Image of Pakistan

Everything is associated with an image, by which it is known through. It is common known knowledge, that we usually don’t see a thing be it man or a picture for what it is but rather for what its image shows.

For example, in a party people tend to wear western clothes more than a normal Shalwar Kameez. The reason? Because it offers a better image. Many of us might have noticed these days, that people with big beard or a normal Islamic image tends to get checked by police more often, this is what is called profiling. To make an image, a view of any particular thing, even to change it is called marketing. Advertisements are used to promote the image that is needed.

Take for example simple toothpastes, a minty one tends to go with “fresh breath” idea while herbal one would go with “strengthening the gum” and some might associate it with blinding white teeth.

Now it is not necessarily true that only smoker toothpaste can make your teeth white or minty toothpaste can’t whiten your teeth but marketing usually goes with the stronger points or stand-out points. This is a very crude example of marketing but it surely offers the explanation needed.

Similarly, image and it’s, in turn, marketing can be applied to almost everything. Marketing changes the course of our thought process radically and if one makes good effort it can even become conventional wisdom. For example, bad breath wasn’t that bad until Listerine was manufactured, it was the marketing campaign of Listerine that has now become conventional wisdom that bad breath is now an ultimate turn-off.

So, with the notion that everything has an image by which we see consider things a country would also have an image so say the name Pakistan close your eyes and see the image produced, what was it? Mine unfortunately was floods, earthquakes and an epoch of corruption however with the patriot inside me still alive there was potential for greatness in Pakistan also. Many might not agree, so what better way is there than giving examples?

Think of Canada, and image of Justin Bieber springs in mind or a happy lumberjack chopping trees. Think of Egypt, if you have watched The Mummy, it is a mystical Arab land with walking mummies and magic flying around and if you have seen the news, it is a revolutionary battle zone for peoples’ rights. Similarly think of India, if you had the chance to read the monk who sold his Ferrari you would be under the impression that it is a mystical land with yogis and monks.

If you are a movie junkie you might think India is a place filled with Shahrukh Khans and Depika Padukuns! But if you have gone through Slum dog Millionaire your opinion might be different. How can be a single place giving so many images?

The answer is simple: multiple marketing. Indians offer many insights into their land and of its marvels however it hides its defects, this is what we do only in reverse. Why is it that the famous people from our country count our lovely president and Taliban leader?

Is there nothing else we have to show? Do the valleys of Kohat that put Switzerland to shame do not count? Is our culture not equally vast and mystic compared to Chinese culture if not more? Why is that products made in Pakistan sold with “made in Dubai” tag? It clearly shows that the image of Pakistan has been marketed poorly.

So are we happy with image of Pakistan? Are we even bothered by it? Does it even affect us? Should we change it? CAN we change it?

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