast on the host countries' media.
· Manages Ministry of External Affairs digital diplomacy (Laskar, 2019).
The South-South initiatives focus on the development of aid diplomacy, while the South-North initiatives are centred around business councils and chambers of commerce to not only safeguard India’s economic interests and image abroad but also lobby on behalf of the Indian government (Hall, 2012) . India has an extensive development aid program in place. Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, African nations, and Afghanistan are the primary recipients of India’s development aid diplomacy. Technical assistance programs are also provided along with development aid (Blarel, 2012).
A unique aspect of India’s PD is the fact that particular focus is paid to the Indian diasporas. Various outreach campaigns have been successfully conducted. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and Know India program reached out to influential Indians living abroad. Indian diaspora has promoted Indian interests in their respective countries. India Diasporas outreach programs have been echoing success (Ritambhara, 2013). An example of successful use of the Indian diaspora was the collaboration between the US India Business Council, USINPAC and the US India Friendship Council to promote the US India Nuclear Agreement to the US lawmakers and the public (Blarel, 2012).
In terms of international broadcasting instead of state television, India relies on state radio. The All-India Radio (AIR) that broadcasts in hundred countries in twenty-seven languages, including Arabic, Balochi, Dari, Pashto, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Nepali, Thai, and the rest. The English language broadcasts are carried out to seventy-nine countries daily, while the broadcasts in other languages are limited in time (Hall, 2012).
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) plays the central role regarding cultural and academic relations with currently twenty-four centers in major capitals of the world. The function of ICCR centers is to facilitate Indian diasporas and arrange activities such as art and literature exhibitions, book fairs, cinema and dance festivals to promote Indian culture (Blarel, 2012). India is one of the most sought-after destinations for higher education. The ICCR manages the student exchange programs as well by providing scholarships to over three thousand foreign students (Patkar 2017). Thirty Indian scholars are invited to join the Indian Chair at overseas universities for long-term and short-term periods. The Chairs of Indian Studies facilitate the learning of Hindi and other Indian languages and Indian history. The ICCR plans to create forty-nine more chairs (Hall, 2012) .
ICWA fulfils the academic aspect of India’s public diplomacy. It conducts and communicates research on foreign affairs, conducts conferences and seminars, publishes briefing papers and manages a journal called India Quarterly. It facilitates track II diplomacy between academics and government officials along with researching regional security issues (Hall, 2012). Sports diplomacy has been an effective tool of PD; during the eighties, India engaged in cricket diplomacy with Pakistan to improve bilateral ties. In the past, India hosted the Hockey World cup, Cricket World cup, FIFA under 17 World Cup, Moto GP Championship, Formula one racing, 2010 Common Wealth Games, while the Indian Premier League is held on an annual basis (Mahanta 2019).
Public Diplomacy of Pakistan
Pakistan’s foreign office website outlines the following PD objectives.
· Project Pakistan’s foreign policy abroad.
· Promote the country’s national interests.
· Build Pakistan's positive image abroad.
· Create a better understating of Pakistan’s policies, particularly foreign policies abroad and within Pakistan.
· Build relationships with foreign opinion leaders and policymakers (Public Diplomacy Division ).
Pakistan’s PD division underwent a revamp by the government in 2020. The existing literature does not highlight the history, structure, policies, mechanism, or specific contributions of the Public Diplomacy division. The only information available is through the foreign office website, which outlines a few functions carried out by the PD division in Pakistan and the overhauling of the entire PD division under the Prime Minister of Pakistan’s initiative in 2020. After an overhaul, the PD division drafted and launched Vision FO, A brand new website of the Foreign Affairs Ministry was also launched. PD Division also launched the Foreign Direct App for coordination and connectivity between the Foreign Minister and other Foreign Ministers. The FM Connect program also initiated under which the PD division conducts public and private stakeholder sessions with the officers in the foreign office. The public diplomacy division has conducted a series of meetings in the foreign office regarding cultural diplomacy and digital diplomacy (Public Diplomacy Division ).
The objective behind the reform was to update the PD division along with interdepartmental coordination, particularly between the department of public diplomacy based in the Foreign Office and the External Publicity Wing based in the Pakistan Ministry for Information and Broadcasting. Pakistan’s strategy differs from the above-mentioned countries in one major way. The External Publicity Wing functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting rather than the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The External Publicity division is usually a part of the Foreign Office rather than the Information Ministry. This creates an interesting scenario where two departments with identical jobs are based in two different Ministries. However, logically External Publicity wing ought to be a part of the Foreign Office. The objectives of the External Publicity Division include:
· Promoting Pakistan’s soft power abroad
· Publicize the government’s policies
· Promote Pakistan’s culture abroad and counter the negative coverage of Pakistan in international media (External Publicity Division n.d.)
External Publicity Wing is also tasked with arranging links with foreign academics, media, and think tanks. The two departments are responsible for conducting public diplomacy; however, the coordination between the two is only limited to arranging the visits of foreign journalists. Under the reform program, the focus is on improving and enhancing the coordination between these two key stakeholders. A Strategic Communication Division within the Foreign Affairs Ministry has been established with members, including officials from Foreign Ministry, External Publicity Wing, Commerce, and Tourism Ministries, along with officials from National Security Advisor’s Office (Express Tribune 2020). The goal is to ensure maximum coordination between all departments whose activities fall under a broad range of public diplomacy activities. It is however, unclear which department is responsible for the formulation of public diplomacy policy. Relevant PD departments and press officers are advised to adopt a more proactive policy rather than the currently practised reactive approach. The Press officers in Pakistan’s foreign missions are tasked with focusing on and building linkages with the host county’s media rather than Pakistani media, which is usually the case. Pakistani embassies have been directed to develop affiliations and linkages with the media in their host countries (Kiyani 2020). A Public Diplomacy Consultative Group was also set up comprising of Pakistan’s Education Minister, current senators, and several former ambassadors as members. The objective is to advise Foreign Minister Qureshi on aspects of public diplomacy, including culture, arts, and sports (Express Tribune 2020).
States design their PD strategies according to their objectives and interests. All the states studied in this chapter have designated particular objectives for the PD to fulfil. The desire to project a positive image to the outside world is the common PD objective among all the states studied. The major instruments employed include development aid, exchange programs, international broadcasting and cultural relations. USA’s public diplomacy is an amalgamation of all elements of public diplomacy, including exchange diplomacy, international broadcasting, cultural relations, development aid as well as advocacy. The cultural relations aspect can be more appropriately attributed as soft power generated by Hollywood rather than a government-directed effort.
UK’s PD is dominated by international broadcasting along with exchange diplomacy. It also pays special emphasis on cultural relations and academic programs conducted by the British Council. In terms of structure and actors involved, China’s PD is the unique one. Several departments work under the supervision of the foreign Ministry while all elements of public diplomacy are used. Development aid and cultural exchange are the most prominent features of China’s public diplomacy. Party Diplomacy is another distinction between China and the rest of the countries studied in this paper.
South Korea places cultural relations as the central element of the country’s PD. South Korea’s entertainment industry has been mainstreamed and being consumed by the markets in North America and Europe. K-pop, as well as K dramas, have now given way to Korean tech and Korean food. Among all the examples studied, South Korea’s public diplomacy has been the most remarkable in terms of the instruments used as well as the outcomes of those instruments.
. India’s PD is distinguished from the rest of the states as it pays a particular emphasis on its diaspora. This aspect of PD is referred to as Diaspora Diplomacy. All the above-mentioned countries have well-developed PD policies, frameworks and actors involved. Pakistan’s PD structure is the most underdeveloped, and confusion pertains regarding the planning and implementation of the country’s PD strategy. Unlike any other state studied above, the External Publicity Division of Pakistan functions under the Information Ministry rather than the Foreign Office with minimum coordination between the two departments. A stated PD policy is missing while PD actors are undefined.
The public diplomacy strategy of Pakistan lacks in terms of structure as well as a clear policy to achieve the stated objectives. The absence of an effective structure results in an ineffective public diplomacy strategy. To develop an informed public diplomacy strategy, Pakistan should follow in the footsteps of South Korea. The PD Act of South Korea dictates policy planning at multiple stages and levels. There is a five-year master plan, an annual master plan, a comprehensive action plan and an overseas PD plan. Furthermore, the PD Act identifies all actors responsible and involved in policy formulation and implementation. The process of evaluation is included in the PD master plan (Choi 2019).
The government of Pakistan undertakes initiatives that fall under the broad umbrella of public diplomacy. However, these activities lack coordination or even acknowledgement as instruments or tools of public diplomacy. One example is Pakistan’s scholarship program for foreign students, particularly Afghan and Sri Lankan students. These scholarships are managed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. In all the states studied in this research paper, awarding scholarships to international students is considered an instrument of public diplomacy, despite being handled by the ICCR in the case of India or the State Department in the case of the US or the British Council in case of UK. Based on the review of the Foreign Office Website of Pakistan, student exchanges or technical training programs for foreigners are neither acknowledged as a source of soft power nor considered a public diplomacy tool. Effective policies can only be established when an instrument of PD is classified as such by the country’s official strategy and actors. Moreover, the HEC as an institution is concerned entirely with higher education in Pakistan. The ICCR, British Council, or the State Department undertake as well as coordinate other public diplomacy efforts. These institutions are responsible primarily for conducting various public diplomacy activities, of which student exchanges are a part. Pakistan must establish a specialized institution or PD practitioner in the same pattern as ICCR or the British Council, or the Hallyu Department in South Korea. The ICCR runs India’s cultural centers abroad along with managing the student exchange, much on the pattern of the British Council. The Hallyu department in the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport in South Korea deals entirely with the management and promotion of Korean dramas and Korean pop music. The department focuses on promoting the Hallyu globally as an instrument of South Korea’s public diplomacy. Pakistan should establish its equivalent of ICCR or British Council to coordinate all PD activities including the establishment of cultural centers abroad as well as organizing cultural events and management of exchange programs. The cultural promotion aspect of PD is completely absent in Pakistan. The reforms in the PD division resulted in active digital diplomacy through any initiatives or policies regarding cultural diplomacy that are yet to emerge. The international broadcasting aspect is also missing in Pakistan’s public diplomacy. US, UK, China and India employ international broadcasting to maintain at least minimum media presence in several countries. Pakistan already has a state-owned television network called Pakistan Television. The PTV, as well as Radio Pakistan, could become an instrument of Pakistan’s public diplomacy if effective measures are undertaken. Though expecting PTV to become the next BBC is farfetched and unrealistic-nonetheless Pakistan can establish its voice internationally by investing in PTV’s modernization, reform, professionalism, advanced media technology and expansion in terms of operation and foreign audiences. Furthermore, the Pakistani drama industry has the potential to replicate the Hallyu to a smaller extent by glamourizing and capitalizing on its own unique culture, storytelling and entertainment industry traditions. Pakistan can replicate India’s model in terms of Diaspora Diplomacy. The Indian PD lays special emphasis to facilitate and connect with its diaspora that in turn protects and safeguards Indian interests abroad. Pakistan ought to incorporate the Pakistani diaspora in its public diplomacy. Pakistan should initiate party diplomacy for its immediate as well as extended neighborhood to overcome the trust deficit and build a relationship with all political actors of the neighboring countries.
As mentioned earlier, coordination among all PD actors is critical in any PD strategy. In the case of China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not responsible for designing a PD strategy. However, it coordinates and ensures implementation of the policy among all PD actors. Until 2020, Pakistan did not have any coordination among various PD actors such as Public Diplomacy Division in Foreign Office and the External Publicity Division in the Information Ministry. Furthermore, the responsibilities of both divisions were identical and overlapping. No framework or policy document regarding PD strategy exists yet. To imitate the experiences of other states, the Pakistani government will have to devise a sound PD strategy as well as financial resources. The political turmoil in the first fifty years of Pakistan’s independence, while War On Terror(WoT) and internal destabilization in the last fifteen years prevented the country from even considering public diplomacy as an instrument of foreign policy. The current government displayed interest in exploring the tourism potential as well as reforming the dormant PD division to effectively use public diplomacy as a tool of national interests. Countries with more experience in terms of PD strategies and practices should be studied to develop customized public diplomacy that incorporates the effective elements from all the strategies while keeping in view the ground realities, Pakistan foreign policy objectives, as well as its reputation.