I had the misfortune of going through 2 episodes of BiGG BoSS (Season 4) on ARY Digital and the horror of watching Veena and Ali Saleem unwittingly (read = DUH!) shred the tiny semblance of Pakistan’s image on international television
So to list a few, here is why both or the likes of them should have never been allowed on an international reality show
– they look horrible without make-up
– They have zero personality in front of the other house residents
– Both of them have absolutely no class and no oratory skills
– Ali is being called Begum, officially…even in his non-begum mode
– His strategy to look good in the game is by becoming a laughing stock, a house clown instead of showing some personality rather than the lack of it
– Similarly Veena’s strategy of trying to appear pious and [quote] Religious and a one-man woman [unquote] are making them both look like Pakistani Laughing stocks.
– Veena Malik’s drone about Mohammad Asif on international media, with her bout of emotions and choice of words was literally a foot in mouth moment
– Both regrettably believe that ‘no publicity is bad publicity’
Having said that;
Mutual programming for Pakistani airways after Indian channels were banned on registered cable providers’ networks due to lack of landing rights (Or because a certain media mafia wanted all the viewership to come their way), should have been taken by the government or some ministry as an image building opportunity for Pakistan
What Pakistan needs without much ado is a PR agency, controlled by strictly non-governmental, erudite, progressive yet moderate individuals with a vision. The government in reality would be that agency’s client where the decision making authority on the subject would lie with the agency.
1) That particular agency would have to undertake the gruesome task of grooming and giving media training to all those individuals, political faces, celebrities, sportsmen and budding talent that has the capacity to make it to the international media and issue them ‘International Spokesperson licenses’.
This would allow only these license holding Pakistani nationals to accept offers to speak on the international media as long as they abide by the regulations set by the agency, while noncompliance to the same should result in immediate expiry of the permit
2) The second job of this PR agency will be to pair up with PEMRA and control and monitor the Pakistani content that goes on air internationally via Pakistani channels with international Landing rights.
3) Finally, a comparatively simpler task is to campaign frequently. PR Campaigns covering the positive aspects of Pakistan on international media, like showcasing the brimming Pakistani talent in various industries; Like publishing interviews of ordinary Pakistani’s volunteers who made saving flood and earthquake victims possible . By grabbing airtime for those well reputed Pakistani’s who are supporting their country by excelling in their fields in foreign soils. Or like now when the Pakistani Army has won a Gold Medal in Cambrian Patrols
This does seem huge and practically impossible but is pivotal at the same time. Let this be a new era where, if not the government, but private institutes, organizations, associations, electronic and print media, Industry Icons decide to step up to save the country rather than working only to save themselves.
All it will take is the realization that when an outsider points a finger on the activities of someone like Faisal Shahzad, back talks about Pakistani actresses’ character, laughs at a national eunuch, or praises someone like Aisam Ul Haq, they are not doing so at the individual, but at Pakistan as a whole.
So will there be an institute that is willing to take up this heroic challenge and soon?